God our Father, Giver of life, we entrust the United States of America to Your loving care. You are the rock on which this nation was founded. You alone are the true source of our cherished rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Reclaim this land for Your glory and dwell among Your people.
Send Your Spirit to touch the hearts of our nation´s leaders. Open their minds to the great worth of human life and the responsibilities that accompany human freedom. Remind Your people that true happiness is rooted in seeking and doing Your will. Through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, Patroness of our land, grant us the courage to reject the “culture of death.” Lead us into a new millennium of life. We ask this through Christ Our Lord.
I hope everyone is having a great summer and enjoying it. We had a great meeting in July highlighted by the presence of our new chaplain, Father Billy Dodge. We are very fortunate to have Father Dodge as our new chaplain and we are looking forward to getting to know him, having him at our council meeting and events, as he helps us to be more firmly rooted in faith, hope, and charity and to further our growth in the knowledge of our Catholic faith. Welcome Father Dodge!!!
Thanks to Norm Suhr and all those who helped volunteer selling beer tickets at Riverfest over the 4th of July. Please consider helping at this event next year or at one of our many other events we put on throughout the year. “Many hands make light work!” If you want to know what volunteer opportunities are coming up for the council, please ask me. I would love to see you! Football Mania has just kicked off too. If you haven’t gotten your ticket yet, please talk with Howie Olson or give me a call.
Yours in charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism...
– Steve Flottmeyer, Grand Knight, Council 839
Ø LIKE US ON FACEBOOK AT KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS -LA CROSSE – Once you “like” us, find a post and share it on your timeline. Let prospective members know we are out there.
Ø PLACE OF GRACE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – The Place ofGrace is a Catholic Worker House that feeds bodies and souls at 919 Hood Street in La Crosse. We are requesting the honor of your welcoming presence and your faith-filled service for Sunday Dinner on January 31 and February 28. (10AM - Meal preparation; 12:30 guest arrive; 1:30 - 3:00, dinner and fellowship; 3:00 - 4:00, clean up). If you are available tohelp with any of the time slots or for the whole day, pleasecontact Charlie Peters or Steve Flottmeyer for details.
Ø Televised Mass on Wednesday January 20, 2016 – We will be helping out with the televised mass coming up in January.Practice for the Mass with the Knights will begin at 6:45 PMat the Christ the King Chapel, La Crosse. We could use at least15 members for the Mass, so if you are able to attend, please contact Steve Flottmeyer.
Ø COUNCIL SURVEY COMING – We have some ambitious ideas for the next year, but we need to know what you are interested in doing – family events, charitable efforts, and community outreach to name a few. That does not include our traditional activities – long time ones like the Turkey Shoot and new traditions like Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army.
For us Catholics October is Respect Life Month, the Month of the Rosary and the Month of the Missions. The first Sunday of October is Respect Life Sunday; October 7 is the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary; and the next-to-last Sunday of October is World Mission Sunday. All of these observances and causes are near and dear to the hearts of the Knights, and I hope you will promote them in any way you can.
Now that Pope Francis has concluded his apostolic visit to the United States and the World Meeting of Families, there is much to consider. He spoke of inclusion, joy, dialogue, religious liberty, respect for human life and dignity, and God’s plan for marriage and the family. In his own inimitable way he touched the hearts of believers and unbelievers alike. Behind the smile, however, there was determination and truth. Now we will have to wait to see what effect his presence and messages will have on all sectors of American society, both secular and religious.
As the Synod on the Family convenes this month, the gospel of the family, which Pope Francis called God’s first gift to humanity, will capture the attention of the world. May God inspire the Synod Fathers as they articulate the Church’s teaching on marriage and the family in a way the world needs to hear it today. We will then await our Holy Father’s post-synodal apostolic exhortation to sum it all up.
May Mary, Queen of the Rosary and Queen of Families, pray for us. May God bless you and your families. May God bless you and your families. Enjoy what’s left of the summer.
-- Msgr. Michael Gorman, Chaplain
5th Sunday Communion will be celebrated at St. Rose Convent with Fr. Richard officiating on Sunday, May 31st, 9:00 AM. (Enter the beautiful Holy Angels church by the south-side door.) We have been invited to have breakfast with the nuns after the Mass.
The Mass can be a refreshing spiritual boost to our council members as the nun’s music and liturgy is heartfelt and experiential. The needs and petitions of the council will be offered along with those of the sisters. We will want to show that Council 839 can benefit greatly by individuals and families present and unified prayer. A small honor guard will be there. Hold the date and time in your plan…
On February 6, we celebrated the memorial of 26 Japanese martyrs, St. Paul Miki and Companions, executed for their Christian faith in 1597. Last month 21 Coptic Christians became modern-day martyrs to ISIS. Hundreds of other Christians have been martyred by Islamic terrorists. This will spread like Nazism, if the nations of the world do not stop it now. May the blood of these martyrs not be shed in vain. Well into the season of Lent, we are reminded of the ongoing need all of us have for conversion. Prayer, penance and almsgiving are the three traditional elements of Lenten observance. Prayer brings us closer to God; penance strengthens our will against temptation and sin; almsgiving opens us up to loving and serving our neighbor. As Saint Paul teaches, “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6) The graces we receive from our Lenten observance not only benefit us as individuals, but also enrich the whole Church.
March also brings us the feast of Saint Patrick on March 17 and the Solemnity of Saint Joseph on March 19. Saint Patrick’s ministry focused on conversion: the conversion of pagans to Christianity and the ongoing conversion of sinners through penance. We honor Saint Joseph on March 19 with the titles of “Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and “Patron of the Universal Church.” Both of these saints exemplify the wholehearted dedication to doing God’s will that ought to be characteristic of any Knight, whatever our vocation may be.
Finally, March brings us the beginning of spring. Having experienced a cold, gray February, we look forward to the earth soon being clothed in the greenery of new life. Green is the liturgical color of hope. It reminds us that God always has something new for us and that his grace always renews us.
May God bless you and your families,
-- Msgr. Michael Gorman, Chaplain
This month the season of Advent and a new liturgical year have begun. While God is timeless, we live in time. At every moment, the story of human history is being written. The season of Advent is very much about the intermingling of the eternal and the temporal. God is both the author and goal of human history.
In December, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the patronal feast day of the United States (December 8); the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of the Americas (December 12); and the birth of our Savior (December 25). The Sunday after Christmas is the Feast of the Holy Family. These feasts all have special significance for us as Knights. They challenge us to cherish the family, the indissoluble bond of marriage between a man and a woman, and the life of the unborn. They remind us that God has known us from all eternity—that we are known by him even before we are born. Recall the words God spoke to Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” (1:5) Modern science tells us now that the child in the womb can even respond to music and to the voices of his or her parents. The unborn child yawns and sucks its thumb. Unborn twins respond to one another in the womb. Continue to promote the pro-life cause in all its elements, defending the dignity of all human beings, born and unborn. At the same time remember to “Keep Christ in Christmas” and to pray for the return of lapsed Catholics.
May God bless you and your families during these special holidays and always.
-- Msgr. Michael Gorman, Chaplain
This year the climactic conclusion of Lent with Holy Week and Easter does not come until the last half of April. In our meditations on the Stations of the Cross, we must remember what a cruel and tortuous reality Christ’s passion was. Even so, God’s Son willingly embraced such a death as the sacrifice for our redemption! Thank God for his Son, and thank God for Easter!
The present conflict between a culture of life and a culture of death shows little signs of ending, although progress is being made. Our solidarity on this issue will move society to protect the innocents, especially the lives of the weakest. We cannot measure the immense power of prayer. It is in prayer that we must band together and fight this unmistakable evil. Government intrusion into areas of religious freedom casts a shadow upon our Church’s ability to practice what she preaches when it comes to human life and human sexuality. The bishops of our country are united in defending our need to practice as an institution what the Church has always taught on these matters. Many who are not Catholic also recognize the constitutional principle being violated here and have spoken in solidarity with the Catholic bishops. Can we do any less?
The seasons of Lent and Easter are seasons of grace for our families and for our Church. Adults are baptized, or received into the full communion of the Catholic Church; children make their first confession and first communion; older children are confirmed. These and all the sacraments are a participation in the Paschal Mystery – the death and resurrection of Jesus for our redemption. In them, we encounter the Risen Lord and are renewed in holiness. What a blessing!
May God bless you and your families this Easter and always.