Last evening, Holy Cross Council’s team presented a First Degree, during which six new members were accepted into the Knights of Columbus. I was struck by the variety of life experiences the new members have brought to their councils:
- a young priest from Kuala Lumpur who is studying canon law at St Paul University
- a retired grandfather of Hispanic origin
- an employee of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
- a pediatrician who works at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
- a military surgeon who recently returned from two tours of duty in Afghanistan
- a small business owner from Wendover
Everyone in the room identified, in their own way, with the words of the military surgeon: “I’ve seen the horrors of the battlefield and the good that people can do. I’m here to do all the good I can.” Amen to that.
Holy Cross Council has a series of activities scheduled over the next six weeks:
- April 17, 7:30 p.m. – First Degree ceremony, church hall
- April 21, after all Sunday Masses – pancake breakfast, church hall
- April 27, 10:00 a.m. – Second Degree ceremony
- May 4, 9:00 a.m. – Airport Parkway cleaning; meet in the church hall
- May 6, 7:30 p.m. – executive meeting, church hall
- May 12, after all Sunday Mass – distribute flowers for Mothers Day
- May 15, 7:30 p.m. – general meeting, church hall
- May 18-19 – state convention, Toronto
Each year at this time, the first communicants make their appearance in our church. The boys in their ties, the girls in white dresses, grandparents beaming with delight, parents struggling with their new camera — all signs of another group of children making this rite of passage.
For the past twenty winters, my wife Barbara has volunteered with the sacramental preparation team as they present the “Come Join us at the Table” program for the children and their parents. The planning begins in early autumn, followed by a parents’ information meeting. In late January, the six-session program proceeds, regardless of the weather and the many commitments everyone has. As the big date approaches, the excitement level rises and spreads from the children to the adults as surely as the colds they bring home from school.
On that special Sunday, the child’s family and friends arrive to witness the important moment: grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends, regular church-goers and the unchurched, the formal and the casual, the bored and the attentive.
And so the seeds of renewal are sown each spring: communion with the Lord, communion with the family, communion with the welcoming community.