Chaplain May 2021

Dear Brother Knights,

The month of May has come and with it many school activities from concerts, plays, awards nights and graduations. Remember last year at this time there was very little activity. School had moved to homes and Masses were not open to the public. It is good to see things gradually getting back to normal.

As we continue to live out this year dedicated to St. Joseph, I would like to again recommend to you to please read the book Consecration to St. Joseph if you have not had the chance to do so. It will strengthen and deepen your faith and your spiritual life.

Another highly recommended, recently released book is The Knights of Columbus: An Illustrated History. It was written by Andrew Walther who died on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020 – The Feast of All Saints – at the age of 45. K of C Supreme Knight Carl Anderson remembered Walther at his memorial service in New Haven. “From the start, the Knights were known for their faithfulness, their vision, their innovation and their determination,” Anderson said. “By that definition Andrew was a sterling exemplar of that tradition.”

Anderson added, “He faithfully served the Church, his family, and our country, embodying the principles of charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism. Andrew will be greatly missed. But through his life’s work, his legacy will endure. He will be present not only through the work of the Knights of Columbus but in so many other places in the world, for example, when Christians gather on the Nineveh Plains, his legacy will endure.”

Walther joined the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council staff in 2005 and contributed much to the Order’s activities throughout his career. His efforts were integral to the Supreme Council’s initiatives, from developing K of C’s communications program to coordinating outreach to persecuted Christians in the Middle East and now Africa.

“Andrew deserves singular credit for another initiative, a years-long effort to which he was totally dedicated: the plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East,” Anderson said.  “When the world witnessed the brutality against Christians perpetrated by ISIS, many were concerned and moved to prayer. So was Andrew. But equally, Andrew was moved to action.  He spearheaded our efforts to bring relief to suffering Christians in the Middle East. To date, those efforts have resulted in more than $25 million of relief in Iraq and Syria. He helped shape U.S. foreign policy during the Obama and Trump administrations alike, leading to numerous policy victories on behalf of the persecuted. In Andrew, the ancient Christians of the Middle East saw not only a friend, but a friend who stood with them when it mattered most and made a profound difference. And for countless Christian families that made all the difference.”

In late June, only weeks after departing the Knights’ staff to become President of EWTN News, Walther was diagnosed with acute leukemia.

“Andrew’s final weeks at the Knights of Columbus were joyful days, and his skill and devotion were on full display. We were preparing for the announcement that Pope Francis had confirmed as a miracle the healing of an unborn child through Father McGivney’s intercession. Andrew contributed much to our understanding of Father McGivney’s life, ministry and especially his death. It was Andrew who placed our founder’s passing in historical context, coming as it did during what we know now was a pandemic caused by a coronavirus,” Anderson said.

“I do not know why God, in his infinite wisdom, chose this time to take Andrew from us. I do not know why this young go-ahead man has been called home. But I do know that Andrew is a leader whose legacy will be enduring and who we will always remember,” Anderson said. “A year after the failed assassination attempt against his life, Pope John Paul II remarked: ‘In the designs of Providence, there are no coincidences.’ And so, we may ask, ‘Is it a mere coincidence that Andrew passed away only after Father McGivney was proclaimed blessed?'”

Anderson added, “Was it a coincidence that he died minutes after a relic of Blessed Michael McGivney arrived at his bedside, and a litany was prayed, invoking our founder as ‘Blessed Michael, strong in suffering,’ ‘Blessed Michael, peaceful in dying’? I do not think so. There are no coincidences. Today we pray that Andrew Walther is on his way to join Blessed Michael McGivney. We ask Blessed Michael McGivney, pray for Andrew and his family!”

To read Supreme Knight Anderson’s full eulogy for Andrew Walther, click here.

Peace in the Lord,
Fr. Hottovy