The Knights of Columbus are There!
Last Sunday I had the privilege of welcoming to my home, and then to Mass, the state leadership of one of the most celebrated Catholic organizations around, the Knights of Columbus.
You have certainly heard of them, and share in my high admiration for them.
Founded in 1882 by the Servant of God, Father Michael McGivney – – one day, we hope, to be canonized – – the Knights began as a fraternal organization for Catholic men, mostly immigrants or their sons, who longed for the support of their faith, camaraderie with fellow Catholics, a chance to serve the Church, and financial security through insurance.
Those initial goals are still there, but the Knights are now the largest Catholic voluntary organization in the nation, renowned as well for their vast service to causes such as assistance to those mentally and physically challenged, promotion of Catholic schools, encouragement of vocations to the priesthood, advocacy for Christians persecuted throughout the world, pro-life efforts, and defense of the nature of marriage and family as revealed by God.
As I commented to the leadership of the Knights of Columbus on Sunday, “Most people visit me to ask me to do something for them; you always show-up asking me how you can help! Most visit me to ask for money; you stop-by to give some! Thanks!”
Bishops, priests, deacons, sisters, brothers, and lay pastoral leaders will tell you: you need something done? Go to the Knights of Columbus.
Jesus preached, “Not everyone who says ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter my kingdom, but only those who do the will of my Father.” Actions speak louder than words! That describes the Knights.
I go to parishes – – there they are;
I go to school fund-raisers – – the Knights of Columbus are there;
Soup kitchens for the poor? There they are;
Abortion clinics? The Knights are there in protest;
Before the Eucharist in adoration? Again I see them;
The Special Olympics? The Knights are in charge.
For years, human rights advocates have tried to convince the American government to declare the persecution of Christians occurring, in epidemic proportions today, as genocide. No luck . . . until the Knights of Columbus took on the task. Now it’s official.
My first pastor used to refer to a person who quietly, reliably, and effectively lived out his faith as “salt of the earth,” a term Jesus used.
That’s the Knights of Columbus!