Messengers of Mercy
College Knights celebrate Mass at St. Mary’s Church
After the conclusion of the 2017 College Councils Conference presentations, workshops and discussions on Saturday afternoon, the college Knights traveled to the Supreme Council headquarters where they visited the executive offices, Fraternal Mission department and chapel. Last on the tour was the Knights of Columbus Museum, where college Knights had the opportunity to see such recent historical exhibits as World War I: Beyond the Front Lines, which chronicles the Knights service to armed forces during the war.
Raphael Imgrund, of Benedictine College Council 4708, Atchison, Kansas, was surprised and impressed with the collection and galleries at the Museum. The diversity from states such as Texas and Mexico, and countries such as China, gave him “a better sense of the universality of the Knights, especially expanding into Europe and Ukraine.”
From the museum, buses then led the attendees to St. Mary's Church, the birthplace of the Order, for the celebration of Vigil Mass.
Director of Chaplains and Spiritual Development, Father Jonathan Kalisch, O.P., was the principal celebrant for the Mass. Father John Paul Walker, O.P., pastor of St. Mary’s Church and one of several priests who were concelebrating the Mass, gave the homily.
In his homily, Father Walker reflected on the readings for the Mass, including how the theme of mercy relates to our world today, and how difficult it can be to be a faithful Catholic while showing mercy towards others and in doing God’s will. He continued, explaining that for the hundreds of college Knights present and throughout college campuses, that struggle very much exists in our society, but that it is the responsibility for them, as Knights, to uphold the virtues of a knight, such as chivalry, honor, character, virtue and courage.
Explaining that there are great spiritual challenges within and beyond the peripheries on college campuses, he said, “I challenge you to see each of yourselves as a messenger of mercy, being sent to that periphery of your campus. No one, I believe is truly set in their ways. No one is beyond God’s mercy. What matters for each human being is not where we begin, but where we end.”
Father Walker continued, saying that we need to keep our devotion to our founder, Father McGivney, who can help us in answering our prayers and with our daily struggles in life. “Yes, we have the kind of confidence we are all called to have in Father McGivney moving forward, helping us as men of God and as Knights which can transform our campuses and build together in our authentically human society, for our generation and for generations to come.”
Servers for the Mass included seminarians from Pontifical College Josephinum Council 15009 and St. Charles Borromeo Council 15380. Matt Sasala, from John Carroll University Council 8230, and Justin Orr, from Wright State University Council 16425, were lectors for the first and second readings. The responsorial psalm was read by Patrick Fitzgerald, from Mount St. Mary’s College Council 1965. Deacon William Fox, from Holy Apostles Seminary Council 15991, delivered the Gospel. Zachary Myslinski, of Benedictine College Council 4708, read the petitions. Joseph Basalla, from Catholic University of America Council 9542 and Aaron Filzen, from Minnesota State University Mankato Council 16408, were the gift bearers for the Mass.
At the tomb of the Order’s founder, Father Michael J. McGivney, located in the back of the church, participants gathered for prayer at the end of Mass.