Bishops, Priests, State and Membership,
Most good Catholics have heard the song Mary did you Know? This month’s Columbia magazine has an article on page 19 titled, “Joseph, did you Know?” I would like to draw your attention to this article for a couple of reasons. The First reason is that while most are familiar with Mary’s Fiat, her “Yes” to becoming the of Mother of Jesus. What is less clear is what Joseph thought when he learned that Mary was pregnant even though they had had no relations. The article explains a few things about this, and I hoped that you would benefit from this as I did. The second reason is that, like the article, a lot of members of the Knights of Columbus are well of aware of some key parts of the Knight’s story there are still many aspects of this story that are less known.
I have been asked many times, “Why are the Knights so concerned about getting new members?” I have also been asked why the insurance with the Knights is always talked about. I would like to provide some additional information to those questions in such a way that it might benefit you in continued activities with the Knights of Columbus. First, I believe that, not unlike the United States in the early days, the Catholic church was not given a place of reverence on the town square. When I went to New Haven, the place of our order’s founding, New Haven has a town square that has four sides yet no Catholic Church there. This was mostly because they were not allowed on the square. Today many don’t realize the gift of every town having a Catholic Church with a place of belonging representing the true presence of Christ in their community. Most Knights Councils were started in the early 1900’s and most became the activity hub of that Catholic community. Now most churches have many organizations doing all sorts of activities and the Knights are getting lost in the shuffle. This is a problem because the Knights are the defenders of all others and one in solidarity with our Priests. I know a church that was once surrounded by the KKK threatening to burn it to the ground with a Priest inside until the Knights arrived in force to prevent such a tragedy. We need more motivated younger men to be called to the service of the poor, the fatherless and widows just like when we started. We pray for them to make sure no one is vandalizing our churches and communities. So, the need is still very real, and I would argue that more immediate than ever.
We should be called to talk about our insurance programs and why they exist as well as to share our story and our mission. In Connecticut our Founder Fr. McGivney saw with his own eyes that no one would insure the immigrants of the time, especially the Irish immigrants coming to America to escape the famine in Ireland. While he looked to solve this problem, he began to notice other fraternal organization were forming to protect their members with insurance. He thought if we do this, we can strengthen the bond between Catholics and rally around a mission to protect widows and orphans. With humility I would say his plan worked. The reason we exist is still to protect Catholics in need even though today more companies will insure us, we still have an underlying problem. Most of those companies vote against what we believe as Catholics with our own money. So, an ever-present reason to do business with our insurance is to do like the first degree says, if all things are equally purchase your protection from us for the greater good of all Catholics. Brother, Did you Know?
Vivat Jesus, Merry Christmas and Happy New year!!