Saturday 31 October 2009

I am proud to be a member of the Knights of St Columba

I was honoured to be given an award last week for 25 years of service in the Knights of St Columba (KSC).  I am pictured here with John O'Brien, the Grand Knight of my local Council 295, Kenton and Harrow, at St Joseph's Church, Wealdstone and Harrow Weald, who presented the award.  Others honoured for 25 years' service were Des Kellett, Austin Boylan, Manuel Rodrigues and Michael O'Connor.

The award ceremony took place in St. Joseph's Church, Wealdstone and Harrow Weald, after a Mass celebrated by Fr Michael Doherty SDS.  Fr Michael spoke warmly about the Knights and the high regard in which this magnificent organization is held by priests up and down the country.  The priesthood can be lonely and the Knights are known for their down-to-earth, practical support of their priests in countless ways.  That support can also be personal - such as when Fr Michael's mother died and her funeral was attended by forty Knights in a parish 200 miles from his own.  Fr Michael said he was overwhelmed by their personal love and support.

The pro-life movement, like priests, has good reason to be thankful to the Knights of St. Columba who are second to none in their backing - not only for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, but for all groups seeking to uphold the value and inviolability of every human life.

The KSC runs in my family, with my father, grandfather, and great grandfather all members of the same Council in Whitechapel, London, in the early 1930s.

During the ceremony in St. Joseph's Church, in which a number of men were admitted to the KSC for the first time,  the membership officer addressed us in words which will strike a chord for many others who work in the pro-life movement which, of course, includes people of all faiths and none:
"I ask you to recall that day on Calvary, when our beloved Saviour, Jesus Christ, shed his precious blood on the Cross for our salvation.  Since that day the Cross has been the symbol of our faith and has been carried to the four corners of the earth by fearless missionaries.  The church in carrying out that duty has, like our crucified Lord, been subjected to many persecutions and , although we do not now face the barbarities of earlier times, we do face the great enemies of indifference or mockery or open hostility for those values which we as Christians hold as being essential ... "
I am proud to be part of an organization which works quietly and effectively to promote the Gospel of life, sometimes in the face of indifference, mockery or open hostility. No wonder it continues to attract the support when it holds so fast to timeless values.

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