Chaplain's Report: That the World may Know New Hope

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Chaplain's Report: That the World may Know New Hope

  1. 1. ­­­ L ast March, for the first time, state chaplains from throughout the Order came to New Haven to meet and discuss the ongoing spiritual devel- opment of the Knights of Columbus. This meet- ing was a great success, and we all found it very useful in helping us to implement initiatives that continue to foster spiritual growth among our brother Knights. Building on the impetus of that initial meeting, our second gathering was held in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 17-20, 2011, in conjunction with the state deputies’ midyear meeting. Each day, attendees celebrated the Eucharist and prayed the Divine Office together. There were also keynote talks, breakout groups, plenary sessions and some time just to chat and enjoy the fraternal company of others. Among those in attendance were Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson, Supreme Chaplain Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., and all the supreme officers. Those of us who have been attending these chaplain meetings over the past few years have experienced a growing sense of community, a real sense of fraternity. We have come to know one another in our unity Cardinal James Hickey, a former arch- bishop of Washington, once hosted a dinner for his priests. As his priest-secretary, I made sure that such events went smoothly. After the invocation, the cardinal wanted to propose a toast, but the wine had not yet been served. Calling me to his table with a note of urgency in his voice, he pointed to his guests and said, “They have no wine.” I glibly replied, “What would you have me do? My hour has not yet come.” He then said, “Do whatever I tell you!” If such a delay at the cardinal’s dinner was distressing, imagine the embarrassment of the young husband and wife who ran out of wine at their wedding feast in the Gospel of John. In that time, wedding feasts went on for as CHAPLAIN’S report j a n u a r y 2 0 1 2 ! v o l u m e 5 ! n u m b e r 1 ! w w w . k o f C . o r g / C h a P l a i n s KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS In Service to One. In Service to All. l e a r n i n g t h e f a i t h , l i v i n g t h e f a i t h ! 1 C o l u m b u s P l a z a , n e w h a v e n , C t 0 6 5 1 0 - 3 3 2 6 , u s a Visit www.kofc.org/chaplains to sign up to receive future issues of this newsletter via e-mail. Previous issues are also archived at this site. Bishop William E. Lori Supreme Chaplain SEE nashville, PAGE 2 SEE nashville, PAGE 3 FROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK Father John P. Grace, O.S.A. Director of Chaplain Programs & Development State Chaplains, State Deputies Meet in Nashville ‘THAT THE WORLD MAY KNOW NEW HOPE’ The Wedding Feast at Cana The second luminous mystery of the rosary foreshadows Jesus’ saving death and resurrection
  2. 2. CHRISTMAS IN NEW HAVEN of purpose, our love for the Order and our understanding of how we can serve the K of C membership. During the meeting in Nashville, we heard repeated several important words and phrases: “The new evangelization,” “That the world may know new hope,” “The Year of Faith” and “A charity that evangelizes.” These statements formed the context from which both the supreme knight and the supreme chaplain made their presentations. Both empha- sized that the Knights of Columbus is in a very favorable position to advance the mission and intention of Pope Benedict XVI during the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization. This event will take place in October and will mark the beginning of the Year of Faith. Bishop Lori pointed out that together, as chaplains, we have already done a lot in terms of offering resources, renewing emphasis on faith formation and enhancing the role that chaplains play in council life. Supreme Knight Anderson added that we need the strong, authentic Christian witness of what it means to believe in the message of the Gospel. Details of the meetings will be sent to all state chaplains, but I would like to share some of the discussion topics. v The chaplain is to be the Father Michael J. McGivney of his council, helping to bring spirituality to the Knights and their projects. v The chaplain’s “message” is an integral part of the council meet- ing. A spiritual message should be included even in the absence of the council chaplain. v The chaplain can help promote devotion to Father McGivney and his cause for canonization. v The chaplain can encourage the Knights’ attendance at Mass and their reception of the sacraments. v The chaplain can motivate other priests and help them to under- stand what the Knights can offer their parishes and dioceses, as well as the Church overall. Chaplains should also be partners in forming new coun- cils at parishes. v K of C projects stem from Catholic charity; they are not merely social work. The Knights of Columbus should be seen as a leading group for men to practice their faith, more than just being involved in social ac- tivities. Such Christian witness can help the cause of the new evangeliza- tion. To paraphrase Supreme Knight Anderson, charity evangelizes, and our first principle is charity. v Our strength must come from the spiritual foundation of the Knights, not just from the number of members or facilities, or from the fi- nances of the Order. v Spiritual growth should also be part of the state deputy’s agenda, passed down through the district deputies to the grand knights of each council. v The supreme knight believes we have an obligation to offer membership to every eligible Catholic man. Being a Knight can help a Catholic man develop his faith, be a better father and husband, and contribute to the Church and the world. “I want the Knights to be wherever the Church is,” said the supreme knight. Bishop Lori spoke about how his previous Columbia columns on the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church should be part of the Year of Faith. The purpose is more than just correcting catechetical deficiencies in the Church; it is to be a renewing of the Church through the witness offered by believers. To repeat the supreme knight’s words: “The Knights must be at the center of this Year of Faith. We have the manpower. We have the re- sources. Add to these an authentic Christian witness, a Christian hope for a deeper faith formation and a true love of what our Order stands for, and then surely we are the strong right arm of the Church.” With good wishes to all for a renewed deepening of the faith during the new year. REV. JOHN P. GRACE, O.S.A. DIRECTOR OF CHAPLAIN PROGRAMS AND DEVELOPMENT JOHN.GRACE@KOFC.ORG (203) 752-4263 nashville, FROM PAGE 1 Knights of Columbus Museum Christmas Tree Festival More than 496 Connecticut students from 24 schools took part in the Knights of Columbus Museum’s annual Christ- mas Tree Festival. Each school was as- signed a tree to decorate. With help from museum staff and volunteers from the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council headquarters, students deco- rated the trees with ornaments they cre- ated in class. Winning schools received gift certificates for educational products. Each school also received a certificate recognizing its tree’s uniqueness. Spreading the Light of Christ Staff of the Supreme Council headquarters in New Haven, joined Knights of Columbus units throughout the world in illuminating a Christmas tree as part of the Order’s tree and Na- tivity scene lighting initia- tive on Dec. 6. Father John Grace, O.S.A., di- rector of chaplain pro- grams and development, blessed the tree, and Deputy Supreme Knight Dennis Savoie of- fered remarks on the season to attendees. The event also in- cluded the singing of Christmas carols by performers in Victorian-era garb.
  3. 3. MEMBERSHIP IN THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS is open to men 18 years of age or older who are practical (that is, practicing) Catholics in union with the Holy See. This means that an applicant or member accepts the teaching authority of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals, aspires to live in accord with the precepts of the Catholic Church, and is in good standing in the Catholic Church. many as 10 days, and wine was an important part of the celebration. Fortunately for this couple, Mary, Jesus and his disciples were in attendance. Sympathizing with this couple’s plight, Mary asked her son to help them, just as she often intercedes for us. At first, Jesus seemed reluctant to become involved in this matter. He said to Mary, “Woman, what concern is that to me?” and added, “My hour is not yet come” (Jn 2:4). Yet, Mary persisted, remembering the signs and wonders that accompanied Jesus’ coming into the world. She urged her son to reveal something of his glory in anticipation of his “hour” — that is, the hour of his saving death and resurrection. Mary did not wait for Jesus to answer, but instead told the waiters to fill six large jugs with water and instructed them, “Do what- ever he tells you” (Jn 2:4). The waiters did so, and Jesus, in turn, transformed the water into the best of wines. GLORY REVEALED In the story of the wedding at Cana, Mary’s loving intercession is clearly evident. When- ever we ask Mary to “pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death” we acknowledge the power of her prayers. But the details of this Gospel account, describing the first of Jesus’ “signs,” have an even deeper bearing on our life of prayer and holiness. In changing water into wine Jesus “revealed his glory and his disciples began to believe in him” (Jn 2:11). Praying the rosary, we refer to this sign as a “mystery” — a real occurrence in which something of God’s hidden glory comes to light. Jesus worked this miracle not only to help a newly married couple in dis- tress, but also to reveal the glory of the self- giving love that he has shared from all eternity with the Father in the Holy Spirit. The miracle at Cana foreshadowed the wine that would become the blood of the new and eternal covenant, shed for the remis- sion of sins (see Mt 26:28). The miracle also reminds us of what Jesus would say at the Last Supper after instituting the Eucharist: “I shall not again drink the fruit of the vine until I drink it new in the kingdom of God” (Mk 14:25) — that is, until after he had risen from the dead. This leads to another clue that unlocks the meaning of this Gospel account: John tells us that the miracle took place “on the third day” — which brings to mind our profession of the resurrection. The miracle at Cana looks ahead to what St. Paul would say of Jesus’ saving death and resurrection truly re-presented in the Eu- charist: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this wine, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes in glory” (1 Cor 11:26). Yet another eucharistic overtone in the mir- acle at Cana is the sheer abundance of wine. Some historians believe that the stone water jars held as much as 200 gallons. This fore- shadows the miracle in which Jesus took what few loaves he was offered and produced su- perabundant food — more than sufficient to satisfy the hunger of the crowds who had gathered to hear him. THE ETERNAL WEDDING FEAST It is noteworthy that Jesus first manifested his glory at a wedding feast. In the Gospels of Matthew (22:1-14) and Luke (14:15-24), we find Jesus’ parable of a king’s wedding feast. Many of those who were invited refused to at- tend, just as many of those who are invited to the Eucharist each Sunday remain absent. St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians captures the significance of the miracle at Cana and Jesus’ other references to wedding feasts (see Eph 5:21-32). Paul presents marriage as a fundamental way of understanding Christ’s relationship to his Church: Christ is the bridegroom, and the Church is the bride. Christ gives himself in total, sacrificial love to his Church, eliciting from us, his people, a graced response of loving worship and holi- ness of life. Christ’s relationship with his Church also helps us to understand marriage in God’s plan. Christian marriage symbolizes the love of Jesus for his Church and, in a sense, makes this love present in the world. Ultimately, the miracle at Cana points to the paschal wedding feast of heaven, where Christ, crucified and risen from the dead, is exalted at the right hand of the Father. Here, the angels and saints rejoice not with earthly wine, but with the new wine of God’s own life and love. wedding, FROM PAGE 1 CHRISTMAS IN NEW HAVEN Nativity scene at historic New Haven Green The Knights of Columbus Supreme Council placed a crèche on New Haven’s Green and conducted a blessing ceremony on Dec. 1 in conjunction with the city’s Christmas tree lighting. The figures in the scene were made by Mexican sculptor Agustin Parra that was presented to the Vatican from the Mexican state of Jalisco in 2007. Crèche Exhibit Opens at Knights Museum The Knights of Columbus Museum’s seventh annual crèche exhibit opened Nov. 15, featuring nativity scenes crafted by artists throughout Africa. The more than 100 pieces, mostly from African countries in the west and north- east, will be on display until Feb. 5. A few crèches, like the one at right, were carved in relief from black serpentine stone by Bernard T. Sakarombe, a Zimbabwean artist. It is surprisingly large, standing almost four feet tall and weighing about 300 pounds.
  4. 4. Catholic Information Service to Launch Series on the New Evangelization Series will focus on the papal teaching of John Paul II and Benedict XVI The Catholic Information Service — a di- vision of the Knights of Columbus that provides Catholic booklets and online content — recently announced that it will launch a new series of booklets. The series will consist of online content and booklets fo- cused on issues of evangelizing modern culture — an idea brought forth by Pope Paul VI, who called for a “new period of evangelization” in his 1975 apos- tolic exhortation, Evangelium Nuntiandi. The new series will draw primarily from the extensive discussion of the new evangeliza- tion by Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. John Paul II coined the phrase “new evangelization” early in his pontificate in Poland in 1979. Over the next 25 years, he often returned to this theme in his speeches and writing. His successor, Pope Bene- dict XVI, has continued to champion the idea. “Pope Benedict XVI has made the new evan- gelization a priority,” said Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson. “In the next year, the Church will explore the new evangelization during the synod of bishops and will ask all Catholics to live out the new evangelization in their own lives during the Year of Faith. It is our hope that this new CIS series will help Catholics to learn about their faith in a way that allows them to participate first hand in the Church’s mission.” Michelle Borras, Ph.D., the newly appointed director of the Catholic Information Service, will serve as general editor of the new series. CIS currently publishes more than 75 booklets in two series, with many available as free pod- casts and PDFs. The booklets cover many aspects of the Catholic faith. The Luke E. Hart Series, named for a past supreme knight and written by Boston College philoso- phy professor and popular author Peter Kreeft, was designed to give a systematic introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The 30-book series is now available on 30 individ- ual CDs. Each part of the series is packaged in 10 CD units. All three cases are shrink wrapped together and setn as a single package.The set is available for $65 and the cost of shipping and handling. To order, send a check or money order to Knights of Columbus, Attn. CIS, PO Box 1971, New Haven, CT 06521. The Veritas Series offers Catholic perspec- tives on a wide variety of issues that range from the existence of God to annulments to stem- cell research. For more than 60 years, CIS has printed and distributed millions of booklets, and thousands of people have enrolled in its catechetical courses. It has expanded its audience in recent years with French, Spanish and Polish transla- tions of many of its resources.Today, it contin- ues the Order’s tradition of evangelization by providing low-cost, Catholic publications to the general public, as well as to parishes, schools, retreat houses, military installations, correctional facilities, legislatures and the med- ical community. For more information, visit kofc.org/cis. CHAPLAIN’Sreport1 Columbus Plaza, New Haven, CT 06510-3326 PUBLISHED 12 TIMES A YEAR BY THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS SUPREME COUNCIL 1 COLUMBUS PLAZA, NEW HAVEN, CT 06510-3326 ! 203-752-4264 ! KNIGHTLINE@KOFC.ORG Cns

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