Author Archives: jtoman

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

August 2017 Lecturer’s Notes

Brothers,

As I read several emails from the Grand Knight about the planned ceremony this Saturday morn involving the “Silver Rose”, I realized that I did not know the story about it.  I knew it had something to do with Our Lady of Guadalupe but was puzzled as to why the rose is ‘silver’ rather than ‘red’.  So I looked it up on the internet and found the “The Story of the Silver Rose” which is also attached to this email.

My understanding is that, as an act of thanksgiving to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Columbian squires group in Monterrey, Mexico invited squires in Laredo, Texas to a running relay of a real rose from there to Monterrey with an exchange in the middle of the International Bridge.  This devotional program is now more international with silver roses being relayed (run) from councils in Canada and across the United States to Monterrey, Mexico, with rosary devotions recommended to be held at each host Council.  Please read the attached article to learn how the real red rose became a silver rose.

In his comments about the Silver Rose Program, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson says “Through it we honor not only our Lady of Guadalupe and express the unity of our Order, but we also reaffirm the Order’s dedication to the sanctity of human life.”  A true expression of this unity is happening this Saturday morning at Holy Ghost.  Our Council is the official host for the Silver Rose, but because of schedule conflicts, our parish was not available for the ceremony.  The Council from Holy Ghost came to our rescue and offered to hold the ceremony in their church after their 8:00 am Mass with our Council leading the rosary.  (Please consider attending the Mass and the ceremony as expressions of devotion for our Blessed Mother, and of unity with Brother Knights from both parishes.)

In All Saints over the next three weeks, we have more opportunities for devotion to our God and service to our parish community as follows:

  • Aug. 14, 9:30-11:30 ALPHA Reunion (Parish Hall)
  • Aug. 14-19, Week of Prayer for All Saints (Spend an hour with the Blessed Sacrament.)
  • Aug 19, 8:15-12:45 Ministry Day  (Parish Hall)
  •  Aug 19 8:00-12:00, Marli’s Move, St Joseph’s Helper
  • Aug. 19-20, Outdoor Mass set-up, the Mass, and clean-up.

Remember, as leaders in our parish community, we are obligated to participate whenever and wherever we can.  Wear your badges!

Respectfully submitted,

Cy Henke
Council 15706 Lecturer
Vivat Jesus

July 2017 Lecturer’s Notes

Brother Knights,

During last month’s meeting, our Deputy Grand Knight, Pat Nakagawa, mentioned that several of our new Council members are working on obtaining a Shining Armor Award, which I had not heard of before in all my many years as a Knight.  So I went on the Supreme Council website for more information. What I found is a great program designed for members to engage in and maintain an active level of participation in council programs and activities.  

To qualify for the Shining Armor Award, during the fraternal year, brother Knights must:

  • Be involved in at least 3 Council service programs
  • Attend at least 3 Council business meetings
  • Receive their Formation and Knighthood degrees
  • Meet with the Council’s insurance representative
  • Recruit at least one new member.

Qualification Cards are available to help members keep track of their progress toward attaining the Award and to verify to the Grand Knight that they have completed the requirements. Certificates of Recognition and Shining Armor Lapel Pins are awarded upon completion of the qualifications.

I believe this is a great program because it accomplishes several goals for the Council as a whole and for the individual members.  While there are many goals that could be mentioned, the program basically makes the Council much more effective in providing charitable services to our Church and community.  By encouraging active involvement, it builds the important feelings of unity and fraternity; and can expand membership (…the harvest is great, but the workers are few).

For the individual, there is a no feeling as great as working with others in service to our Church, family, and community as Christ asks us to do.  Many of us need the specific goals that the program establishes for our own personal growth and for the growth of our faith community.

In addition, the program also makes us aware of the insurance products that are available from the Order for the protection of our families.  After all, the Knights of Columbus was founded by Father Michael McGivney who organized a group of men as a mutual benefit society.  The primary purpose of this organization was to provide insurance to care for widows and orphans left behind when the main income earner died.  Knights of Columbus Insurance is a top rated company and is recognized as the world’s most ethical company.

While this program appears to be focused on new members, I think it should be a challenge to all members to accomplish the qualification goals for the Shining Armor Award during this fraternal year. For those of us who have already received Formation and Knighthood Degrees, we should commit to attending a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree exemplification for new members.  “In Service to One, In Service to All”

Respectfully submitted,

Cy Henke
Council 15706 Lecturer
Vivat Jesus