Knights State Deputies urged to follow Blessed McGivney as a ‘man of action’
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (CNS) – Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly reminded Knights of Columbus MPs in a speech on November 5 that the founder of the fraternal order, Blessed Michael McGivney, was “a man of action.”
“Our founder did not stop at watching and lamenting the struggles of his parishioners and his community. He has risen to face these struggles head-on – decisively and courageously, ”Kelly said in a speech at the biannual state deputies meeting held in Nashville Nov. 5-7.
Speaking to leaders in nearly 70 jurisdictions, he encouraged them to grow in the faith, expand the membership of the fellowship order, and advance the mission established by Blessed McGivney.
“A lot of men, especially young men, are looking for meaning and answers,” Kelly said. “We offer both: a life of service and a life of meaning. Don’t just encourage men to embrace our initiatives; explain to them why our initiatives are important and how Knights can help them be the kind of men God calls them to be.
Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, the Knights’ supreme chaplain, also addressed state deputies, telling them that “our debt to Father McGivney is untold.”
“Without him, countless Catholic men would have lost their faith and countless families would have been adrift,” he said. “Because of his holiness, barriers such as time, place and culture dissolve. He accompanies us on our journey of faith today, wherever we are, no less than he accompanied his 19th century parishioners from St. Mary’s to New Haven, Connecticut.
Archbishop Lori added, “When we venerate Blessed McGivney in all of our jurisdictions, we invite him to smile at us from his place in Heaven, and more than that, we invite him to visit us in our need.”
The Archbishop celebrated a votive mass on November 6 in honor of Saint Joseph. He drew from Scripture two important virtues in the life of Saint Joseph: his obedient faith and his reliability.
“These two virtues should stand out in us as Knights of Columbus, and especially in us who are leaders among our brother Knights of the Order,” he said.
Obedience of faith means that, through the action of God’s grace, Archbishop Lori declared: “our hearts are repaired, purified, transformed and fully in accordance with the will of God, especially with the Lord. mysterious plan of God for the redemption of the world ”.
He added: “St. Joseph’s calling to foster the earthly life of Jesus is, of course, unique, but we have all been called to the obedience of the faith. Father McGivney saw his Knights first and foremost as men of obedient faith who, along with their wives and children, would fully live their vocation.
Regarding Saint Joseph’s example of reliability, he reminded the Knights that “by choosing Joseph to take care of the love of a father for the incarnate Son of God”, the Father recognized in him “A man of the greatest integrity”.
Joseph was perhaps a man who “had no idea what God had in mind for him, but nonetheless went about his daily life and worked with honesty and reliability,” the Archbishop said.
In brief remarks after Mass, Kelly kicked off the Knights ‘new two-year pilgrimage icon prayer program, inspired by “Patris Corde” (“With a Father’s Heart”), Pope Francis’ apostolic letter announcing the Year of Saint Joseph, which began on December 8, 2020.
The prayer program features an icon of Saint Joseph holding the Child Jesus from Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal.
Recalling his October 25 meeting with Pope Francis in Rome, Kelly noted, “The Holy Father was grateful that we made Saint Joseph a focal point of our spiritual endeavors.
Kelly, who entrusted his tenure as CEO of the Knights to Saint Joseph when he took office in March, encouraged state deputies and their communities to “turn in prayer to Saint Joseph.”
“Thank God for the gift of his fatherly example and ask Saint Joseph to be a father to us,” he said, as all Knights seek to “grow in our own imitation of quiet strength, of the integrity and fidelity of Saint Joseph. “
The Saint Joseph icon is the last sacred image to feature in the Knights of Columbus pilgrim prayer program.
Previous images in the program included Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Our Lady of Czestochowa, Our Lady of Pochaiv, Our Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of Charity, Our Lady Help of Christians persecuted and the Holy Family.
Icons travel from council to council and serve as centerpieces for rosary-based prayer services in parishes around the world.
Since its inception in 1979, the program has organized over 174,800 local council and parish prayer services with some 22 million participants.
Kelly also honored four Knights with the Saint-Michel Prize for exemplary service to the fraternal order: Father Augustin John Grace, former director of the Knights of Columbus chaplains; George W. Hanna, former Supreme Prefect; Dennis Stoddard, Supreme Master; and retired Marine Colonel Charles “Chuck” Gallina, Supreme Knight’s Advisor on Military and Veterans Affairs.