This year has been unlike any other in recent memory. The myriad of challenges, most notably the COVID-19 pandemic, have shaken our way of life. And with the holiday season approaching, government officials are recommending people to limit family at their Thanksgiving dinners, keep masks on while around family, or outright cancel their festivities in order to stop the spread of the virus.
Yet this time of year typically calls us to reflect on what we’re thankful for. However, with these restrictions, uncertainty and loss of life, is there anything we can be thankful for?
The short answer is yes. Here are five things we are thankful for this year:
1. God is still with us
Our Father has not left us orphans. Through his son, Jesus Christ, we were told that he will be with us until the end of time. He shares in our crosses. This year, even more so. And even though there are crowd size restrictions, we have been blessed with the technology to participate, albeit virtually, in the Mass, Eucharistic adoration and other forms of prayer to strengthen our relationship with God.
To support this relationship, the Knights of Columbus has provided resources to Knights, their families and the faithful around the world through online Mass schedules, novenas, supporting the financial cost of Pope Francis’ Urbi et Orbi blessing, the publication of a Stations of the Cross coloring book for children, and so much more.
2. That our founder, Blessed Michael J. McGivney, is one step closer to sainthood
On Oct. 31, Father McGivney was officially declared “blessed” at a beatification Mass held at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, Conn. The beatification followed the official recognition from the Vatican of a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed McGivney, which involved the healing of Mikey Schachle from fetal hydrops.
Pope Francis credited Blessed McGivney for his “zeal” that made him an “outstanding witness of Christians solidarity and fraternal assistance.”
Knights around the world rejoiced with a weekend-long celebration of Blessed McGivney’s life that included “McGivney Festival” at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Conn., as well as the opening of the Blessed Michael McGivney Pilgrimage Center. Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said the founder’s life and beatification will inspire Knights to “go forward with a renewed spirit of charity.”
3. That Knights are leaving no neighbor behind
The pandemic may have limited how Knights live out our first principle of charity, but it has not prevented them from serving communities around the world. The Leave No Neighbor Behind initiative called on Knights to support other Knights, parishes, community, the hungry as well as participate in blood drives. And Knights responded.
This past year, Knightline highlighted how Knights adapted their outreach to align with social distancing protocols. Whether by assisting nuns following a natural disaster, helping Native American communities stricken with the pandemic or feeding the hungry in Los Angeles and in the Philippines, Knights are committed to helping their neighbors in need.
4. That Catholic men are stepping into the breach as brother Knights
The Knights of Columbus is a brotherhood of more than 2 million Catholic men committed to our principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism. This year more than 2,000 additional men joined the Knights during the Supreme Council’s first virtual online exemplification in March; and since then, more than 23,000 men have now become part of our brotherhood.
We are a brotherhood committed to serve, and that brotherhood — even at a social-distance — is needed now more than ever.
5. That we can continue serving
In his annual report, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson laid out a vision of prayer and charity for the end of 2020 and into the new year. Knights were called to “step forward” in response to civil unrest around the world; implore the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe; support persecuted Christians in the Middle East and Nigeria; and to continue leading the pro-life movement.
There are still plenty of opportunities for Knights to serve. And we are thankful for each new opportunity to serve as brother Knights, united together in charity, unity and fraternity.
Originally published in a weekly edition of Knightline, a resource for K of C leaders and members. Access Knightline’s monthly archives. Or, share your story by emailing share your story by emailing email@example.com.
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