This summer is nearly at an end and hopefully we will have had successes, rest and renewal as so often happens with summer. Just as most Canadians already know… Summer is too short. Personally, I didn’t get everything on my to do list completed. But, one thing I did complete was my prayer time personally and as often as our competing schedules allowed (and our laziness, truth-be- told) I prayed with my wife daily before we started our day. The Supreme Chaplain’s challenge for us this Summer was, in fact, almost exactly that.
Challenge by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori:
This month I challenge you to “come away” to a quiet place by praying at least five minutes a day, first thing in the morning before you check your electronic devices or turn on the TV. You will likely have stops and starts, but strive to be as consistent as possible. Secondly, I challenge you to respond to Jesus’ invitation to “rest a while” by doing something truly restful on Sunday, the day of rest.
I will present to you all a new challenge for September in our meeting that month. Let us all see how we do. Daily time spent with our Lord is crucial to our continued ability to be good Catholic gentlemen, to have the energy and personal resources to accomplish all the good works we strive for with the knights and in the parish and the world in general.
Our directorships for the new Faith in Action programs are coming together. I now have directors for the four categories Life, Faith, Family and Community and an overall program director. I’ll announce them at the September meeting. Make sure you’re there! We will be looking for people to help chair the various individual activities in all the categories of our program. Brother Al DeBenedetti (DGK) and I are also looking for a few more members to step up to be on our new Retention committee. We need a few more members. Each new member will be asked to be ‘shepherds’ for and ‘watch over’ about 10 brother knights. This means we want you to call them every few months, see how they are doing, let them know what we are doing and just be there as a welcoming contact within the Knights of Columbus. I expect that one night each month, you can call two or three members on your list of 10. That small time commitment will allow you to reach each member several times per year. Not an onerous task but one that can reap a harvest of reinvigorated members whose feeling of importance within our group and desire to participate in our activities is enhanced by your calls. I look forward to the call I receive from my ‘shepherd Knight’.
Brother Chris Huff has volunteered to be our new membership chair but he cannot do it alone. Our retention committee with their phone calls to their ‘sheep’ will be very helpful in encouraging current members to get involved but we also need to always be thinking about how to find and encourage new members to join. Chris will be looking for you all to help out in that effort in your personal relationships with fellow parishioners and friends who may not even be attending our church. All Good Catholic men are welcome.
Our district deputy is also looking for your help with recruitment. You may have seen the replica Stanley Cup poster in this bulletin. The districts are all in a competition with each other to recruit the most members. Let’s see if we can be number 1.
I have been struggling with the latest news out of Pennsylvania, where you likely heard the news that a grand Jury has decided that as many as 300 priests may have abused several thousand children over the past several 7? decades. So what are we to think of this? How do we handle a situation where the Church we have deep connections to has covered up abuse of this magnitude? Is the Church corrupt? Has our Faith been betrayed? What should we do? Is this just a vendetta out to paint our beloved Church as evil? Some may find it hard to believe that so many priests were involved. “The numbers must be wrong” said one person. Well, even if it’s just one priest whose abuse of just one child was covered up and enabled by a higher-up to ‘save face’, that is horrendous, it’s unconscionable.
I have heard of people who are tempted to ‘leave’ the church. I implore you all to instead ‘lead’ our church back to Christ, back to its proper faith in Jesus Christ. Too many individuals have put faith in people rather than in the Church and Specifically, the founder of the Church, Jesus Christ himself. It is people who are corrupt, meaning we are all, each one of us, sinners. Some of our sins are less harmful than others but not one of us can claim to have lead a perfect holy life, except if our Name is Mary and our only son is Jesus. We must know that the Church is more than the sum of its members. It is the body of Christ. We need to strive to lead our fellow neighbors and church-goers by our example, our encouragement, our friendship and our prayers. And we all need to stand up and call out abuse of any kind. We need to know what to look for so we can know when someone is abusing and so we can avoid situations where our own motives might be called into question. Let us raise our own awareness of the weakness of ourselves and our neighbors and be ready to stand up for the innocent; the one who has no voice. A strong faith-filled Church means we are all looking out for each other. We all need each other’s support and strength and prayers.