Dear Brother Knights,
This past month thousands again gathered in Washington, DC, to march for life, marking the ignominious 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. On January 23 Catholics throughout our nation observed a day of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion, and of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life. Several members of Congress who addressed the marchers stated that we are closer to attaining this goal that at any time in the last 39 years. The tide of both public and scientific opinion, I believe, is turning in our favor. Brother Knights, continue your prayers and efforts on behalf of respect for life. Opinion is coming back to the truth of the humanity of the unborn child. This is a fundamental and objective truth,“and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
The month of February brings us three important observances. The first is the 20th annual World Day of the Sick on February 11. This observance reminds us of the dignity of those who are suffering from illness and the loving care which each one deserves. This is another pro-life cause which we Knights are called to promote. The second observance is Valentine’s Day, which gives you who are married a special day to celebrate your vocation and to show your life’s partner how much she means to you. Marriage is the foundation of family life and of the church family. Finally, Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on February 22. Embrace it as a time of prayer and penance for the needs of the Church and the world, especially the causes of justice, peace, family life and human dignity.
Bishop William Callahan and I will be traveling to Rome February 6-21 to report on the state of the Church in our diocese. Please keep us in your prayers for safe travels as we will pray for all Christ’s faithful in our diocese at the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul.
-- Fr. Michael Gorman, Chaplain
Happy New Year! The year begins with the 45th annual World Day of Prayer for Peace. The theme of this year’s World Day of Prayer for Peace is, “Educating Young People in Justice and Peace.” In this year’s message Pope Benedict XVI explains why he has chosen this theme: “in the conviction that the young, with their enthusiasm and idealism, can offer new hope to the world.” He addresses several groups who must provide various aspects of this work of educating: parents, families and all those involved in the area of education and formation, as well as leaders in the various spheres of religious, social, political, economic and cultural life, and in the media, and young people themselves. “Young people too need to have the courage to live by the same high standards that they set for others. Theirs is a great responsibility: may they find the strength to make good and wise use of their freedom. They too are responsible for their education, including their education in justice and peace!” The entire message can be found at the Vatican web site, www.vatican.va.(fixed link)
The “Gospel of Life” is based upon the conviction that God is the author of all human life and the dignity of every individual human being. Sunday, January 22, 2012, marks the 39th anniversary of the deception that the “right to privacy” is greater than the “right to life.” The March for Life will be held in Washington, DC, this year on Monday, January 23. This is one area where the young people of our diocese of high school and college age have demonstrated “their enthusiasm and idealism.” Let us pray for and support those who will participate in this year’s March for Life.
Brother Knights, continue to carry the torch in defense of the unborn and of all whose human dignity is threatened in any way! We must also continue to defend the nature of marriage as God has ordained it, and the right of people of conscience to act according to their religious and moral convictions. Many challenges lie ahead. Our Holy Father exhorts young people in his message and all of us “to be patient and persevering in seeking justice and peace, in cultivating the taste for what is just and true, even when it involves sacrifice and swimming against the tide.
Dear Brother Knights,
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. We look back to what God has done for us and we look forward to the fulfillment of God’s plan for our salvation in heaven.
This year the Advent season marks another beginning. English-speaking Catholics throughout the world have begun using a new translation of the texts of the Mass. This will take some getting used to, but it should help us all to appreciate more the prayers of the Mass. Perhaps we will notice new meanings in these prayers that were obscured by recitations that may have become habitual or routine. Some scriptural references in the prayers will become more apparent from a more literal translation. The liturgy–and especially the Mass– is at the heart of our life in the Church. May the use of this new translation spark a renewal in our appreciation of the Mass!
In December we celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (December 8) and the birth of our Savior (December 25). Because Christmas and the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God fall on Sunday this year, the Feast of the Holy Family will be observed on Friday, December 30. These feasts all have special significance for us as Knights. They challenge us to cherish the family 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. 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. Continue to promote the prolife cause in all its elements, defending the dignity of all human beings, born and unborn.
May God bless you and your families during these special holidays and always.
-- Fr. Michael Gorman, Chaplain
Dear Brother Knights,
November is the month of the poor souls, Veterans’ Day and Thanksgiving. After celebrating All Saints’ Day on November 1, we pray for the souls in purgatory for the rest of the month. As the Second Book of Maccabees tells us, praying for the dead is “a holy and pious thought.” (12:45) As fellow members of the Church, the communion of saints, we assist with prayer and penance those who are on the final leg of their journey to our Father in heaven, that they may be purified of the remnants of sin and be made ready to enter into the all-holy presence of God. To pray for the dead and to have the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered on their behalf is an act of charity which will not go unappreciated. If we do not maintain this practice, who will offer prayers for us someday when we are in need of them?
Veterans’ Day originated with the armistice that ended the hostilities of what is now known as World War I. Unfortunately the “war to end all wars” did not produce that result. Grateful for the service and sacrifice of those who have served in the armed forces in the past, let us pray for peace and for the safety of those who are serving in the military today. Congratulations to Larry Hubert and all the World War II veterans who have been able to participate in one of the honor flights to the war memorials in Washington, DC. I single out Larry because of his being featured in a story on WKBT-TV8, not to mention his dedicated service to our Council.
This Thanksgiving we have many reasons to be grateful to God, especially having been spared the devastation that so many in our own country have experienced this year because of tornados, floods, hurricanes and even earthquakes. Let us not forget to thank God for the blessings of this year, both material and spiritual, as we also pray for those who have experienced loss and for those who are actively involved in helping them.
May God bless you and your families.
Fr. Michael Gorman, Chaplain
On Monday September 12th, Peggy Pelishek presented Council 839 with a sculpture of the Venerable Father Michael McGivney, in remembrance of her late husband Sir Knight Raymond Pelishek. She was not able to be in attendance due to illness, so her letter was read to the Council. Father Gorman then blessed the sculpture.
The Council extends its sincere gratitude to Peggy for the kindness that she has shown us, by directing Ray’s memorials to Knights of Columbus Council 839. He will always be remembered in our prayers.
This art work was a year and a half in the making. It was crafted by Father Joseph Watson, O. Cist., while he was in residence at Our Lady of Spring Bank Monastery in Sparta, WI. Father Joseph made charcoal drawings of Fr. McGivney from many of the pictures that he found on the internet. Then he sculpted a three dimensional likeness in clay, next he made a mold. After experimentation with various materials: plaster, dental stone, orthodontic stone, other gypsum products; he settled on orthodontic stone used by dentists in fabricating models to straighten teeth. Originally, the thought was to do a relief wood carving; however, that medium would not work. Also, resin and metal were rejected in favor of “plaster”. It was then cast. The mold that was fabricated will be able to recreate duplicate sculptures of Father McGivney.
The beautiful cherry wood framework which encases this art work was created by Bob Somerville, Wood Shed Creations, Melrose, WI.
Father Joseph Watson presently resides at a monastery in Quebec, Canada.
Wow, it seems hard to believe that September is already sneaking up on us. The council has many events coming up in the near future that you can help with. The council helps with serving beer at Oktoberfest at the end of the month and if you can help give, Norm Suhr a call at 788-3963 or cell: 780-6444. We also have the soccer challenge, Nun’s Bingo at St. Rose’s and many other activities that will need our help, so keep an eye open to the other information in the Gavel for more details. I would ask that if you have ideas for a silent auction for the Turkey Shoot let me know. Just a quick reminder that the building association will be having a VERY important meeting coming in September and every member is encouraged to attend.
It seems hard to believe that this September marks the tenth anniversary of 9/11. I would humbly ask that each of us take a moment to say a prayer for those who lost their lives that day and in the fight against terror since. And take the opportunity to join your brother knight is saying the Rosary before a Mass in your parish that day.
Have a great month.
Yours in Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism,
This month we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord on August 6 and the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary on August 15. Both these mysteries draw us heavenward as the Incarnate Lord’s glory is revealed to his disciples and Mary, the Mother of our Lord, is raised body and soul to the glory of heaven. In the Apostles’ Creed we profess our faith in “the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.” That is about us, the consequence of our baptism into the risen Christ and the reward of fidelity. May the celebration of these feasts help us not to lose sight of our heavenly goal and our Christian dignity.
June is a special month for Christian men with the celebration of Father’s Day. Several prayers in the liturgy address God as the one “from whom all fatherhood takes its name.” What a message that gives to Christian fathers and what an awesome responsibility that entails! You must be an image of God the Father to your spouse, and to your children and grandchildren. You are to reflect to them the steadfast love and mercy of God, as well as be a source of strength and support for them. Be men of virtue, which means “manliness”; and be holy, for God is holy. (Cf. Leviticus 19:2)
We have certainly experienced a stormy spring, in more ways than one. Locally we have experienced hail and tornadoes. In our country there have been wildfires, tornadoes and floods. The world has seen volcanoes, earthquakes and a major tsunami. There has also been political upheaval both at home and abroad. Some have interpreted these as signs of the end. Of course the only end that really matters is the end of the course of our individual lives on earth and how prepared we are to stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Again I say we are to be men of virtue. This means we are to be exemplary in the practice of our faith, to look forward in hope to the salvation Christ has won for us, and to love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves. “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.” (Matthew 6:33)