For Chaplains

Waiting in Hope

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This Month’s Chaplain’s Report 
Faith Formation Program
Father Jonathan D. Kalisch, O.P.
Director of Chaplains and Spiritual Development


Pope Francis has highlighted the dispositions that aid the disciple along the Advent journey: “Perseverance in prayer: to pray more. Diligence in fraternal charity: to draw closer to those in need. And joy in praising the Lord” (Homily, Meeting Jesus with our Defenses Down, 2 Dec. 2013). All of these dispositions encourage a greater openness to the encounter with the Lord, who the Pope reminds us, also seeks us out during Advent!  By inculcating these practices in our lives, we ready ourselves for the encounter which gives hope and life anew.  Prayer, fraternal charity, and joy: three dispositions to encourage our brother Knights to become steeped in this Advent.

Last year I had the privilege of visiting the Cenacolo Community in St. Augustine, Fla.  Cenacolo is an international community, where young adult men and women who struggle with addiction go to live in Christian community.  Through prayer, fraternal charity, and the joy and hope of the Gospel, they learn to live in the freedom of Christ.  Witnessing the real joy present in the lives of young men and women, where once darkness had pervaded, was truly to see the amazing work of God, renewing His creation.  Every brother Knight should know about this great Catholic resource for those young people and families struggling with addictions.

Watching and waiting as pilgrims, like Mary and Joseph of Nazareth.  As our brother Knights no doubt lead their councils in acts of charity and service, can we remind them to be watchful and wait anew for the Lord to encounter them, this holy season?  Pope Francis reminds us that we are invited to perceive and understand “what is happening within us”, to ask “if the Lord comes or does not come; if there is room for the Lord, or if there is room for celebration, for shopping, for making noise”. This examination of conscience, he said, should lead us to ask ourselves: “Are our souls open, as the soul of Holy Mother Church is open, and as Mary’s soul was open? Or have we closed our souls and put a highly erudite note on the door saying: please do not disturb?” (Homily, Awaiting the Birth, 23 Dec. 2013).  May we await the only Hope that transforms anew the lives we live.  Come, Lord Jesus, come!  Vivat Jesus!


Fr. Jonathan D. Kalisch, O.P.
Director of Chaplains and Spiritual Development
(203) 752-4115