I was honored to be asked by Bishop Kopacz to represent our diocese at the keynote banquet at the Knights of Columbus State Convention in Tunica on Saturday, April 23. As a part of the night’s festivities the Worthy State Deputy Roy Gamez and State Secretary Guy Heying presented a generous donation to the Bishop Gerow Priest Education Fund totaling more than $40,000. These funds go directly to the annual budget for our seminarians and our efforts to find more men to study for the priesthood.
One of the focuses of the evening was the role that men need to play in the Catholic Church. The core virtues of the Knights of Columbus are charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism, and Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly highlighted how the organization has been living out these virtues in the midst of these trying times. I also believe that these virtues, if lived out by Catholic men, can lead to a great abundance of priestly vocations. I have shared in this space before that one of the driving forces behind my discernment was the example of my Knights of Columbus Council in Meridian. Council 802 is filled with Catholic lay men who take their call to serve and the mandates of their faith in Jesus Christ very seriously. This made a great impact on me as I considered how I was called to serve in the church.
There is great power in the example of men in the church. If men care more about their time in prayer and service than their time on the couch or on the golf course or at the gym or at the game, then that speaks to our young people. If men can build healthy friendships rooted in faith that enables them to share healthy leisure time together, that encourages the same behavior in their families. If men can love God and country in a way that seeks first and foremost to serve those most in need with generosity and courage, then they are a great light to our world in desperate need for examples of fervent faith. They are most especially lights to their families, which the Knights of Columbus seek to support in everything that they do.
I greatly appreciate the generosity of our KC councils and assemblies throughout the State of Mississippi. The annual financial contribution that they make to support future priests is a fruit of the work that they do in their communities throughout each year. I encourage any man who is wanting to grow in faith to consider joining their local council. I am glad that I joined mine all those years ago.
– Father Nick Adam
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