March 2019 Grand Knight's Report
Pause & Reflect!
Spring is a time for renewal. With spring, nature begins its renewal process, its rebirth of sorts. In spring we celebrate the return of life with the blossoming of new flowers & buds on the trees, & the return of the sweet songs of the birds. We are also at a time of the Church calendar where we are looking for the comfort from an event that happened over 2000 years ago. The season is a time of renewal as we focus on the resurrection & the hope of eternal life. Let us take the time enjoy the season and to renew and celebrate our faith.
The 19th Annual Race for Life was held on Sunday, Feb. 17th, &, from all measures, was a huge success! While all the numbers are not yet in, it is expected that the fundraiser for Little Chloe will raise in excess of $20,000. I cannot thank all those participating in this event enough – particularly chairmen PGK Lou McGraw & PCCP Rich Russo & their team. Special thanks to Jeanmarie DeBiase, Roni Pavelko & all the ladies for their countless hours putting the Auction together. What a wonderful demonstration of Charity, Unity & Fraternity on behalf of the council.
The Council held a wake service for fallen brother Robert Haemmerle on Fed. 10th. The family was grateful by the support of the council and the 4th degree color corps.
PGK Lou McGraw & his son, brother Danny McGraw participated in the Polar Bear Plunge on Feb. 23rd raising $2,000 for the Special Olympics. Well done, Brothers!
On Sunday Feb. 24th, PGK Brian Curran ran the District Free Throw contest with winners advancing to the Diocesan Contest.
A reminder that March 6th is Ash Wednesday. Although it is not a Holy Day of Obligation, we are encouraged to attend mass and receive ashes – as a reminder of our mortality.
March 29th is Founders Day! Let us remember Father Michael J. McGivney – founder of The Knights of Columbus.
Erin Go Bragh!
Last month I wrote about Valentine’s Day. This month I’ll give equal time to our Irish brothers. St. Patrick's Day is a holiday honoring the missionary credited with converting the Irish to Christianity. However, history shows St. Patrick wasn’t Irish. Ireland’s patron saint was born in Scotland around 373 AD. His real name is believed to be Maewyn Succat (he took on Patricus when he became a priest).
Until he was 16, when Irish marauders kidnapped him & sold him into slavery, he considered himself a pagan. During his captivity, he began having religious visions, found strength in his faith & became closer to God. After 6 years he escaped from slavery & went to a monastery to study under St. Germain. While training it became clear that his calling was to convert pagans to Christianity. He wished to return to Ireland to convert pagans that had overrun the country. He became the 2nd bishop to Ireland & almost didn't get the job because he lacked the required scholarship.
It is said that he had an unusually winning personality, & was successful at winning converts. This fact upset the Celtic Druids. He was arrested several times, escaping each time. He traveled all over Ireland, creating monasteries, & setting up schools & churches that would aid him in his conversion of the Irish to Christianity. He died on March 17 in AD 461. That day has been observed as St. Patrick's Day ever since.
Much Irish folklore surrounds St. Patrick's Day, but little is substantiated. One such lore is that he gave a sermon that drove all the snakes from Ireland. Perhaps, with the snake being a revered pagan symbol, this is a figurative tale suggesting he drove paganism out of Ireland.
The traditional icon of the day – the shamrock – stems from a more bona fide Irish tale that tells how Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the Trinity, using it in his sermons to show how the Father, the Son, & the Holy Spirit could all exist as separate elements of the same entity. His followers adopted the custom of wearing a shamrock on his feast day. Green is associated with St. Patrick's Day because it is the color of spring, Ireland, and the shamrock.
Once a holy day, St. Patrick's Day has become more of a secular holiday. The custom came to America in 1737 & was first celebrated in Boston. Today, it is a day to wear green & party. As the saying goes, on this day "everybody is Irish!"
Angelo W. Massaro – Grand Knight
Quote of the Month
“The world embarrasses me, and I cannot dream that this watch exists and has no watchmaker.”