Two hundred thirty seven years ago, the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. At its core are two sentences that define what it means to be an American:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…
To we Knights of Columbus, this is the armor, sword and shield that should inspire us as Americans.
Consider the following:
We hold these truths: We believe in these facts, not theories or abstractions.
To be self-evident: Plain for all to see and understand, without need for proof.
That all men are created equal: Everyone is a child of God, made in His own image.
That they are endowed by their Creator: (large C) God has given them to us.
With certain unalienable Rights: Rights that cannot be taken away.
That among these are: There are more, but the next ones are the most important ones.
Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness: Notice the order: The Right to Life comes first and foremost, then Liberty, then the Pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights: People and governments may try to take them away.
Governments are instituted among Men: People start governments to keep and retain their rights, not to give them away.
Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed: The State exists for the sake of the people, not the other way around.
Our country was founded on principles and ideals. The further we stray from these ideals, the greater the risk that the Right to Life and the Freedom of Religious Liberty become imperiled.
With over 60 years passing since his death, Fr. Emil Kapaun has been awarded the Medal of Honor for his brave and heroic service to our nation during the Korean War. Fr. Kapaun, an Army Chaplain, was awarded the posthumous honor on April 11, 2013.
Fr. Emil Kapaun
Fr. Emil Kapaun
The Archdiocese of Washington District has honored Fr. Kapaun and many of his fellow Catholic Chaplains with a section of its website dedicated to telling their stories of heroism and their Catholic patriotism.
Supreme Knight Carl Anderson and the 1.8 million members of the Knights of Columbus extend cordial best wishes and prayers to our newly elected pope. The election of Pope Francis - the first pope from the American hemisphere - highlights the fact that America is the continent of baptized Christians, and a place of central importance to the faith today. Pope Francis is well known also for his emphasis on charity - the first principle of the Knights of Columbus. Both in our efforts for evangelization and in our charitable work, we will strive with him to bring the light of Christ to the people of our continent during his historic pontificate.
Master of the Fourth Degree SK John Winfrey has announced his decision to name SK Rev. Msgr. Richard A. Hughes the Honoree for the March 16th, 2013 Priests' Exemplification.
Monsignor Hughes' service to the order and our Church is unparalleled, having served in many capacities over the years as Chaplain, Friar (Both Assembly and District), and Ceremonial Friar, among his many other roles throughout the years. Monsignor Hughes has been the rock of wisdom and guidance for years providing support to Faithful Navigators and Masters alike.
"It is my unquestioned privilege to name Rev. Msgr. Richard A. Hughes the Honoree for the March 16th Priests Exemplification," said Master Winfrey. "For those in the district who have had the honor of knowing and working with Monsignor Hughes over the years, this selection comes as no great surprise."
This year's Priests' Exemplification will take place at 9am at the Blessed John Paul II Shrine in Washington, DC.