Yesterday before a funeral I observed a little boy, probably no more than 4 years old interacting with the 4th degree honor guard. He saw them from a distance and waved big. When the Knights waved back, he ran to them as if they were the embodiment of his favorite cartoon characters. He stood in awe of them dressed in full regalia…all smiles. One Knight asked, “Do you want to be a Knight of Columbus one day?” Without hesitation the boy nodded vigorously.
I can’t remember feeling that way as a child. I admit to thinking that their swords were pretty cool, but I didn’t want to be a Knight. My dad was a Knight, though not very active. I knew many good men who were Knights. These men made pancakes and gave out tootsie rolls. That was the extent of my knowledge of the Knights of Columbus during childhood and adolescence.
When I was 18, my stepmother asked me if I wanted to be a Knight. I said no.
And later, as a young, single man I still had no inclination to become a Knight. Not that I was against them, I just didn’t want to be one. I had no idea what it was to be a Knight.
While in seminary, the Knights of Columbus sent financial gifts to me and I was aware of their prayers and encouragement. I was grateful, but I still had no desire to become a Knight. After I was ordained to the priesthood, Knights from our local council kept asking me to join. I reluctantly said yes, thinking that I could just blend into the group without really being active. During this time, I encountered many good men; men who wanted to help people, men who wanted to make a difference in the lives of others; men who share common goals and common beliefs…men who make pancakes and give out tootsie rolls.
It was not until I was assigned to be associate state chaplain and Father Prior for the Kansas Knights of Columbus that I really wanted to be a Knight. What changed? I think I saw and experienced a bigger picture of who the Knights of Columbus are. In a society that is often hostile to men and fearful of healthy masculinity, I found in the Knights strong, good men. In a society that often tells men that they are not needed or wanted, I found men who are needed, appreciated and have a profound effect on the lives of others. These men love their God; they love their Church; they love their wives and children. They love their country. I saw this and I became like that little boy at the funeral yesterday. I am attracted to all that the Knights of Columbus embody. It was always there for me, it just took me a while to want it. (I’m not the sharpest crayon in the box.)
The Knights of Columbus have always been and continue to be a force for building up and preserving the Church, the Body and of Christ. I want to help Knights live what they profess. I want to help the Knights listen to the Holy Spirit and respond to the direction into which God is moving us as we continue to serve Him and his Bride the Church.
It is my hope to encourage our Knights toward growth in their personal relationship with God through daily, personal prayer. I hope to encourage those with broken or weak relationships with their wives and children to forgiveness and healing. I hope to help those who struggle with aspects of the faith to embrace all that is true, good and beautiful…the fullness of our faith. I hope to be a part of men helping men to truly be good men. I want to be a Knight of Columbus. How about you?
Orlando -- Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson highlighted the success of a key program executed by members of the Hickey Assembly in his annual address at the 132nd Supreme Convention. More than 125 wounded or disabled troops and veterans, family members, chaplains and support staff joined other U.S. pilgrims for the annual Warriors to Lourdes Pilgrimage for Wounded or Disabled Military Personnel organized by the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS) and supported by the Knights of Columbus. The pilgrimage, which took place May 14-19, was part of the 56th International Military Pilgrimage (PMI), which included delegations from more than 40 countries.
Video of the Supreme Knight's Address (provided by EWTN) can be found below. If you would like to donate to the Hickey Assembly, please click our "Donate" button to the right. For more information on the Warriors to Lourdes project, please visit http://www.warriorstolourdes.com
I’d always thought that “The Passion of Jesus,” with a capital P, referred to Jesus’ suffering and death. But what if we talked simply about the passion of Christ, with no capital P?
Then the passion of Christ would be more about the intensity (the passion) with which Jesus welcomed people, ate with them, reached out to them in their need and enjoyed their company. It would also be about the passion with which he did his Father’s will and showed people that the Father was also passionately committed to them.
As a matter of fact, in Jesus’ case the two meanings of the one word “passion” are not unrelated. One of the great New Testament scholars of the last century argued that because Jesus lived with passionate intensity and preached a loving, forgiving God, the religious leaders found him to be a threat to their power and authority and decided to kill him, handing him over to Pilate, who had him tortured and crucified.
So this Good Friday, try to realize that Jesus’ Passion came from his passion for his Father and for us. That makes the story of Jesus’ last days not just about physical suffering but about the greatest act in a life of passionate faithfulness and love.
Copied with permission from The Bridge
The James Cardinal Hickey Assembly #2534 of the Knights of Columbus has been a national leader in the Order and among all civic groups and associations in our support of remembering the fallen – those who served our nation and paid the ultimate price for our freedoms.
From direct support to Military Chaplains and the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS), to creating and publishing the Armed With the Faith prayer book, the Hickey Assembly serves our military daily.
For almost 20 years the Hickey Assembly has served our Nation in the following major initiatives:
Your assistance in our Wreaths Across America fundraising efforts not only help us fulfil our mission in providing support to our men and women serving today, but to Remember, Honor, and Teach about those who have fallen in support of our nation.
Join our team today and help us raise funds to cover every Christian grave at Arlington National Cemetery this Christmas.
It's never too early to give; It's never too late to thank those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Help us by Making a Donation Today!
Today we honor the great saint – Patrick. It can be argued that his evangelization is directly responsible for the saving of Western Civilization. This man, taken as a slave as a young man, escaped and returned to his captors armed with the faith. His faith and his missionary spirit brought the light of Christ to the Emerald Isle. Below is the prayer of his breastplate; the armor that we should wear as Knights.
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.
"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