Author Archives: jtoman

December 2017 Lecturer’s Note

KoC Lecturer’s Note
For December 2017

Dear Brothers,

Over the weekend my niece’s husband gave me a rebuilt computer, however in the transition I lost my draft of this month’s Note and I don’t have time to recreate it.  

Basically, I was saying that I could easily be depressed by the world situation of wars, terrorism, political divisions and immorality, environmental issues, and many other concerns.  One could almost wonder if God has abandoned us.  I know that can’t happen, but I know a lot of people have abandoned God as evidenced by the growth of secularism and declining church membership.

So what does that mean to us as Knights of Columbus? I think it means that we need to be more united to God through prayer. We have many opportunities for prayer as individuals and as an organization of Catholic men. Some examples are:

  • Morning, evening, and meal prayers
  • Daily offering of our activities (Our work projects can be prayers!)
  • Prayer before and at the end of our meetings
  • Rosary before the monthly general meeting
  • Confession before the monthly meeting
  • Attend Mass at 6:30 am weekdays before going to work
  • Rosary after 12:10 mass at the Holy Family statue
  • Corporate communion on the fifth Sunday (Most members should attend)
  • First Friday devotions with Eucharistic Adoration
  • Become a member of the World Apostolate of Fatima (Incl. First Saturday devotions)
  • Prayer groups for the sick and the dying
  • Diocesan Retreat (Sat. Dec. 9th , 9:00 am)
  • Advent Penance Service (Mon. Dec 11th , 7:00 pm)

I especially like the daily prayer offering to God of all that we think, say, and do during a day.  My thought is to make participation in council projects more spiritual.  We can do this by first identifying the primary purpose of the project, which is usually to glorify God by serving others. Next, ask the Holy Spirit for assistance in performing the project activities with kindness, respect and cheerfulness. Then while performing the activity, ask for God’s blessing on those being served.  In this manner, the activity can become a prayer which is communication with God.  Let’s apply this approach to an actual project. In Dec. 2015, I applied this approach to the collection for the Intellectual and Developmentally Disadvantaged being conducted this weekend.

On this weekend (Dec. 9th & 10th), several of our council members will conduct a street collection to raise funds for children and adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.  (In the past we called it a “Tootsie Roll Drive” because we offer contributors a small Tootsie Roll.)  As described above, you can make your participation in this charitable activity a prayer offering.  While you put on the yellow KOC apron and fill the pockets with Tootsie Rolls, ask the Holy Spirit to help you in collecting donations with a spirit of kindness, cheerfulness, and thanksgiving.  As you collect money from the donors, ask God to bless them for their generosity.  As you turn in the money, ask God to bless those children and adults with disabilities for whom the money is intended.

Remember to apply this approach to the Santa Breakfast which is also being conducted this weekend!

Respectfully submitted,
Cy Henke
Council 15706 Lecturer
Vivat Jesus

January 2017 Lecturer’s Note

KoC Lecturer’s Note
For January 2018

Dear Brother Knights,

In June of last year, my nephrologist told me that my kidneys were failing and that I needed to begin dialysis treatments. I was still feeling well and decided to haul some donations down to the Ladies of Charity, which I know quite well because I had performed handyman tasks there for several years. As I was signing in at the Intake Area, I heard a voice call out “Cy Henke, I haven’t seen you in a while!” It was Susan Unbehand, the Director of LOC; she came over and gave me a hug and we talked for a few minutes sharing our health problems (her heart) and we
wished each other well and prayers. For the rest of that day and many days afterward, I had a warm and pleasant feeling, which was kind of puzzling to me. I’ve certainly been hugged many, many times, but this time had a special effect. I finally decided that even if I didn’t know it, God knew I needed some support at this time and He sent Susan to give it to me. I call that a “Moment of Grace!”

I call it a “Moment of Grace” based on what my son (Greg) taught one of his religion teachers at Bourgade Catholic High School in Phoenix, AZ. Greg was a religion teacher there for 19 years, then a counselor, and a head baseball coach. He passed away suddenly in March of last year. What he taught was: “Grace is the living presence of God on earth.” So I believe that what Susan forwarded to me was God’s grace, His living presence and that is why I felt so good! My belief was reinforced by the following meditation from Vision 2000 by Mark Link, S. J.: Scripture
A leper asked Jesus to cure him.} Jesus reached out and touched him. “I do want to,” he answered. “Be clean!” At once the disease left the man. Mark 1:41-42

A Daily Life Story New York University studies show that when nurses lay hands on patients with the intention of healing them, the patients’ recovery accelerates. This leaves some doctors to believe “that there is a natural power of life in loving people which is communicated in a special way through the power of touch and that the patient absorbs much of his life, or energy, in such a way that the sick body can build up its own life-building forces.” (Francis MacNutt)
Personal Reflection To what extent do I express my love, especially for family members, in a tangible, concrete way?

Prayer Lord, help me to realize that one warm embrace or one loving touch of the hand may be able to release more healing than a bucketful of pills and medicine. I also believe that we all have this ability to reach out and touch someone with God’s grace. All that is required is
that we have the intention of forwarding God’s living presence to those who need it.
As Brother Knights In Service to One, In Service to All, I continue to urge you all to begin your service activities with prayer and to consider offering Moments of Grace to those you are serving.

Respectfully submitted,
Cy Henke
Council 15706 Lecturer
Vivat Jesus

October 2017 Lecturer’s Notes

Dear Brothers,

During an early September Mass, Deacon Fredy Vargas gave a homily which really impressed me. It included a story which I felt could apply to us as members of the Knights of Columbus. The story was somewhat as follows:

An elderly lady, completely alone, with no friends, family, or visitors, was at the point of losing hope and feeling that God had abandoned her. She was almost wishing that she could just die.  The situation was so depressing she decided to go outside for a walk.

At the same time, a young boy was struggling with the concept of “God”.  Where was God? How was he supposed to relate to Him?  Why couldn’t he find God at home? Maybe he should go looking for God outside.  He made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and took a soft drink, put them in his backpack, and went outside walking on a park pathway.

In his walk, he came across a park bench where an elderly lady was sitting.  He sat down beside her to rest and they started talking for a long time, and eventually they shared the lunch. 

Later, when the elderly lady got home, she realized that her depression was gone and that God had not abandoned her – He had sent her a young boy as a messenger.  She had found God in the young boy.

When the boy got home, his parents asked where he had been.  He said “I went out to find God.”  Did he find God?  Yes, I found God in a new friend!

The point of this story is that we need to look for God in others!

How appropriate this story is to current events happening in Houston, Louisiana, Florida, and now Puerto Rico, where there are fantastic examples of people caring for one another.  In thousands of different ways, people are finding God in others.

I recognize that we are removed from these tragedies and that most of us will support the relief efforts financially.  But we, as Knights, are challenged to also find God by serving others in our local community and in All Saints.  Think about it!  We might also find God in our Brothers while serving others.

I also think the following  verse from Sunday’s second reading is worthy of consideration for meditation:

“Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking for his own interests, but also for those of others.” Philippians 2: 3-4

Respectfully submitted,

Cy Henke
Council 15706 Lecturer
Vivat Jesus