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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