Knights of Columbus Convention
This past Monday through Wednesday was the 131st Annual Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus. I was privileged to attend the convention and witness first hand their deep commitment to the Church. It is always a special opportunity for the Knights and their families to reflect on the past, and express profound gratitude to God for all that has been accomplished, as they look to the future and contemplate what can still be done. Supreme Knight Carl Anderson delivered the annual report to the delegates in attendance and chronicled the record-setting activity that the organization completed in the last fraternal year.
The Knights and their families donate more than $167 million to charity, and perhaps just as impressive is the fact that they provide more than 70 million hours of volunteer service to their communities and various charities.
As you are aware, the Knights of Columbus is the largest Catholic fraternal organization in the world. They preserve carefully the four principles of charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism. The supreme knight in his annual report highlighted various charitable programs carried out by Knights in more than a dozen countries, to show their deep commitment to making a difference in the world. These activities ranged from providing new winter coats to children, to helping amputee victims in earthquake-devastated Haiti, to stocking food pantries, to helping victims of disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, the recent explosion in West, Texas, and the tornados in Oklahoma. The list goes on and on.
This is nothing new for the Knights of Columbus. Since their founding by the Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, a priest of our Archdiocese, in 1882 as a fraternal benefit society, the Knights of Columbus have sought to help families obtain economic security and stability through their life insurance program and through their commitment to contributing time and energy worldwide to service in their local communities.
The history of the Order shows how the foresight of Father Michael J. McGivney, whose cause for sainthood is being studied by the Vatican, brought about what has become the world’s foremost Catholic fraternal benefit society.
The Knights of Columbus has grown from several members in one council here in New Haven, Connecticut, to more than 14,000 councils and 1.8 million members throughout the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, Guatemala, Guam and Saipan. The history of this fraternal organization shows how the foresight of one priest, the now Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, working with others, can bring about such change in helping to make people’s lives better.
Becoming a Knight of Columbus can transform your life and strengthen your family. As a Knight, you have the opportunity to support your parish, give back to your community, grow in your faith and gain exclusive access to the top-rated insurance program to protect your family. These are just some of the reasons you should consider becoming a knight, visit www.kofc.org for more information.
New Vicar for Religious and Director of the Office for Religious
This month also marks the beginning of the appointment of Father John S. Golas as the new Vicar of the Office for Religious and Sister Mariette Moan, ASCJ, as the new Director of the Office for Religious. I express my deep gratitude to Father James F. Kinnane for his many years as Vicar of the Office for Religious and to Sister Mary Kelly, CSJ, for her years as Director of the Office for Religious. Father Kinnane will continue to serve the Archdiocese in his work in the Metropolitan Tribunal Office, while Sister Mary Kelly, CSJ, will enter into her well deserved retirement, remaining active in various ways. We are profoundly grateful to both of them for their dedication to the Religious Communities of Men and Women who serve here in the Archdiocese.
As the Vicar for Religious, Father Golas will work with members of the Religious Communities of Men and Women who have chosen Consecrated Life. He will work with them in matters that pertain to their own Charisms, or talents, and how they are lived out in the Archdiocese of Hartford. He will assist members of Consecrated Life in preparation for canonical processes, provide pastoral care, coordinate the Annual Retirement Appeal Fund for religious, and bring pastoral concerns of the Archbishop to members of Consecrated Life.
Father Golas will assume this position in addition to his assignment as pastor of Saint Paul Church in Glastonbury and Saint Augustine Church in South Glastonbury. Prior to this assignment, he was at Saint Mary Star of the Sea Church in Unionville. He will work with newly appointed Executive Director Sister Mariette Moan. The two will coordinate between the Office for Religious and the Archbishop.
Father Golas has served the people of the Archdiocese of Hartford with dedication and enthusiasm for over three decades. As the new Vicar of the Office for Religious, he will share his talents and commitment with those who have chosen Consecrated Life, and will continue to set an exemplary example throughout the Archdiocese.
We also are pleased to welcome Sister Mariette J. Moan, ASCJ, as the new Director of the Office for Religious. Sister Mariette will be responsible for coordination between my office and members of Religious Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. She will serve as a resource for the members of Consecrated Life organizations, provide opportunities in the Archdiocese for members of Consecrated Life to celebrate jubilees and the World Day for Consecrated Life, maintain data on members ministering in the Archdiocese, and prepare reports to be reviewed by the Vatican.
A member of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Sister Mariette will assume her new position while continuing in her role as Director of Alumnae and teacher of theology at Sacred Heart Academy in Hamden.
Sister Mariette has several degrees, including a Bachelor of French from Southern Connecticut State University; a Bachelor of Philosophy from the Pontifical University of Saint Anselm in Rome; a diploma in Spirituality from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas, also in Rome; a diploma in Pastoral Liturgy from Saint Paul University in Ottawa; a Master’s Degree in Music Education from New York University as well as graduate studies in Theology and in Liturgy from the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of Rome.
Sister Mariette Moan is a welcome addition to the archdiocesan staff. I am confident that her wealth of knowledge and desire to help others succeed will serve those who have chosen a consecrated life, and benefit all people throughout the Archdiocese who are served by members of Religious Communities.
Year of Faith Pilgrimages
I would like to remind you that we have two more pilgrimages planned in celebration of the Year of Faith. The deadlines are approaching!
The pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, will take place on Monday, August 26, 2013. We will depart from the New Haven area (Our Lady of Pompeii Church, East Haven), and the Hartford area (Saint Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield), and journey to the Shrine beginning at 8:00 a.m. and returning around 6:00 p.m. More information can be found at http://www.archdioceseofhartford.org/news/yearoffaith/pilgrim-dmercy.pdf. Deadline for this pilgrimage is August 19, 2013.
The pilgrimage to the Catholic Shrines of America will be held from October 23, 2013, through October 25, 2013. The trip includes round trip deluxe coach transportation from Bloomfield (and possibly the New Haven area as well if there is enough interest), 2 nights in fine hotels in Washington, D.C., and in Baltimore, 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner, comprehensive visits to the St. John Neumann Shrine in Philadelphia, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore, and the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg. More information can be found at http://www.archdioceseofhartford.org/news/yearoffaith/pilgrim-washdc.pdf. Deadline for this pilgrimage is set for August 12, 2013.
I hope and pray that you will consider joining us on one or even perhaps both of these pilgrimages. All participants will of course receive one of the rosaries we brought back from the pilgrimage to Italy which were blessed by Pope Francis.
These rosaries come in a leather pouch bearing the Coat of Arms of Pope Francis. They were blessed by Pope Francis at the general audience we attended while on our Year of Faith Pilgrimage in Italy.