Monday, October 3, 2016

October 2016 Bulletin: Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism

Lead article for the October 2016 bulletin, online now.

Do those words come to mind when you think about the Knights of Columbus?  Do you know how those four principles define and make up the history of the order? Do you realize that you are a member of an organization that has over 1.9 million members throughout the world?

Father McGivney had a vision over 134 years ago to create an organization that was desperately needed to protect Catholic men, their families, and their faith.  This was a time when hostilities towards Catholics were high, and men were dying from harsh working conditions or leaving the faith to find the protection they needed.

Well over a century later our faith is still under attack and our beliefs constantly being challenged or even taken away.  The Church can only do so much, so how can we help?  How about a Catholic organization with 1.9 million members who took a pledge to live as strong Catholic men and support our Church and community in any way we can?  If you are only a first degree member there is a lot of background and meaning in those principles that you haven't been exposed to yet.  We are part of a pretty amazing organization that has done unbelievable things throughout its history. 

This month we are putting on a 2nd and 3rd degree at our council meeting.  I strongly encourage you to take this opportunity to learn more about the Knights of Columbus and what we stand for.

We haven't had a 2nd and 3rd degree for a few years so now is your chance to attend without having to travel!

2nd and 3rd Degree @ St Alberts Parish Center
Thursday October 6th
6-6:30 Registration
6:30 Ceremony Begins (no late arrivals accepted)

God Bless,
Joe VanHoorik
Grand Knight

Saturday, September 10, 2016

September 2016 Bulletin:
Olympic Drive

Lead article for the September 2016 bulletin, online now.

I love watching the Olympics. I have to admit that when I sat down to write this article I was expecting to write something much different than this. I'm a true underdog fan and its sometimes hard to watch the Olympics when the US is such a dominant force. I found myself more than once rooting for the other team. Initially I thought these US athletes are so much more privileged than other parts of the world with their endorsements and people willing to take care of their immediate needs so they can focus full time on their sport. Then I did some digging and slowly I was proven wrong. Yes, the top competitors in the prime time sports don't have much to worry about financially but you're talking about a hand full of people. There are stories of US Olympians that already won medals in previous Olympics and having to sell everything they own just to go back. There are stories of athletes working low paying full time jobs and then spending another 6 to 8 hours a day training. They don't have big sponsors or wealthy families to pay their way, not unlike many of the people that come from the poorer nations that live in poverty and give up everything for this one opportunity. Yes, it can be argued that poverty in America is different than poverty in many other places on earth, but that's not the point. These people have a drive that most of us cannot even understand. They were given a talent by God and they are sacrificing everything you and I take for granted just to compete in one of the most prestigious events on earth. To be one of the elite few invited just to play the game. Most of us probably don't put as much effort into our career as these athletes put into their sport.

What makes an athlete continue their training if they can barely afford to survive? What makes them go to the Olympics even if they know they have little to no chance of winning a medal? Just to be there, to be recognized as one of the best in the world, to know that they trained their whole life for this one opportunity. Even if their name gets buried at the bottom of a standings board they still did it, they made it to the Olympics.

We need to recognize our own drive and the gifts that God gave us. We may never be the best or maybe not even that good. But when we know we put our heart and soul into something are we not rewarded with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and pride? That athlete that finished last in an event at the Olympics will still be a local hero that will be looked up to by kids and adults alike. They will have the opportunity to motivate others and live their lives knowing they chased their dreams rather than quitting.

Everyone of us faces our own struggles in life but when we overcome them we know we have succeeded, we didn't quit, and we are better people because of it. Whether your story is one of heartbreak or perseverance at some point in your life you found that Olympic drive and overcame all odds. We are always looking for that Olympic champion in life that can motivate us to not give up and everyone of us can be that person if we find our drive and use our success to help others find their own.

I have the strength for everything through him 
who empowers me. -- Philippians 4:13

God Bless,
Joe VanHoorik
Grand Knight

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

August 2016 Bulletin: Great
Year Behind; Great Year Ahead

Lead article for the August 2016 bulletin, online now.

This month marks the beginning of a new fraternal year for us.  I’ve been in my role as Grand Knight for a year now and it’s been a great journey.  We did a ton of great things last year and I want to thank all of you for everything we accomplished.  Since we are starting a new year it is a good time to remind all of us about all the events we have ahead of us and ask everyone to make sure they help out where they can.

One of the common themes that come up at our officers meetings is how to better engage men to help out at our events, especially the new men that join the council.  Here you will find a list of the events for this year where we know we will need men to help. We will be printing it out as a post card for all the new members but I want to get it front and center in this bulletin for everyone to see.

I ask that you look it over, find something that interests you, put it on your calendar and sign up when you get the email for help.

Contact me if you have questions or want me to put you down to be contacted when the event gets closer. 

Thank you all for being KC’s and I look forward to a great year!

God Bless,
Joe VanHoorik
Grand Knight