Mass for Celebration and Protection of the Family
David “Reggie” R Vasquez, Visions Chairman
If you are adventurous enough to go digitally exploring on your favorite web search device and land at the Order’s Supreme office web site (http://www.kofc.org) and look toward the top of the home page, you will notice a small block of print that spells out: Our Faith ˑ CIS.
When you click on that block, a drop-down menu appears and you can select the Catholic Information Service series of booklets. When you click on that link, the names of the various series of booklets will either scroll across the screen or you can click an arrowhead to access to the various series. One of those series is called: New Domestic Church Series. Booklet 318 of that series is titled: The Family in the Modern World.
This month we reflect on some of the words from that booklet authored by St. John Paul II in November of 1981. In his opening he writes: “At a moment of history in which the family is the object of numerous forces that seek to destroy it or in some ways to distort it, and aware that the well-being of society and her own good are intimately tied to the good of the family, the Church perceives in a more urgent and compelling way her mission of proclaiming to all people the plan of God for marriage and the family, ensuring their full vitality and human and Christian development, and thus contributing to the renewal of society and the People of God.” Throughout the document, St. John Paul specifies our roles and obligations within our families and marriages and chosen vocations. But toward the end, tying it to the opening he states: “…the family has the mission to guard, reveal and communicate love, and this is a living reflection of and a real sharing in God’s love for humanity and the love of Christ the Lord for the Church His bride.”
As Knights of Columbus, our family (and yes, we are a family!) professes that serving our families is not only part of what we do, it is part of who we are. To that end, Knights of Columbus councils offer programs that strengthen family and marital bonds. In addition to including our families in the Order’s culture, we also hold family-focused activities designed to help families communicate better and grow together. We support a variety of programs to fortify the family unit, such as our “Family of the Month” program that honors outstanding families and the new Building the Domestic Church initiative that strives to strengthen the family and the parish of which we are a part. We also promote education, especially Catholic education, through direct donations, fellowships, scholarships, and student loans. We provide financial assistance and moral support to families in times of need. But perhaps the most important thing we do is to pray together and for each other. The challenge to us all this month is to coordinate your local family council to all attend a special Mass together. Some Councils have labeled such a gathering as a Corporate Communion Sunday; some pastors are reluctant to recognize particular groups and discourage groups sitting together citing that it is only one Catholic community in attendance at Mass and no one should feel excluded. Regardless, the challenge is still there, we are a family attending Mass together and we seek the good of our family, and if we can reveal to others and communicate the love of our family, we will be fulfilling our mission. Make plans now, involve your pastor, invite your family of Knights and join together at a Mass that celebrates and prays for the protection of all families. Order the Holy Family Icon prayer cards from Supreme that contain the prayer of “Dedication to the Holy Family” and distribute them to all in attendance. Pray this prayer together with all families in your parish. What we do for our families also easily applies to our larger faith community. This is one example of a charity that evangelizes.
Archbishop Chaput once said: “To be a Catholic is to be very unique among the world's believers. To be a Catholic means believing that you are a part of a vast historical project. And it's not our project. It's God's. Being Catholic means believing that since the beginning of time God has been working out his own hidden purposes in the history of nations and in the biography of every person. He's still unfolding his purposes today, and each of us has a part to play in his divine plan." We strengthen our families, our faith, and our mission by being an active member of the Knights of Columbus. We are proud of that and need to share it with as many as we can. We need to believe that we truly are positioned by providence to be active in God’s project and to help fulfill our family mission. This is a great family to belong to; invite others to join us!
Vivat Jesus! Viva Cristo Rey!