Friday, August 29, 2014

September 2014 Bulletin:
Rectory Project Update

The new rectory, nearing completion

Lead article from the September 2014 bulletin, online now. For a history of the rectory project in photos, "like" the St. Michael Catholic Church Facebook page at

It is with great joy that I update you on the status of the rectory project.  Last year at the St. Michael Fall Festival, our Council officially kicked off the rectory campaign, launching this bold initiative. So at the one year anniversary of the project, I am very excited to report that this year’s Festival will be a significant milestone for the Rectory Building Team. That is to say, as of late August the interior of the rectory will basically be 100% complete and by mid-September the entire landscaping should be completed. So our Council, which has led the construction management, planning, provided many of the contractors, and made a substantial investment in the funding, will be able wind down our involvement in the project.  

The rectory team, including numerous Knights
and past Grand Knights from Council 4174

First and foremost: all credit for the success of the rectory project needs to be given to God. The entire parish placed their faith into the hands of a few to be good stewards of their gifts, and God made sure this project would not fail. Honestly, I am surprised about how few setbacks we experienced Every time an obstacle arose, the team would pray about it, and in no time the issue would be resolved.  

Personalized pavers from donors
 lead up to the steps
When we launched the project last September, we hoped to break ground in late fall if we could find a way to fund the initial $120,000. After that we would hope for mild weather so we could have contractors work through the winter. When we did not reach our funding goal to begin construction in the fall, we worried if we could raise enough money to even start the project. We prayed a Novena to St. Joseph, and then it happened: an anonymous donor stepped forward and offered a matching grant of $10,000 to get the ball rolling.  So at the beginning of Advent we began the paver campaign.  As Christmas and New Year’s neared, God answered our prayers again.  Actually, He kind of tidal-waved our prayers!  At New Year’s Eve, John Bonham, fellow Knight and Parish Administrator, worked late into the evening entering paver contributions for the end of the year donations, which exceeded the expectations. Then, just to make sure we understood the project was in God’s hands, we had one of the longest winters in years. We were so fortunate not to have started in the late fall. Every time something came up, we gave it to God in our prayers, and He worked it out.

As construction began, everyone on the Building Team felt responsible to make sure we were good stewards of the generous donations. We wanted to make sure the parish would feel a sense of ownership and pride in what they created.

The altar in the rectory chapel

We wanted to make sure, like our magnificent churches, the rectory would inspire as well. Through the dedication of Rectory Team members, our Council 4174, the St. Henry’s council, contractors, benefactors, parishioners, and much of the surrounding community, the rectory really is a beautiful home. St. Michael Catholic Church has a long history of inspiring architectural work and has believed that the beautiful designs help us all draw deeper into the mystery of the Trinity and Heaven. The council can rest assured that the rectory will follow that tradition.  While the entire interior of the home is absolutely beautiful, the centerpiece of the home is the chapel. At the center of our Catholic identity is the Eucharist and so there is no better expression we could give our priests than to provide a magnificent chapel in which our Lord will be present in the Eucharist. This chapel will help draw our priests’ hearts and minds deeper into the mystery of God. 

This year as a council, our participation at the Fall Festival will be to give tours to the parish so they can see the fruits of so many people’s resources and prayers and the home we built. We will have council members acting as guides. I encourage every council member to come and see what you have helped create. I also need about 15 men to help us with tours.  If you’re interested, at the end of this article is contact information for Jim Shovelain. If you want to help, please email him.

By the time this article reaches the majority of you, the building of the rectory will be nearly complete. On behalf of the Rectory Team, I want to express our gratitude for all of your support. So many people made this project a success, but most certainly the project would not have happened without the strong support of the council. As a council, I hope each and every one of you feels a sense of accomplishment as we prepare to turn over all aspects of the rectory project to the parish. For it truly has been a home built by the Grace of God.

To help at the Fall Festival tour booth, please email Jim Shovelain at

In Christ,
Mike Engel
Dei Dome Gratia Project Lead
Past Grand Knight

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Upcoming Events:
Soccer Challenge, Blood Drive

Knights of Columbus Council 4174 is sponsoring two community events in early September -- check out the details below and don't miss out!

KC Soccer Challenge
The Knights of Columbus Soccer Challenge is returning to St. Michael and Albertville! All boys and girls ages 9 to 14 are invited to participate in the local level of competition. The event will be held at the STMA Middle School East soccer fields on Friday, Sept. 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. and again on Saturday, Sept. 6, from 1 p.m. until all participants have kicked.  The event is being held on two dates again this year so that more kids have an opportunity to participate, and you can come to either session regardless of your age or gender!

KC Blood Drive for Memorial Blood Centers
KC Council 4174 is hosting a community blood drive at St. Michael Catholic Church on Saturday, Sept. 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Friday, August 1, 2014

August 2014 Bulletin:
Summer Reflections

Lead article from the August 2104 bulletin, online now.

Welcome back.  I hope you enjoyed your summer!  I get to fumble along with articles again this year, lucky you!!

I want to start this new year by reflecting on a recent experience I had back in June. Along with many of you, I was fortunate enough to walk with our Lord on Corpus Christi Sunday after the 10:30 a.m. Mass.

Sitting in church I noticed the church was pretty full for a summer Mass. I thought to myself, "This is great all these people here to walk with our Lord." Then as Father ended Mass and before the procession started, I couldn't believe how many people were leaving. They all had their reasons: kids are tired, have to be somewhere, weather could turn bad.  Believe me, I know; I was in the same place a few years ago. I didn’t have the time for a procession; there were more important places to go, and people waiting for me. Why would I want to walk around behind the Blessed Eucharist?  Someone I know may see me.  I was lukewarm in my faith, and this just didn’t seem very important at the time.  The discerning part was a comment like, “We shouldn’t do this because this is not a Catholic community anymore.  Why should we walk out in public with the Holy Eucharist?”

The Church staff did an amazing job of changing the route on the fly due to the weather. The procession was shortened to just around the church parking lot instead of to the Catholic school and back.  For those who stayed, and it was a good number of parishioners, we went to the four altars that were set up and heard beautiful gospels.

As Knights, we are called to be evangelists of our faith and to protect what we believe in.  We should not be afraid to step out of our comfort zone and show the world our faith.  What better way to do that than to participate in the procession and walk with the Lord through the streets?

My challenge to you this year is to invite others to share in our glorious faith and take our Lord to others who may not know him.

God Bless,
Grand Knight  Jim Wiegers

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. -- 1 Corinthians 16:13