The very beginning of December will bring us to the start of Advent, the time of anticipation and preparation for the birth of our Saviour! The Council’s annual ‘Light Up For Christ’, the lighting of the church Nativity Scene, will take place ahead of the first Advent Mass, the 5 p.m. Mass on December 2nd.
We have our Memorial Mass coming soon, to be followed by Pub Night. It may sound strange, but that will bring us close to the end of our liturgical year! Soon you will see Christmas Cards and Christmas cakes, but watch for the for the coming Nativity Exhibition in the church hall.
It is so easy to get caught in the rush of this time of year. We often hear “Keep Christ In Christmas” in our Knights of Columbus programs. Let that not be an empty phrase, but rather let us keep it as our focus.
I wish to thank all of you and your spouses, families and friends who have helped to make our recent events successful.
My prayer for Brother Knights and their families:
May we really focus on Christ in this season of peace and forgiveness.
We have arrived once again at a time of changes. We are nearing the end of summer and beginning a new school year. We still have some unfinished business, and yet we are looking ahead to things to come.
I extend a warm welcome to our new Pastor, Father Sebastian Amato, who will become our new council Chaplain!
What is coming up soon? Well, there will be several school barbecues that our brother Knights will be found helping at. Our Spaghetti supper is coming in October, so watch for a call for volunteer helpers soon. Our planning continues, and your help is needed and appreciated as always.
I was reviewing some of the tweets that Pope Francis has shared with the world, and this one from three years ago caught my eye, and might resonate with you as well:
“The Lord always forgives us and walks at our side. We have to let him do that.”
– Pope Francis, August 30, 2014, via Twitter
As I look back on my first year as your Grand Knight, I am grateful for all of the support that you have given to me, but more importantly for the support that you have given each other. It has been an interesting fraternal year with several challenges along the way, but having said that, we were successful in running most of our events up to and including the recent Steak BBQ.
I thank the outgoing members of our executive for their help and guidance through the year, and I welcome the newly elected members, and trust that we will all work together moving forward. Most importantly, thank you Father Leo for your many years of service, not only as our Chaplain, but as our Pastor. We all wish you well in your retirement!
I hope to have our various directors in place shortly, and we will be setting up our calendar of events very soon. Moving forward, keep an eye open to see what we are doing and to see if you can offer some assistance. Become a member of a team with us by sharing some time and having some fun!
Back in April, Pope Francis participated by video link at the TED conference in Vancouver. Here is a little part of it that caught my attention, and might catch yours as well:
“In order to do good, we need memory, we need courage and we need creativity. […] Yes, love does require a creative, concrete and ingenious attitude. Good intentions and conventional formulas, so often used to appease our conscience, are not enough. Let us help each other, all together, to remember that the other is not a statistic or a number. The other has a face. The “you” is always a real presence, a person to take care of.”
While the Knights hand out lots of awards and certificates to our members and others in the community, there are three that are very special and are given out at our annual Ladies Appreciation Night Dinner. Congratulations to the recipients of the 2016 awards that were announced at our Ladies Appreciation Dinner – Lady of the Year, Kay Callery, Knight of the Year, Garry Davis, and Knights’ Family of the Year, the Forster Family, Marie and Christopher Forster!
There are several upcoming events for our council but the one I want to mention is the Charity Partner Golf Tournament. We have selected the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Kingston as our partner this year, and we are working toward and looking forward to the event to be held on
Saturday, June 3rd, 2017. More information to follow!
Pope Francis concluded his homily for the beginning of Lent this year with this thought:
“Lent is a time to start breathing again… the time to open our hearts to the breath of the One capable of turning our dust to humanity.”
Let Lent be a time where we can draw closer to Jesus.
Celebrate this Easter with a heart filled with love and peace. Have a blessed and wonderful Easter!
Looking back at 2016, there were many activities that took place with many members involved, and for that I am grateful. Watch for the “Annual Survey of Fraternal Activity” coming soon to help record our volunteer hours for last year.
Looking ahead to 2017, it is a special milestone – Canada’s 150th anniversary! For our council, the new year brings many activities to organize and participate in. I encourage all of us to jump in and help in any way that we can to support our parish, the youth and the community through our events.
Included in the first reading on New Year’s Day is a beautiful, timeless prayer that the Lord asks Moses to pass on to Aaron, the Chief Priest, to say over the Israelites. This is my prayer for you and your families:
“The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you.
The Lord lift his countenance upon you and grant you peace.”
Peace and goodwill to all the members of Council 9652 and their families!
After an uneventful summer, the pace of Council activities picks up, and with it the need for members to get involved. September is a time of many changes. For many families this includes a first day at school, first day of university or college often away from home.
Along with changes come challenges, personal and otherwise. At our Council level, we are heading into what is arguably the busiest time of our fraternal year.
We have many different programs that run practically at the same time, and as always we need feet on the ground to make these things happen. Please give some thought to the calls for help that will come from our various program leaders.
- a Holy Family Icon travelling through the area
- a Parish Pub Night and a Spaghetti Supper coming up
- the Nativity Exhibition and the Nativity Scene for the church
- the State Charities Raffle
- the Keep Christ in Christmas card sales
. . . the list goes on.
We are looking for volunteers, yes, and we are looking for three Activities Directors as well: Family, Community and Culture of Life. If you are interested in learning more or becoming a Director for our Council, please let me know.
The Fraternal Year Begins
I am still humbled at the thought that you, my Brother Knights, have elected me as your Grand Knight for this next fraternal year. I look forward to working with our newly installed Council Executive, and I also extend a sincere thank you to those of you who are the outgoing Executives.
Ours is a vibrant, active Council. We have a history of achieving some impressive goals, with more to come! The recent addition of the annual golf tournament to our events has already helped several local groups, and most recently provided a contribution to the Refugee Fund of our parish.
Attend the degrees as often as you can, since there is always something that you take away as food for thought. It is important too that we support our candidates through the degrees, attend with them through their journey, and help them to become active members of our Council.
Over the next few weeks I will be consulting with as many Brother Knights as I can in an effort to appoint the directors we need to lead our council programs. We have many able bodies and a wealth of experience to draw from within our Council, so I am confident that over the summer we will be able to schedule our events, and as early as possible begin to organize them.
In closing, here is a quote from Pope Francis that we can take to heart –
If we believe in the free and generous action of the Spirit, we are able to understand one another well and work together to serve society better, and to contribute to peace in a decisive way. (12/1/14)
‘We are all called to serve’
This has been and continues to be a key message within the Knights of Columbus. For the past five years, the members of our Council have put both trust and faith in me to serve at a level, only six years ago I would never have imagined was possible. For this and to each of you, I am forever humbled and grateful.
As I look back, two years as Deputy Grand Knight and three years as Grand Knight, I find it necessary to review some accomplishments. Firstly, I believe together we have removed any stigma that might have once existed about our Council being ‘an Old boys Club’. As I have shared and witnessed the many activities, actions of support and compassion, it is evident to me that we are anything but ‘an old boys club’. We have worked hard at ensuring a message of being inclusive to the whole family has prevailed. It is important that we continue to build on this message.
Secondly, an approach of bringing more faith development into our meetings has reinforced our true need of guidance from the Holy Spirit. This has never mattered more than when disagreements and certain crossroads have challenged us. But as Catholic gentlemen we are able to ‘dust ourselves off’ and pick up, working together to ensure, we always come back through unity to reach one common goal. I wish to extend my heartfelt thank you to Father Leo for his leadership in bringing these lessons of Faith into the forefront of our service.
Another area of accomplishment has been working closer with adjacent Councils. Assisting Council 7883 from Napanee with the Basketball Free-throw, as well as participating in a District Bingo evening, are two examples of expanding relationships with neighboring brothers.
Finally, I encourage all of us to support the new Grand Knight and his Executive with the respect needed to serve our God, with the true mission as set out by the Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney. It is important that we not lose sight of the success of our Council and always explore ways to improve our service.
In closing, it has truly an honour to have met many of you and learn from your many talents. I can honestly say that having involved myself at this leadership level has only helped me to grow more compassionately and spiritually. I will now take my own lessons from this experience and go out and find new adventurous ways to spread the good name of our Order. Peace to all.
‘Jesus wants you to carry on his work.’
This quote is from Matthew Kelly’s book ‘ Rediscover Jesus’. What prevents us from completely and unconditionally fulfilling this one want of Jesus?
We now find ourselves in the midst of Lent 2016. Personally over the last many years I have found Lent to be a beautiful time of reflection and soul cleansing. It often comes however with moments of tears. More importantly though, it gives me a time to pause and give thanks for all the good in my life. Remember no matter how bad things seem they can always be worse! This alone gives a purpose to be grateful.
I find, that no matter how many books I read, or words I write, the real challenge for me personally is creating action of what I hear and see. Is this the same for you? I know I have my set of excuses and some are really good too! When I let my emotions get the best of me, I behave in a manner that I do not want to ‘rock the boat’. I most certainly do not want to show my vulnerability. Is this you as well?
I have concluded one thing. Getting to know Jesus is the only key to the gateway of true peace and love of both He and my fellowman. I am often not where I should be. I am a sinner that needs help. Do I try? Yes I do, but not without falling down, only needing to be picked back up. Is it the same for you too?
We are all called to experience Jesus in our own personal way. Free will is a beautiful gift given to us. Remember mostly who gave us this gift. To turn our back on the gift giver and not allow his love to pour into our soul, gives reason to slow down, pause and begin our personal journey. It is never to late!
We listen over and over that no matter how great our sin, Jesus will be there for us. Does this alone not give reason to know Jesus better? Who is this, that He can have such forgiveness? Without accepting or trying to understand, how can we ‘carry on his work’? Consider using this Lenten season as your own personal journey and may the Peace be with you!
I would like to begin by wishing each of you, your families and friends a Happy New Year.
Two words come to mind as we embark on this journey through 2016. Firstly, RENEWAL is a word that requires action. Put aside the topic of resolutions and instead let us think RENEWAL. Each of us in our own personal journey, are continually invited to explore and strengthen our faith. Making efforts to get back to our core virtues will truly define who we are and where we are going. The result of this action will allow us to be a key ingredient in an overall recipe to renew the world.
The second word that comes to my mind is HOPE. Without HOPE we have nothing, to offer others and ourselves. Dreams are quashed and our RENEWAL will be left with little purpose. History can show and demonstrate how HOPE is key to moving towards God’s unconditional love. With the embrace of this love, evil in our world will always loose the war.
We here at St. Paul the Apostle Parish are a shining example of how RENEWAL and HOPE are expressed in an effective way. Whether it be sponsoring a Refugee family or increasing our efforts to ensure the wider community is always welcome in our Parish, to attend events or even Mass. This action gives cause and reason to show each individual how RENEWAL and HOPE can change their lives and the world we live in.
In conclusion, I ask each of us to pause and define what a RENEWAL can do for us in 2016. Explore the many opportunities offered at St. Paul the Apostle parish or where ever you may be throughout the coming year. Bring these tools and lessons back into our personal lives and our Council and I assure you that together we will all change the world.