Monday, December 24, 2018

January 2019 Bulletin:
Short and Sweet

Lead article from the January 2019 bulletin, online now.

Short and sweet this month: We will do a first degree on January 26th at 9:00am at St. Albert Parish Center. We will have donuts and coffee after the degree. Please find a candidate to invite so we can get a nice turn-out. Our February council meeting will be an open meeting with wine tasting and desserts. Bring your wives and enjoy some treats on us. I want to wish you all a wonderful and blessed Christmas and New Year. Thanks to all the KCs who volunteered for all the great events we put on this past year. Let's make this next year a great success as well. God bless you and your families.

Gary Frandsen
Grand Knight

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

December 2018 Bulletin:
The Catholic Tent

Lead article from the December 2018 bulletin, online now.

As Catholics, we get up on Sunday, morning, get dressed and make our way to Mass. It could be in Albertville, St. Michael or anywhere else on the planet. We come to give thanks. We come to seek direction. We come to acknowledge the beliefs we hold dear. Our lives may be running like a finely tuned sports car as we listen to the homily. We are doing what we think is natural and good. We see all around us in church our friends and other familiar faces. We see role-model leaders who receive special blessings and gifts allowing them to rise in order to give practical proof that what we strive for can be done. We see great marriages based on love and faith. We see those who hold a secure and steady job over the years creating comprehensive family stability. Our priests articulate our Catholic beliefs during Mass and explain to us how to live out the faith.

We all then walk back through those same church doors into our cars and smack headlong into something called the human condition---the sometimes harsh, on-the-ground, real-life week to come. There are those whose lives are not running like a finely tuned sports car. Theirs are more like an old beat-up Chevrolet overdue for a tune-up. Their marriages may be neglected and weakened. Their kids may not be burdened with seamless transitions into the teenage years. Many have to work their butts off to get Bs. They may be struggling with poverty, unemployment, addiction or severe health issues, physical or psychological. Any fill-in-the-blank human condition reality. No one leaving Mass on Sunday is immune from these possible predicaments including our leaders and priests.

It's important that we hold this truth close, lest we fall into an idealized fiction we cannot reach. The saints are among those we hold most dear. They are great examples of those who were able to overcame the world by lifting their faith in Christ above all. Their stories are replete with how they were able to meet and defeat the human condition through faith. Their sufferings in some cases were beyond our imaginations. Many of their stories seem idealized and beyond credulity. One thing we know for sure is they all had to live within that same condition.

I am a fair distance from the starting line to sainthood, let alone the finish, and would think myself foolish and pretentious to believe I could be close. One interesting observation in my limited study of the saints is that very many of them chose a life of solitude versus settling down and having a load of kids, a bunch actually leaving arranged marriages to give all to Christ. (Just saying....somebody should write a book about this.)

Let's remember this Christmas to pray for all who are struggling and remember that they sit in the same pews that we do every Sunday. It is true that the Catholic tent is filled with strong families. It is no less true that there are many families who struggle. Most I suspect are mired in the middle (my family included). One thing is for sure, the answers for all families can be discovered in Christ within the walls of their local Catholic Church. Merry Christmas to everyone.

God bless,

Gary Frandsen
Grand Knight

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

November 2018 Bulletin: Prayers for Our Leaders

Lead article from the November 2018 bulletin, online now.

November 6th is mid-term election day. The political climate is stormy. The rhetoric on both sides is extreme. We are all getting crushed with political ads on radio and TV. Some crazy is sending "apparently" fake pipebombs to political figures. It's wild out there.

Those who know me know exactly where I stand on President Trump. To say I am a enthusiastic supporter would be an understatement. He has been under attack from the Washington political establishment since the day he was elected. Including talk of impeachment on the very day of his election. Both left and right. His personality and style has been thoroughly and comprehensively criticized, (some of it justified).

I for once don't have to wonder about the skeletons in our president's closet because they are doing the "twist" dance all about the room. We also don't have to sort through the passive - aggressive sophistry and platitudes associated with previous administrations. We are constantly told he is a "divider" not a "uniter". Nonsense I say. Most historians view Lincoln as the most "uniting" of all the presidents. Only one problem, 500,000 Americans including Lincoln himself had to die before we could unite. Talk of uniting our politics has been going on for over 250 years. Politicians have been throwing mud at each other since the mid 18th century. History clearly shows that it was much more politically polarized and aggressive then, than now. Maybe sometime in the future, politicians will figure out how to get along and enact the policies that we want in a bi-partisan way. Clearly, we are not there yet.

The unfortunate truth in Washington DC is that when you have power you need to use it in order to enact legislation that fits with your constituency. It has ALWAYS been that way. Naive idealistic politicians are of very little practical use in Washington DC. They are ignored in congress and languish accomplishing nothing and never get appointed to any meaningful committee positions. I think Trump is a cool rush of fresh air sweeping through Washington D.C. I don't agree with all of his tweets. I don't agree with all of his rhetoric. However, I do forgive him his defense of himself considering the anti Trump onslaught. We are all sinners are we not? He's no exception to the human condition. I pray for him all the time.

It is true that we need to unite, we need to unite in terms of the issues of the day, the most important of which is the issue of life. No president in my lifetime has done more for this issue than president Trump. Most if not all the politicians we support because of the issues we hold dear, not their personality. No matter what you think of our president, please look at your local politicians and senators and congressman and please get out and vote the issues. I know that if a politician get the life issue correct, he or she is going to be right on just about everything else. These are my beliefs and my beliefs only. Forgive me if I stepped on any toes.

God bless.

Gary Frandsen
Grand Knight

Monday, October 8, 2018

October 2018 Bulletin: Cultivate Fraternity to Remain Strong

Lead article from the October 2018 bulletin, online now. It was originally published by past Grand Knight Steve House and is as true today as it was when this was written in 2011. God bless, Gary Frandsen, Grand Knight

Brother Knights, 

In our fallen world, Catholics are often called upon to be counter-cultural, to “go against the grain” of our secular world. The forces arrayed against the faithful are formidable. Satan prowling the world looking to devour us is bad enough, but consider that many other mainline Christian denominations are not aligned with the Church on abortion:
  • Mormons allow exceptions for rape, incest, risk to the mother, and severe birth defects. 
  • The Episcopal Church similarly allows for those exceptions.
  • The Southern Baptist Convention allows the exception for risk to the mother. 
  • The Evangelical Lutheran Church allows exceptions for risk to the mother and severe birth defects. 
And, don’t walk into any Catholic Church and believe you’re all .singing from the same hymnal. Just this week the Star Tribune article regarding the Archbishop’s call for parish action on the 2012 Minnesota marriage amendment, noted that the archdiocese has many “diverse” parishes and parishioners—meaning, I suppose, that many Catholics are out of step with the Magisterium on these fundamental topics. All of this is no surprise to any of us who pay even slight attention to the world around us. 

Being counter-cultural can indeed be a daunting prospect for Catholic men. The moral responsibilities of honesty, fidelity and chastity are difficult compared to the ease of going along with the world and its values. That’s where the men of St. Michael and St. Albert parishes can take heart that they are not alone, that organizations such as the Knights of Columbus offer a brotherhood that promotes love (charity), fidelity to the Magisterium (unity), and moral support (fraternity). In addition, we have various men’s faith-sharing groups, the Man Night events and the Archdiocesan Men’s Conference.

Brothers, avail yourselves of these opportunities to support one another in the daily struggle for holiness, for yourself and your families. You need those other men, and they need you!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

September 2018 Bulletin: Stewardship

Lead article from the September 2018 bulletin, online now.

It's great to go on vacation and escape the everyday stresses and routines once and a while. It gives you valuable insight on how others live as well as that which you temporarily left behind. Of course one thing we can't vacation from is our Catholic faith. Our home parishes of Albertville and St. Michael have a long and rich history. We have been parishioners for only 15 years but it seems like we've been here all our lives.

We were recently on vacation in St. Augustine, Florida, where we attended Masses in the very first and oldest parish on the North American continent. It was established September 8th, 1565, by Spanish Catholic Priests. Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine was not unlike our own. The homilies were very good, and Father Willis spoke eloquent about the problems facing his 458-year-old parish. They needed more readers, extraordinary ministers, servers, ushers, more folks for their music ministry and such. It occurred to me that these were some of the same needs at our own parishes here at Albertville and St. Michael. 

I believe words hold great power when used correctly. I tend to be very literal. The word stewardship is a perfect word to attach to any parish in general and ours in particular. I think its great that we now "officially" belong to stewardship parishes. The definition of the word itself when applied for our purposes would surely be to leave in our care as stewards and protect something that is truly precious. Something that deserves and needs care and protection. Insomuch as our faith needs a strong and well-cared-for church and parish in order to thrive. This charge is not just for priests, deacons and administrators (they of course are immensely important), but for the parishioners themselves. 

Parishioners will be there for the long road. No matter what trials befall the Church, a strong stewardship flock can save any Church from any trial. Many of our prayers have been answered here in our home parishes. We are somewhat insulated from the disturbing developments within the larger Catholic Church. We have been blessed with wonderfully faithful and good priests, deacons, church staff and volunteers. I believe the best way to ensure the continued strength of our parishes is to embrace the word stewardship. Each and every one of us hold the key as true stewards to this great and strong parish. 

I will, God willing, go on many more vacations in my life and visit many churches. I also believe that I will always look forward to coming back to my home parish where I will hope to continue my role as a steward.

God bless,

Gary Frandsen
Grand Knight

August 2018 Bulletin: Dryer Sheets and the Pro-Life Battle

Lead article from the August 2018 bulletin, online now.

I remember well the time in my life when I discovered the dryer sheet. I believe these important little wonders are underappreciated. My clothes would sometimes linger in the machine much too long after the last cycle had spun. The result of this was a slight mildew/rot-like smell that would remain even after they were sent to the dryer. I had no idea these little gems existed until one day I extracted a small box of them from our mailbox. They were sent to me free from the manufacturer. How did they know that I would always pass through the laundry aisle indifferent to any of the products there. 

I then began to receive breakfast cereals, snack products, laundry detergent products and more. It was like mailbox magic. I would grab them and quickly look around as if I was getting away with something, then scurry home to try them. These free gifts were delightful.

Flash forward many years....The other day I came upon another freebee in my mailbox. It was a certificate for birth control pills without a prescription. (See above.)The offer was disguised as a pill study and open to all ages. It would also include a special deal to compensate participants for their time. 

Wow! We've come a long, long way since free dryer sheets and Coco Puffs. As a Catholic pro-life advocate, I suddenly felt that the pro-life movement had taken a major hit. As if a World War II "Missouri" class battleship had just emptied nine 16-inch shells from its massive gun turret directly into the home of the pro-life base. 

 How can you fight this? Free birth control pills and free cash as a reward for preventing life. What's next? Free morning-after pills? Abortion vouchers? Who on earth knows? 

The certificate that found its way into my mailbox was offered to any age participant. The picture on the certificate showed a healthy and eager group of young girls grinning happily. I am pretty sure most reading this are engaged in the pro-life struggle. If not, this sheet of paper that may or may not have arrived in your mailbox hopefully will have given you a nudge to join the battle. 

God bless,

Gary Frandsen
Grand Knight

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

June 2018 Bulletin: We Do Great Work...But We Need Your Support!

Lead article from the June 2018 bulletin, online now.

Hello, Knights,

It's been a very eventful year with all our annual events, plus, fundraisers, gaming, socials and such. Andy and I handed out twenty-four $750 scholarships at the high school on Wednesday evening, May 23. This is one of the great things we do for this community. 

I have decided to be your Grand Knight for a second year if you so choose. We will vote on candidates at the June meeting. They are as follows: Andy Sipple, Deputy Grand Knight, Donald Legatt, Financial Secretary; Erich Kunzman, Chancellor; Dave Miodus, Warden; Brian Beaudry, Treasurer; Jim Shovelain, Advocate; Jeff Eull, Recorder; Cory Sommer, Lecturer; Dan Lhotka, Inside Guard; and Gene Hackenmueller, Outside Guard. All directors will remain the same. 

One thing that we have noticed over the past few years is the increasing difficulty to fill our events with volunteers. Our Christmas tree lot has become a real issue. We actually considered eliminating it because of this. Losing this fundraising event would be very unfortunate as the parish youth would have to cut back their budget. I would like to appeal to the rank and file to read all correspondence from the KCs in general and our council 4174 in particular. Dan Lhotka has graciously agreed to head up a calling committee. Please consider joining this important group as we move forward in the 2018-2019 year.

I am going to ask those who head up our annual scheduled events to familiarize yourself with the KCs websites this year so you can order kits and turn in forms for your events. This will go a long way towards gaining our council the recognition it deserves. Our annual AFCD beer tent is almost here and we have many shifts to fill. Please click on the link below and sign up today. Let's have another great year! 

God bless,
Gary Frandsen
Grand Knight

Saturday, April 28, 2018

May 2018: Building the Domestic Church: The Family Fully Alive

Lead article from the May 2018 bulletin, online now.

By Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson

In founding the Knights of Columbus, Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney sought to respond to the crisis in family life affecting Catholics in 19th-century America. As a young man he witnessed firsthand the challenges his widowed mother faced with seven children at home. Later, as a priest, he confronted on a daily basis the problems affecting the families of his parish community due to poverty, violence, alcoholism, immigration, anti-Catholic prejudice and discrimination.

Father McGivney’s vision for family life was not only that each family might find financial and material aid. He understood that holiness is the calling of all baptized Christians. And considering that two brothers followed him into the priesthood, we can understand how truly important the sanctuary of the home was to the McGivney family.

His family was a living example of what the second Vatican Council later taught: each man, woman and child is called to holiness through proclaiming the Gospel and communicating the divine gift of love in the activities of their daily lives.

When Christian families respond in this way to the design of the Creator, they become a “domestic church” that, as Pope Paul VI explained, mirrors “the various aspects of the entire Church.” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 71).

The modern family recently has been a topic of particular focus for the Church, with the two-year synod on the family and the post-synodal exhortation by Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). During this time, the Knights of Columbus has been involved in supporting families in their Christian vocation through our new Building the Domestic Church While Strengthening our Parish initiative. This initiative, which includes The Family Fully Alive program, is designed to help families become more centered on their task of serving God, neighbor and parish.

Since the second Vatican Council, and especially during the pontificate of St. John Paul II, it has become clear that the family is “the way of the Church.” In one sense, this obviously means that the family is the object of the Church’s evangelization efforts.

But the Christian family too has its own indispensable mission. As St. John Paul II wrote in Familiaris Consortio, “The family has the mission to guard, reveal and communicate love.” This mission is at the heart of the “community of life and love” that begins with the married couple in the sacrament of matrimony.

To lead us in that mission we are fortunate to have a guidebook — Pope Francis’ exhortation Amoris Laetitia— to help us build the Catholic family as a domestic church. In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis describes the Church as “a family of families.” He reminds us to view the family as the sanctuary of life and love that is at the heart of the domestic church. Our Knights’ families can take special guidance from Pope Francis as he calls us to a new “family apostolate” based upon “joy-filled witness as domestic churches.” Our parish-based councils also have a role in connecting men and their families with the parish.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us, “Conjugal love involves a totality, in which all the elements of the person enter. … It aims at a deeply personal unity, a unity that, beyond union in one flesh, leads to forming one heart and soul.” In other words, sacramental marriage involves not just an agreement between the spouses but a radical transformation of the spouses.

As Pope Benedict XVI wrote in Deus Caritas Est, “Marriage based on an exclusive and definitive love becomes the icon of the relationship between God and his people and vice versa. God’s way of loving becomes the measure of human love.”

In this way, the witness of husband and wife within the daily life of the family can guard, reveal and communicate love as they make their own the gifts of marriage — unity, indissolubility, faithfulness and openness to new life.

A Vatican document on the role and mission of the family states, “The family needs to be rediscovered as the essential agent in the work of evangelization” (Instrumentum Laboris, 103). It also points to the necessity to better understand the “missionary dimension of the family as a domestic church” (Instrumentum Laboris, 48).

These observations echo those of St. John Paul II, who said, during a meeting with the Latin American bishops in 1979, that “in the future, evangelization will depend largely on the domestic church.” (Pope John Paul II, Address to the Third General Conference of the Latin American Episcopate).

Clearly, the role of the family in the work of evangelization is not primarily a matter of programs, projects or strategies. These all have their place, but they are secondary. Their place is to be at the service of what is essential — the love between a husband and wife that, sanctified through the love of Christ, radiates to each member of their family.

The family as domestic church is a place of encounter with Christ within the community of a particular Christian family — a place where each member of the family has an important role.

The “mission” of the family in the task of evangelization is to be what it is called to be — that is, to live its daily life as a Christian family. As St. John Paul II said so often, “families, become what you are!”

The family’s mission to “guard, reveal and communicate love”— like the parish community — does not exist in an ideal place. The truth and beauty of the family must be communicated to every Christian family, even those that are fragile, wounded or broken. These families too may read the words of St. Paul with confidence: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Rom 8:35). And they may find in that confidence a path of hope and healing.

During his visit to the Philippines, Pope Francis cited the need for “holy and loving families to protect the beauty and truth of the family in God’s plan and to be an example for other families” (Pope Francis, Address to Families at the Mall of Asia Arena. Our Building the Domestic Church initiative and The Family Fully Alive monthly devotions are concrete ways that Knights of Columbus, in solidarity with Pope Francis, can offer holy and loving families for the Church’s mission of evangelization in our time.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

April 2018 Bulletin: Easter Vigil

Lead article from the April 2018 bulletin, online now.

For the first forty-nine years of my life, the Easter Vigil meant nothing to me. That all changed at the Easter Vigil 2009 when Fr. Gregory Abbott and Fr. Michael Becker led me into the water as a Catechumen as I welcomed the light of Christ. I found myself immersed in the same baptismal font that my youngest daughter Anna was baptized in five years earlier. I had literally followed all three of my girls into the faith. The occurrence would not have taken place without them.

God set me on my path in February 1986 aged twenty six years. The journey was started as a result of my signature on a document that clearly explained my commitment to raise my future children in the Catholic faith. Father Joe at St. Gerard's Catholic church would not marry us without it. After all, I was being honest when I informed him of my agnostic beliefs. We hoped to have a bunch of kids, but they did not come.

The next 14 years were filled with infertility, doctors and frustration. As a Catholic, my wife Gina prayed on it. I also offered prayers that followed within my agnostic parameters, you know, "If you are up there please present us with children" type of prayer. Those prayers were answered in 2001- 2003 when we journeyed to the Russian Republic on four occasions and gained our daughters through adoption. We moved to Albertville between daughters and set up shop. We were reminded of our commitment to raise our daughters Catholic and began to attend Mass on Sundays. Father Siebenaler then baptized Marina in 2003 and Father Michael Becker baptized Anna in the new church in 2005.

For the next five years I attended Mass with my family on a weekly basis. I behaved myself as a non-Catholic and stayed in my seat during communion while paying close attention to that which was going on around me. I asked Gina many questions about the Mass: the stand-up-sit-down-stand-up-sit-down, the doing of the dishes, and such. 

What I witnessed also was a lot of men bringing their families to church, and leading them to faith filled lives. This began to chip away at my uncertain position about Christ and God. I began to watch the EWTN network and studied Pope John Paul to some extent due to his huge cultural impact in the Christian world. My wife asked me if I was stalking the Catholic church. I guess I was and we placed both girls on the list to attend the Catholic school and continued attending Mass.

One day I found my way to Father Abbott's office discussing the RCIA program. I joined and spent the next year pouring over the Catechism. The long, 49-year, meandering path then ended in 2009 at the Easter Vigil where Fr. Abbott and Fr. Becker led me into that same baptismal font that my daughter was led into five years earlier. The congregation that night could not have made me feel more welcome. I was bathed in Christ's light for the first time in my life, delivered there in no small part due to my three girls. 

So when you are thinking about which Easter service to attend, please consider the wonderful Easter Vigil. Where else can you witness a large group of people coming into the light of Jesus and embraced by his welcoming arms?

God bless,

Gary Frandsen
Grand Knight

Sunday, February 25, 2018

March 2018 Bulletin: Ice Cream

Lead article from the March 2018 bulletin, online now.

I tend to struggle with the Lenten tradition of giving up some perceived vice or indulgence in order to suffer to some extent as we consider the profound suffering of Christ in the time leading up to His passion. I will of course follow all the Lenten rules. I also have much admiration for those who give up significant habits and routines so as to draw them closer to our Savior's suffering.

I have given up things in past Lenten seasons only to feel underwhelmed about my sacrifice as I resume them after Easter Sunday.  Did I suffer much?  Nope.  Did it bring me closer to understanding His suffering? Not really. So what should I do?

I may have had some small revelation in this regard on our recent trip to Florida. We were staying at a Daytona beach hotel.  Hotel guests were venturing out to the beach to see the strange family who were swimming alone in 65-degree cloudy-skies weather.  They came wearing parkas and took our pictures and asked us where we came from that we would be swimming on this day.  We told them and a look of "Oh, I get it now" came over their faces.  We hit the hot tub for a bit then decided to walk downtown where we could see a boardwalk and amusement park waiting for our arrival.

There were some Hurricane Irma-ravaged hotels along the beach as we made our way, a few lined with fence and under repair and others seemingly abandoned. We noticed that the homeless were taking up residence in some of the lower floors of the abandoned buildings. Makeshift homes consisting of wood, cardboard, worn mattresses and the like. A young couple caught our attention as they moved a mattress out of the chill drizzle that was falling at the time. They were in the middle of a heated, obscenity-laced exchange about some grievance between them. There were many homeless along our way. Their deeply lined faces spoke to the nature of the untold witness they held from us. We made it downtown, and the homeless quickly slipped from our minds.

We had much fun looking at shops, walked the pier and listened to the Atlantic. We had a great meal and started back. My youngest noticed a Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream shop and grabbed my arm. We made progress across the street via skyway where a vagrant was taking some rest.  As we approached our destination, a tall, thin, elderly, homeless black man was speaking to each passerby with his head down. I grabbed my eldest daughter and shifted her to my left as we neared the tall man on my right.  I could barely hear him speak as we passed: "Could you please buy me some food, good sir?"  We hustled our step as we passed him a glance.

My eldest told me that he looked hungry. I mentioned some nonsense about his life choices, and we joined the line at Baskin-Robbins. We were waiting about a minute for our 1,000-calorie indulgence when the brick fell upon my head. I looked at Marina and told her that she was spot on. He did look hungry. We bolted out and found the same tall black homeless man making his way down the sidewalk. When the distance was made up my daughter ask him if he was hungry still.  He affirmed this, and we crossed the street to the Burger King restaurant.

Marina then bought him a meal with a $20 bill and gave him the change. We could barely hear him say as we left, "God bless you." I think it's more likely that God dropped the brick on my head than blessed me. What value was the cash to me? Very likely much less than it was to him. What did he give up for Lent? What did the homeless couple moving the mattress out of the rain give up for Lent?  Unknowable. Here is what I am going to give up for this Lent.  I am going to give up making assumptions about homeless folks.  I am going to give up judging them.  I am going to give up donating nothing to their empty pockets.  Hopefully it will continue long past Easter.

I will end by quoting our new homeless and hungry friend: God Bless.

Gary Frandsen
Grand Knight

Thursday, February 1, 2018

February 2018 Bulletin:
Chaplain's Message

Lead article from the February 2018 bulletin, online now.

Spirituality is what a person or community believes and how they act on that belief.  As Catholics we believe that God is the Author, Sustainer and Goal of every human life and society, and thus every human life should be protected at conception and nurtured by society, starting with the family.

We believe that a person can discover the basic dignity of every human being at any stage or condition of life by reasoning with the natural light of truth.  This is what the Founders of America did.

The pilgrims of the thirteen original colonies came to America mostly to get away from tyrannical officials who oppressed those less powerful.  Many rulers, Catholic as well as Protestant, ignored the Church’s teaching and God’s natural law and disrespected the dignity of those less powerful than themselves.  This is sinful, and if it is of grave matter that is placed into law it becomes “institutional sin” for the society.  Unfortunately that is the state of our country with regard to abortion and so called same sex “marriage.”

Our Founders inscribed in the Declaration of Independence “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  Our country was founded on principles that call for respect for every person and their freedom, so long as they respect the “laws of nature and Nature’s God."

These natural laws reflect that God is the Creator of natural rights and responsibilities of which mankind is called to participate; as well, that  God is the “Supreme Judge of the world”, not the imperfect courts of man, including the Supreme Court of this country which failed to protect black people in the Dredd Scott decision (1857), nor has it protected unborn babies with their faulty decision of the recent Roe v. Wade decision (1973), nor the rights of children to have a Mom and a Dad in their 2015 decision.

The Founders used objective reason to discover these natural laws and thus reasoned that  there must be a Lawgiver, namely God.  However, since people can choose to follow or break theses natural laws, God calls us to participate in protecting and promoting these self-evident truths, especially for those with little power like unborn babies and children, who have a right to a Mom and a Dad.  This is clearly revealed in the Divine Revelation of Sacred Scriptures which upholds and builds upon natural law, both of which come from the heart of God.

The Founders also relied on God to provide for the victory of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” that flows from God, but not without their struggles and sacrifices.  The last sentence of the Declaration of Independence reads: “And, for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

To be pro-life and pro-marriage as God intended, so as to protect unborn babies and children, we must measure candidates for public office with the natural law standard.  We have a moral duty and obligation to participate in the protection and promotion of God’s will by upholding the principles of our country.  To do less is to watch our country sink further into sin and thus jeopardize our salvation.

In order to have good political candidates from which to choose, and propose laws that conform to God’s natural law, we should participate in the precinct caucuses for whatever political party you align with.  The Secretary of State has declared that Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, at 7 p.m. will begin the caucuses.  Google "Minnesota Secretary of State Precinct Caucuses" for more information.

Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Thomas McCabe
Council Chaplain

Thursday, January 4, 2018

January 2018 Bulletin:
Holiday Concert

Lead article from the January 2018 bulletin, online now.

For the first time in a long time I was able to attend a holiday concert to watch and listen to my daughter sing. In previous years my job prevented me from getting there on time, if I could get there at all. I showed up an hour early this time to grab a great seat.

I found said seat and opened up the program and began to read: STMA High School proudly presents "High School Holiday Concert." My mostly under-control cynicism nerve was involuntarily activated,and I immediately started complaining about the secular public school dissing (disrespecting) Christmas and its true meaning. 

How cliché and predictable of me. I have no idea where Joseph Osowski or Brandon Berger are located in the spiritual and religious spectrum. In many ways that would be reason enough not to assume the program would be antithetical to the Christmas message. But go there I did. My doubts lasted about 10 seconds into the first bars of this magnificent performance.

As I mentioned, I have no idea if the producers of this event were Christian. I can, however, unequivocally claim with confidence piled high that Jesus Christ was not only in attendance, but indeed held the invisible baton and occupied the director's podium for this Christmas present to all who were in attendance. The traditional carols were delivered intermingled with witty arrangements of some classics, world premieres, and above all, music singing the praises of Jesus Christ. Indeed, music fit for the celebration of the Mass including the Angus Dei from William Albright's Chichester Mass. 

Our children's voices were pitch perfect (in my estimation) and quite professional in execution. The story of the first family and the birth of Christ never left the auditorium. I am quite sure Jesus was the one who locked up after the last had left.  We had starting Knights football players standing in front of the crowd to sing God's messages. Choir concerts have traveled a great distance from my high school days!  

For those of you that are worried about God's departure from the public school, go ahead and give your pillows an extra punch tonight and rest easy, because at least in our district, thanks to the wonderful work of Joseph Osowski, (Mr. "O"), Brandon Burger and a bunch of great kids, Jesus is alive and well.

God Bless,
Gary Frandsen
Grand Knight