Pilgrimage to 'America's Catholic Church'

In observance of the Year of Faith, Catholics from throughout the East Coast will gather in pilgrimage, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Popularly known as 'America’s Catholic Church,' the Basilica is the patronal church of the United States and its preeminent Marian shrine.

The date is also the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the Basilica’s 56-bell carillon, which was a gift of the Knights of Columbus.

The pilgrimage begins with Mass at noon, followed by exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, recitation of the Rosary and renewal of the Order’s consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Benediction and a carillon recital will conclude the activities at approximately 3 p.m. Confessions will be available from 10 a.m. to noon.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
400 Michigan Avenue N.E., Washington, D.C., 20017

Pilgrimage highlights include:


His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI has named SK Rev. Msgr. Robert J. Coyle, a retired U.S. Navy Chaplain Commander and current Pastor of Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Mineola, N.Y., as Titular Bishop of Zabi and auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS). After his episcopal ordination, Rev. Msgr. Coyle, 48, will serve under His Excellency, the Most Reverend Sir Knight Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, as Episcopal Vicar for the Eastern Half of the United States.

Archbishop Broglio will ordain Bishop-elect Coyle in a solemn Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on April 25, the Feast of St. Mark. The Archbishop expressed great joy at the announcement in Rome and extended Rev. Msgr. Coyle a warm welcome to episcopal service in the AMS.

The Arcidiocese of Washington District, which serves as home of both the Archdiocese of Washington and the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, will have Sir Knights serving in a number of roles for the Episcopal Ordination, including event logistics, transportation logistics, and the valued presence of the Color Corps.

This 'Good of the Order' article was adapted from and expanded upon from a 2015 'Good of the Order' article orginally written by SK Gary Patishnock, PGK, PFN

As Knights of Columbus, our first and foremost mission is charity. However, every year, the stress, secularism, commercialism, and materialism of the Christmas season can distract us from charity and the true meaning of Christmas. To me, the perfect reminder of the true meaning of Christmas and the continued struggle against the secularization and commercialization of the holiday is the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, which premiered 52 years ago this month on December 9, 1965.

In the beginning of the special, Charlie Brown is witness to several examples of commercialism and materialism among his family, friends and even his dog, Snoopy. In one instance his sister, Sally, asks Charlie Brown to help write her letter to Santa. Sally implies she is asking for a long list of gifts and says she will instead accept money, “tens and twenties,” if getting every item on the list proves to be too complicated for Santa. Today, requesting “tens and twenties” as a gift may not sound like a lot but, in 1965, when a postage stamp cost 5 cents and a gallon of gas averaged 31 cents, Sally’s request for tens and twenties is enormous.

Things reach a boiling point when Charlie Brown, ridiculed and laughed at by his friends and Snoopy for his choice in Christmas tree, loudly demands, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Linus then takes the stage and recites the following, bringing the special to a climax:

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were so afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

“And that’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.”   

We all know Linus recites the annunciation to the shepherds from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2, versus 8 through 14. But what you may not know is how close this part of the special came to not happening. Producers Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez pressured Peanuts creator Charles Schulz to avoid religion because it was a controversial topic. Schulz responded by saying, “If we don’t do it, who will?” And the rest is history. Linus helps Charlie Brown to realize the true meaning of Christmas, Charlie Brown heads for home determined not to let commercialism ruin his Christmas, and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” went on to become a hit that is still aired at least twice a year.

This Christmas season, and every Christmas season, I encourage you and your family to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas for a reminder of why we as Catholics and Knights of Columbus celebrate Christmas. The gift giving and receiving, the tree, the lights, and all the trappings are nice, but we must remember it is truly about celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And please also remember to do something charitable this Christmas, maybe by making a gift to your favorite Knights of Columbus charitable program. Between Coats for Kids, the Military Chaplains Fund, the Wheelchair Initiative, Christian Refugee Relief Fund, and many more, you have lots of choices.

Merry Christmas, and Vivat Jesus!

adapted from and expanding on a 2015 Good of the Order by Sir Knight Gary Patishnock, PGK, PFN

A man owned a stand of sugar maple trees.  It was a family business passed down from father to son and from brother to brother.  The man, his family and his workers tended the forest year-round.

In the spring, they collected sap and boiled it to make and sell maple syrup and candies.  They were careful not to over-tap the trees, lest they weaken and die. In the summer, they harvested the straightest trees for lumber to make furniture, firewood and other uses.  Craftsmen made all sorts of maple products for sale.

Every fall, the leaves turned yellow, orange and red. People travelled for miles around to see the beautiful trees – large and small, young and old - and to buy syrup and souvenirs.  In the winter, they sold the seasoned wood for fuel and to smoke food.

In good years there were many seeds and seedlings. It takes years for these seedlings to become tall trees.  The workers kept the deer away from eating the seedlings; they removed the poorly formed, diseased and dead trees to make room for healthy growth.

All was kept in balance, and all was well.

What does this story mean?  The owner is the Faithful Navigator, the workers are the assembly officers and chairs and the trees are the members.  A healthy assembly uses everyone’s talents in a balanced manner.  A member gives of himself – as a tree in charity gives its sap, its leaves and even its wood.  Everyone can help, as even showing up at Mass with a nametag – a brightly colored leaf if you will – attracts potential members.  We need new members to sustain the council, lest we “sap” our most active member’s strength.  Do your part to sustain the forest.

under god2July is a time filled with expressions of patriotism -- flags flying, parades, Sousa marches, firework displays accompanied by martial music, and recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance. How often have we placed our hands over our hearts, faced the nation's flag, and recited this brief statement of fealty? Do we understand, however, what we are saying, or has the recital become a ritual, a mere collection of words, a formality before certain public events?

The Pledge is an outward declaration of fidelity to a nation uniquely conceived and to the values and beliefs for which it stands. Consider the significance of what is being expressed in the brief 31 words.

I pledge allegiance – This says that it is a personal and individual promise of loyalty. It is a continuation of the oath made by the signers of the Declaration of Independence who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to create this nation. It is a commitment to the patrimony that has been handed down from generations past and a vow to maintain the nation’s precepts for generations to come.

to the flag – The banner is not a mere piece of colorful bunting, but a symbol of the nation, a memorial to the sacrifices that were made to create, maintain, protect and develop this country. It is a reminder of the nation’s history, traditions, culture, the principles upon which it was founded, and the values which it espouses.

of the United States of America – It does not refer to any country, but only this country, which is an embodiment of fifty states and tens of thousands of communities, each with its individual character. It is a country composed of people with heritages from every corner of the earth.

District Prayer Intentions

  • For the healing of Edward Cunanan
  • For the healing of Helena Jones
  • For the recovery of Ed Padget
  • For the recovery of Pete Streiner
  • For the health of Mary K Page
  • For Bill Goodwyn in his struggles with Alzheimers
  • For the repose of the souls of the 5 Sulivan Brothers
  • For the repose of the soul of Althea Patton
  • For the repose of the soul of Marcia Kubic
  • For the repose of the soul of Robert Streiner
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