Members’ Spirituality Emphasized at Chaplains’ Meeting
Building the spiritual strength of the Order was the focus of a meeting of Knights of Columbus chaplains in New Haven, May 27-28. Supreme Chaplain Bishop William E. Lori convened the meeting, which was attended by chaplains from New York, Connecticut, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Also in attendance was Texas State Chaplain Bishop Patrick J. Zurek of Amarillo.
Topping the agenda was a recap of Pope Benedict XVI’s U.S. apostolic trip in April and ways the Knights of Columbus can build on the good will the visit created. The pope struck a “deep chord” in American culture, Bishop Lori said, and has given the Church “an opportunity to evangelize.”
A Knights of Columbus-commissioned poll following the pope’s visit found that 71 percent of Americans now have a favorable impression of Pope Benedict and 67 percent have a favorable impression of the Church.
Plans were made to provide summaries and study guides to the homilies and addresses the pope delivered during his visit. Several of the chaplains said the talk Pope Benedict gave to seminarians and young people should be distributed to Columbian Squires and younger Knights.
The chaplains also discussed the interest they are perceiving among Knights for more spiritual programs. Bishop Zurek said chaplains should do more than offer a “quickie prayer” at council meetings. Chaplains need to be more attuned to the ongoing spiritual development of Knights, he said.
Developments in the cause for the Knights’ founder, the Venerable Servant of God Father Michael J. McGivney, were also reviewed. Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson noted Pope Benedict’s mention of Father McGivney during his homily at St. Patrick’s Cathedral April 19. The pope, Anderson said, sees Father McGivney as a model of unity in the Church. Greater emphasis has to be paid to making priests, chaplains and seminarians aware of Father McGivney’s spiritual legacy, Anderson said.
Bishop Lori will preside at a meeting of state and local chaplains on Monday Aug. 4 at the 126th Supreme Convention in Quebec City, Que.