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Brothers, the newsletter you receive in your e-mail each month is the abridged version. The full version you will find on this site contains content from state and supreme. There's a lot of good content you may be missing.
Since the Newsletter contains a lot of personal email addresses, they have been moved into the Members-Only section of the site. They will be found under the heading. "Council Documents."
WON'T YOU CONSIDER JOINING US?
The Knights of Columbus, a dynamic, fraternal Catholic Organization serving the community through charity, seeks new members!
If you are a Catholic male, 18 years old or older and want to serve those in need, we want you. More importantly, your community needs you! We are Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism! Join at eMembership
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
To learn more about the Knights of Columbus see our video galleries @ http://kofcknights.org/CouncilSite/video-gallery.asp?CNO=11106. You will especialy want to view the video: "Who We Are As Knights of Columbus." To learn more about our St. John the Baptist Council #11106 explore this website further. To see some of the wonderful opportunities to serve and share in our work see the page titled “About Our Council." To see more about what we do as a council read our latest newsletter on the home page.
We are one of over 150 Knights of Columbus councils in the State of Maryland. For information about the activities being conducted by the Maryland State Council of the Knights of Columbus, visit www.kofc-md.org.
Do you notice the "Unknight Market Center" part of our website? The purpose of the UKnight Market Center is to extend the fraternal relationships shared by brother Knights to the marketplace, and to use the power of this market center to provide financial support for our council. There is a list of Business Categories to help those who use our website to find a business or service they might be interested in. All of the businesses that we encouage to be listed here help provide financial support to the council.
Check out the Fact Sheet on the center and see if you would be interested in helping approach local businesses using the website.
The first reading is taken from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah 25:6-10a. In today's reading Isaiah describes under the image of a great banquet, the blessings, the contentment and happiness that the messianic kingdom will bring.
The second reading is from the Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20. The Philippians were the only converts from whom St. Paul accepted any financial help. He is thanking them here for some such assistance which he must surely have needed for he was in prison when he wrote this letter. He assures them that God will reward them for the charitable aid given him.
The Gospel is Matthew 22:1-14. How foolish the Pharisees were in not listening to our Lord's warnings. He gave them every opportunity to turn away from the false path which their pride had chosen for them. His divine heart was ever ready to embrace them if only they would say "mea culpa." "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets, and stone them that are sent to you, how often would I have gathered together your children, as the hen does her chickens under her wings, and you would not" (Mt. 23:37)? "God created us without our cooperation," says St. Augustine. "but he cannot save us unless we cooperate."
We too could make the Pharisees' mistake. We have the invitation to the wedding feast; in fact, we are already in the banquet hall, since our baptism; but are we wearing the wedding garment of virtue and grace? If not, we are no better off than those who rejected the invitation. The king may come in at any moment and cast out those who are not properly dressed. Being a member of the Church on earth is a wonderful privilege, and a sure guarantee that we will reach heaven, if we do what is expected of us. But the same obstacles which prevented the Pharisees from entering the kingdom—love of this world, its wealth and its pleasures—can impede us too, unless we are on our guard. The world with its allurements is very close to us; heaven seems very far away. Thus we must be prepared to do violence to our ordinary inclinations, to go against them whenever and wherever "the things that are Caesar's" tend to blot out or make us forget "the things that are God's."
This implies a daily carrying of the cross, a daily struggle against our evil inclinations, a daily endeavor to acquire true love of God and neighbor. This may sound superhuman, but Christ did not ask anyone to do the impossible. He led the way, and millions have followed him to eternal glory. He has called us too and has placed within our easy reach in his Church all the grace we need. If we fail to use these divine helps, if we are found without the wedding garment, we will have no one to blame but ourselves. We have been called with the many. We can be among the "chosen."
Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.
THE VALUE OF LIFE
Until 2014, the movement to legalize physician-assisted suicide in the United States had succeeded in only four states — by referendum in Oregon and Washington, a state legislature vote in Vermont and court decision in Montana. Its main proponent was the Hemlock Society, which rebranded itself Compassion & Choices in 2004.
In 2014, Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old from California with terminal brain cancer, became the face of the so-called “right-to-die” movement. Funded by wealthy donors and groups such as billionaire George Soros and his Open Society Foundations, Compassion & Choices launched a multimedia campaign promoting Maynard’s “right to die on her own terms.”
In the words of Stephanie Packer, “It glamorized suicide as a heroic event.”
On Nov. 1, 2014, Maynard swallowed a lethal dose of narcotics in Oregon. At the time of her death, an estimated 100 million people had heard her story, and soon some 25 jurisdictions in the country were considering physician-assisted suicide, including California, where momentum was growing.
In early 2015, Stephanie Packer stepped into the media spotlight as a reverse image of Brittany Maynard. When Stephanie was diagnosed in 2012 with scleroderma, an autoimmune condition that was attacking her lungs, she was told she had three years to live — a prognosis she has outlived.
Like Maynard, Stephanie was also 29 when she found out that she had a terminal illness. But rather than advocate for suicide, Stephanie joyfully spoke of her choice to live and enjoy her remaining time with her family, while speaking out for the vulnerable who would be victimized if assisted suicide were legalized.
“Compassion & Choices,” she said, “doesn’t acknowledge the value that a terminal patient has, especially after they are sick.”
Stephanie’s outspokenness soon brought her to the attention of the national media. NPR, CNN, The Washington Post and other news outlets covered her story, and one media executive told her that her story had sent their ratings “through the roof.”
However, some responses were brutally unkind; after NPR ran Stephanie’s story, her husband received death threats.
“They just ate us alive after that. It was just comment after comment of nasty stuff,” Stephanie said. “People told me that I should just off myself and that they feel bad for my kids.”
Brian and Stephanie were unfazed by the negative comments online, but they did make sure that their children stopped reading them.
Less than a year after Maynard’s death, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the End of Life Options Act into law Oct. 5, 2015. The next day, a signature-gathering campaign backed by California’s bishops was launched to place a referendum on California’s November 2016 ballot to overturn the bill. Campaign leaders had 90 days to collect 365,880 signatures.
Mark Padilla, the culture of life chairman for the California State Council, coordinated the parish-based signature-gathering drive. “Ours was an effort run all by volunteers,” Padilla explained. “And the Knights gave it a wonderful shot.”
Although more than 200,000 signatures were collected, the effort fell short of the goal.
‘THE BEGINNING OF TYRANNY’
On the day before the assisted suicide bill went into effect, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles reflected on its devastating ramifications.
“The logic of assisted suicide leads inevitably to the government and corporate administrators essentially deciding which lives are worth saving and caring for and who would be better off dead,” the archbishop said. “The criteria for such decisions will always be arbitrary and the process will always mean the strong and powerful deciding the fate of those who are weak and less influential in society. This is the beginning of tyranny.”
The following day, Pope Francis addressed health care professionals with these words: “We cannot give in to the functionalist temptation to apply quick and drastic solutions, stirred by false compassion or by simple criteria of efficiency and economic saving. The dignity of human life is at stake; the dignity of the medical vocation is at stake.”
Colorado became the sixth state to legalize physician-assisted suicide after Proposition 106 passed on the November 2016 ballot. Despite the efforts of the Knights of Columbus to raise awareness, the End of Life Options Act passed 65 to 35 percent.
“The TV commercials funded by Compassion & Choices sank us,” said Colorado State Deputy James D. Caffrey.
Less than a week earlier, on Nov. 2, the Washington, D.C., city council voted 11 to 2 to legalize assisted suicide.
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York and chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, noted that this was the most extreme assisted suicide legislation in the United States.
“It goes beyond assisted suicide by allowing third parties to administer the lethal drugs, opening the door even further to coercion and abuse,” Cardinal Dolan said in a November statement. “Every suicide is tragic, whether someone is young or old, healthy or sick. But the legalization of doctor-assisted suicide creates two classes of people: those whose suicides are to be prevented at any cost and those whose suicides are deemed a positive good.”
In November 2016, Stephanie Packer flew to New Jersey and testified before legislators, asking state senators to reject the proposed Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act.
Her testimony in Trenton made the state legislators think twice about the issue, according to Marie Tasy, the executive director for New Jersey Right to Life, the organization that funded Stephanie’s trip.
“She has an indomitable spirit, and she wants to do everything she can to live and to spend as much time with her family as possible,” Tasy said.
New Jersey state senators have until January 2018 to vote on the assisted suicide measure, which could be scheduled for a vote at any time.
A WORLDWIDE CRISIS
The United States is far from the only country where the movement promoting “medically assisted suicide” has grown. In June 2016, Canadian lawmakers passed legislation legalizing the practice nationwide.
A recent policy left doctors and nurses in Ontario under pressure to either perform assisted suicide or make an “effective referral,” sending the patient to another physician who is willing to assist. A similar law is in place in Vermont.
According to Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, this referral is the moral equivalent of participating in the act.
Many countries around the world feel increased pressure to legalize not only physician-assisted suicide, but also euthanasia — the intentional killing of one person by another.
“You have this new attitude that it’s OK for a doctor to kill a patient just because they are suffering,” said Schadenberg, who is a member of Rev. John McMaster Council 6495 in West Lorne, Ontario, and former culture of life chairman for the Ontario State Council. “But suffering is part of the human condition. The question is how do we as a society deal with those who are going through a difficult time in their life?”
Colombia, Switzerland and Luxembourg now allow euthanasia. In the Netherlands, where the Dutch Supreme Court legalized euthanasia in 1984, the government is pushing to expand euthanasia to people who are neither sick nor dying, but merely think their “life is complete.”
It was in the Netherlands that a Catholic nun was euthanized against her will by a doctor in 2004. The doctor argued that his patient was dying of cancer and was hindered by her religious beliefs from making the best decision — so he made it for her.
Belgium has the most liberal euthanasia laws, allowing mentally ill patients to receive lethal injections. It is also the first country to allow terminally ill children to request euthanasia.
Eighty-one-year-old Christine Nagel in Calgary, Alberta, saw where the laws were going and decided to get her first tattoo: the words “Don’t euthanize me.” She told Canadian news outlet Globalnews.ca, “It’s drastic, but this very clearly says, ‘I’m going to live until God’s ready for me.’”
Nagel said the cost of caring for the aging population, known as the Silver Tsunami, was behind the government’s push for assisted suicide.
“Our government and Supreme Court do not of course mention anything about money,” Nagel said. “But they do warn us that within a few years, seniors will outnumber the rest of the population and will need an army of caregivers to cope with them.”
Although Compassion & Choices has never raised the financial issue, Hemlock Society founder Derek Humphry openly wrote in his book Freedom to Die that “in the final analysis, economics, not the quest for broadened individual liberties or increased autonomy, will drive assisted suicide to the plateau of acceptable practice.”
Meanwhile, Stephanie Packer stays focused on her family and her fight to keep herself — and others — alive. “I just want to see tomorrow,” she said.
To make a tax-deductible donation to help the Packers, please click here.
CLARA FOX is a staff writer for Angelus News, the multimedia news platform of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
The Council recently delivered 164 pairs of used eyeglasses and several pairs of used hearing aids to the Sandy Spring Lions to distribute to needy recipients.
Additionally, we are still collecting used cell phones for delivery to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office for reprogramming to 911and distribution to victims of domestic violence.
If you have any questions, please contact Stu Sklamm at 301-384-0784 or at email@example.com
In our council effort to promote the Pro-Life Cause we are now including a link to the latest newsletter of the Garbriel Network.
Some of the information is summarized in our own newsletter but this is more complete. Enjoy!
The full website is at: http://gabrielnetwork.org/