Saturday, September 17, 2022

(268) The Fatima Message Applied to Today: Do We Need Another 9/11 or a World War to Bring Us Back to God?

 AMDG

The twin towers of the World Trade Center are hit by two commercial airplanes hijacked in mid air by terrorists who used the planes as missiles to destroy the buildings, the people inside, the passengers, and the terrorists themselves on a suicide mission to protest the perceived oppression of Arabs by Israel.  Exactly 2977 lives were lost in the four terrorist attacks (2,753 in the World Trade Center and the surrounding area, 184 at the Pentagon, & 40 in Shanksville, PA) plus the 19 hijackers.  The survivors continue to die from Cancer because of the toxic gases they breathed.  The number would have been greater were it not for the heroism of the New York Fire Department (343 gave their lives) and the Police.  Americans were afraid and people returned to the churches for a time and then drifted away again.  Pray for peace!


    Throughout the history of salvation from Biblical times to today people have a tendency to sin (concupiscence) and drift away from God.  This may be in the form of indifference to the faith, Church teaching, and morality. 

   God does not have to punish mankind.  The natural consequences of sin (greed, immorality, selfishness, injustice, etc.) are exploitation, oppression, slavery, wars, captivity, and other forms of human tragedy as the terrorism of September 11, 2001.  Filled with fear, people did come back to God after that catastrophe.  The churches were packed for a while, but again we see ourselves drifting away. 

      A cyclic pattern repeated itself time and time again in the Old Testament.  When the Jews were faithful to God and His Covenant with them, they were powerful and prosperous as under King David and much of the reign of King Solomon.  However, with prosperity and power, the Jews began to drift as though they no longer needed God.  They would fall into corruption, immorality, taking pagan wives, worshiping false gods, etc.  

    Since the Jews ignored the warnings by the prophets, the Lord let them learn the hard way by the consequences of their sins.  We can recall the conquests by the Assyrians, the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans.  May we learn from the mistakes of the Jews of the Old Testament and be faithful to God.

      Ten of the twelve tribes were taken into exile by the Assyrians in 721 BC and disappeared as did their Northern Kingdom of Israel which had previously broken off from the Kingdom of Israel (2 Kings 14-20). 

    Later Babylon conquered Judea and forced the people into exile as slaves in Babylon known as  the Babylonian Captivity from 597-538 BC, a total of 59 years until King Cyrus of Persia freed them.  The Maccabean Revolt (160-167 BC) returned the land to Jewish control.  Forced to suffer under foreign oppressors, the Jews came back to God until they again fell into sin and national ruin.      

An appearance of Mary at Fatima, Portugal to the three shepherd children:  Jacinta, Lucia, and Francisco.  They transmitted to the world Mary’s Fatima Message.  See Blogs #186 - #195.

    During her appearances in Fatima, Portugal in 1917 Mary warned us of a second world war much worse than the first heralded by the Fatima Storm of January 25, 1938 (http://paulrsebastianphd.blogspot.com/2018/01/201-fatima-storm-great-unknown-light-of.html).  Clearly, Mary is doing what the prophets of old did in speaking for God and warning the people.  She is truly a prophet for our times through her many apparitions and messages.  

    Furthermore, Mary said at Fatima that the errors of Russia would cause great suffering if the world refused to repent.  Noteworthy is the fact that she made this warning before the October 17 Communist Revolution in Russia.  If people follow the Fatima Message, Russia would be converted and there would be a period of peace.  Yes, Communism unexpectedly and miraculously collapsed in Europe (1989-91), but Russia continued in its errors for the next 30 years because national conversion did not take place.  

    Many of the same Soviet methods of controlling the people under a dictatorial regime and the renamed KGB continue even though there is relative religious freedom.  The press is largely controlled by the government.  Any criticism of the government and its corruption or the war in Ukraine risks a jail term.  A number of dissidents have disappeared or or mysterious died.  The most prominent is Alexei Navalny who recovered from a poisoning in Germany.  Upon his return to Russia, he was tried and confined to a prison far from Moscow.   

   Thus Russia is again threatening world peace by its invasion of Ukraine since February 24 to restore the former empire of the Soviet Union. The tremendous cost.....about 5 million of Ukraine's 6.6 million refugees fled the country, numerous cities leveled by shelling, over 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers and at least 6,000 civilians dead, along with some 40,000 Russian soldiers killed and their depleted arsenal of weapons.   

    Western nations, particularly the United States are helping Ukraine (over $15 billion in aid) with weapons and intelligence.  Furthermore, the world's supply of food, oil, and gas is greatly diminished and prices are much higher for what is available.  As a result of all of this, East-West tensions are rising dangerously. 


A Russian soldier guarding the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest in Europe.  This is the 4th of its six nuclear reactors.  Russia is using the power plant as a shield to shell the Ukrainian soldiers who are retaliating in kind.   Russia controls the plant and forces the Ukrainian workers and engineers to operate the plant.

       The shelling of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine puts the surrounding countries in grave danger from radioactive fallout if the nuclear reactor core should be seriously damaged.  This would be much worse than the massive radioactive leak in the 1986 Chernobyl, Ukraine nuclear disaster. 

       Already an unholy alliance is forming among current or soon to be rogue nuclear powers, namely Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.  China is threatening a copycat invasion of Taiwan; Iran would like to destroy Israel; and North Korea is a threat to conquer South Korea.  If Russian would use nuclear weapons in Ukraine as it threatened to do or attack a NATO member such as one of the Baltic states, formerly captive nations of the former Soviet Union, a disastrous World War III would probably result with unimaginable suffering in the world.  In fact, some experts warn of the very real and gravely dangerous possibility that if Russia can't win, they would use nuclear weapons rather than accept defeat.  It would not take much to set off World War III now or later when Russia replenishes its manpower, weapons, ammunition, and supplies!

       Let us return to God and repent.  PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for peace, particularly the Rosary every day!  Let us offer our daily crosses for the conversion of sinners including ourselves.  That is in essence the Fatima Message and the road to peace.   

Monday, September 5, 2022

(267) THE FRUITS OF YOUR LABOR IN THE ECONOMY: A Labor Day Reflection, a Simple Model of How the Economy Works

AMDG

All these terms make economics and the economy appear quite complex.  The model below simplifies it all to its bare essentials from a Christian point of view.  It all boils down to people who work, consume, buy, sell, borrow, save, invest, and pay taxes.

        Labor Day helps us to appreciate the value and fruits of everybody's labor.  Your labor may produce a good such as a farm product, coal, electricity, a machine, a craft, etc.  Your labor may produce a service such as the distribution of goods to consumers in a store, plumbing, repair, a beautician that makes a woman feel good about herself, banking that mobilizes savings and lends it to investors to produce more.   Your product may serve hundreds if not thousands of people. 

       The fruits of your work is a salary or wage which is a convenient medium of exchange for trade that can buy the fruits of the labor of thousands of other workers…..goods and services that you and your family need to live in dignity.  Money in itself has no value (just paper), but is worth what we all think it is worth as with inflation.  Part of your wage or salary goes to your parish, charities, and governments whose workers can provide services for you and many in the community…..police and fire protection, national defense, roads and their maintenance, public health, education, social work, etc.  That’s essentially the way our economy works…..a trade of work (my product) for work (your product).  

    Thanks be to God I have talents or skills that you don’t have; you have talents or skills that I don’t have as we labor to meet each other’s needs.  We exchange the fruits of our labor for the common good of all.  By labor we must serve each other with honesty and trust.  The Christian worker works hard to produce a quality good or service not simply for money, but also because somebody out there will use his/her good or service.  

       You produce for others and others produce for you through the markets that use money as a means of exchange.  We depend on each other with our labor.  Both father and mother sacrificially provide for and serve the family in and out of the home.  God intended all of this and love of neighbor is key to an effective society and economy.

        We labor for each other in our jobs.  We do our best to produce a high quality product because somebody out there is using the good or service we produce.  That is an act of Christian love.  What I produce you may use.  What you produce I may use.  With the money we earn as a medium of exchange we buy each other’s products.

                                                        Market Exchange

                        Abilities                Taxes

                        Skills              ----------------------------------->     Common Good

                        Resources              Government Services

                                                        Sharing

Every person with his abilities, skills, and resources can labor for the common good of all. while receiving recompense (money) for his/her labor, giving the worker the ability to buy (trade) for for the goods and services produced by others to satisfy his/her personal needs.   Market exchange through the medium of money, taxes, government services, and sharing facilitate the process.

    The essence of this article is what is written  above, but let us go into greater detail and depth to obtain greater insights and understanding on how a national economy should work.  

Two Models of the Gross Domestic Product:

Circular Flows of Goods, Services, Labor, Capital, and Money in the Economy

 

A Simple Model of the Circular Flows of Goods, Services, Labor, Capital, and Money in the Economy.  Taken from Baumol & Blinder, Economics: Principles & Policy Dryden Press.

         The above diagram gives a simplified version of how a national economy works.  As previously stated, a model is a simple representation of reality to facilitate understanding.  This model is commonly used in Economics textbooks.  Basically, it shows the interaction between Business (the producers of goods and services) and the Community (the consumers or households) with information flowing between them.  Business consists of farms, shops, landlords, governments as providers, and other organizations that produce.  The Community consists of individual consumers, households, renters, stockholders and other owners of the various means of production, and governments as spenders.      

        The upper loop shows the Product Market, where Business provides goods and services to the members of the Community in return for monetary purchases.  The sum total value of all goods and services produced in a national economy is called the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) according to the following formula:

 GDP = C + I + G + (X - Z)

 where C = the total value of all goods consumed (food, clothes,                          television sets, telephone, water, electricity, soap, paper,                     cosmetics, etc.) and services used (beautician, stores,                           banking).  This is about 70% of GNP.

            I = investment, which are expenditures of resources on capital                  goods that can produce now or in the futureThey                              include  buildings, machinery, equipment, etc.


G = government expenditures on buildings, human resources,       materials, vehicles, weapons for the military, etc. to                provide services and national defense.

            X = the value of exports of products sold to other countries.

           Z = the value of imports of products purchased from other                        countries.  These must be subtracted from consumption                       since the country did not produce them.

      The lower loop shows the Factor Market, where the Community provides the land, labor, and capital in return for remunerations or compensation.  The more common word is income.  Employees receive wages for their work; depositors and bondholders receive interest on their savings; and owners of buildings receive rents for their use.  The business and its profits belong to the owners or stockholders, who receive part of the profits as dividends. The business then reinvests the remaining profits as savings, which are called retained earnings.  We can imagine that the investor also receives the retained earnings and then reinvests it into the firm.  The business pays part of the remunerations as taxes to the Government as do individuals on their wages, dividends, rents and interest received.

      Investment requires savings and I = S. Business borrows money from savers who sacrifice consumption in return for the payment of interest which is the cost of money.  Business may borrow through the sale of interest bearing bonds or may borrow from a bank which mobilizes savings by paying interest on deposits.     

        Some individuals and entities wear two hats.  A landlord has a house to rent as a business and is a consuming member of the community.  The shop is a business while the shop owner is a consumer.  Similarly the farm is a business and the farmer is a member of the community.  The beauty salon is a business and the beautician-owner is a member of the community.  Government as a spender and receiver of taxes is classified as Community since it represents the people, while Government as a provider of services is classified as Business.  

        Prices of goods and services are determined in the product market while labor costs, interest rates, and stock prices are determined in the factor markets.  In a Free Market System prices and rates are determined by the laws of Supply and Demand while in socialist and autocratic systems government controls apply. 

        In the inner loop the Community gives land, labor, and capital in return for goods and services as the net effect.  Money serves only as a convenient means of exchange.  In the outer loop, there is a flow of money between Business and the Community.  The sum total value of all the goods, services, investment, exports less imports is exactly equal to the total remunerations of wages + interest + dividends & retained earnings.  

        In a healthy growing economy, there is a rapid flow in both the outer and inner loops.  However, if the flow is too rapid, the economy overheats and there are shortages of labor and capital as well as products.  This results in increases in demand and decreases in supply, causing higher prices and labor costs, i.e., inflation..

        Again we see the interaction between Business and Society or Community in the net exchange of the resources of land labor and capital for goods and services.  What makes an economy is what it produces.  Each one of us acts as both a consumer and a producer of a good or service while working in a business (often his own), a government agency, the military, or a non-profit organization such as a church, charity, or educational institution. 


In this more detailed diagram Government (G) is considered apart from Community and Business.  Government spends across the Product Market for products of Business such as vehicles, buildings, and weapons.  It also spends across the Factor Market for the wages of its employees who are part of the Community.  Prices in both the Product Market and the Factor Market are determined by the laws of Supply and Demand.  In total Government expenditures (G) should be equal to Taxes (T).  More often than not G > T and there is a deficit.  The Government either borrows from the Community through the issuance of bonds or Treasury Notes or simply borrows from the Federal Reserve Bank which dutifully issues more money and the Community (Country) has a problem with inflation.  More money being spent on the same amount of goods abd services causes prices to rise and thus inflation.  Taken from Pride, Hughes, & Kapoor. Business.  Boston: Houghton-Mifflin. 

        In all three models above transactions are made across the product and factor markets by the laws of Supply and Demand in the Free Market System.  Businesses buy from each other across the product markets.  These purchases are costs to each firm which the Community or Government consumes or invests and covers these costs in the final price of the product.

       For the economy to function efficiently there must be honesty and trust that each employee does his best to produce a quality good or service, confiding that each business or consumer will do what it agreed to do.  Otherwise, conflict and lawsuits result.  Again love of neighbor (the ultimate customer and fellow employees) is essential.  Again the labor of each person is very important and essential in an interdependent society.  

        When every person does his part, the company prospers and jobs are more secure, the investment of the stockholders of the Community are more secure for their retirement.  Furthermore, the entire community prospers.  

        What makes a country and its economy is its people that produce.  The most important resource of a business is its people.....their knowledge, skills, and abilities along with their dedication. hard work, ingenuity, character, and education.  It takes good people to do manual work in a labor intensive business and skilled people to develop, operate and maintain the equipment in a capital intensive curve.  

        And there's always a need for capable manage to plan, organize, advise, lead, coordinate, and control the human, material, and financial resources of the organization be a private enterprise or a government organization.  Thus each business must treat their employees well because of their value to the business and their tremendous value as persons created according to the image and likeness of God.  All of this is really overview of how the economy works.......really Christianity in practice when Church social teaching is followed.  Then the common good is achieved as God intended.   

Bibliography

Baumol, William J. & Blinder, Alan S. (1994). Economics: Principles and Policy. 6th. ed., New York: Dryden Press.

Pride, William M.; Robert J. Hughes; & Jack R. Kapoor (2005). Business, 8th ed. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin 





                                                              


Sunday, June 12, 2022

(266) Everett King: An Air Force Gunnery Sergeant Who Served Our Country Well and Later Triumphed Over Adversity and Disability

AMDG


Everett King

Brother Knight Everett Ray King Jr, Age 68, of Gallipolis Ohio, passed away on Saturday October 16th, 2021. After graduating from Gallia Academy High School, he served 12 years in the United States Air Force, which included  combat missions as a gunnery sergeant on AC-130 20 mm cannon gunships as both tail gunner and mechanic in  the Viet Nam War.  His hard work for our country and abilities led to promotion to the rank of Master Sergeant.  As a civilian he served as an auto mechanic and started up a cleaning service.  Everett took pride in his Cherokee heritage.Gunnery Sergeant Everett King was a tail gunner on this Azreal AC-130 gunship.

Everett was preceded in death by his mother Barbara Mae King, his father Everett Ray King Sr., and his six month old daughter Tracy many years ago.  He is survived by his sons Robert King, Matthew Ryan King, and Christopher Lee King.  Lora June Terry took care of him while he endured with great courage a disability that confined him to a wheelchair.

His funeral took place at St. Louis Catholic Church in Gallipolis Ohio on Friday October 29.  His burial at the parish cemetery and a reception with lunch prepared by the Catholic Women's Club (CWC) afterwards. On line condolences and remembrances may be put on the tribute wall at www.allenfuneralhomewv.com/obituary/Everett-KingJr. 

   As Eucharistic Ministers, my wife Jaga and I bring Holy Communion to the sick and the shut-ins. After a while, we become friends and get to know them. Over time they also ministered to us.......teaching and even inspiring us.  Thus we would like to not only honor Everett King, but also share some of the things he can teach us---- especially his courage, his faith, his resignation to God's will, and trust in His kind providence.  Every life, from the rich and the famous to the common man, has a fascinating story to tell.  Brother knight Everett King is no exception.

Everett belonged to a non-denominational church, but something was missing.  He sometimes did channel surfing on his television set and stumbled upon the Catholic television channel, EWTN.  King watched it more and more……Daily Mass, Rosary, events, documentaries, news, interviews, panel discussion, etc.  He particularly liked the late Mother Angelica and her talk shows.  He was so impressed that he wanted to become Catholic.

During physical therapy sessions with Mary Ann Zerkel the conversation touched on religion.  Since he indicated an interest in the Catholic Church, she put him in touch with our pastor, Fr. Thomas Hamm, the celebrant of his funeral Mass.  Soon Everett, along with his son Robert and his caregiver Lora, entered the parish RCIA program to learn about the Catholic faith with no obligation.  It’s recommended for cradle Catholics as well since the typical person in the pew does not know his/her faith.This photo was taken on the day that Everett entered the church in 2014 with Lora Terry on the left and his son brother knight Robert King behind.  Fr. Thomas Hamm, our Council Chaplain and two of the sponsors Jaga and brother knight Paul Sebastian are also pictured.

After several months they made the final decision that changed his life and they were received into the Catholic Church with joy in 2014.  The three honored former Grand Knight Bruce Davison, my wife Jaga, and me by asking us to be their sponsors.  Thus we got to know them and their daily struggles with life……..meager income, living in a trailer subject to flooding, handicaps, etc.  After being so active for many years Everett’s health deteriorated……..problems with his heart, kidneys, white lung, diabetes, and bouts of pneumonia every year.  All of this confined him to a wheelchair, but Everett carried on with faith and courage.  Furthermore, when there was a heavy rain they had to get into their small car and go to higher ground because the creek behind their trailer could overflow and endanger them.

Everett King did not become a lukewarm Catholic, he became a super Catholic and an inspiration to us.  He drove Lora and Robert to the Sunday Vigil Mass every Saturday night until Covid hit.  He made it to Mass even though it was frequently a struggle.  Many of us often miss Sunday Mass with the lamest of excuses.  Everett used a prayer book and prayed every day, particularly the rosary, using it as a source of strength.  He prayed a lot, especially when under stress.  The simplicity of his faith was beautiful.  After Mass he would be refreshed and in a happy mood. 

As a new Catholic his faith in God really improved.  He was generous and tried to help people in any way he could…….giving advice and sharing his experiences.  He loved to joke around and enjoyed making people laugh.  King was loving and caring, scrupulously honest and very conscientious about paying his bills.  He loved the Church and considered the people of the parish as family.  They, particularly our Knights of Columbus Council helped Everett and were enriched in the process.  The Knights welcomed Everett and Robert with open arms as valued members.The 2015 Knights of Columbus induction of new members into our St. Louis Church Council 3335.  Everett King and his son Robert are on the left. Next to them are Frederick Michael Edelmann, Anthony Sola, Frank Lalli, and Tyler Reynolds.

Everett’s condition got worse with stays in the hospital, including intensive care with a ventilator to help him breathe.  He even had to be resuscitated after his heart stopped.  Through it all he kept the faith and continued on with resignation to the will of God and trust that our Lord would get him through all this and indeed He did.  Lora and Robert took care of him, sometimes heroically.  Jonathan Ogden was a big help in driving them to the hospital so many times.

Everett so much wanted to get better and return to Mass, but it was very difficult to regain his strength.  In the meantime he attended daily Mass on EWTN and Sunday Mass at St. Louis Church via Facebook.  Everett yearned for the Eucharist.  As an Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister, it was an awesome privilege for me to bring Christ Himself and His love to Everett in the Eucharist, i.e. Holy Communion; to pray with him; and to help him in a little way for his encounter with God in eternity.  I was supposed to minister to Everett, but Everett also ministered to me.  He knew that his time on earth was short, but he faced it with courage and faith, with patient resignation to God's will and trust in His kind providence. 

    I shared with Everett the fact that suffering can be very valuable, meaningful, and fruitful.  If accepted in faith with trust in God, suffering can be a wonderful preparation for eternity.  Taken in the right way, the inevitable crosses of life can make each one of us a saint.  Every canonized saint suffered and some even prayed to have more crosses. 

    Many times I would say, “You can reap great fruits with your prayers and by offering your crosses to the Lord as a dynamic prayer for your loved ones, for the Church, and for our Country.  God knows how much our country needs prayers.  In that way you can be most valuable.”  Indeed he was!  Everett was ready to meet his creator and is praying for us.  Thank you, Everett, for your example and for what you taught us.  Good-by until we're all together again in eternity.    

Monday, May 30, 2022

(265) Soldiers & Veterans From 40 Nations Make an Annual May Pilgrimage to Lourdes For Healing




                                                                                 
We came for physical healing, but received spiritual healing and strength for the journey ahead.....which are more important” (Charlie & Kim B.).  A family brings their wounded veteran to Lourdes for healing.

The theme of the 62nd International Military Pilgrimage (PMI) May 10-16 is Pacem Meam do Vobis (“My peace I give unto you”). The cross on this year’s logo was designed in Hungary as the symbol of the 2020 International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest. The cross was exhibited and carried in procession. It represents our Lord Jesus Christ who gives us his peace as well as the Eucharist, source of our peace and our salvation. The dove carrying the olive branch symbolizes the Holy Spirit and represents the gift of peace. Armed Forces Day was observed on May 21 and Memorial Day on May 30.

    They gave their all for our country........their limbs, their lives, their all. Many continue to give to our country through the handicaps they must endure for the rest of their lives. Some of the wounds are visible and others are not, such as the mental, emotional, and even spiritual wounds. Perhaps the most common is Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome or PTSD as a result of the trauma of intense bloody combat. Many a Vietnam veteran sit near the door of a restaurant in case of trouble and instinctively look for cover when a fire cracker goes off. Flashbacks are common. Their families, particularly their spouses and mothers, suffer too. Clearly, these veterans need a lot of healing. We all owe them a great debt of gratitude for our freedom.   Meet Adam and let him tell his story at https://players.brightcove.net/802593642001/y6FLiIa0f_default/index.html?videoId=6293785506001.  See other testimonies at https://www.warriorstolourdes.com/wtl/en/about/testimonials.html.

    It all shows the folly of war usually started by the aggression of one side or the other due to the quest for power and empire building....Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Putin; the list goes on. Each looked for the glory of his country and himself as well as personal power and his legacy. In other cases it is a reaction to preserve the power of the empire and crush the yearning of the people for self determination and freedom.

    Wherever there is a need, there is a knight. Every May the American Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS) and the Knights of Columbus organize and finance a pilgrimage to Lourdes for active duty military and veterans in need of healing as part of the International Military Pilgrimage (PMI). There is an application process on the website and opportunities to help at www.warriorstolourdes.com.

A concelebrated Mass by many priests in the grotto at Lourdes. Notice the military band on the left. To the right of the altar and above the candles is the statue of the Immaculate Conception.

    You dear reader can even go on a virtual pilgrimage and read personal testimonies on that same website. The Military Pilgrimage consists of daily prayer, procession, Mass, and being bathed in the healing waters of Lourdes, and other retreat activities. For a brief video overview go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSjc8NqP9E0 and a previous military pilgrimage Mass go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWAr_poQlCM.

Soldiers from the Army, Navy, and Marines process/march in front of the Basilica at Lourdes.

    History. During World War II, members of the French military visited the site of St. Bernadette’s apparitions, offering prayers for peace. In December of 1944, U.S. military personnel joined British, Belgian, French, and Russian military representatives for a Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary.


    After the War, French soldiers and their chaplains invited German soldiers and their chaplains to gather to pray together. The purpose of this initiative was to heal physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds and to reconcile the past between these former adversaries by recognizing their common identity as Christians in search of peace.


     The first official military pilgrimage was celebrated in 1958—13 years after World War II and one-hundred years after the 1858 apparitions. This year (May 10-16) marks the 62nd since then, drawing active-duty members and veterans from over 40 nations.


Military of 40 countries of the free world including Ukraine participated in the 62nd Annual International Military Pilgrimage (PMI). 

    The Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS) was created by St. Pope John Paul II to provide the Catholic Church's full range of pastoral ministries and spiritual services to those in the United States Armed Forces. This includes more than 220 installations in 29 countries, patients in 153 Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Centers, and federal employees serving outside the boundaries of the U.S. in 134 countries. The AMS is responsible for the spiritual well-being of more than 1.8 million Catholic men, women and children.  See milarch.org.

 

Veterans of the Knights of Columbus and the military of different countries process/march following an event in front of the Basilica at Lourdes.


   The Knights of Columbus (kofc.org), the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization, was founded in 1882 by Father Michael McGivney, a parish priest in New Haven, CT. It has more than 1.9 million members worldwide, including Canada, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, and Ukraine. The Knights donated more than $185.7 million and more than 76.7 million hours of service to charitable causes in 2018. Animated by its core principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism, the Knights of Columbus has a long history of serving the military since World War I as shown in the video Armed With the Faith: the Knights of Columbus and the Military at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL5QMMx1FoU.


    In 2011, the Order established a new scholarship program to help fund the education of seminarians preparing to become Catholic chaplains in the U.S. military. In 2014, the Knights in partnership with the Gary Sinise Foundation, provided funding to help complete the construction of computer-equipped custom smart homes for severely wounded heroes. The Knights have printed and distributed more than 600,000 durable Catholic prayer books titled Armed with the Faith for members of the US and Canadian armed forces. Today, the Knights of Columbus has more than 1,130 volunteers regularly serving at 130 VA medical centers.

    Our knights have served on the front lines of every war fought by the United States since the Order’s founding in 1882. Today, there are 67 active K of C military councils including West Point and eight Fourth Degree military assemblies around the world.


Appendix

APPLICATION PROCESS

Applications for the 2022 May pilgrimage are now available by clicking on the "Step 1" tab here below. Please carefully read through "Who is eligible?" to find out if you qualify.

Who Is
Eligible
Step 1
Apply
Step 2
Forms
Step 3
Endorsement
Step 4
Payment
Step 5
Confirmation

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?

Each category of eligibility is outlined here below. Please note that while expenses are covered for selected warrior pilgrims and their designated caregivers, it is not the case for their companions, pre-9/11 veterans and non military-affiliated volunteers. Exceptions may apply.

WOUNDED, ILL OR INJURED MILITARY PERSONNEL

Includes wounded, ill or injured individuals serving on active duty, honorably discharged, separated or retired from the United States Military (priority given to post-9/11 era). This category includes individuals suffering from PTSD, Moral Injury, and Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Since all pilgrims will lodge in hotels, wounded, ill or injured warriors must be able to perform all "activities of daily living" either alone or with the assistance of their designated caregiver. Applicants and their clinical providers should anticipate that professional medical or nursing services, including hospitalization, will be limited during the pilgrimage. EACH wounded, ill, or injured individual must complete and submit the full application to include the wounded, ill, or injured medical annex with physician signature.

NON-WOUNDED, NON-ILL OR NON-INJURED MILITARY PERSONNEL

Includes non-wounded, non-ill or non-injured individuals serving on active duty, honorably discharged, separated or retired from the United States Military (priority to post-9/11 era). EACH non-wounded, non-ill, or non-injured applicant must complete and submit a separate application to include the appropriate medical annex.

DESIGNATED CAREGIVER

Designated Caregivers, as defined by the VA and Military Services, include healthcare providers, spouses, adult relatives, significant others or friends who serve as a *certified designated caregiver for a wounded, ill or injured warrior. Services caregivers provide may include, but are not limited to, assistance with activities of daily living (i.e., personal hygiene, dressing, sitting, standing, feeding, bathing, etc.), ensuring the correct dose and timing of prescribed medications and/or providing supervision to ensure the safety of the warrior. A designated caregiver must be in good health, capable of sitting and/or standing in place for extended periods, capable of walking long distances (up and down stairs, hills and on uneven surfaces) and cannot have physical limitations that will prevent them from properly assisting the pilgrim. Designated caregivers should anticipate that professional medical or nursing services, including hospitalization, will be limited during the pilgrimage.

*A copy of your VA or Military Certification documentation must be included with your application.

ADULT COMPANION

Includes non-military spouses, adult relatives, significant others or friends serving as a travel and pilgrimage companion for a military pilgrim. A companion is NOT considered a designated caregiver. EACH companion must complete and submit a separate application to include the appropriate medical annex.

CHILD COMPANION

Includes child relatives under the age of 18 serving as a travel and pilgrimage companion for a military pilgrim. EACH child companion must complete or have completed and submit a separate application to include the appropriate medical annex.

VOLUNTEER

Includes any individual (including pre-9/11 era veterans) over the age of 14 who wishes to volunteer to physically support the movement and general care of warrior pilgrims as assigned by the Leadership Team for the Warriors to Lourdes Pilgrimage. A Volunteer must be in good health, capable of sitting and/or standing in place for extended periods, capable of walking long distances (up and down stairs, hills and on uneven surfaces) and pushing a wheelchair. Volunteers cannot have physical limitations that will prevent them from properly assisting our warrior pilgrims. EACH volunteer must complete and submit a separate application to include appropriate medical annex.

CHAPLAIN/DEACON

Includes both military (active, retired, discharged) and non-military Chaplains or Deacons who wish to attend and provide spiritual assistance for pilgrims. Non-active duty Chaplains will require a letter of good standing from their diocese or religious governing body.

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