By Andrew Butler
COLLEGE KNIGHTS LOOK TO ST. JOSEPH AS A MODEL OF HOLINESS
If you saw hundreds of young men gathered for a weekend in a college town, you probably wouldn’t expect find them in a church.
But at the Knights of Columbus College Conference in New Haven, Conn., this past fall, 254 young men spent their Saturday night in church offering prayers of consecration to St. Joseph.
Why this? Why now?
Dominican Father John Paul Walker — the pastor of St. Mary’s Church, where the college students prayed and where the Knights of Columbus was founded in 1882 — has an answer to that question. He said this in his homily just prior to the consecration:
“In this time of confusion in the Church, we need men of clarity. In this time of darkness, we need men of light. In this time of wickedness and sin, we need men of holiness and virtue. We need men who can be everything that Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney wanted and desired and expected of men when he founded our order.”
The students represented 97 K of C college councils from across North America. Prior to the conference, they were asked to fast for a week, giving up something they would normally do or consume. In addition, priests heard confessions in the holy hour leading up to the consecration.
Pope Pius XII described an act of consecration as “a total gift of self, for the whole of life and for all eternity; and a gift which is not a mere formality or sentimentality, but effectual, comprising the full intensity of the Christian life.”
The Importance of St. Joseph
Sean Tobin from Providence College, who attended the conference, said that men need to look to St. Joseph’s dedication to Mary and Jesus.
“St. Joseph doesn’t have a single line in scripture attributed to him. Nothing. He worked quietly, humbly aiding the Blessed Virgin Mary and our Lord,” he said.
“And that’s our role as Catholic men. Especially in our culture today and in our country. Building up the Church, building up our families, building up our councils and supporting our brothers. Humbly acting rather than saying.”
The Knights of Columbus provides ample opportunities for Catholic men to build up the Church, to grow in holiness while strengthening families. The consecration to St. Joseph is just one way of doing this. The similar Consecration to the Holy Family, a required program for Knights, is helping Knights worldwide revitalize both their family and parish life.
Fr. Patrick Nwoyoke, Catholic chaplain at Southeast Missouri University, attended the College Councils Conference and saw the consecration as fitting for the college Knights.
“I have never doubted that young people are capable of doing great things,” he said. “They are also interested in truly finding God.”
St. Joseph, pray for us!
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