Chaplain September 2021

Dear Brother Knights,

This past August 13th we had the incredible opportunity to attend the first Mass to be celebrated on our beloved founder’s new feast day. All three daily Masses for our parish (including our Mass at the Pink Sisters) used these new Mass settings.

As a priest saying these opening and closing prayers for the very first time, I was struck with great gratitude and profound joy. First, to be able to celebrate this Mass in his honor, but secondly, it made me even more grateful and humbled to be one of his knights. His impact in our state, our country and in the world cannot be overstated. And this impact has given real support to those in most need: the impoverished, the unborn, those with disabilities, those needing help following natural disasters and for so many others.

Supreme Chaplain Archbishop Lori reminds us in his most recent article in Columbia magazine that it is important for all of us to continue to pray for Blessed McGivney’s canonization. He also reminded us to be praying the Litany of Blessed McGivney that was issued on the occasion of his beatification. (See on the next page.)

May our celebration and emulation of our founder continue to deepen.

Peace in the Lord,

Fr. Hottovy

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Chaplain July 2021

Dear Brother Knights,

As we celebrate Independence Day this month, let us continue our prayers for our blessed country.

Please take a few minutes and listen to this incredible account of why the Star-Spangled Banner was composed. This is definitely something every American should hear.

Star Spangled Banner As You’ve Never Heard It

I would like to share with you some wise words from General Robert E Lee in 1863:

“Soldiers! Let us humble ourselves before the Lord, our God, asking through Christ, the forgiveness of our sins, beseeching the aid of the God of our forefathers in the defense of our homes and our liberties, thanking Him for His past blessings, and imploring their continuance upon our cause and our people.”

“Knowing that intercessory prayer is our mightiest weapon and the supreme call for all Christians today, I pleadingly urge our people everywhere to pray. Believing that prayer is the greatest contribution that our people can make in this critical hour, I humbly urge that we take time to pray – to really pray.”

“Let there be prayer at sunup, at noonday, at sundown, at midnight – all through the day. Let us pray for our children, our youth, our aged, our pastors, our homes. Let us pray for the churches.”

“Let us pray for ourselves, that we may not lose the word ‘concern’ out of our Christian vocabulary. Let us pray for our nation. Let us pray for those who have never known Jesus Christ and His redeeming love, for moral forces everywhere, for our national leaders. Let prayer be our passion. Let prayer be our practice.”

A special thanks to all involved with our KC fireworks stand this year! We broke our all-time record for sales from last year! Thanks to all who planned, organized, promoted, setup, staffed and tore down the stand. All of your time, energy and effort is greatly appreciated!

In Christ,
Fr. Hottovy

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Chaplain June 2021

Dear Brother Knights,
This summer, Bishop Conley and the bishops of the United States invite us to observe Religious Freedom Week from June 22 to 29, which is from the memorial of the martyrs Saints John Fisher and Thomas More to the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. All four of these saints were killed by governments (England and the Roman Empire) which denied Catholics freedom of religion.

On Tuesday, June 22 the focus is on adoption and foster care. The bishops ask that we “Pray that children waiting to be placed in a loving home and the caregivers who serve those children will find strength and support from the Church… In places like Massachusetts… service providers with a proven record of excellence in recruiting and assisting foster families have already been forced to shut down because they do not place children with same-sex couples… Philadelphia Catholic Social Services has taken their struggle to continue to foster children to the Supreme Court. Intolerance for religious organizations has real consequences.” The Church is asking that it not force the Church to facilitate such adoptions. 

The bishops ask that we contact our members of Congress and urge them to pass the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, which “prevents faith-based child welfare service providers from being targeted by government discrimination.”

The second day, June 23, the focus is on “Catholic Social Service during the pandemic.” The bishops ask that we “pray that God would continue to grant Catholic institutions the wisdom and courage to serve a world suffering the effects of the COVID pandemic.” The action step for that day is that you get involved in your local Catholic Charities — which you can do by checking out Catholic Social Services’ website.

Thursday, June 24 is the birthday of St. John the Baptist, who was killed for not supporting the adultery of Herod and Herodias. The bishops ask that we “pray that the dignity of all people will be respected in our country… That means we need to honor every person’s right to gainful and decent employment free of unjust discrimination or harassment, and to the basic goods that they need to live and thrive. The Equality Act purports to protect people experiencing same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria from discrimination in these and other areas. But at the core of the Equality Act is the codification of the new ideology of ‘gender’ in federal law, dismissing sexual difference and falsely presenting ‘gender’ as only a social construct. As Pope Francis has reflected, ‘It is one thing to be understanding of human weakness and the complexities of life, and another to accept ideologies that attempt to sunder what are inseparable aspects of reality.’ By requiring all Americans to speak and act as if there is no meaningful distinction between the sexes and as if gender has no connection to the body, the Equality Act legally and socially harms Americans in serious ways and injures the common good. The Equality Act discriminates against people of faith and, by including a potential abortion mandate, threatens unborn life. Tell your elected officials to oppose it!”

Friday, June 25 the focus is on vandalism against the Church. “Pray that Christian witness in the face of attacks on our churches will convert hearts to faith in Jesus Christ… There have been at least 61 attacks so far, and that number continues to grow…The recent vandalism of churches and their Sacred art gives us the opportunity to bear witness to our hope in the Lord Whose beauty is revealed on the cross. The USCCB Beauty Heals initiative invites us to learn about works of devotional art significant to local churches and how they inspire Catholics to live beautifully. Learn more at usccb.org/BeautyHeals.”

Saturday, June 26 the bishops ask us to pray for Catholics in Nicaragua. “When peaceful protests began in April 2018, the government’s brutal response left at least 19 dead and over 100 missing.… In one case, paramilitaries laid siege for 15 hours to a church where priests, students, and media had taken refuge. Bishop Silvio Jose Baez of Managua and other clergy were assaulted while trying to shield protesters. With death threats mounting against him for speaking out in support of human rights, Bishop Baez was recalled to Rome for his safety.”

Sunday, June 27 the bishops ask that we “pray that governments would respect the consciences of all people who care for the sick and vulnerable… [A]ctivists have sought to undermine the Church’s mission by forcing Catholic hospitals to perform procedures that destroy human life and undermine human flourishing, such as sterilization, gender reassignment surgery, and even abortion… A nurse in Vermont was forced to choose between her job and her faith when she was told by her employer that she had to participate in an abortion… The Conscience Protection Act would address deficiencies that block effective enforcement of existing laws, most notably by establishing a private right of action allowing victims of discrimination to defend their own rights in court.” The bishops ask that we lobby in favor of this proposed law.

Monday, June 28, the memorial of St. Irenaeus, who was martyred by the Roman Empire, we are to “Pray for Christians in Iraq, and that people of all faiths in the land of Abraham may live in peace… In Baghdad, the Holy Father celebrated Mass in the Syro-Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation, the site of a horrific attack by extremists in 2010 who killed two priests and took 150 of the faithful hostage, leaving dozens of worshipers and police dead… Pope Francis said, ‘We must work to ensure that the Christian presence in these lands continue to be what it has always been: a sign of peace, process, development and reconciliation….’ You can join these efforts by donating to the Knights of Columbus Persecuted Christian fund. Support our brothers and sisters in the Middle East today!”

On the final day of the week, we are to “Pray that Christians will have the courage to speak the truth with kindness and clarity, even in the face of adversity…. One of the promises of our country is that many voices, even voices expressing minority views, have a right to express themselves. Is that promise being fulfilled?… A Catholic news outlet had its Twitter account suspended for noting that a government official who claims to be a transgender woman is a biological male… On the feast day of two of our boldest preachers of the gospel, Saints Peter and Paul, who faced intense hostility, let us resolve to have the courage to speak the truth with grace. And let us pray that the Lord will give us the prudence to be creative and compassionate in our witness… Connect with the USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty. Text FREEDOM to 84576 and Sign up for First Freedom News, the Committee’s monthly newsletter.” 

Learn more about current international and domestic threats to Religious Liberty on the USCCB website.

Happy Father’s Day to all of our fathers!
Peace in the Lord, Fr. Hottovy

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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

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Chaplain March 2021

Dear Brother Knights,

I hope you have been having a spiritually fruitful Lent thus far. At this point, we are beyond the midway point of the season. It’s a good time for all of us to evaluate how we have been with our practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. If you’ve been doing very well, then continue. If the first half of your Lent have been lackluster, now is the time to regroup and finish Lent strong. It’s never too late.

We continue our parish book study on the Consecration to St. Joseph. It has been a tremendously enriching and engaging read about the importance and impact of St. Joseph. On every page you learn invaluable information on the Protector of the Universal Church.

I ask and challenge every knight in our council to read this incredible book before the end of the year dedicated to St. Joseph (which ends December 8, 2021). I promise you will not regret reading it, and in fact you will be blown away with how St. Joseph will stop at nothing to help you achieve the goal of heaven and help you further develop in virtue. Each of us knights needs the manly example and holiness of St. Joseph in of our lives.

I can’t thank enough all of our knights who have continued our popular tradition of our Friday Fish Fries this year! The response of the public has been wonderful. You’ve heard from so many patrons of how grateful they are that the tradition continued this year. Thank you for all of your sacrifices of time, energy, and cooperation to provide such a much-needed community builder.

Abundant Lenten Blessings,

Fr. Hottovy

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