As you are all aware by now, over the past year many of my words have been themed around a direction to motivate us all into action.
We are a diverse group of Catholic Gentlemen. We carry different, personalities, different interests and more importantly different reasons for being a Knight. With that being said it can also be stated that not one of us should ever feel guilt for not participating in our programs.
Being a Knight should and can be a lifetime commitment. Each of us experience moments in our personnel lives that keep us away from participation. That is completely, respected and understood. My message to you however is that participation comes in many forms. It can be assisting the planning of an event, helping at an event or just showing up to enjoy the event.
My dream for all who read this is that somewhere throughout the year, one event will hold enough curiosity and interest that you and maybe even your family will freely participate. Throughout the newsletter you will see upcoming events reported on. Consider one to come out to. From special Masses, to dinners, to special events, there are many areas where we would like to celebrate the gifts and talents God has given us.
If you do come out re-introduce yourself, and we will do the same. Remember mostly, you are a brother who is loved and appreciated no matter where you are in your stage of life.
In closing, I wish you all a joyous Advent season and I will continue to pray for peace in your lives and your families.
As summer closes, it would only be appropriate to take a moment and reflect on the past few months. Often we naturally set goals in the beginning of a summer; for ourselves, for family and for friends. How did you do with your goals? Were you able to get those chores around the house done? Did you go on vacation, visit family or friends?
When we set goals we often never take into account the things that interfere with our plans. This of course is only natural, as we can never know for sure when sickness, death or other life struggles slip into the mix of our plans. Life is truly a journey, full of the good and the bad. It is never perfect and rarely goes completely as we initially plan. It is important to know that we are all on this earth to serve our loving God. Our life’s journey is his plan, not ours.
I often think of September like New Years day. It is a time to dust ourselves off, look at our successes and our failings, stand tall and re-evaluate our personal goals. Are we really listening to the calls from God? Is it ‘His will be done’, or is it ours!
Consider this fall looking deep into the activities and events of our Council’s good work. A calendar of events is posted on our website – KofC9652 Calendar of Events
Do you have a talent that you can offer? Consider and discern how you can contibute. Contact our Program Director Br. Ray Smith 613-634-1891 or email@example.com.
I assure you we can offer something that will align with your personal goals.
In conclusion, I wish to extend my personal condolence to the Family of Br. Mel Kealey. Although I only knew Mel over the last couple of years, I was and still am inspired by his strong faith. He reflected a true man of honesty and integrity. He will be greatly missed, but will always hold a special place in my heart. I thank God for having brought him into my life.
I wish to take this moment to thank each of you who voted for me to remain as your Grand Knight for a second term. I do not take this task lightly and have been able to use this past year as a year to observe the overall activities and jobs within our ranks. I cannot say enough about the hard working members we have. There are many who answer to the needs of our Council without hesitation and with a true and humble spirit. There are also those who do the same outside of our council and parish, and do so, silently without any recognition.
Our Council is like the ‘sleeping giant’. It is just waiting to be stirred and awakened into full Unity and Fraternity to do good works in the fields of Charity within our parish and the greater community. As a member of our Council we each have a duty to listen to our individual call to service.
Often we allow our busy lives to push away that call. This may happen due to the influences of those in our personal lives or sometimes it is easier to deafen the call as it sometimes takes work and energy to even listen. How do we fix this? The answer I believe can be different for each of us, however there is one common denominator to guide us, and that is prayer. I am presently reading a book titled ‘Four signs of a Dynamic Catholic’ by Matthew Kelly. In this book the author speaks of a need for us to work on our personal daily prayer. I would like to challenge each of our members to find just five minutes each day over the summer to pray for our own personal spiritual growth. The difficulty can be, how do I pray? I would suggest beginning in a quiet location without the influence of noise and just listen to God. Eventually the words of wisdom will flow.
If we can each commit to this, I am convinced we will enter the fall witnessing a renewed Council unlike anything we have seen throughout our 26 year history. I would like to invite each you to make an effort to come out to our July 8th general meeting. You will be introduced to the new executive and appointed directors. I also will be sharing my Vision for our council with an interactive approach. Remember we all have a call, what will be yours?
There are so many good things to report in this bulletin, as I complete
my first term as your Grand Knight. I would like to begin however by
humbly thanking each you, my Brother Knights for the experience,
friendship and support given to me over this past year.
As I write this I am freshly home from the State Convention. For those
who have attended Conventions from the past you will understand
when I say ‘what a great networking experience’. As the
representative of our Council I was both honored and proud to share
with other provincial councils what we do. At the same time I was
given the opportunity to listen to what they do. Ah, Brothers the ideas
Many of the areas I have spoken on over the past year, all made
sense for me, after listening to other District Deputies and Grand
Knights. A few years ago when I was your Membership Director I
developed a Membership plan. That plan is only as good as when we
look at it. I know now that for our Council to grow, for our Order to
grow we must continue to build on the roots of the Knights of
Columbus and show that we are for and about the Family. Being for
the family means we must refresh the work to encourage fine young
Practical Catholic gentlemen to join our good works. As quoted from
Pope Francis: Old age is the seat of the wisdom of life. Let’s donate this to the young, like good wine that gets better with the years. Let’s give the young the wisdom of life. Pope Francis
We have much to be proud of throughout our Council’s history and
this year is no different. At the state convention Council 9652 was
recognized with Silver Trillium award. The criteria for this award can
be viewed at http://www.ontariokofc.ca/?page_id=884#1.
The second achievement is an Honourable mention plaque for the
best Bulletin award. Words cannot express how deserving our worthy
recorder is of this great accomplishment. Congratulations Brother
Aubert, your work truly makes our Council shine.
Whether I am re-elected as your Grand Knight in the next year or not,
I will continue in whatever capacity I can to encourage new and
refreshing steps to ensure growth. It would also be a goal to reinforce
our very Principles which will always guide us on the right track.
On that note, I encourage all our members to become active in
choosing the next Executive for 2014/2015. If you are unable to
attend the Nomination evening on May 06, I would ask that you
consider either putting your name or another Brother’s name forward
for any of the open Executive positions including Grand Knight.
Elections will be held on June 3rd.
Another upcoming event to look to is the March for Life in Ottawa
which will take place May 8th. I would encourage all available
members, friends and family to catch any of the various buses
heading to Ottawa and support this worthwhile cause for the Culture
of Life. Large numbers are noticed, few not so much!
We have many good things happening which will be reported on
throughout this newsletter. I challenge each of us to use our gifts God
has given us, join the forces at work and make our Council stronger
and forever better by sharing those gifts.
One final reminder, as in the past our June meeting will be Election
night, however it will also be our member recognition and thank you
night. Consider coming out that evening with the usual mix of Pizza,
comradeship and fun.
“Jesus did not preach his own politics: he accompanied others. The conversions he inspired took place precisely because of his willingness to accompany, which makes us all brothers and children and not members of an NGO or proselytes of some multinational company.” Pope Francis
The duty of the Grand Knight is to foster an atmosphere of cooperation and teamwork in the council. It is also noted that the Grand Knight is responsible for observing the laws of the Order and Council.
Throughout my term as your Grand Knight so far, I have found it better to open my eyes, ears and heart to our members. I have most importantly gained the knowledge that we will have differences of opinions from time to time. I must ensure that an atmosphere of cooperation is maintained even with those differences. I can do this with the knowledge that each of our members truly upholds the values of our principles in their own hearts.
I have come to learn that my personal feelings and emotions must be weighed against and with, the majority of our council. This will ensure that a spirit of unity is maintained as one of our core principles.
We have a diverse council. We are made up of sons, fathers, grandfathers, uncles and most importantly brothers. We became Knights because of our Catholic faith and union with the Holy Sea.
I stand tall and proud of our accomplishments. I understand that when difficult decisions are needed, they will be made based on the principles and laws of our Order. As quoted from Pope Francis ‘Jesus did not preach his own politics he accompanied others’.
“The popes have spoken of human ecology, closely linked to environmental ecology. We are living in a time of crisis: we see this in the environment, but above all we see this in mankind … Man is not in charge today, money is in charge, money rules. God our Father did not give the task of caring for the earth to money, but to us, to men and women: we have this task! Instead, men and women are sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption: it is the ‘culture of waste.’” ~Pope Francis, standing up for the poor and the environment, June 2013
I wish to begin by wishing each of you, my Brothers, your families, your friends and the Greater Community in which we serve, a very Happy New Year.
As I searched for the words I wanted to write, in my first message of the New Year, I found myself procrastinating to get the job done. It seemed my focus was on my personal needs and desires, thus forgetting about the mandate to serve each of you as you have called me to do.
Advent gave us time to prepare for that glorious event celebrating the birth of Jesus. It soon dawned on me what I needed to say as Christmas Eve approached. On that day, I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting briefly with a couple of our widows. I also took time to visit a Brother Knight (who is ill) and his wife. These visits and the reactions I received soon gave me the focus I needed.
As the New Year confronts us we must dust ourselves off to refocus what our mission as Knights is to be. Are we to continue helping each of our selected Charities through monetary donations? Or are we to find other ways of reaching out to those Charities when money falls short? What I see is a mix of both areas.
Hard decisions are to be made as approval of our annual operating budget must be reviewed and passed by the general membership in the coming months. The world we live in continues to become more challenging, as we try very hard to accomplish the annual events and fundraisers to support the budget plan. I put a challenge and call out to each of you to help us in this task. Making a phone call, sending an e-mail, or even attending the January/February meetings, with a new idea would be a great gift you could give to our Council, our mandate and most importantly the rewards of your own contribution.
This may also be time for us to re-focus on my goal of last summer. If you recall I wanted to get out as a membership and help those in need within our community by giving of our time. I continue to express the rewards of doing this. Charity is more than raising money; it is getting dirty to help others. Please consider this when you are next called on to drive that person to an appointment, clear a walkway, plant a garden or even just sit and talk with that lonely, ill person. Giving in this way is not an easy venture. I will be the first to attest to that. It requires that we step away from our comfort zone and expose our vulnerability. Remember mostly that this is what God asks of us.
As mentioned by Pope Francis above, we must not allow the money to drive our success in fulfilling our mandate. Let us remember that by doing good deeds, and allowing our voice to be heard, will in fact reap the needed rewards to maintain our goals. Let us all not allow the money to rule. Instead let it be one of the many tools in our ‘repair box’.
Again, I wish each and every one of you and your families a Very Happy New Year!
In my first quarter as your Grand Knight, I have become overjoyed with my witness to each of you, our members. So often when a need comes forward, our members step into action. I have personally been able to witness this in my role, on the front lines.
One of the most beautiful gifts we give to others is our time. Often this is done with much sacrifice. Sacrifice from our own desires and sacrifice from family and friends. Each of you, are a beautiful witness to God’s love for fellow man.
With all these good words, I must pause however, to stress the importance of never giving up hope. Often we can get so buried in our efforts, we can lose track of the key goals of our tasks. There are many different approaches to achieve goals. It is almost a human nature to be solely focused on our own personal opinions, leaving us blind to the ideas or opinions of others.
The world we live in is ever changing. For us to work with change, it requires that we open our eyes, ears and heart. When our various committees gather, it is imperative we structure ourselves for healthy debate to achieve a common goal.
Our council is alive, vibrant and energetic. We have a weapon of Unity and Fraternity. The more members we engage to reach our goals, the greater the result. It is our duty to stay connected to fellow Brothers, especially, those we do not often see. Have you sponsored a member in the past? Are you still in contact with that individual? Take a moment and reaffirm your commitment as a sponsor. Remember this duty is more than putting your name on a Form 100.
Again I leave you with another quote.
Jesus teaches us another way. Go out. Go out and share
your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers, go
out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as
well as spirit. Pope Francis
Change, Fear and Hope! These three words are what many of us experience as every new September approaches. It could be the beginning of a new job, a retirement or sending your child off on their new journey of school.
Emotions at this time of year can also run high. We are all challenged to take up the cross and trust in God. It is not for us to know God’s plan, however it is for us to believe that in these difficult moments of change, God is with us.
Change is often never easy. With change we can be consumed by the fear of the unknown or even hope for a better future. It is the moments like this where family, friends and community matter most. We all have that same duty to help our fellow man through their moments of change as well.
There is no better time than September to explore new opportunities. It is a time to give of ourselves and allow our neighbor the chance to also live their lives to the fullest. I put a challenge forward to each of us; that we seek out a chance to give of ourselves fully and freely without the expectation of reward. The actual reward is the emotion we can feel by performing this duty. This is surely to be the feeling of walking with Jesus.
When we all took our various degrees we each committed to the lesson of that degree. We are now sent out to be leaders, help our fellow man and in return help ourselves on that journey of the great reward.
‘Help one another. This is what Jesus teaches us. This is what I do. And I do it with my heart.’
To young inmates at a penitential institute, Pope Francis
As I humbly enter into the role of your Grand Knight, I am left honored, excited, confused and most importantly hopeful.
Firstly, I am honored because I often look around at our gatherings and question how it is you chose me. There are so many other worthy and capable men in our Council. I also, in comparison to many, am so new to our Order. With all these thoughts aside however, I must tell you that it is my intent to serve you with grace, respect and brotherly love.
Secondly, I am excited with our future. With strong membership numbers, it is clear we have so much potential and resources. Over the summer I will consult with as many of our Past Grand Knights as possible. It is my desire to have a clear understanding of the last 25 years. As a Council, we cannot look into the future without first reviewing and understanding the past. This is like our toolbox full of information and knowledge.
On a final note, I must also say, I am confused. However my confusion is surrounded with hope. My confusion is about, how we forget some of the lessons given to us in our various degrees. I encourage all of us to refresh ourselves on a continual basis by attending a degree when you can. This is good for us as much as it is supporting our candidates. Our Order should be able to grow naturally, if we as Knights make strong efforts to live out our Principles, at the same time acknowledging we are all sinners. This model will be a true force to be reckoned with.
As an executive we will be calling on all of you over the summer. There are many good things in the works, stayed tuned, be ready, and most importantly remember why you joined the Knights in the first place. There will be something for each of us coming up in our good works.
I leave you with this final quote.
‘Pay attention my young friends: to go against the current; this is good for the heart, but we need courage to swim against the tide. … We Christians were not chosen by the lord for little things; push onwards towards the highest principles. Stake your lives on noble ideals, my dear young people!’ Pope Francis, April 28th, 2013
As our fraternal year comes to a close (June 30th) along with my tenure as your Grand Knight, I remain in awe by all the volunteer work our Knights and their families do in support of, our fundraising events, in our Knights of Columbus activities and charities and general support to our community. Beyond this support there are Knights and their Families who very quietly go about doing Charitable works without any recognition what so ever, working in the soup kitchens of our Foodbank – St. Vincent de Paul, visiting our sick in hospitals and homes, providing transportation to those unable to get around, donating blood, or just lending an ear to someone who may be in pain or suffering a loss.
WHY do we do this? Because, we believe and profess in LOVING OUR NEIGHBOUR!
CHARITY ALONG WITH UNITY, FRATERNITY AND PATRIOTISM are the underpinnings of our fraternal organization.
To quote an excerpt of his prayer recognizing our Family and living the virtue of Charity, composed by our Supreme Chaplain Bishop William Lori he writes,
“In our daily life and work, may we reflect the self-giving love which you, O Father, eternally show with your son and the Holy Spirit.” (See the Family Prayer, prayer card inserted in the April 2013 issue of Columbia magazine.)
Although I am writing to the converted, my thanks are to ALL of You on behalf of those who have experienced Our outreach of service and charity. You made the last two years a wonderful and Faith filled experience!
As we continue all our great works let us take time to celebrate Life. May-June is a time we celebrate first Communions, Mother’s Day, Graduations and weekend events with Family. Catch the spring spirit in the air and let it remind you of the Holy Spirit within us all as we approach the feast of Pentecost. ___________________________________________
PRO LIFE EVENT
On May the 9th a chartered bus will be attending the March for Life in Ottawa, departing from St Paul the Apostle 9:30AM please support this Catholic Womens’ League and Knights of Columbus initiative in this Year of Faith. For more informationclick here. ___________________________________________
Let me conclude with a hymn verse taken from the United Church.
“Go now in Peace. Never be afraid. God will go with you each hour of every day. Go now in Faith, steadfast, strong and true. Know He will guide you in all you do. Go now in Love, and show you Believe. Reach out to others so all the world can see. God will be there watching from above. Go now in Peace, in Faith and Love.”
In Service to One. In Service to All.
Grand Knight Terry Finn
The Junior arm of the Knights of Columbus is the Squires and the emblem that they display is:
The Squires emblem includes a Maltese cross upon which are the letters ”P.” (physical fitness); ”I.” (intellectual development); ”S.” (spiritual growth and the practice of our faith); and ”C” (citizenship and civic life). The large letters ”C.” and ”S.” intertwined with the cross respectively represent Christ and Squires. The ”K.” centered on the cross symbolizes the Knights of Columbus. Esto Dignus, the Squires’ motto encircling the emblem, is Latin for ”Be Worthy.”