Monday, September 28, 2020

The Knight's Shield - October 2020

Happy Autumn Everyone!!

I hope this finds that everyone is safe and healthy during these trying times.

Currently, we are planning for the October meeting to be outdoors. If weather is threatening, we will hold it under the canopy. I am going to move the time up 1/2 hour from 7:00 pm to 6:30 pm to give us a little more daylight. We will be voting on the By- Law update and resolution at this meeting. You can also provide feedback by contacting me or any other officer of this council.

Without any change to the State mandate from our Governor’s Executive Order of no more than 10 people at an indoor gathering, we wil have to go to virtual meetings starting in November, as the weather will no longer permit outdoor meetings. I will send out a Zoom invite to attend the meeting a week or so prior, unless something changes.

The Road Clean-up is going to be October 3. See the attached flyer for details.

Regarding the MI Drive this year...after much deliberation and discussion, our council leadership has decided to forego hitting the streets. We are going to do a virtual MI Drive. Stay tuned for more information, as we will all need to participate. We will probably be doing a “Go Fund Me” or something like it. We will need to spread the word virtually to as many people as possible via social media and email to be successful. We will be looking for some volunteers to be at the Masses on Columbus Day weekend to man the tables with jugs so parishioners can donate. We will also have signs prepared with the info for the virtual drive.

We are going to have to cancel the Trunk or Treat event as well because of Covid.

On a positive note, Father McGivney’s Beatification Mass is October 31. In honor of this, listed below are 10 things you probably did not know about him.

1. Not only Catholics, but even Protestants were inspired by Father McGivney’s witness of faith. Alida Harwood, the daughter of a prominent Episcopal minister in New Haven, frequented Mass at St. Mary’s Church where Father McGivney served. When Alida contracted malaria at the age of 25 and lay on her death bed, it was Father McGivney that she asked to see.

2. He was a surprisingly good baseball player. We know that in one game with his seminary team, he scored three runs, contributing to a big victory with a score of 23-6. He paved the way for a long history of baseball planers who would join the Knights.

3. More forward-thinking that Yale? Father McGivney pushed the boundaries as a theater director. At a time when, according to Parish Priest, nearby Yale University was limiting theater to only male actors. Father McGivney welcomed women to perform when he directed his parish’s St. Patrick’s Day play in 1880.

4. He helped young people take charge of their lives and create a better future. Father McGivney saw that many young men were neglecting their religion and turning to alcohol abuse. In response, he founded St. Joseph’s Total Abstinence and Literary Society, a group that helped young men stay strong in the faith and become active in their communities. No doubt, Father McGivney’s experience with this group prepared him when he later founded the Knights of Columbus.

5. His vision for the role of the laity was very unusual for the time. Seventy-seven years ahead of the Second Vatican Council, the idea that a Catholic organization could be led by laymen was quite extraordinary. Yet that was Father McGivney’s vision for the Knights of Columbus.

6. He ministered to inmates. Father McGivney was responsible for ministering to inmates in the city jail. One inmate was 21-year old Chip Smith who, while drunk, shot and killed a police officer. Smith was convicted for first-degree murder and sentenced to be hanged. Father McGivney ministered to him daily and, on the day of Smith’s execution, the priest was filled with sorrow. Just before he died, Smith comforted him: “Father, your saintly ministrations have enabled me to meet death without a tremor. Do not fear for me, I must not break down now.”

7. He was only 38 years old when he died in a 19th century pandemic. And that’s actually not surprising — life expectancy was short for priests in Connecticut during this time in history when the Catholic population was growing in American. Disease was common and the priests were overworked.

8. He’s on the path to sainthood. Father McGivney’s beatification this year is the latest development in his cause for canonization.

9. His belongings were burned when he died. When Father McGivney died, his personal items were burned to prevent the spreading of disease. Only a small number of his writings and belongings remain.

10. He is known to intercede especially in four areas (from Columbia magazine):
Employment and Finances. Just as parishioners looked to Father McGivney for help when “No Irish need apply” was often included in job postings, so today many receive help when they are laid off or seeking a better job.
Substance Abuse. In Father McGivney’s day, alcoholism afflicted the immigrant population, and many now find relief from drug or alcohol abuse after praying to him.
Family Reconciliation. Father McGivney helped Continues to respond to the prayers of families.
Return to the Faith. Father McGivney founded the Order to keep men from joining anti-Catholic societies. Today, many Catholics receive favors when calling upon him to help their fallen-away children return to Mass.

I pray that you and your families and friends all stay safe during this pandemic.

Vivat Jesus!
Tom Gray

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