On numerous occasions, His Holiness Pope Francis directs us to protect all life, from conception to natural death, and he reminds us that we have a duty to care for the most vulnerable of our society. In one message, His Holiness advised,
“Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in His own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.” (07/17/2013)
On another occasion, His Holiness further advised,
“A society truly welcomes life when it recognizes that it is also precious in old age, in disability, in serious illness, and even when it is fading; when it teaches that the call to human fulfillment does not exclude suffering; indeed, when it teaches its members to see in the sick and suffering a gift for the entire community, a presence that summons them to solidarity and responsibility.” (02/19/2014)
Therefore, as Catholics and as Knights of Columbus, we must proactively take action and help the vulnerable within our communities. From children and adults with intellectual disabilities to those afflicted with various diseases which can drastically affect a person's quality of life, there are many instances of those that critically need our assistance.
The quality of life of every person is very important and how we care for the needs and dignity of each individual may even affect the lives of our family or friends.
We need to remember that we are all God’s children and God is the one who gives us rights, dignity, and worth. Education and financial support of these programs is crucial for discouraging the myths that are often used to justify actions contrary to life.
As Knights of Columbus, we are not only men of faith, we are men of action. We must show that life, at any age, can be lived to its fullest, with joy and satisfaction, according to God’s time-table.
We are called by Christ through our Catholic Social Teaching to protect the weak and the vulnerable, to care for the needy, and to treat all persons with respect and dignity.
Some of the programs needing your support within Special Programs include:
· Special Olympics
· Intellectual Disabilities Fund Drive
· Polar Bear Plunge
· Alzheimer's Awareness and Respite Care
· Autism Awareness
· Autoimmune Disease Awareness
· Deborah Hospital Support
· Organ Donor Program
· Marian Devotion Program
· Support for Persecuted Christians
These programs are described in detail in the NJ State Council's Grand Knight's Handbook. Please familiarize yourself with these programs so that you and your council can not only give financial support, but also be able to refer those in need to the appropriate program for assistance or guidance as to where to get the help or information needed.
Sometimes just knowing that you’re not going it alone can make the pain and suffering bearable. Please continue to pray for the sick and disabled, as well as all those in need, especially persecuted Christians!
Martin Boyle, FDD
Director of Special Programs
New Jersey State Council