Vol. 4, 2016-2017
About this time of year my personal tendency is to start thinking about gumbo, that spicy Cajun stew that takes me back in memory to the New Orleans and Mardi Gras celebrations of my teen years.It was the most remarkable of celebrations in its many faceted elements that somehow worked together to create a unique and memorable cultural experience. The whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. And at the stroke of midnight, like a line from a fairy tale, it ends as each Ash Wednesday dawns.
The parallels available to reflect or to act as a metaphor for our Catholic experience are striking; and even more so for our Order with its foundational Catholic character.Mardi Gras draws diverse sectors of society and various elements of culture together in a unique combination that respects differences and blends seamlessly into a coherent whole operating under overarching rules agreed to by all. Even the signature shared food – gumbo - reflects that tendency; a little of this and a bit of that all combine to create a masterpiece of culinary art. I love that same image for both our magnificent Church that has room for every person, and for our Order committed to principles that transcend cultural differences.
I trust these three simple examples will help to make the case for me. On Thursday January 25th, I experienced the profound faith of Catholics on both sides of the international border at El Paso cooperating to celebrate the 100th anniversary of priestly ordination and to promote the example of our Brother Knight, San Pedro de Jesus Maldonado, Martyr. A separate article in this edition provides more details. Suffice it to say, it was a memorable example of the Church and the Order reaching across any national and cultural boundaries to celebrate the strength of the human heart when connected to the Holy Spirit.Any difference in language becomes an insignificant barrier at this level of recognition.
On Saturday we combined with others of many faiths across our great state to March for Life in Austin.Led by our own State Chaplain Bishop Joe Vasquez, Knights from all parts of Texas led the annual event to the Capitol where we demand that our elected representatives respect the sanctity of human life in all its stages.We were pleased to hear the commitment of our Governor Greg Abbott to lead this effort.This is also faith in action, as we make our voice heard in the public square as our governing institutions make decisions affecting the fundamental rights we share as gifts from God. Faithful citizens indeed!
On Thursday March 22, hundreds of members of the Knights of Columbus in Texas will gather in Austin to accept the “Christ Brings Hope Award” from Relevant Radio, the most extensive Catholic Radio network in North America.The Texas State Council and all of its members - 107,000+ Catholic families in 800+ councils across Texas – are being honored for our extraordinary legacy of accomplishments in a wide variety of areas where our acts of “service inspired by faith” have made a remarkable impact.This promises to be a memorable evening of special recognition, so I hope you will plan to attend.
As we approach our annual Convention at the end of April, I urge you to make the trip to Houston to celebrate another great year of growth in all areas of our ministry to Catholic families through charitable outreach and exceptional service. Masses will be celebrated by Cardinal DiNardo and Bishop Vasquez. Special recognition will be given to those involved in support of our military and veterans communities, led by Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, a global archdiocese.
The rich tapestry of our Order’s programs and the extent of our outreach reflect the diversity of the human race as created by God and celebrated in the universal Catholic Church. This is what we live, what we exemplify and what we celebrate. Come and join us.Vivat Jesus!Viva Cristo Rey!
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