My dear brother Knights,
I was recently sitting with a brother priest, and we were discussing the significant events that define a generation even within the Church. In the early decades, there was open persecutions by the Romans. The Middle Ages were enlightened by the monks of Europe who kept the faith alive in scholarship and in devotion. When many were leaving the Body of Christ during the Reformation, great saints rose to bring the Church closer to Christ and to strengthen her faith and unity. Our most senior Brother Knights remember how people prayed during the dark days of the Great Depression and World War II and rejoiced when the war was over. There have always been significant events in each age of the Church.
In our most recent days, we talk about what the Church and our Order are doing during the pandemic. Our Leave No Neighbor Behind and Covid Recovery Programs are how we will remember keeping our councils active during the pandemic and returning to some normalcy as this pandemic ends (God willing!).
On Saturday, 11 September, we will mark another defining moment in the Church and our order, the twentieth anniversary of the tragedies of 2001 in New York City, Washington DC, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Members of the Knights of Columbus died that day as victims, and others died that day as emergency workers trying to save lives. Other Knights helped recover the bodies of victims, cared for the wounded, and worked to provide for those who lost loved ones. Many Knights fell on their knees that day and prayed. Ever since, Knights have done what we could for the dead and for the victims who still survive.
Only our very youngest brother Knights can tell us that they don’t remember the events of September 11, 2001, except in history. For the rest of us, we will remember where we were, how we felt, and perhaps, even how our lives were impacted by the events of that day. There was the tragedy of the loss of life of those in the buildings and on the planes, and those who tried to help others. There was the heroism of so many who put life and limb at risk to serve others. There was also our Order, offering charity to victim’s families, and standing in unity and fraternity with our brothers and their loved ones in Masses, ceremonies, blood drives, and fundraisers.
Every time in the Church is a time of unique challenge. But every time in the Church is filled with the presence of Christ Jesus. As Knights of Columbus, we will always be present to support the Church, to care for those in need, and to honor the Lord Jesus through our charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism.
Vivat Jesus! Blessed Michael McGivney, pray for us!