“If indeed ‘the just ordering of society and of the state is a central responsibility of politics,’ the Church ‘cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice.’”1 So writes Pope Francis, quoting Pope Benedict XVI.
Our nation faces many political challenges that demand well-in- formed moral choices:
• The ongoing destruction of a million innocent human lives each year by abortion
• Physician-assisted suicide
• The redefinition of marriage
• The excessive consumption of material goods and the destruction
of natural resources, harming the environment as well as the poor
• Deadly attacks on Christians and other religious minorities
throughout the world
• Efforts to narrow the definition and exercise of religious freedom
• Economic policies that fail to prioritize the needs of poor people,
at home and abroad
• A broken immigration system and a worldwide refugee crisis
• Wars, terror, and violence that threaten every aspect of human
life and dignity.
In the Catholic tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation. As Catholics, we should be guided more by our moral convictions than by our attachment to any political party or interest group.
In the words of Pope Francis, “progress in building a people in peace, justice and fraternity depends on four principles related to constant tensions present in every social reality. These derive from the pillars of the Church’s social doctrine, which serve as ‘primary and
fundamental parameters of reference for interpreting and evaluating social phenomena.’” The four principles include the dignity of the human person, the common good, subsidiarity, and solidarity.
The Dignity of the Human Person
Human life is sacred because every person is created in the image and likeness of God. There is a rich and multifaceted Catholic teaching on human dignity summarized in the Compendium of the Social Doc- trine of the Church. Every human being “must always be understood in his unrepeatable and inviolable uniqueness . . . This entails above all the requirement not only of simple respect on the part of others, especially political and social institutions and their leaders with regard to every man and woman on the earth, but even more, this means that the primary commitment of each person towards others, and particularly of these same institutions, must be for the promotion and integral development of the person”
The principle of subsidiarity reminds us that larger institutions in society should not overwhelm or interfere with smaller or local institutions; yet larger institutions have essential responsibilities when the more local institutions cannot adequately protect human dignity, meet human needs, and advance the common good.
It is impossible to promote the dignity of the person without showing concern for the family, groups, associations, and local realities—in short, for those economic, social, cultural, recreational, professional, and political communities to which people spontaneously give life and which make it possible for them to achieve effective social growth.
The Common Good
The common good is comprised of “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily.”8
Human dignity is respected and the common good is fostered only if human rights are protected and basic responsibilities are met. Every human being has a right to life, a right to religious freedom, and a right to have access to those things required for human decency— food and shelter, education and employment, health care and housing. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities—to ourselves, to our families, and to the larger society.
Solidarity is “a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to . . . the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all.” It is found in “a commitment to the good of one’s neighbor with the readiness, in the Gospel sense, to ‘lose oneself’ for the sake of the other instead of exploiting him, and to ‘serve him’ instead of oppressing him for one’s own advantage.”
In light of Catholic teaching, the bishops vigorously repeat their call for a renewed politics that focuses on moral principles, the promotion of human life and dignity, and the pursuit of the common good. Political participation in this spirit reflects not only the social teaching of our Church but the best traditions of our nation.
Congratulations to James Cardinal Hickey Assembly!!!
Your patriotism and support of Church, family, and community have been recognized.
The assembly was awarded the Assembly of the Year Award for 2017, at the 47th Fourth Degree Exemplification.
We are the beneficiaries of the foundation, leadership, and works of those that have come before us. We have strong programs and are highly visible in Archdiocese of Washington District and the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA.
We have built upon the efforts and successes of great leaders such as SK Col Charles Gallina, SK Timothy Saccoccia, SK Otto Heck and many others.
There is much work to be accomplished!
In hoc signo vinces!
President Barack H. Obama awarded Col. Edward J. Mays, USMC (Ret), the Faithful Navigator of James Cardinal Hickey Assembly #2534 of the Knights of Columbus, the Gold-level of the President's Volunteer Service Award for over 500 hours of volunteer service rendered in 2015.
The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes United States citizens and lawfully admitted, permanent residents of the United States who have achieved the required number of hours of service over a 12-month time period or cumulative hours over the course of a lifetime. Hours are measured over a 12-month period and awards are designated based on cumulative hours. The awards are offered in multiple levels and are designed to recognize each milestone of your service achievement. Levels include bronze, silver, gold and the highest honor, the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for those who contribute more than 4,000 hours of service in their lifetime.
Due to an increasing number of RCIA candidates at St. Dominic's Church, and the need for use of the meeting room, the Assembly will begin meeting on the 3rd Wednesday of the Month at St. Dominic's Parish Center at 7pm.
On 30 April several Sir Knights from the Hickey Assembly supported the Archdiocese for the Military Services, U.S.A., Mass and Confirmation at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Crypt Church. The Annual event is commonly known as the National Capital Region Joint Confirmation. The Confirmandi this year were from Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Fort Detrick, Fort Meade, and Joint Base Meyer-Henderson Hall.
The Principal Celebrant and Homilist was The Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, U.S.A
Knights assisting with the Confirmation Mass were Sir Knight Deacon Joseph Paik, Greg Armstrong, Nicholas Robben, Anthony Ruiz, Sir Knight Timothy Wolfkill, Faithful Trustee Sir Knight Victor David, and our Faithful Navigator Sir Knight Colonel Ed Mays, USMC(Ret).
"Today, the Knights of Columbus is providentially positioned to play a key role in the new alliance between the Church and the family called for by Pope Francis … What is necessary now is our greater involvement in the renewal of parish and family life."
-Supreme Knight Carl Anderson