For Chaplains

The Saint of the Family

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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


As we begin the month traditionally dedicated to the rosary and the promotion of pro-life causes, we are blessed this year to celebrate the first feast day of St.  John Paul II.  May we entrust each council to his special intercession as the Order launches its “Building the Domestic Church: The Family Fully Alive” initiative. 

Addressing the 2014 Supreme Convention, Msgr. Sławomir Oder, postulator of the cause for canonization of St. John Paul II, reminded us of the importance of family to our new saint: “He himself was able to enjoy his own family very briefly: when he was nine years old his mother died, as a 14-year-old boy he lost his brother, and at the age of 21 years he lost his beloved father. But how rich and deep must have been his experience of love in his family! Years later John Paul II talked about his family home as his first seminary, and about his father as the one who first formed his priestly identity.”  Recalling that Wojtyła first learned how to pray from his father, Oder said: “It was his father who instilled in young Karol an ardent love for the Mother of God, when in his strong soldier’s hand he held Karol’s childlike hand, prayed the rosary and took Karol on pilgrimages to Marian Shrines.”

The enormous potential of spiritually active and engaged families in our parishes highlights the need for chaplains to ensure our councils offer a welcome home for men seeking to deepen their faith and a catechetical formation for those brother Knights still encountering the newness of Gospel living. Chaplains should work with grand knights and council officers to put in place a spiritual outreach and formation plan for the coming year.  For example, councils could organize parish-wide screenings of Father Robert Barron’s Catholicism or the Augustine Institute’s Symbolon: The Catholic Faith Explained series, accompanied by a renewed promotion of the Catholic Information Series materials (available at

The prayerful example of Karol Wojtyła's father and the fruit of such witness inspired Father Luis Granados, DCJM, a member of Dr. Earl C. Bach Council 3340, to establish the “Toward a Family Friendly Parish” program at St. Mary Catholic Parish in Littleton, Colo. The 12-month program, whose focus is to draw families closer to each other and to their parish family, is the model of the Knights of Columbus’ “Building the Domestic Church: The Family Fully Alive” initiative.  May Saint John Paul II be with each of us as we seek to lead our brothers to the same holiness.

Vivat Jesus!

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