Christopher Columbus

David “Reggie” R Vasquez, Visions Chairman

In the September 2017 issue of the Columbia magazine, author Gerald Korson wrote and submitted an article called “Christopher Columbus and Fake History”.

I hope everyone had a chance to read it and to learn a little more about our Order’s namesake. Two lines jumped out at me in the article: Columbus’ faith “led him on a great adventure, an encounter such as the world has never seen.” And: “Columbus represents the kind of heroic courage and religious faith that inspired the establishment of the United States”. Powerful lines with a lot of meaning.

Ambition, self-confidence, knowledge, and courage coupled with a deep rooted faith in God’s love and mercy provide a forceful motivating spirit in achieving any goal. Christopher Columbus was certainly one who was willing to risk all to advance his ideas and to evangelize his faith. It is this spirit not only of adventure but of courage in the face of adversity that we fellow humans admire and aspire to. The founders of our Order certainly recognized that spirit of adventure, overcoming adversity, courage, and the deep commitment to the evangelization of the Catholic faith as something valuable they wanted to emulate. They wisely chose a model of faith and the nascent American spirit. Through his persistent endeavors he brought discovery of new lands and conversion of many new souls to the faith.

Throughout history, the complete accuracy and recorded facts of Columbus’ journeys are less than complete. There are those who would write a new history bent to their agenda and that is the case even to this day. However, what will always remain accurate is that Christopher Columbus was a determined, courageous, skilled navigator who discovered a new world in which to bring the Catholic faith and then to return home; and then repeat the journey several times. What followed was the development of the Americas in ways he could never have imagined.

Columbus charted unknown waters and persevered in his faith; he took quite a risk. Many years later Fr. Michael McGivney together with a small group of parishioners also took a big risk. Taking the name of Knights of Columbus, they set out on a journey of the laity to reinforce their Domestic Church and to care for the families of those who would join them. They too probably never could have imagined how in time their courageous journey could impact so many lives. As the Order of the Knights of Columbus continues to grow, the question is: what are we willing to risk in order to continue our growth and defend our faith? 

Like the mariners of old, we need to seek out and chart new routes in uncharted times to increase membership and to establish new communications to defend our faith. With recent natural events devastating so many and in so many areas, we Knights are seeing firsthand the many challenges involved in caring for our Brothers and their families. It just makes sense, that if we had more members and more hands the burden gets lighter. Men of faith become men of action and determination. The challenge is in the communication, and now more than ever we need to communicate the good work we do and the joy that comes from giving. We need to stay proud of what we do, who we are, and stay Texas strong in Charity, Unity, & Fraternity. Membership in our Order this month in 2017 is certainly a tribute to the memory of Christopher Columbus but more than that, we can be proud of the course we now navigating to bring Catholic Christian civility in a world that seems at time to have lost its way. Even Columbus had to replenish his crews and seek out new hands to carry out his missions. We too, need to seek out new members to carry on with the work and goals of our Order and insure the dream of Fr. McGivney to promote Charity, Unity, and Fraternity.

Vivat Jesus! Viva Cristo Rey!

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