Thursday, May 18, 2023

(279) Seeing That “THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE GLORY OF GOD” (Psalm 19:1) Through the James Webb Space Telescope


    On Christmas Eve 1968 we saw live on television Apollo 8 circling the moon (see In awe the three astronauts wondered what to say to the people on earth.  Finally Bill Anders, one of the three astronauts quoted Genesis 1:2-3 of the Bible. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.  And God said, “Let there be light”, and there was light."  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness".  

    Today we can go back in time and see through the James Webb Space telescope the first stars and and galaxies that  God created ("Let there be light") some 200-400 million light years after the Big Bang, a short period in cosmic terms.   

For years the Hubble Space Telescope was state of the art in viewing the heavens.  Since the telescope was in orbit around the earth in outer space, it was free of random lights and other interferrence.  In 2021 the more modern James Webb Space Telescope was launched a million miles into space, now the largest and most powerful space telescope.  One of the first photographs released this past summer (2022) is the above star cluster.  It covers an area of the sky the size of a speck of dust placed at arm length.  This image peers at thousands of galaxies 4.6 billion light years distant.  The James Webb Space Telescope has the ability to explore stars 13.6 billion light years away, close to the time of the Big Bang (See the Appendix).  Let’s recall that a light year is the distance that light travels in one year at a speed of 186,000 miles per second.  

It is estimated that there are 100 billion galaxies in the universe and there are typically 100 billion stars in each galaxy.  Our own Milky Way Galaxy is just one of them.  That means over 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the universe.  Our sun is one of them, just an average star, not very big and not very small.    It warms our earth through thermonuclear reactions involving the fusion of hydrogen atoms into helium, equivalent to thousands of  devastating hydrogen bomb explosions per second.  Could some of these stars have solar systems with planets having life like our earth?  How awesome and immense is the universe that God created!  For some fascinating images and description go to and search for James Webb Space Telescope 60 Minutes.  See also

      Michael Menzel was a deputy program manager at Lockheed Martin for the Hubble servicing missions.  When Northrop Grumman won the “Next Generation Space Telescope” in 1997, they asked Menzel to work for them. That led to NASA when the project manager at the Goddard Space Flight Center asked him to be the lead systems engineer in 2004.   Let’s listen to him share some of his knowledge and insights.

Michael Menzel, a member of the Knights of Columbus since 2012.  He is the lead systems engineer in the development and placement of the new James Webb Space telescope over the last 25 years, a $10 billion project.  Following in the footsteps of Fr. Georges Lemaitre S.J., the originator of the Big Bang Theory in 1931, Brother Knight Michael Menzel will give us some insights into the compatibility of Science and Theology as recorded in the April issue of “Columbia”, the Knights of Columbus national magazine.

    As successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope “has four specific goals.  The first is to see the very first stars and galaxies. The Big Bang happened about 13.8 billion years ago, what is considered to be the age of the universe.  And maybe somewhere between 200 and 400 million years after that, the first stars turned on ("Let there be light"), which in cosmic time is pretty quick. The second goal is to see how galaxies, these vast cities of stars in space, evolve over cosmic time. The third goal is to see how stars are born in our own Milky Way galaxy. And the fourth goal is to see how solar systems are born and form. All four goals really dictate a telescope that’s six times bigger than Hubble and that can see infrared light.”

“There were five main challenges, but I’ll describe the three that you’re probably most familiar with. First, the telescope stands about as tall as a three-story building, and the sunshield is about as big as a tennis court. So challenge number one was fitting that into a rocket whose fairing, or nose cone, is only 5 meters in diameter. We had to fold this thing up, and then once it’s on orbit, rebuild the observatory and telescope robotically, unfolding what are 50 of the most complex deployments ever attempted.

The second challenge is that half of the observatory has to operate at temperatures only 55 degrees above absolute zero; it’s cryogenic. Three metric tons of telescope has to cool down to minus 370 degrees Fahrenheit. And to do it, we had to build a big sun shield that’s like a big umbrella. It gets illuminated by about 200,000 watts of solar radiation, and it can only allow .02 watts through. A heat leak could really do us damage. I tell folks that if it were suntan lotion, it would have an SPF of 10 million.

The third big challenge for me was this observatory was not testable on the ground. So, we had to test it in parts and assemble a big mathematical model to predict what its performance would be like on orbit. As engineers, we like to test the as-built device. Well, we couldn’t do that for James Webb.”

    “It had to be right the first time, and we were all very aware of that. This was exacerbated by the fact that deploying things in space is always a risky business.  Right after the launch (in French Guiana December 25, 2021), there were reporters all over the place. They were interviewing me and the program managers — “How do you feel? How do you feel?”  Well, we’re all sitting there acting very low key. I said, “Hey, look, it was a good day.” The launch was one thing, but I knew that we were really tempting fate with 50 very complex deployments ahead of us. Half of them were very precise, the ones that deployed and rebuilt the telescope. The ones with the sunshield didn’t have to be as precise, but they were actually harder, because we were dealing with five layers of indeterministic material. Predicting how those floppity layers would act in zero G was nerve-racking.

But we prepared for the worst, and there were only some very minor anomalies. We finished the deployments on Jan. 8, and we were all ecstatic. We were relieved. It was a good moment.  Right now, the telescope is twice as good as it was required to be. That’s in part due to the way we engineered it, and in part due to luck. See, we allowed margin for things that could go wrong, for what we nicknamed “unknown unknowns.” Well, we lucked out, and none of those terrible things happened.”

     Discoveries. “We don’t know a lot about the first stars and galaxies, but they’re probably emitting a lot of blue light. That short-wave light has been traveling through a universe that has been expanding for over 13 billion years, and by the time that light gets to us, it’s stretched out like a Slinky. You need an infrared telescope to see it, and James Webb is uniquely qualified for this.

    The astronomers are coming out with their first papers soon. But they have already told me that these very early galaxies that we’ve seen so far have been much, much bigger than anybody had anticipated. And rather than being made of mostly hydrogen and helium, they have a lot of carbon, oxygen, nitrogen — heavier elements that we didn’t expect to see. So one of the big surprises is that whatever’s going on in the early universe, it’s happening much quicker than we had thought.

During and after the launch, people asked me what my hopes are for this mission. I had three, and I think they’re all coming to fruition. One, I wanted to make sure that we saw the first galaxies in the universe. Second was that Webb would detect the first biomarkers on an exoplanet. Now, nothing has been published yet, and I have less inside information on that one, but I’ve seen enough data to know that we have a really good chance of doing that in the next couple of years. The third thing was that I hoped James Webb would find something that no one expected, that no one even thought to ask the question for — and what I just told you about the first galaxies easily qualifies.”

The Relationship Between Science and Faith.  “First, both religion and science are looking for the truth. It’s the methods that are different. Obviously, faith involves some introspection and a look into spiritual truths. Science looks for truth in the form of reproducible evidence. I see no conflict between the two at all.

Some of my colleagues are agnostics or atheists, and I respect that — they’re intelligent men and women — but I get a kick out of the one or two who will say, “We can prove there is no God.” That’s so laughable it isn’t funny. You absolutely couldn’t prove that.  

And every once in a while, I run into the other extreme. Over the course of my career, I’ve run into folks that will take everything in the Bible literally, and God bless them. But they will come on and attack me, saying the universe is 10,000 years old, something like that. I usually listen politely and give the standard answer. But at a NASA event near Wall Street, one guy just kept telling me I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Now, I’ve read the Bible back and forth four or five times, and I finally said, “OK, you take the Bible literally?” “Yeah, I do.” “Ever read the Second Letter of St. Peter, chapter three?” “Yeah.” “A day to God is like 1,000 years, and 1,000 years is like a day to God.” I started doing the math and got the world to billions of years old. He was getting so mad at me, and he finally said, “Well, you can’t take that literally!”

The most distant known galaxy (in the square upper left), 32 billion light years away.

The first photo of a black hole as it attracts everything including light.  Thus the Black Hole itself, which is extremely dense, neither emits nor reflects light and is black.  The matter surrounding the black hole does give off light as it is sucked into the Black Hole by its tremendous gravity.

Some Added Tidbits.  Galaxy HD1 13.5 billion light years away may contain a supermassive black hole about 100 million times the mass of our Sun. 

The earth rotates at 1000 miles per hour at the equator.  The moon at a distance of 238,900 miles speeds around the earth at 2,264 mph.  At the same time the earth travels around the sun (333,000 times the mass of the earth and 1.3 million times the volume with a surface temperature 9930 °F and 93 million miles away) at a speed of 67,000 mph. It takes the light from the sun 93 million miles away 8.3 minutes at 186,000 miles per second to reach the earth.  We can then say that the sun is 8.3 light minutes from us.  The closest star to us, Alpha Centauri, is 4.35 light years away. 

 The sun is 333,000 times the mass of the earth and 1.3 million times the volume with a surface temperature of 9930 °F to keep us warm.  It’s all thermonuclear reactions by the fusion of hydrogen to helium like thousands of hydrogen bombs going off per second. As we said above, the sun is a simple medium star, just one of 100 billion stars in our Milky Way Galaxy and there are about 100 billion galaxies in the universe.  So that means we have over 10 billion trillion or 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (i.e. 10^22) stars in the universe.  

The radius of the universe is estimated to be 43 billion light years.   The most distant known galaxy, as shown in the above photo, is 32 billion light years away.  It formed about 320 million years after the Big Bang.  The age of the universe is about 13.6 billion light years since the Big Bang. 

These figures are beyond our imagination and shows the immensity of our universe and the domain of an infinite God.  Other worlds inhabited by intelligent beings are certainly within His creative power.  What marvels shall we see in Heaven?     


The Big Bang Theory

    As a college professor, I am contingent upon my education, which is contingent upon my parents, who are caused by their parents, etc., etc.  They are all contingent or dependent upon matter, which goes back to the “Big Bang” that originated at a point. The theory of the origin of our expanding universe with the “Big Bang”, now commonly accepted, was formulated by a Belgian Catholic priest, Fr. Georges Lemaître in 1927 (see  He saw the big bang as a creation like event and saw no conflict between science and theology although he avoided mixing the two.

Fr. Lemaitre with Albert Einstein.  Although incredulous at first,  Einstein accepted the Big Bang Theory.

Albert Einstein, considered to be a genius and an atheist, was awestruck by the great order in the universe.  Thus he believed in an intelligent designer of the universe, who planned it all.  He said: “A spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe, a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble”.  It stated the same in other words that there is a great designer of the universe, “in comparison to whom, I am insignificant.”  However, he did not believe in a personal God.

 Matter is contingent on being itself, who is God.  Matter could have different forms and can be shaped into innumerable forms that we use in our everyday lives.  When the atheist goes through the chain of contingent causes from object to person to matter, he will eventually have to stop and throw up his hands and say: “That’s the way it is”, thinking that it just popped out into being.  The believer will continue to the “uncaused cause”……..God……a reality not contingent on anything, whose nature is to be.  By reason, any being would eventually have to be contingent upon being itself…….God.

Thursday, May 4, 2023

(278) Knights of Columbus Hold Their Abbreviated Special Olympics at the Guiding Hands School and Receive More Than They Can Give


And the games are on as opened up by Grand Knight Matt Bokovitz

       For well over 20 years Council 3335 of the Knights of Columbus has sponsored an annual abbreviated Special Olympics at the Guiding Hands School of the Gallipolis Development Center.  At the forefront has been Jim Ryan.  Even though he could not be present because of his duties as a caregiver and not in the best of health himself, he still organized things behind the scenens…….a t-shirt for each participant and a medal or plaque for each winner.

We’ll give Mike Dressel an assist on that one.

      Reflections on Church Teaching From Our Experience.  Every year the knights who participate in this annual project receive more than they give.  Each time it’s a little different and always a heart warming experience.  Without question, God loves these little kids, a little slow developmentally, as much as any one else.  Being there, one cannot help but appreciate the gifts that God has given to each one of us, which we usually take for granted.  That brings a tremendous responsibility to share our gifts with those who are less gifted.

  We can see that God loves the less fortunate through us as His instruments.  We learn that God loves the less gifted as much as anyone else.  He has a special mission for everyone of us whether we are more gifted or less gifted.  The less gifted give the more gifted the opportunity to love and to share and to grow in virtue.  The more gifted have a special mission to use their great gifts to love and to serve others.  We all must help each other on the common road to eternity whether in the family, in the parish, on the job, or in the community.

It’s GOOD! as Paul Sebastian and Matt Bokovitz cheer him on.  The kids feel good about themselves as they make basket after basket, all having a good time.

    All of this is traditional Church social teaching.  Every person has equal dignity and value whether more gifted or less gifted, rich or poor, educated or uneducated, high class or low class, healthy, sick, or handicapped.  “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:40-45)”.  Through the ages this Bible passage has been the greatest motivator of charity in the Church.  Thus the Church has a special preference for the poor.  As St. Mother Teresa said, “Whenever I bind the wounds of the abandoned dying person, I feel that I am binding the wounds of Christ Himself”.  Clearly, the participating knights are enriched spiritually and leave with a warm feeling in their hearts.  In fact one of our men has inquired in regard to volunteering his time now and then.

      Every person has great inherent dignity because he or she is created according to the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27).  Christ, the Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity became one of us to teach us how to live and save us from our sins through His infinite sacrifice of Himself on the cross under excruciating agony and pain to make reparation for all of our sins past, present, and future so that we may enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  All we have to do is accept Him and follow Him.

This mini gym and play room has atmosphere which you can see in the background.  The artwork reflects Gallipolis and Gallia County. 

        The Gallia County Board of Developmental Disabilities provides lifelong services if necessary to those in need.  Their programs include home based instruction to those up to three years of age, the Guiding Hand Pre-school classes (3-5) followed by the Guiding Hand elementary school, middle school, and high school up to the age of 21.  At age 18 employment options are presented. 


One of the standouts poses with his plaque of victory.  At the same time the camera captures a gem of wisdom in the background left over from Valentine’s Day, ”All you need is LOVE!”.  That says it all for everyday of the year.  May we put that into practice always…….to humbly accept the love of others while communicating love to all.  That would make the world a lot different, wouldn’t it?  Maybe these kids can teach us a little about changing the world…….from what it is, to how it should be.  It starts with each one of us.

    Each class, limited to 8 students has a teacher and an aide.  The curriculum includes speech therapy, physical therapy, functional academics, daily living skills, physical education, art, and music as well as behaviorial, social, and emoitional support.  One may obtain more detail about the work of the Gallia County Board of Developmental Disabilities by going to and/or to the GalliaCoDD Facebook page.  Our thanks to Tessa Martin and the director, Laura Johnson for the photos and their help with this project.   


The staff of the Gallia County Board of Developmental Disabilities is certainly doing its part with their loving patience and teaching.  The goal is to develop each person under their care to be as independent and functional as possible whether in small or big ways…….ideally to be full participants in the community.  Society must recognize that disabled does NOT mean unable.  Every year without fail, Chris Davison is front and center in this free throw activity.  This year is no exception.  However, he somehow eluded every attempt to got him on a photo.  Wait til next year!

Sunday, April 2, 2023

(277) MEN (AND WOMEN TOO), YOU HAVE AN AWESOME MISSION…….TO PASS DOWN THE FAITH: A Review of the Movie, “To Believe”, an Inspiring True Story of Preserving the Faith During Intense Persecution in Ukraine


A scene from the very powerful must-see movie, “To Believe”.  It made  such a lasting impression on me because it vividly describes the intense persecution of 1921 and genocide that the people of the Ukraine had to endure under Russian Soviet Communism, referred to as the notorious “Holodomor” in 1932-33.  They killed over 3 million Ukrainians by mass starvation in taking away their wheat crop for the Soviet Russian government.  Russians often call Ukrainians Khokhols [хохол; xoxol].  It's like calling a black man "nigger".   That kind of Russian domination over the centuries is why the Ukrainian people are fighting so fiercely to resist the Russian invasion of February 24, 2022, now having passed over a year of terror, hardship, sacrifice, courage, and faith in the fight for national independence and freedom.

    ”Give me liberty or give me death !”  The Ukrainian people have the same attitude.  France helped us through the Revolutionary War in our fight for freedom and independence.  Some 245 years later under the leadership of the United States, the NATO members have been providing billions of dollars in arms to help Ukraine’s fight for its independence and freedom.   The NATO countries are quite united.  In our country the leaders of both the Democratic and Republican parties for once are working together and cooperating in a bipartisan manner.  

     Ukraine’s battle for survival is also our battle because there is no stopping blatant aggression over its neighbors until the free countries work together to preserve the world order established by the United Nations after World War II.  That is, the world powers must solve their disagreements only by negotiations and other peaceful means, NEVER by aggression.  As promulgated by Woodrow Wilson after World War I, a people has the right to self-determination.  In the same way after World War II colonies of Britain, France, the United States, and others were granted their independence......including India, South Africa, the Philippines, Indonesia, Congo, etc. 

The main point of the movie is to show our awesome responsibility to pass down the faith to the next generation…….our children and grandchildren.  We are losing our youth because we are not passing down the faith and are poor examples of what Catholic Christians should be.  We are lax in living our faith. 

This is truly a must see movie, only 58 minutes long……for me a tear jerker, which I watched several times.  The very well done movie, produced by EWTN Ukraine, is in Ukrainian with English subtitles.  That will give you an idea of the Ukrainian culture and language.  Khrista, a Ukrainian exchange student and a regular at our 10 am Mass, could add some real insights.  The movie, filmed in Ukraine, has been shown on EWTN, our Catholic channel numerous times. 

Click on the link Then hover on the picture below the large one and click on the arrow that will appear.   Watch the movie and see what happened over 50 years later to a little boy who received the Faith during the persecution. 

      In the movie, “To Believe”, we follow a rural Ukrainian family, its parish family, and its pastor Fr. Sebastian Sabudzinski over a period of about 100 years with scenes from the 1921 persecution after the 1917 Communist Revolution; the 1930s during the Holodomor, a period of intense persecution and genocide of forced starvation under Josef Stalin (3 million people starved to death); 1953 - more persecution under the regime of Josef Stalin; and 2020 after Ukraine obtained its independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  This is what the people of Ukraine are fighting to preserve…..their faith, their freedom, and their independence. 

     Vladimir Putin, the Russian dictator has dreams of turning back the clock to the “glory days” and restoring the Soviet empire of the 20th Century and the Russian Empire of Czar Peter the Great and Czarina Catherine the Great in the 18th Century.  Both empires subjugated Ukraine for so many years.  

     The Baltic Countries, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and the eastern third of Poland (1793-1918) among others were part of the Russian and Soviet empires.  After World War II these countries along with East Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Slovakia were taken over by Russian Soviet Communism.  In 1991 they obtained their independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  For a history of the Russian Empire go to

The men of the village with the parish priest, Fr. Sebastian Sabudzinski are told by the Communists to renounce their faith.

        The 1921 Persecution.  Very dramatic is the village’s struggle to hide the sacred vessels, protect the Eucharist from desecration, and the martyrdom of the leaders of the village together with its pastor, Fr. Sabudzinski.  He is an inspiration to the persecuted.  As St. Paul said, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 8:35-39).  The people of the village still found ways to pray together.  The acting is excellent.   

Seven Ukrainian priests and lay leaders are marched into a forest to be executed.  They are given one last chance to renounce their faith.  All refused; all were shot to death in 1921.  What would you do under the circumstances?

     During the Holodomor of 1932-33, the family tried to hide its wheat crop from the Soviet Russian government.  This was a period of forced genocidal starvation resulting in 3 million deaths to keep the people in line and subservient  to Moscow.  For details of the Holodomor in a graphic video go to

“The Holodomor: How Stalin Starved Ukraine”,vid:lejDbulJN54.

      Peter, a member of that family, returned to his roots in 1953 after 30 years imprisonment in the Gulag in Siberia for helping to hide the sacred vessels of the village church from the communists.  At their family reunion Peter’s wife, nearly killed in the persecution, asks her husband to stand firm in the faith, to love, to persevere in the face of persecution, to forgive, to hope.   Then the movie flashes back to the persecution of 1921.

       An old man told a little Ukrainian boy in 1953:  “I want you to remember what price was paid to keep the faith.  There is nothing more precious than faith in the entire world.  If you have it in your heart, it will be your priceless treasure that other people can tap into.  This (a tattered Bible) is my most precious gift that I can give you.  Promise me to keep it.”  May this old man (me) and other men of my generation and young fathers too share the same with you, our dear youth.  Under the secularization of America, we are already undergoing a subtle persecution that could get bloody someday.

       Fast forward to 2020.  That little boy later became a priest and eventually an aging Bishop.  He is shown holding that tattered Bible during one of his homilies, teaching his flock to “PASS DOWN THE FAITH”.  “They paid for their Faith with suffering and their lives.  Remember at what price the faith was preserved.  Thanks to the seeds of martyrdom, today the Catholic Church in Ukraine flourishes (2020) and bears fruit through priests, consecrated men and women as well as lay people who care about the future of the Church”.

Scenes from the movie, “To Believe”.  The photo on the lower right depicts the Bishop telling his story of having received a tattered Bible and the faith as a boy to pass down despite intense persecution.

   The movie ends with a commentary: “Not everything was lost during the long night of Communism.  As gold is tried with fire, so faith is tempered in suffering and persecution.  There is nothing more valuable to human life than God.  Whoever understands this truth and testifies with his life and is ready to die when needed, may rest assured that his life is not wasted.  Now our task is to cherish the Faith and pass this history to future generations.”  Do we Americans need a persecution to set us straight? 

May God have mercy on the people of Ukraine who are suffering so much and may He bring good out of their travail.  Ukraine will come out stronger because of this tremendous cross, overcome the corruption inherited from Communism, and become a great country.  Sunday Mass attendance has increased significantly in Ukraine.  A Ukrainian mystic prophesied that Russia will be converted through Ukraine.  For now Russia continues in its errors as Mary foretold at Fatima.     

       Joe Loya, the father of a priest and a deacon, once said to his four boys in his Archie Bunker style when they were kids.  “God put me here for one reason and that’s to get you guys to Heaven.”  That’s what it’s all about, men and you will answer for how well you did in passing down the faith.  Fr. Thomas Loya, now a Byzantine Catholic priest, pastor of Assumption Byzantine Catholic Church in Homer Glen, Illinois never forgot those words of his father and repeated them at his funeral. 

        The most important lesson from the movie, "To Believe" is the tremendous responsibility of each one of us to PASS DOWN THE FAITH to our children and grandchildren.  If we don't do that, the generations that follow us will be unchurched unbelievers and the American Church could fall into a dark period of indifference and closed churches.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

(276) Knights of Columbus Re-consecrate the Order to Our Lady of Guadalupe


Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly speaks after Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, celebrated by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop of Baltimore William Lori, on February 3.  Next to him is the former Supreme Knight Carl Anderson who led the original consecration in 2001.  Behind the center of the altar is the sacred image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and on the right is an image of St. Juan Diego to whom Mary appeared and asked him to convey her message that she wanted a shrine built where she would give her motherly love to the people of Mexico and all of the Americas.  Photo by Tamino Petelinšek.  For more detail on the image and photos go to (104) Our Lady of Guadalupe (I): Binding the Americas Together at and (105) Our Lady of Guadalupe (II): Mary’s Message to us in the Image

    Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly renewed the consecration of the Order to Mary under her title of Our Lady of Guadalupe during a recent Board of Directors pilgrimage to Mexico City.  The renewal took place February 3 at the conclusion of Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe celebrated by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore. Msgr. Eduardo Chávez, postulator for St. Juan Diego’s cause for canonization and a canon of the basilica, was among the concelebrants.  Read the homily of the Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori at

Jorge C. Estrada Aviles, an officer of the Knights of Columbus Mexico addresses the congregation during the re-consecration of the order to Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Behind the altar is her miraculous image that appeared on the tilma of St. Juan Diego.

On Feb. 3, 2001, Carl Anderson, Patrick Kelly’s predecessor first consecrated the Knights of Columbus to Our Lady of Guadalupe when formally installed as the 13th supreme knight.  It was inspired in part by St. Pope John Paul II’s 1999 apostolic exhortation Ecclesia in America (The Church in America (The Church in America – at, in which the Pontiff called for greater unity across the continent and acclaimed Our Lady of Guadalupe as “Patroness of all America (North, Central, and South) and Star of the first and new evangelization.” 

After the Church was torn apart by the Protestant Reformation in 1517, Our Lady of Guadalupe made up for that loss by bringing into the Church 8 million Indians between 1531 and 1538.  No wonder she is also the Patroness of the Missions, the ultimate missionary to his day.   

In brief remarks to the Board of Directors and guests, Supreme Knight Kelly affirmed, “Our devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe has continued to grow stronger, in councils and in parishes throughout the Order and in every country where we are present.”  After all, the Knights of Columbus has many councils in Canada, USA, Mexico and the Philippines where Our Lady of Guadalupe has many devotees.  She is very much part of the Mexican culture.

Echoing Mary’s words to St. Juan Diego in 1531, the Supreme Knight added: “Our Lady inspires us and guides us in all of our efforts — especially those for the sake of the unborn and the most vulnerable — and we take constant solace in knowing that she is here; she who is our mother.”   In reality the miraculous image shows Mary as pregnant with the Christ child.  Thus Our Lady of Guadalupe is also the Patroness of the Unborn.

Patrick Kelly, Supreme Knight, processes with the reliquary of the six martyrs of the Cristero War in the 1920s who were members of the Knights of Columbus.  Behind him is their image.  St. Pope John Paul II canonized them and 19 other martyrs of that intense persecution in the year 2000. 

Following his remarks, Supreme Knight Kelly led the congregants in reciting the Litany of the Blessed Virgin. Archbishop Lori then recited the Prayer of Re-consecration. The solemn re-consecration concluded with remarks by Msgr. Eduardo Chávez.

The Knights of Columbus Board of Directors stand in front of the old Basilica constructed in 1709 and the new one on the left constructed in 1976.  Some 20 million pilgrims visit every year, only surpassed by St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.  Notice that the old Basilica is leaning due to the marshy soil underneath.

      Blessed Michael McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882.  The order became part of Mexico  since 1905, when Supreme Knight Edward Hearn visited Mexico City to install officers of Guadalupe Council 1050.  See a video of the re-consecration at,vid:76V0RJj3-DM

March Newsletter Notes

Football fans, did you know that the Kansas City kicker, Harrison Butker, who kicked the winning field goal in the last minute of the game, is a strong Catholic?  He is an altar server at a Latin Mass parish.  For an interview, go to and for his talk at Benedictine College go to  Read about the 2023 Super Bowl’s last minute and see the kick at's%2027%2Dyard,goal%20try%20of%20the%20game.  

What Are You Doing for Your Marriage Today?  Pray for your wife every day.  The prayer I offer is:  “Dear Lord, please help me to be a good husband.  Help me to love her more.  Help me to make her happy.  Help me to give more of myself to her.  Help me to be more sensitive to her needs, feelings, and desires.  Give me the strength to die (to myself) for her everyday……..her needs over my needs……all in the context of a good marriage and a holy family.  Help us to be an example for other couples to follow.  St. Joseph, model of a true man of God, husband, and father pray for us.  Mother Mary, pray for us.”

Diocesan Men's Day of Renewal Saturday, March 11 from 9 am – 3:30 pm at St. Stephen’s Church; 1036 Belford St.; Caldwell, Ohio 43724Boys 18 and under Free.   The patron of the Men’s Conference is St. Joseph, a true man of God and a man of virtue.  Yet he was rugged and tough.  After you hear John Bergsma’s talk, you will have to agree and even imitate him as your model.   Contact your parish representative (e-mail address) to register.  Enjoy the fellowship in the car/van pool, which leaves at 6:30 am from the Parish Hall.

Monthly Business Dinner Meeting - Monday March 27 at 6:30 pm with Mass at 5:30 pm.  Prayer is essential to our success.  Members are urged to attend both Mass and the meeting that follows with supper, great fellowship, decision making on future activities, planning, and coordination.  The input of every knight is most valuable.  Our Council is as strong as each knight makes it.  That begins with YOU!  We cannot be an effective Council without the Lord’s help and guidance together with your participation.  Some of the men make great sacrifices to attend the meetings.  May all do the same!.  Talk up the meetings and get your brother knights to attend.  The next 4th Monday of the month Dinner Meeting will be on Monday April 24 at 6:30 pm.  Please talk it up.