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Jim St. Clair

stclair33@bellsouth.net

(803)968-5884 Cell

 

February 2020

February 2020

PrayMoreNovenas.com

(Brothers) - Peace be with you!

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has said Lent is like a retreat during which we can turn back into ourselves and listen to the voice of God. 

He said, "It is a period of spiritual 'combat' which we must experience alongside Jesus... using the arms of faith: prayer, listening to the word of God and penance. In this way we will be able to celebrate Easter in truth, ready to renew the promises of our Baptism." 

We've been working on a special project to help you journey through Lent with Jesus. 

And like Pope Benedict suggested, it's a retreat :) 

It's called the Pray More Lenten Retreat!

The Pray More Lenten Retreat will be just like an in-person retreat that you can experience at home -- anywhere, anytime. 

It's an online retreat. If you sign up, you'll hear from five speakers, each of them giving a few video presentations that will help you be more dedicated to prayer in your everyday life this Lent -- and onward. :)

You'll also receive a transcript of their talks along with reflective study guides for each.

And, you will be able to download the presentations so you can listen to them anywhere. 

You can register for the retreat here:

https://praymoreretreat.org/

All of the materials will be released on Wednesday, February 26th, the first day of Lent. That's less than two weeks away!

We hope they will help you to prepare to commemorate the Lord's Passion, death, and the celebration of His Resurrection at Easter. 

God bless you!

John-Paul & Annie - www.PrayMoreNovenas.com               Don't forget to share!

 

Walking With Moms in Need

 

Walking with Moms in Need Logo

Pregnant and parenting moms in need are in our parishes and our neighborhoods. As Pope Francis reminds us, our parishes need to be “islands of mercy in the midst of a sea of indifference.” Everyone in the parish community should know where to refer a pregnant woman in need.

The 25th anniversary year of Evangelium vitae gives us a wonderful opportunity to assess, expand, and communicate resources to pregnant moms and families in need. We are inviting parishes, through the support of their bishop and pastor, to join a nationwide effort from March 25, 2020 to March 25, 2021 entitled: “Walking with Moms in Need: A Year of Service.”

For this Year of Service, the Pro-Life Committee is developing educational, pastoral, and action-oriented resources for parish use, such as:

  • Tools for documenting an inventory of local resources for pregnant mothers in need.
  • Ideas for improving parish responses.
  • Prayers for building a culture of life and a civilization of love.
  • Reflections on the teachings of Evangelium vitae, Evangelii gaudium, and Laudato si'.

Updates

Pro Life Committee Chairman Invites Bishops to Join Initiative Serving Pregnant and Parenting Mothers in Need

November 11, 2019

BALTIMORE - Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, of Kansas City in Kansas, and Chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, addressed the body of bishops at the annual November plenary meeting of bishops about the need for improved pastoral responses to women facing unexpected or challenging pregnancies.  

“The challenges can be immense for women in difficult or unplanned pregnancies. 75% of women who choose abortion are low income,” said Archbishop Naumann. “Pregnant and parenting moms in need are in our parishes and our neighborhoods. Women facing challenging pregnancies should see the Church as a place where they can find help, especially with its myriad of social services and organizations dedicated to meeting the needs of people in crisis,” he continued.

In his invitation to the bishops, Archbishop Naumann shared that well over 150,000 low-income mothers deliver their babies at Catholic hospitals each year, and many tens of thousands of pregnant and parenting moms are helped each year through Catholic Charities programs and other help agencies. In addition, thousands of pregnancy care centers staffed by many Catholic volunteers.
Nevertheless, the archbishop noted that there are “gaps,” and “while many pregnancy help resources are appropriately coordinated at the diocesan or regional level, moms in need are best reached at the local level.”

“We have well over 17,000 parishes in the United States. Each parish is best able to identify the local pregnancy help resources that are currently available and to identify potential gaps that need to be addressed. The parish community is uniquely positioned to encourage a collaboration of resources at the local level and to increase awareness of help available to mothers and families in need,” Archbishop Naumann explained.

To this end, Archbishop Naumann asked the bishops present to invite their parishes to join a nationwide effort from March 25, 2020 to March 25, 2021 entitled: “Walking with Moms in Need: A Year of Service.”

This Year of Service will coincide with the 25th anniversary of Evangelium Vitae. . . (The Gospel of Life), a landmark encyclical by Pope John Paul II. The Pro-Life Committee is developing educational, pastoral, and action-oriented resources for parish use, including reflections on the teachings of Evangelium Vitae, Evangelii Gaudium. . . , and Laudato Si. . . ; prayers for building a culture of life; tools for documenting an inventory of local resources for pregnant mothers in need; and ideas and support for improving parish responses.

More information about the initiative can be found at www.usccb.org/moms-in-need

 

1. Faith in Action Programs                                                         January 2020

Councils may design any Program that satisfies the needs of their local community and get credit for it.

     Here are 2 examples: a. Monthly visit to local Nursing Home and say the rosary with them.

     b.  Weekly/Monthly visits to the VA.  If your Council has a great Program idea, develop it and make it happen.                          As long as it fulfills one of the Faith in Action “Objective” below, it will qualify.

Faith in Action Objectives:

1.  Faith: Grow in their faith

2   Family: Engage the family in mission

3.  Community: Serve their parish and community

4.  Life:  Defend the dignity of human life

5.  Evangelize through action

South Carolina Catholic Men’s Conference

March 7, 2020, Cardinal Newman High School, 2945 Alpine Rd., Columbia

$40 Preregistration (www.sccatholicmensconf.org ) $50 at the door

Knights of Columbus receive a $10 discount, Students $20

7:30 a.m. Registration & Breakfast

8:30 – 4 p.m. Conference

Breakfast and Lunch included with Registration

Speakers:  Mike Aquilina, Author, National Speaker, TV and Radio Host and Evangelist

                    Most Rev. Robert Guglielmone, Bishop of Charleston

                    Fr. Sean Kilcawley, National Speaker, Dir. Of Family Life for Diocese of Lincoln

3.  South Carolina Lecture Library Initiative

PURPOSE:

At the suggestion of District #6 Council 6884, the South Carolina State Council has established the Lecture Library Initiative. The purpose of this Library is to collect lectures given during local Council monthly meetings “For The Good of the Order” by the Council Lecturer. This process assists the Council Lecturer in creating informative and interesting content as the meeting reaches closing and Knights depart.

PROCEDURE:

After the lecture is presented at the Monthly Council Meeting, the Lecturer will review with the Grand Knight discussing how effective the presentation was. If they agree that the lecture was successful at motivating and inspiring the Council Brothers, it may be presented to the State Council, Faith Director, Michael Mancari, at mamancari@yahoo.com . After reviewing and approving the submission, the Faith Director will then forward the Lecture text to the State Director, Faith in Action, Jim St. Clair, stclair33@bellsouth.net . He will in turn review and then upon approval, enter the lecture onto the State Directory’s Lecture Library webpage.  The webpage may be visited by going on-line and typing, www.kofcsc.org  .  (As of this writing, the page is pending technical modification.)

Current procedure for access to Lectures:  Go to Faith in Action webpage and and locate the Lectures there as posted.

Future procedure for access will be implemented upon Webmaster regaining access to the Lecture Library page:

 Enter www.kofcsc.org

 Position Mouse/Curser over: “KNIGHTS PROGRAMS”

 Click “LECTURE LIBRARY”

 Complete the “search” and/or “show all” as you wish

Click on any lecture you are interested and it will open up for your review. It may then be copied for content, if desired. Any member may copy or modify a lecture with the understanding that the lecturer delivering the lecture is responsible for the presentation content and appropriateness as though he himself originated the lecture.

FOR NOW, WE HAVE THESE LECTURES AVAILABLE FOR YOUR UTILIZATION.

FULL TEXT AT PAGE BOTTOM

   1.  Forgiveness For Knights

   2.  Ideal Talk For Knights

   3   Chastity of Both The Blessed Virgin Mary AND That of St. Joseph

How to access the Faith in Action section on the State Webpage: Go to www.kofcsc.org then, select "KNIGHTS PROGRAMS", then, select "Faith in Action"

 

Day of the Unborn Child...March 25th

USCCB Program, “Supporting Mothers in Need” is celebrated on this 2020 Feast of The Annunciation.

Establish a Project manager for this Program and look for more guidance on the Faith in Action webpage.

Elements for Success

*  Plan a Program 2 - 3 mo. in advance

*  Coordination with Pastor critical

*  Report Programs  accomplished immediately upon completion of the activity

 

Traveling Icon

Our Lady of Fatima is making her rounds to each Council.  Prepare your program now so you’re ready to go.Contact Michael Mancari for date and details. 803-445-0244,  mamancari@yahoo.com

Free Throw Contest   Mar 14

State Free Throw Contest is at Cardinal Newman High School, Columbia.  Registration 0930 contest start at 1000

Lecture 1.   Forgiveness for Knights

By Roy Banzon

Good evening, tonight I am going to talk to you about the heaviest thing you will ever lift in your life. It is also something that we all tend to hold tight too, sometimes tighter than we tend to admit to ourselves and if we continue to hold on to it; it will continue to erode our soul. While driving down the road to Columbia there is a small church that has some awesome quotes that are very thought provoking. The one recently I saw was, “A Grudge is heavy.” I will begin my talk with several exercises that I need assistance from the audience (Get 3 Volunteers). My first exercise is very simple, can I get a first volunteer from the audience. Ok, please introduce to everyone your name if we have some new people. Now, take a look at this small bucket. It is currently filled with a bunch of candy. Now my task to you is to put these crumbled up paper into the small bucket. Tell me when you are able to place the crumbled up paper into the small bucket filled with candy.

The second exercises are pretty simple for the second and third volunteer while the first volunteer tries to fill the crumbled up paper into the small bucket, however it will be timed due to the attention span of our audience. I need two volunteers. The second volunteer will grab the weight I brought and they will raise it with one hand with their arm parallel to the ground. The third volunteer will get a full deep breath and hold it. Both of the second and third volunteer will execute this exercise at the same time once I tell you to go and we will time it. Ok, I have set my watch and go.

So, I hope you enjoyed the exercises I had some of our volunteers demonstrate because like science and physics, they relay very similar traits to how we live our lives a Knights of Columbus or better yet good Catholic Christians. On 22 September my wife passed away from Cancer and she was only 44 years old. When that occurred I had a lot of anger and frustration stored in me. It was a heavy burden that kept me awake at nights and prevented me to fully function as a human being at work and at home. I went to see Behavior Health at the clinic for medication that could help sleep or take away the pain I had inside. Then one of my Catholic brothers gave me this book, “Everybody needs to Forgive Somebody” by Allen R. Hunt. It is an amazing book and it helped me identify that I was suffering from sin. And that sin or darkness was my ability to forgive myself about my wife’s death. As a Colonel in the Army I had a plan for everything and through the OPORD process or MDMP (Military Decision Making Process) I was able to execute a Course of Action to lead Soldiers out any bad situation. I tried this with my wife’s situation and I knew the exact formula based on my analysis with the Doctors on true success in order to defeat cancer. But it failed. So I blamed myself for her death and I was angry! I even prayed the Rosary, went to Mass, helped with weekend religious retreats, and still no results. So I could not forgive myself for failing my wife.

So what have the exercises we did in the beginning have in relation to my inability to forgive myself?

Step 1: reference the full bucket, you can receive anything new unless you remove the waste in your bucket.

Step 2: Holding your breath you retain air in your lungs that are used; in order to get new air back in your lungs; you have to exhale the used air out.

Step 3: Your muscles can only sustain holding a specific amount of weight for a period of time. Remember that your heart is also a muscle. So whatever grudge or weight you may have in your heart, let it go. You will feel lighter and less stressed.

Then read a portion of the book by Allen R. Hunt about Saint Peter and his relationship with Jesus.

What are some tools to help you to forgive yourself, receive forgiveness and release a grudge?

1. Reconciliation

2. MASS and the Eucharist

3. Prayer

4. Fellow Brothers in Christ

Lecture 2.    Ideal Talk for Knights of Columbus

By Roy Banzon

We are being given the opportunity, right now, to stop, and look beyond the routine of our daily lives and to think about our very existence, its meaning and purpose.

Focusing on this subject is not easy. We can be overwhelmed by our daily responsibilities to our Families, jobs, and other demands of life. We rarely find or take the time to think about this question that is so fundamental to our lives.

This talk will provide us with the time to break from our ordinary routines and patterns of life and allow us to focus on this subject. Who are we? What are we doing? Where are we going? Now is the perfect time to stop and consider WHAT IS THE MEANING and DIRECTION of My LIFE?

Mankind is SUPERIOR:

We begin by looking at our place as human beings in the natural order as human beings and at those characteristics that make us superior to the other things and creatures with which we co-exist. We recall, from our science classes, that there are three natural kingdoms.

1. Minerals

2. Plants

3. Animal Kingdom

Irrational Animals:

Rational Animals: The human being, the person, is superior to plants and animals due to the ability to move about in a world of ideals. The human being possesses an intellect, will, and ability to choose its course of action.

The attribute of intellect, will, and freedom are more clearly defined as:

-Intellect: The ability to think about, to understand concepts, to seek the truth; to develop IDEAS.

-Freedom- The ability to choose between one thing or course of action; the ability to determine preference (likes or dislikes) and the ability to make decisions based on the information supplied.

-Will – The capacity to make up one’s mind, to want; the ability to act or not act; it is the ability to pursue that which is desired.

CONCLUSION: Man has been gifted with intellect, will, and freedom so that with these gifts he can direct and order his actions towards an end (IDEAL) so that human life is not an end in itself, but a means to arrive at the end.

What is an IDEAL?

It is necessary to understand what is meant by an ideal, in order to seek its achievement. Governing (directing, going towards) and ordering (to put in order, to give sense to) actions in order to obtain something, which presupposes a mental process (thinking, reflecting).

Ideas are what we think and reflect on: ordering them, giving them meaning according to our aspirations and preferences. It is ordering life according to the ideal, “central idea” or “goal” that gives meaning to life and the one towards which all our efforts will be directed.

DEFINITION of IDEAL:

Ideal is defined as the collection of ideas, aspirations (goals) and preferences that center our life, decides our will; it is the driving force that turns our efforts into realities (attracts a person and moves him toward its attainment). It sums up happiness for the person. It is the axis of that person’s life.

Analysis of the Definition:

Definition has 2 elements 1) Static/fixed element = vision and 2) dynamic element = motivation. We will examine these in greater detail.

1) Vision- Vision is the combination of ideas, aspirations and preferences that centers our life. Vision is static or fixed. It provides the framework, structure, and understanding of the ideal.

a. Combinations of ideas: conviction that presides over life

b. Preferences: we are able to judge and select what pleases us.

c. Centers our Life: Our center of attractions; the Main Mast on a Sailboat.

2) Motivation: is the driving force or power that moves us toward the vision. In empowers us to act on our vision.

a. Decides our Will: is the force that move us not just to think or plan to do something, but to go ahead and do it.

b. Drives our efforts: it forces us into action: to put everything in our power in order to attain it.

c. To become realities: real objectives, not fantasies.

Both elements Vision and Motivation must be present or it is not an ideal. Without vision we cannot know our ideal, without motivation we cannot move toward the accomplishment of the ideal. Therefore not the Object and Extent of self-giving defines a person’s ideal.

Is it necessary to have an idea?

A person’s life ebbs and flows according to their IDEAL. Everyone has

IDEALS, we may not know it consciously but they exist. There is no human life without it. Our ideals change when we experience the ebbs and flows of life.

The Ideal can evolve in a person from Childhood, Youth, and Maturity.

Examples of Ideal of A Child:

Examples of Ideal of A Youth:

Examples of Ideal of a Young Adult:

Examples of Ideals of an Adult:

Ideals not only lives within Man, but is what informs, presides over, and drives his life. Since all people have goals, there is no human life without an ideal.

Influence of the IDEAL LIFE:

Authentic IDEAL:

Elevates human action to a more superior level than those of animals. A person without authentic Ideals is like a sail boat without its main mast on the open seas.

It also gives purpose and meaning in life, and causes a person to rise above his normal self. It forms a person as vital, hopeful, realistic and unselfish individual who is in control of his own life and love with life itself. (Give an example of two extremes work hard and waste it on pleasure or using it to buy a home for the family or for education for the kids.)

It gives optimism, we are able to overcome difficulties.

It gives direction to our actions, and doing what we do by conviction not by instinct. We have a purpose an ideal which gives meaning to our lives. Making our efforts worthwhile.

False IDEAL:

A false Ideal discourages and disheartens.

It prevents a person from striving for a new and perhaps authentic ideal.

It is giving oneself to a false ideal, one whose cause is hollow or undefined, can only discourage and dishearten. It may also prevent a person to pursue an authentic ideal.

Therefore it is important that a person carefully evaluate his choice of an ideal. But not be so cautious so as to never give of himself or never take the risk or accept a challenge.

Qualities of an authentic ideal:

Our lives become are a reflection of our ideals. Therefore our ideals must be authentic and satisfying our every need. An Authentic Ideal has 4 qualities:

A. It should be a model prototype of perfection. Our main mast should provide a great meaning and constantly move a person into an ever growing awareness of life and all that makes up life.

B. It should be more perfect than man can imagine: able to live our whole life for this ideal because it will lead us to maturity. It should enable us to live our whole life for it because it will lead us to a mature and meaningful existence.

C. It should have height: it must have loftiness since it will give dimensions to our personality. It will determine he measure of our greatness or ridiculousness of our life and our personality.

D. It should be accessible: If it isn’t accessible, then we only have a fantasy, a false utopia. IF it is unattainable then we will be striving towards an end that will not allow us to fulfill our potential.

Good example Mother Teresa.

For example people whose ideal is making money, to become rich is not wrong; but once they have it; they continue to be unhappy.

KINDS of IDEALS:

They are categorize by Subject, Goals,

A. Subject: Include Personal, Family, Collective, national, and Universal

B. Goals: Wealth, glory, fame, honor, prestige, peace, justice, happiness, sports, fun, and many others.

A person may have any number of ideals to match each part of his life, for example one may strive to be a good Army Officer, strive for happiness and tranquility in his Family, work to raise his Children with the right faith base, and work to end local hunger in his community and help veterans with cancer or hospice. The examples are endless when it comes to ideals.

You should be aware also of the distinction between an apparent ideal and a real ideal:

Apparent Ideal – is one that we like to believe motivates us.

Real Ideal – is one which in fact motivates us.

We need to examine these two types so we can identify which ideal we have (Apparent or Real)

NECESSITY OF KNOWING OUR IDEAL:

Me knowing your IDEAL doesn’t matter to me, but what is important to know is each person has an IDEAL and Knows what it is.

Without clear knowledge of what your ideal is, you may very well subject yourself to an aimless, frustrating and discouraging existence.

We are all like sail boats we are given rudders, a keel the main frame of a boat. But the mast resembles our ideals; the mast must be fitted to the keel and it must be secure and steady. And like our ideals it must be secure within our being and it will support and give us direction through our whole life.

So I ask you, “What is your ideal?”

Here is a little practical exercise to help you find your current ideal. Simply observe in what direction your thoughts, your questions, your money, and your energies go…There is your ideal.

So close your eyes and think clearly these questions I will ask you:

Where are your thoughts?

What do you think about most often?

How do you spend your free time?

On what do you spend your money?

What pleases you most in life?

In the answers to these questions, there you will discover your ideal !!!

Lecture 3.  Chastity of both the Blessed Virgin Mary AND that of St. Joseph by Ven. Mary of Jesus of Agreda

Submitted by Dr. Bob Nerbun Council 12554

(From a Popular Abridgement (of four volumes) of The Mystical City of God by Ven. Mary of Jesus of Agreda)

The first pope officially to take notice of “Ciudad de Dios” was Pope Innocent XI, who, on July 32, 1686, in response to a series of virulent attacks and machinations of some members of the Sorbonne, known to be Jansenists, issued a ... (decree) permitting the publication and reading of the “Ciudad de Dios.”  Similar decrees were afterward issued by Popes Alexander VIII, Clement IX and Benedict XIII.  These decrees were followed by two decrees of the Congregation of Rites, approved by Benedict XI and Clement XIV, in which the authenticity of “Ciudad de Dios” as ... written by the Venerable Servant of God, Mary of Jesus, is officially established.  The great Pope Benedict XIII, when he was Archbishop of Benevent, used these revelations as material for a series of sermons on the Blessed Virgin.  On Sept. 26, 1713, the Bishop of Ceneda, Italy, objecting to the publication of the “City of God,” was peremptorily ordered by the Holy Office to withdraw his objections as interfering with the decree of Pope Innocent XI for the universal Church.  (Page xiii.)

               “The strong and the weak, the wise and the ignorant, and ... all the world will gather richest fruit from the reading of these books: for they contain what is most sublime in theology and in a style so simple and easy and perspicuous (transparent) that, in order to enter deeply into an understanding of the holy mysteries, no more is necessary than to read them with sound judgment.” ...  “Combined with this simplicity are found many doctrines and valid proofs, free from contradictions and not easily found in other writings.  This History explains more than a thousand difficulties in holy Scripture, in a manner equally natural and wonderful.  At every step are encountered exquisite interpretations, until now unknown, and which had been hidden beneath the mere letter, … but are laid open in these writings and brought to the light.  In short, the whole work is a beautiful web of scripture passages which, though spun from its different book, are directly and specially woven into a whole for the purpose intended by … (our) Venerable Mother (Mary).”  Written by two Distinguished Professors of Theology in 1715.  (Page x.)

BOOK TWO, Chapter VII, selections from pp. 134-141

               “At the age of thirteen and a half years, having grown considerable for her age, our most charming Princess, most pure Mary, had another abstractive vision of the Divinity.  ... In this vision, we might say, happened something similar to that which the Holy Scriptures relate of Abraham, when God commanded him to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac, the only pledge of all his hopes.  God tempted Abraham ... trying and probing the promptness of his obedience in order to reward it.  We can say the same thing of our great Lady, that God tried her in this vision, by commanding her to enter the state of Matrimony.  Thence we can also understand the truth of the words: ‘How inscrutable are the judgements of the Lord and how exalted are His ways and thought above our own!’  As distant as Heaven is from earth, were the thoughts of most holy Mary from the plans which the Most High now made known to her, by commanding her to accept a husband for her protection and company; for as far as depended upon her will she had desired and resolved during all her life not to have a husband and she had often repeated and renewed the vow of chastity, which she had taken at  . . .  a premature age.”

               “Nevertheless at this unexpected command the most prudent Virgin suspended her judgment, and preserved the calmness of her hope and belief more perfectly than Abraham.  Hoping against hope, she made answer to the Lord saying: ‘Eternal God and incomprehensible Majesty, Creator of Heaven and earth, and of all things contained therein, O Lord, who weighest the winds, and by thy commands settest bounds to the sea and subjetest all creation to thy Will canst dispose of me, thy worthless wormlet, according to thy pleasure, without making me fail in that which I have promised to Thee; and if it be not displeasing to Thee, my good Lord, I confirm and ratify anew my desire to remain chaste during all my life and to have Thee for my Lord and Spouse; and since my only duty as a creature is to obey Thee, see Thou to it, my Spouse, that according to thy Providence I may escape from this predicament in which thy holy love places me.’ ...  His Majesty answered her: ‘Mary, let not thy heart be disturbed, for thy resignation is acceptable to Me and My powerful arm is not subject to laws; by my disposition that will happen, which is most proper for Thee.’

               “Consoled only by this vague promise of the Lord, most holy Mary recovered from her vision and returned to her ordinary state.  Left between doubt and hope by the divine command and promise, she was full of solicitude, for the Lord intended that she should multiply her tearful sentiments of love and confidence, of faith, humility, of obedience, of purest chastity and of other virtues.  ... In the meanwhile, while our great Lady applied herself to vigilant prayer, and to her resigned and prudent sighs and solicitude, God spoke in sleep to the high priest, St. Simeon,  and commanded him to arrange ... (for) the marriage of Mary, the daughter of Joachim and Anne of Nazareth; since He regarded her with special care and love.  The holy priest answered, asking what was His Will in regard to the person, whom the maiden Mary was to marry ...  The Lord instructed him to call together the other priests and learned persons and to tell them that this Maiden was left alone and an orphan and that she did not desire to be married; but that, as it was a custom for the firstborn maidens not to leave the temple without being provided for, it was proper she should be married to whomever it seemed good to them.

              (In time St. Simeon spoke to Mary about her impending marriage.)  “The most prudent Virgin, with a countenance betokening virginal modesty, answered the priest with great composure and humility: ‘Sir, as far as my inclinations are concerned, I desire to preserve perpetual chastity during all my life; for I wished to dedicate myself to God in the service of this holy temple in return for the great blessings which I have received in it; I never had the intention or the desire to enter the state of matrimony, since I consider myself incapable of fulfilling the duties connected with it.  This was my inclination, but thou, my master, who art to me in place of God, wilt teach me what is according to His holy Will.’  ‘My Daughter,’ answered the priest, ‘thy holy desires are acceptable to the Lord; but remember, that no maiden of Israel abstains from marriage as long as we expect the coming of the Messias conformably to the divine prophecies.  Therefore all who obtain issue of children among our people, esteem themselves happy and blessed.  In the matrimonial state thou canst serve God truly and in great perfection; and in order that thou mayest obtain a companion according to the heart of God and who will be conformable to thy wishes, we will pray to the Lord, as I have told thee, asking Him to single out a husband for thee, who shall be pleasing to Him and of the line of David; do thou also pray continually for the same favor, in order that the Most High may favor thee and may direct us all.’

               “On the day on which  . . .  our Princess Mary completed the fourteenth year of her life, the men, who at that time in the city of Jerusalem were descendants of the tribe of Juda and of the race of David, gathered together in the temple.  The sovereign Lady was also of that lineage.  Among the number was Joseph, a native of Nazareth, and then living in Jerusalem; for he was one of the descendants of the royal race of David.  He was then 33 years of age, of handsome person and pleasant continence, but also of incomparable modesty and gravity; above all he was most chaste in thought and conduct, and most saintly in all his inclinations.  From his 12th year he had made and kept the vow of chastity.  He was related to the Virgin Mary in the third degree, and was known for the utmost purity of his life, holy and virtuous in the eyes of God and of men.

               “All these unmarried men gathered in the temple and prayed to the Lord conjointly with the priests, in order to be governed by the Holy Spirit in what they were about to do.  The Most High spoke to the heart of the high priest, inspiring him to place into the hands of each one of the young men a dry stick, with the command that each ask His Majesty with a lively faith, to single out the one whom He had chosen as the spouse of Mary.  And as the sweet odor of her virtue and nobility, the fame of her beauty, her possessions and her modesty, and her position as being the firstborn in her family was known to all of them, each one coveted the happiness of meriting her as a spouse.  Among them all only the humble and most upright Joseph thought himself unworthy of such a great blessing; and remembering the vow of chastity which he had made and resolving anew its perpetual observance, he resigned himself to God’s will, leaving it all to His disposal and being filled at the same time with a veneration and esteem greater than that of the others for the most noble maiden Mary.

              “While they were thus engaged in prayer the stick which Joseph held was seen to blossom  and at the same time a dove of purest white and resplendent with admirable light, was seen to descend and rest upon the head of the Saint, while in the interior of his heart, God spoke: ‘Joseph, my servant, Mary will be thy Spouse; accept her with active reverence, for she is acceptable in my eyes, just and most pure in soul and body, and thou shalt do all that she will say to thee.’ At this manifestation and token from Heaven the priests declared St. Joseph as the spouse selected by God Himself for the maiden Mary. ... Calling her forth for her espousal, the Chosen one issued forth like the sun, more resplendent than the moon, and she entered into the presence of all with a countenance more beautiful than that of an angel, incomparable in the charm of her beauty, nobility and grace.  The(n the) priests espoused her to the most chaste and holy of men, St. Joseph.

               “The heavenly Princess, more pure than the stars of the firmament,  With tearful and sorrowful countenance and as the Queen of majesty, most humble yet uniting all perfections within herself,  took leave of the priests, asking their blessing, ... she (then) betook herself with her spouse Joseph to Nazareth, the native city of this most fortunate married couple. ...

               “Having arrived at their home in Nazareth, where the Princess of Heaven had inherited the possessions and estates of her blessed parents, they were welcomed and visited by their friends and relatives with the joyful congratulations customary on such occasions.  After they had in a most holy manner complied with the natural duties of friendship and politeness, and satisfied the worldly obligations connected with the conversation and intercourse of their fellowmen, the two most holy spouses, Joseph and Mary were left at leisure and to their own counsel in their house.  Custom had introduced the practice among the Hebrews; that for the first few days of their married state the husband and wife should enter upon a sort of study or trial of each others’ habits and temperament, in order that afterwards they might be able to make reciprocal allowances in their conduct one toward the other.

               “During this time St. Joseph said to his Spouse Mary: ‘My spouse and Lady, I give thanks to the Lord most high God for the favor of having designed me as your husband without my merits, though I judged myself unworthy even of thy company; but His Majesty, who can raise up the lowly whenever He wishes, showed this mercy to me, and I desire and hope,  relying on thy discretion and virtue, that thou help me to make a proper return in serving Him with an upright heart.  Hold me, therefore, as thy servant, and by the true love which I have for thee, I beg of thee to supply my deficiencies in the fulfillment of the domestic duties and how to perform; tell me, Lady, what is thy pleasure, in order that I may fulfill it.’

               “The heavenly Spouse heard these words with a humble heart, and yet also with a serene earnestness, and she answered the Saint: ‘My Master, I am fortunate, that the Most High, in order to place me in this state of life, had chosen thee for my husband and that He has given me such evident manifestation of His Will,  that I serve thee; but if thou givest me leave I will speak of my thoughts and intentions, which I wish to manifest to thee for this purpose.” The Most High forestalled the sincere and upright heart of St. Joseph with His grace  and inflamed it anew with divine love through the word of most holy Mary, and he answered her, saying: ‘Speak, Lady, thy servant hears.’ On this occasion the Mistress of the world was surrounded by the thousand angles of her guard, in visible form.  She had ask them to be present in that manner, because the Lord, in order that the most pure Virgin might act with greater grace and merit, and permitted her to feel the respect and reverence, with which she was bound to speak to her husband and left her to the natural shyness and dread, which she always felt in speaking to men alone; for she had never done this, except perhaps by accident with the high priest.

               “The holy angles obeyed their Queen and, visible only to her, stood in attendance.  In this glorious company she spoke to her spouse St. Joseph, and said to him: ‘My lord and spouse,  it is just that we give praise and glory with all reverence to our God and Creator, who is infinite in goodness and incomprehensible in His judgments.  To us, who are so needy, He has manifested His greatness and mercy in choosing us for His service.  I acknowledge myself among all creatures as more beholden and indebted to Him than all others, and more than all of them together; for, meriting less, I have received from His liberal hand more than they.  At a tender age, being compelled thereto by the force of this truth, which with the knowledge of the deceitfulness of visible things, His divine light made known to me, I consecrated myself to God by a perpetual vow of chastity in body and soul; His I am and Him I acknowledge as my Spouse and Lord, with fixed resolve to preserve for Him my chastity.  I beseech thee, my master, to help me in fulfilling this vow, while in all other things I will be thy servant, willing to work for the comfort of thy life as long as mine shall last.  Yield, my spouse, to this resolve and make a like resolve, in order that, offering ourselves as an acceptable sacrifice to our eternal Good, He may receive us in the odor of sweetness and bestow on us the eternal goods for which we hope.’

               “The most, chaste spouse Joseph, full of interior joy at the words of his heavenly Spouse, answered her: ‘My Mistress, thou hast penetrated and dilated my heart.  I have not opened my thoughts to thee before knowing thy own. I also acknowledge myself under greater obligation to the Lord of creation than other men; for very early He has called me by His true enlightenment to love Him with an upright heart; and I desire thee to know, Lady, that at the age of 12 years I also made a promise to serve the Most High in perpetual chastity.  On this account, I now gladly ratify this vow in order not to impede thy own; in the presence of His Majesty I promise to aid thee, as far as in me lies, in serving Him and loving Him according to thy full desires.  I will be, with the divine grace, thy most faithful servant and companion, and I pray thee accept my chaste love and hold me as thy brother, without ever entertaining any other kind of love, outside the one which thou owest to God and after God to me.’  In this conversation the Most High confirmed anew the virtue of chastity in the heart of St. Joseph, and the pure and holy love due to his most holy Spouse Mary.  This love ... Saint (Joseph) already had in an eminent degree, and the Lady herself augmented it sweetly, dilating his heart by her most prudent discourse.

Councils and Prayer Warriors Called to Support 40 Days for Life

Encourage your Knights to sign up for prayer shifts during the February campaign.  Hourly shifts are available seven days a week between February 26th and April 5th.  (The hours vary by location and are listed on the attached flyer).  Participants may sign up for a weekly recurring shift or for an hour or two here and there as their schedules permit.  We strive to fill each slot with at least two people, and we especially strive to have male coverage during the hours of darkness (first thing in the morning and the after-dinner hours).  Interested folks can sign up at   40daysforlife.com/Greenville, 40daysforlife.com/Columbia, or 40daysforlife.com/Charleston.

2.  Another option is to reserve a day (or partial day) for your Council and then take rotating shifts, having the men sign up offline with the shift leader.  (The shift leader signs the group up in the scheduler and commits to having at least one person there the whole shift, then coordinates the schedule with the other gentlemen during meetings or over email.)

Please contact the leaders listed on the flyer if you have specific questions about each site.  Your Knights may want to know which days abortions are actually performed before they commit to a time slot.  For example, in Charleston, abortions take place Fridays and Saturdays and the clinic is closed on Sundays and Thursdays.  I mention this so that everyone can plan accordingly – first-timers may feel uncomfortable being there on days abortions are performed, or others may want to especially be sure to sign up for the times the women and babies need the most prayers! 

Each site is also planning a Kick-Off Rally before the campaign starts or in the first few days.  Details about these events are on the websites listed above but here is a quick summary:

    Greenville - Wednesday, February 26th at 7 PM outside Piedmont Women's Center - speaker is Director of CrossRoads Pregnancy Center

    Columbia - Saturday, February 29th at 10 AM outside Planned Parenthood

    Charleston - Saturday, Feb 15th at 9 AM outside Planned Parenthood. Coffee. Donuts, coffee, prayers, and speaker Rev. Cooke; come early at 8 for the monthly pro-life Rosary.

Sign up at one of the websites listed below, or learn more about the mission of 40 Days for Life at 40daysforlife.com. Spring vigil dates are February 26 – April 5, 2020.

    Greenville: 40daysforlife.com/Greenville

    Greenville Women's Clinic | 1142 Grove Road | Greenville, South Carolina 29605

    Park at the empty shops across the street or at Grove Road Baptist Church. Questions? Contact Judy at 864.506.0964 or Valerie at 864.297.8838 or email 40daysforlifegreenville@gmail.com

    Available time slots: 24 hours a day, seven days a week

    Columbia: 40daysforlife.com/Columbia

    Planned Parenthood | 2712 Middleburg Drive #107 | Columbia, SC 29204

    Park along Middleburg Drive on the east (downhill) end; do not park at Planned Parenthood. Questions? Contact Mark at mark@amoh.org or call 803.348.1984

    Available time slots: 7 AM to 7 PM, seven days a week

    Charleston: 40daysforlife.com/Charleston Planned Parenthood | 1312 Ashley River Road | Charleston, SC 29407 (Corner with Fuseler Road)

    Park in grass on shoulder across from clinic. Questions? charleston40daysforlife@gmail.com or call Alex at 843.810.7517 or Susan at 703.328.2334

    Available time slots: 6 AM to 10 PM, seven days a week

*We strive to have at least two vigil participants for every time slot. We encourage you to sign up with a family member or friend. If you sign up alone, we will make efforts to find you a prayer partner but we cannot guarantee it

Update                                                                     November 2019

January 23, 24, and 25 Travel Dates   Cost:  Bus fee - $100 per person  Hotel Fee - $105 flat fee per night (1 to 4 persons can share this fee to reduce cost)

      The March for Life 2020 event to Washington DC is approaching and motor coach reservations need to be arranged very soon.  Let’s have an all out effort to support life this year by as many Councils as possible.  The bus leaves St. Michael’s Church in Garden City at 5:30 a.m. and picks up additional passengers at 7:00 a.m. north of Florence at the Pilot Travel Center at Exit 181B on I-95.  Children / Students under 18 years of age ride bus free.  They must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  We will stay at the Embassy Suites Hotel in a suite with two private sleeping rooms which can accommodate 4 persons. The room has a flat rate of $105 per night; sharing the fee with a second couple will reduce your total cost for the trip. The bus provides all transportation to and from the hotel and to all the events for the trip. Major events include the Mass for Life at the Immaculate Conception Basilica, two private Masses at the hotel with our traveling Chaplain, rally at the Mall, the march to the Supreme Court building, tour of St. John Paul II Cultural Center, and tour of the Franciscan Monastery Museum.   

Action: If you want to participate in this Trip to Washington call Jim St. Clair or Bill Hooks and let us know so your bus seat can be reserved.  If your Council wants to raise funds to help offset the Bus Rental Fee, please let me know.  Jim St. Clair (803)968-5884.  stclair33@bellsouth.net  or Bill Hooks (864)963-8449 wbhooks.scpro-life@charter.net   Just drop us a line and we will hold your bus seat reservation.