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Quarterly Newsletter (April-June 2012)

posted Jun 2, 2012, 6:39 AM by Unknown user

As we near the end of another Fraternal year and I reach the end of my two year tenure as your Grand Knight, I wanted to share some thoughts.
 
First and foremost I wish to thank you for your friendship, support and your prayers. In particular I am very grateful to Kevin Galbraith for his tireless support and work ethic as the Deputy Grand Knight and Programs Director. It is no secret that without his work and dedication, our Council would not have progressed as far as it has to date.
 
I look forward to serving our Council in a different capacity for the next year or so as a Trustee and hopefully in other areas. Servant leadership is the model that Jesus has laid out for us to follow and there are at least 15 places in Sacred Scripture that I could find that speaks about how to lead and serve. One example would be (Matthew 20:25-26) "Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,"
 
Our secular world places enough emphasis on power, prestige, rank and title to sicken a person morally and spiritually. The four words of Jesus in the above passage have greater meaning for Catholic Men and Knights of Columbus today now more than ever in my opinion - "Not so with you".
 
Our Church and our Country is under attack from all things evil, I need not remind you of that. Technology like the Internet, television, "smart phones" and computers in general make it very easy for us to be lulled into forgetting to read Scripture, to pray and to contemplate. We must continue to strive to be a "people set apart"  from the rest of our society. Of course, we cannot become hermits or cloister ourselves so much as to stop loving and serving those who are less fortunate than we are. Instead, we must be good examples of Catholic Men to others who either do not know Jesus or, who may have walked away from Him.
 
I myself find it difficult sometimes to stay focused on what I should be doing to live a good, Holy and Catholic life as a Man. There are so many distractions that come from the technology that I mentioned above coupled with the stresses of work, married life, fatherhood and leisure time. It truly is a daily struggle to "run the race" as St. Paul mentions in his letters.
 
There are very difficult and challenging times ahead for America and for the Catholic Church in America. But, these can be exciting times because we all know that Jesus Christ will come again to gather us all together. I ask that you support and pray for your new Officers who will serve for the next Fraternal Year. They are: Father Gerald, Kevin Galbraith, Matthew Wierzgac, Thomas Cook, Bernard Zacharias, Norman Vesprini, George Pariseau, Joe Dixon, John Presutti, Ron Fuller, Michael Blaszak, David Kummet, Gene Wierzgac, Michael Cesar and Frank Finch.
 
I want to also thank the Men who have served and who are moving on to other areas of service in their chosen vocations. In particular, Michael Porter who has served honorably as our Treasurer and the founding Chief Counselor of our first Squires Circle. And, Dr. Henry Russell who has faithfully served our Council as Chancellor these past few years. I would also like to recognize our District Deputy Peter Schwartz for his service and guidance to our Council for the past two years. Peter is moving on to another position within his own home Council. I have valued our friendship Peter and all of the guidance that you have provided to me these past two years.
 
In closing, I simply want to express my appreciation for having been given the honor of serving you as the Grand Knight of our Council. Many, many Knights of Columbus enjoy many years of membership without ever having been called to serve in this capacity. It truly has been a very challenging and rewarding experience for me and I consider it to be an honor to have served you and the Order.
 
God Love you,
 
SK Frank Finch
Grand Knight  2010-2012
Council 10963
 

Quarterly Newsletter (January-March 2012)

posted Feb 17, 2012, 6:28 PM by Unknown user

We live in desperate and troubled times! Do you remember what you were armed with as a First Degree Knight? What "weapon" were you issued? That's right, your Rosary Beads.
 
We must pray everyday and ask for the Mercy of Jesus by pleading through the intercession of Mary His Mother and ours. And what better way to do that than by reciting the prayers of the Most Holy Rosary.
 
Not one of you who will read this simple article is unaware of the evil that is so prevalent in our American society today. As of this writing, the USCCB has made it very clear that they will resist the mandate set forth by the current Administration regarding providing contraceptives to employees as part of "Health Care Coverage". We are all very aware of stories of the multitudes of martyrs that have gone before us. I am very afraid that we are on the precipice of witnessing a white (or bloodless) martyrdom of many in our Church.
 
And if that will not suffice, we may see the ugliness of a red martyrdom to follow as our beloved Church and our wonderful faith comes under further attack. All Catholics are being targeted by those who worship at the altar of secular humanism for speaking out. They want to silence us and control all methods of discourse and dissemination of information. Be aware and be ready that you too may be targeted for speaking out against the culture of death. By simply being a Knight, you may be labeled as "hateful", "bigoted" and "chauvinistic" because you do not support "women's health issues".
 
Likewise, our beloved Priests and Bishops will come under fire first. Remember to get to the flock, the evil one will first strike at the head of the flock, he will attack the shepherds of our faith first! We as Knights must be prepared to defend our Clergy and one another with prayer and with active engagement of criticism. We must become more vocal and more publicly active in defense of life and in defense of the Catholic Church. We also are called to stand together and not allow partisan politics to divide us from one another. This is another tactic of the evil one to divide and pit one another against his brother or sister.
 
I challenge each of you to set aside more time than ever each day or evening for prayer. Consider turning off the television, set aside the novels and take a break from other leisure activities now and into Lent and begin to pray fervently. We are called to be a "people set apart", so let us begin to set ourselves apart from the noisy secular world and it's materialism and turn to the Holy Scriptures, the Catechism and to the Rosary. Consider choosing literature that contains the works of the Church Fathers or of modern day Catholic authors and scholars. If you do enjoy movies, consider turning off secular Hollywood works and instead, choose to watch an edifying movie about the lives of the Saints or of the Holy Land.
 
I call you to prayer and to sacrifice and meditate now and through Lent and beyond. We will need to be strong for the coming times of testing and trials, please prepare and be ready. Fill your lamps with oil and trim your wicks, do not be caught unprepared.
 
God Love you,
 
SK Frank Finch
Grand Knight, Council 10963
Old St. Patrick's Parish

Quarterly Newsletter (October - December 2011)

posted Dec 16, 2011, 12:36 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Dec 16, 2011, 12:39 PM ]

Brother Knights and families,
I thought that it would be better to present and publish a quarterly newsletter instead of writing to you each and every month. I must confess that I have been finding it very difficult to find something meaningful to write every month. I suppose that I was going on at a fairly good pace for quite some time but I have simply run out of gas so to speak.
I also feel that Father Gerald should be the primary "voice" or author that all Men should tune in to at the Council level.
With that said, having a quarterly newsletter seems to just make sense to me and so that is what we have now (at least for the remainder of this Fraternal Year). And speaking of this Fraternal Year, I want you know that I have enjoyed the support and the assistance that I have enjoyed these last 17 months as the Grand Knight. So many of you have been so supportive of moving the Council activities forward and I thank you.
 
I want each and every one of you who will read this to seriously consider praying about your level of participation in our Council. For those of you who are not currently filling an Officer or Directors position, I humbly ask you to think about taking on one of those positions for just one year. The commitment is as involved as you want it to be in my opinion. I have made it very clear that I will not accept another nomination, nor will I seek another term of office as the Grand Knight in the coming Spring. And that decision is based on my believe that we must constantly look for newer and different ideas and ways to carry out the mission of our Order.
 
I do not believe that my style of leadership is always the best style. I have served in this capacity for a time and for a reason and I look forward to serving under the guidance of new leadership at the Council level.
 
I would remiss in failing to mention the current Advent and Christmas season. I have thought a great deal about Knighthood and about the true meaning of Christmas and the life and mission of Jesus Christ. Living as a Christian in a secular world is frustrating at times to say the least. For me doing some days, it seems impossible. I am a very faulted person who fails daily to live up to what Jesus has called me to be and do. I am sure that you share some of my frustration with how the "hustle and bustle" of the Advent period prior to Christmas seems to completely rob us of our energies and time to actually sit and reflect on how important Advent is. I try to make all of my Christmas preparations quickly so that I can take a few breaths and sit in an "Advent moment" if just for a little while.
 
One of our family traditions of late has been to purchase and distribute the clever buttons that say "It's okay to say Merry Christmas". Kathy and I like to hand them out and also wear them when we doing our Christmas gift shopping. I really enjoy engaging people in public in defending Christmas and the reason for the season as they say. You will find it surprising just how many people actually agree with you when you liberate them by letting them know how much you appreciate them saying "Merry Christmas".
 
 
On another subject, the New Year is fast approaching and I have asked the Parish to place a bulletin announcement into circulation regarding the First Friday of the New Year. I would like for all Knights to join me at 7:00 P.M. on January 6, 2012 for Eucharistic Adoration. Let's start our year off correctly by coming to our Church and humbly bowing before our King and pledging our lives and our talents to Him in service.
 
I look forward to the New Year and I want to see some new faces at our meetings please. If you have not attended a meeting in a long time, please give me a chance to prove to you that our meetings are well run and informative. My prayers for you are that you will have a Blessed Advent, a Merry and Holy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
 
Stay engaged, polish your Armor, Sharpen your swords and say the Rosary.
 
God Love you,
SK Frank Finch
Grand Knight
Council 10963

August 2011: The calming effect of the Rosary

posted Aug 17, 2011, 11:04 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Aug 17, 2011, 11:07 AM ]

Sometimes, things that we take for granted can strike you over the head when you least expect it. Take for instance, the effect that vocal prayer like reciting the Rosary can have on those engaged in it as well as those who are listening.
I have experienced on many occasions, an overwhelming sense of calm during and after reciting the prayers of the Rosary either alone or with my wife. Even as we are reciting the prayers aloud, our two Labrador Retrievers will suddenly lay down and become very calm. Of course you realize that all Labrador retrievers are by their nature, Catholic dogs.
 
Saying the Rosary while driving tends to take the edge off of the otherwise tense driver, making him or her more gentle, more patient and ultimately safer because we are being accompanied in prayer by Mother Mary and her Angels. Reciting the Rosary at first light seems to place a solid foundation under our feet to prepare us for the challenges of the day. In the evening, instead of turning on the news, we can shut out the noise of the troubled world and tune into the Spiritual "channel" of prayer and present our petitions to Christ through His Mother and also close our day in perfect fashion.
Most of those who read this already recite the prayers of the Rosary if not once, perhaps many times a day. St. Francis de Sales has written that one should "Pray a half-hour each day. And on busy days, pray an hour.” So, why am I writing this? More than likely because prayer is something that I have been personally struggling with myself lately and when I struggle with something, I tend to write about it. I hope that you may have benefited a little bit from what I have shared here.
In other news, I would like to welcome our newest Knights to our council and to the Order. Randy Ankenbauer and Kevin Galbraith Jr. have both undertaken the scrutinies of the 1st Degree. Please welcome them as Brother Knights when you see them. I am still looking for for donations for the wine themed baskets that our Council has pledged to donate for the Parish Festival. If you can donate a bottle of wine, a nice book or, other wine related items, I would be glad to take them and work on these baskets prior to the Festival.

In closing, I am proud to announce that the Knight of the Month for July 2011 is: Deacon Frank Papp and that our Family for the Month of July 2011 is the Swedorske Family. At last Month's meeting, Kevin Galbraith Jr. was the winner of the book from the Grand Knight's book of the Month Guild. The book selection was titled "Mere Christianity", written by C.S. Lewis.

I look forward to giving another book away this month at the General Meeting. I hope to see you there.


God Love You,

SK Frank Finch
Grand Knight
Council 10963
Old St. Patrick Parish
Whitmore Lake, MI
www.ospknights.com

July 2011: A new Fraternal Year

posted Jul 10, 2011, 11:32 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 10, 2011, 11:57 AM ]

Brother Knights and families, I want to thank you for being patient with and supportive of your Grand Knight this first of my two Fraternal Years serving this Council as Grand Knight. In some ways, this year really has flown by when I think back at all we have accomplished together. As you already know, our Council has grown in membership from last year and, we have also sponsored the very first Squire's Circle here at Historic Old St. Patrick Parish.
 
I would like to welcome our newest First Degree Knight, Randy Ankenbauer who attended his First degree in June. If you know of someone who is interested in the Knights, please be sure to introduce them to either me or to our Membership Director Larry Carzon. With summer in full swing now, we started up our series of Beads & Brews, Fraternal Rosary and Bonfire sessions on select Friday evenings of each month until the snow flies (and maybe after? Brrrrrr). Remember that you need not be a Knight of Columbus to attend these outdoor prayer and fellowship sessions. So, if you have a friend who is not yet a Knight, please invite him to join us and refer to the calendar page to check for the dates and times. We had nineteen (19) men in attendance for the June session and we have another one coming up on July 29th.
 
 
In closing, I am proud to announce that the Knight of the Month for June 2011 is: our very own Father Gerald Gawronski. Many people forget that Father Gerald is also a Knight and, a Fourth Degree Sir Knight at that. Father means so much to us here at OSP and, as I presented a certificate to him for being our Knight of the Month, I told him that we love him very much. I also pledged this Council's continued support for him as well as all Priests who serve Mother Church. Our Family for the Month of June 2011 is the Hooker Family. Bruce and Natalie truly are good examples for all young Catholic Couples to follow. The Hookers are very active in parish life and support Father Gerald and the Parish family by serving as catechists and by working with the Youth Group. At last Month's meeting, Our Insurance representative Michael Irwin was the winner of the book from the Grand Knight's book of the Month Guild. The book selection was titled "We Worship, a Guide to the Catholic Mass", written by Father Lukefahr, C.M. 

I look forward to giving another book away this month at the General Meeting. I hope to see you there.

 

God Love You,

SK Frank Finch
Grand Knight
Council 10963
Old St. Patrick Parish
Whitmore Lake, MI
www.ospknights.com

June 2011: Father's Day, "Mom's required"

posted Jun 12, 2011, 7:55 AM by Unknown user

No biology lessons are needed to explain that for those of us who are Dads, we need a wonderful wife and Mother to help us complete the picture of Fatherhood. I know, we just finished the "Month of Motherhood" last month. But, our wives and our Mothers and the many other important women of our lives deserve our admiration everyday.
 
And so, as we approach Father's Day and the celebration of all things masculine, we should also remember that our wives have played a significant role in helping us to be the Dad's that we are today. I suppose that many of you think that I am riding the coat-tails of Father Gerald's contribution to the Bulletin from Sunday, June 5, 2011 .... well, you are correct. But, I really want to speak to my admiration and appreciation for the wives of the men in our Council for a moment.
 
I really appreciate the support that every wife gives to her husband when he decides to become a Knight of Columbus. We have so many great examples of Catholic families here at OSP that I cannot even begin to tell you how difficult it is to make a selection each month for the family of the month. For our Knights to be able to give so much of their time, talent and treasure to doing the work of this Council, there must be a very supportive, loving and strong Catholic wife standing with each Knight. I know that I have not had the opportunity to sit down with each family to speak directly with them, I truly appreciate the support that you are giving to your Fathers and Husbands and to this Council.
 
Father Gerald is famous at least in my mind, for his homilies on manhood, masculinity and Fatherhood. Many times when he speaks about these issues, I wish that we could stay for hours to listen. I can only speak from my own experiences when I say that when I married my wife Kathy at a very young age, it was the best thing that could have happened to me. My wife is responsible for helping me to mature as a Man and as a Father. So this Father's Day, make a point to remember all of those who have helped to shape you into the man and Father that you are today.
 
On another note, I received word from Supreme Council that our Squires Circle is now officially to be referred to as John Paul II, Circle. Congratulations to the Squires and to the Chief Counselor, Michael Porter for being recognized for all of their hard work in establishing this first Squires Circle at Old St. Patrick's Parish.
 
We also laid to rest a Brother Knight this month, Brother George Hynes was taken to be with the Lord on Friday, June 3, 2011. Mr. Hynes was a Third Degree Knight in good standing, please keep his wife Gloria and their family in your prayers.
 
In closing, I am proud to announce that the Knight of the Month for May 2011 is: Henry Russell and that our Family for the Month of May 2011 is the Vesprini Family. At last Month's meeting, Dan Krebs was the winner of the book from the Grand Knight's book of the Month Guild. The book selection was titled "Why do Catholics Genuflect", written and autographed by fellow Knight Al Kresta.

I look forward to giving another book away this month at the General Meeting. I hope to see you there.

 
God Love You,

SK Frank Finch
Grand Knight
Council 10963
Old St. Patrick Parish
Whitmore Lake, MI
www.ospknights.com

May 2011: Run and tell your Mother!

posted May 19, 2011, 1:41 PM by Unknown user

Growing up, no one that I knew in our neighborhood liked a "tattle-tale". For the little squabbles that happen between children, anyone who ran to tell his mother was branded a tattle-tale rather quickly.
 
But, even those same children that I knew growing up would all agree that when one of us got hurt playing or when something serious or dangerous was about to happen, someone would step up and say "Run and tell your Mother!".
 
We all know that May is the month for Mothers. With Mother's day and the May crowning of Mary taking place, we are reminded of our Mother's love for us. We as Catholics truly believe that not only were we given our own "Mom" here on earth, we have our Mother Mary in heaven as well.
 
So I have to ask you, did you run and tell your Mother? Have you talked with her lately? Do you recite the prayers of the Rosary daily? Do you devote time to ask Mary in prayer to intercede for you? Do you tell her everything that is bothering you and ask for her intercession?
 
I personally cannot stand the modern day concept of a "global community" the way it has been presented by those in secular power these days. But if the world is our neighborhood, we are in a great deal of trouble down here and someone needs to run and tell Mother that we need some help!  As I write this, Muslim forces are attacking Coptic Christians and burning their churches in Cairo Egypt, we continue as a Country to abort more babies every day than anyone else in the world, our financial and moral fabric of our Country is tattered and so many people are out of work.
 
Yes, despairing news all around and I know that you didn't need me to tell you all about it. But, I bring attention to these examples of trouble because I feel that they are simply the symptoms of a greater problem. And that problem is the ever increasing crisis within our own Church. We are experiencing as a whole, a serious crisis of faith in the Real Presence and in our Mother Mary within our own Catholic family. We need to get back to basics and we need to ask our Mother for her help. Mary will intercede for us because Jesus will not deny His mother's gentle intercession for her children.
 
So, someone ..... run and tell Mother what is happening and ask for her help!
 
In closing, I am proud to announce that the Knight of the Month for April 2011 is: Bernard Zacharias and that our Family for the Month of April 2011 is the Porter Family. At last Month's meeting,Gene Wierzgac was the winner of the book from the Grand Knight's book of the Month Guild. The book selection was titled  "Catholic Young Man's Guide", written by Father Lasance.

I look forward to giving another book away this month at the General Meeting. I hope to see you there.

God Love You,
 
SK Frank Finch
Grand Knight
Council 10963
Old St. Patrick Parish
Whitmore Lake, MI
 
 
 

April 2011: Looking back on this Fraternal Year

posted Apr 13, 2011, 5:09 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Apr 13, 2011, 5:18 AM ]

Dear Brother Knights and families,
 
I am finding it difficult to write something this month and so, I thought I would simply use this space as recap of where we are as well as a projection for where I would like us to be this time next year.
 
As you know, the Fraternal Year is winding down and will official end on June 30, 2011. Newly elected officers will take on their new responsibilities on July 1, 2011 and if elected by you again, I agree to serve one more Fraternal Year. I am very humbled by the works of service and charity that each of you have engaged in this past year. We as a Council have accomplished a great deal to include, the formation of a new Squires Circle. 
 
Your work at the Delonis Center, at the pancake breakfasts, helping with the St. Joseph's Guild and a myriad of the other things that you do for the Church, the Parish and the Order help to build up the Body of Christ. Thank you for doing things with such dedication and the quiet strength of a Catholic Gentleman.
 
I do not foresee too many changes for next year other than perhaps a couple of new Officers and perhaps filling some vacancies for some of our Directorships. You need not be a Third Degree Knight to serve as a Director, so if you are interested please let me know. I am certain that we will need to appoint a new Membership Director as Brother Jim Stephenson will need some relief. Jim has done an outstanding job as our Membership Director. He has been very supportive of our program and under his guidance, we have experienced a 140% increase for our membership quota this year. Jim attended every meeting with me and has always been a source of calming wisdom that I turn to whenever I need advice and direction.  

I would like to welcome our newest Knight, Brother Norman Vesprini. Norman attended the March First Degree ceremony and we are so very fortunate to have him join our Order. Please be sure to welcome Norman and his wife Tara when you see them.

In closing, I am proud to announce that the Knight of the Month for March 2011 is: SK Gene Wierzgac and that our Family for the Month of March 2011 is the Carzon Family. Because we did not hold a meeting last month there was no winner of the book from the Grand Knight's book of the Month Guild. 

I look forward to giving another book away this month at the General Meeting. I hope to see you there.

God Love You,

SK Frank Finch
Grand Knight
Council 10963
Old St. Patrick Parish
Whitmore Lake, MI
www.ospknights.com

March 2011: Lent, turning off.

posted Mar 6, 2011, 1:35 PM by Unknown user

I admit that I am a political "junkie" and that I have been watching too much television coverage of everything from the Wisconsin budget to Cairo riots to the newest events in Libya. Only the good Lord knows what the next crisis to befall humanity will be when you read this. How do I know that I have been watching too much television? Well, because at times I can hear the same rhetoric that can be heard on television coming from my own lips and I am ashamed.
 
Thanks be to God, and His Holy Church for Lent. Because my mind and soul is cluttered with last year's chaff and it is definitely time to sweep the threshing floor and clean up. Granted, the more astute theologians among us will be quick to remind me that every day of our lives should be a Lenten exercise in spiritual growth and improvement. But in her kindness, Mother Church as directed by the Holy Spirit knows that we are not all theologians and we are certainly ever in need of renewal. And still, we observe Lent because while some may dread this penitential time on the Liturgical calendar, it is assuredly the most grace filled time of the year. But, to be open to this grace, among other things we need to cooperate.
 
A very dear friend of mine, a Franciscan Priest named Father Howard Stunek once told me that God is a gentleman, he will not force Himself upon you, you must cooperate and desire to meet Him. For most of us, this requires the removal of all distractions so that we can quiet ourselves and listen to His voice.
 
One of my chief distractions is as I mentioned, world strive and political theater. I am at times so frustrated and worried about what will happen next, that I fall to inclinations of sinful behavior. And so, I need Lent and I desperately want Lent. I need a structured model to follow and I also desperately need the grace and mercy that will flow from our Lord as He has promised.
 
On Sunday, February 27th, Father Gerald taught us about the futility of worrying. He admitted that he comes from a long line of worriers. After hearing his homily, I realized that we must be related! And so, yes I admit that I am "borrowing" from Father's homily for this months article. Honestly, every article that I have written is "borrowed" or given to me so no credit can ever be mine to claim.
 
So in short, please pray for me. Pray that I learn to give up the desire to "control" every aspect of this life that I have been given. Pray for me that I will be given the grace to learn to trust God more and learn to depend on myself less. Because as Father so aptly has stated, to desire so much control in our lives is really a sign of our level of distrust in Jesus. And when we fail to trust in Jesus, we offend Him deeply. I desire to begin "turning off" those loud pundits from both sides of the political spectrum and watching less television not only during Lent, but afterward. I need to do more than simply "turn the channel", I am being moved to actually "turn it off" altogether.
 
Last Month, we welcomed three, "freshly minted" 1st Degree Knights join our Council and Order. Gary Sopoglia, Larry Carzon and Joel Rabideau went through the first scrutinies of Knighthood that deal with Charity on February 21st. Welcome Brother Knights! We look forward to welcoming Norman Vesprini to our Order during the next 1st Degree ceremony this Month (check the calendar). If you have not witnessed a 1st Degree in some time, make a point and perhaps a part of your Lenten journey to do so this Month. And even better, recruit and then sponsor a Catholic Gentleman to become a Knight and witness his 1st Degree ceremony.
 
 In closing, I am proud to announce that the Knight of the Month for February 2011 is: Brother S.K. Kevin Galbraith and that our Family for the Month of February 2011 is the Cesar family. At last Month's meeting, Brother Phil Rutledge was the winner of the book from the Grand Knight's book of the Month Guild. The book selection was titled  "Praying in the presence of our Lord, Prayers for Eucharistic Adoration", written by Father Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R.
 
I look forward to giving another book away this month at the General Meeting. I hope to see you there.
 
God Love You,

SK Frank Finch
Grand Knight
Council 10963
Old St. Patrick Parish
Whitmore Lake, MI
www.ospknights.com

February 2011: Standing shoulder to shoulder with our Priests

posted Feb 13, 2011, 1:22 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Feb 16, 2011, 6:30 PM ]

You've all heard them, the terrible jokes and comments. Either at the "water-cooler" discussions with non-Catholics and sadly, even some that call themselves Catholic, as they make fun of or criticize our Priests. You have possibly even overheard seemingly small comments about "Father so and so did this", or "I don't like how Father so and so gives his homily, he talks down to people". This is very ugly talk and is not keeping with Church teaching and certainly not conduct becoming of a Knight of Columbus. But, did you also know this? That as a Knight, you are bound by our Order to say something in defense of Father "so and so"? I hope that we are doing this when we are called to.

 

Alright, enough of the lecture you say, "We get it, and we would never walk away without defending Father". As you may already know our Order stands shoulder to shoulder in defense of and in support of our Priests and Bishops. It's nice talk and a catchy phrase, but what does it really mean to stand shoulder to shoulder? This term can be described in a more practical and tangible way so that it carries deeper meaning for us today. If someone who meant to do physical harm to a loved one who was standing behind you and another friend, you would immediately "close ranks" and stand with shoulders close to one another as a means to shield your loved one from harm. By doing this, you and your companion would place yourselves between your loved one and harm. "Going in harm's way" is an old Navy slogan used by Captains of Destroyers and small ships whose mission it was to shield aircraft carriers from attack. Countless times, these smaller ships would work together to screen out threats to protect the larger fleet assets from harm, many times at their own demise. In short these ships would sacrifice themselves for the greater good of their fleet and the mission. (Yes, I like Navy stories and stories of courage on the battlefield, I know).

 

Stepping in and correcting someone who is attacking a Priest verbally or physically will involve sacrifice.  When we stand up for our Brother Priests, we sacrifice ourselves at the risk of being scoffed at and scorned or perhaps physically harmed. We will lose "friends" perhaps, or people that we thought were our friends.

 

And so, these threats of harm can come to our Priests in the form of insults and mockery. In distant countries they may also come in the form of physical attacks ending in death. I pray that we never witness those events here in America.

 

Our duty as Knights is multifaceted. And many times the defense of "Father so and so" is not a very popular topic. There are more pleasant things to deal with such as our works of charity and our fraternal ties with one another. Please allow me to remind each of us, that our Priest is our Brother too. And our Priest Father Gerald is a Fourth Degree Sir Knight in good standing. If we do not come to the defense of our Priests as Catholic Gentlemen, who will? Do we really believe that our secular acquaintances will defend Father? Who is it that must be present at Mass to confect the Eucharist? Who, "in Persona Christi" is the one that feeds you?

 

What if some day, we showed up at Mass and no Priest stood ready at the Altar to confect the Eucharist?  Think about it and shudder. Because in some countries, this is already happening. And while savage attacks upon Christians are killing our brothers and sisters in Christ, are we not spiritually "killing" our Priests here at home by either direct participation in acts of detraction and calumny, or the consent of the same?

 

Brother Knights, support your Priest, tell him how much you love him and that you thank God for him. Thank him for giving his life so that your spiritual life may be strengthened and well fed.

 

In closing, I am proud to announce that the Knight of the Month for January 2011 is: Brother Ron Fuller and that our Family for the Month of January 2011 is the Marshall family. At last Month's meeting, Brother Ron Fuller was the winner of the book from the Grand Knight's book of the Month Guild. The book selection was titled “Introduction to the Devout Life", translated from the original writings of St. Francis De Sales. I look forward to giving another book away this month at the General Meeting. I hope to see you there.

God Love You,

SK Frank Finch
Grand Knight
Council 10963
Old St. Patrick Parish
Whitmore Lake, MI
www.ospknights.com

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