Ministries: Catholic Organizations
The Director of Religious Education introduces two members of the Catholic Daughters; the organization offered awards to the best projects from CCD sudents.
- Catholic Daughters: Formed in 1903, the Catholic Daughters of the Americas is one of the oldest and largest organizations of Catholic women. CDA donates to charities, administers scholarship programs, and strives to help alleviate pain, poverty, sorrow, and sickness. Catholic Daughters meet for prayer and friendship while supporting the parish community, seeking to exemplify the spirituality alluded to by Pope John Paul II when speaking of the necessity of “feminine genius” in the world today. Members assist in charitable works and sponsor events for the parish, such as retreats, as well as hold a few social events for members. Court St. Francis #1206 celebrated its 80th anniversary on December 15, 2013 (see a photo gallery of this event). CDA meets September through June every third Tuesday of the month at 1 p.m.
- Knights of Columbus: The Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization, is a specially chartered Connecticut corporation. Currently, there are more than 1.78 million members in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guam, Poland, Panama, the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Guatemala, and Saipan. Founded in 1882, the Knights of Columbus operates through and maintains an active system of local and state councils through which extensive charitable and volunteer programs are conducted. Worldwide it provides thousands of wheelchairs and medical care to impoverished nations. Each winter members distribute thousands of free coats to poor children nationwide. During disaster the Knights distribute thousands of meals and fresh water and spearheaded a major effort to rebuild homes in Haiti after the earthquake. It is safe to say that wherever there is a need, the Knights are there.
St. Francis of Assisi Council 670, one of the oldest chartered councils in the U.S., forming shortly after the turn of the twentieth century, has been involved in a large number of charitable activities over the years as well as providing key support to the parish directly, for instance, organizing travel to participate in the annual “March for Life” rally in Washington, D.C., and providing the Lenten Friday meatless meal service. Members run several fundraisers throughout the year, the largest of which is the Knights of Virginia for Disabilities (KOVAR), which raises thousands of dollars through distributing free Tootsie Rolls outside area Walmart and Kroger stores. Funds raised are donated to charitable activities, a portion of which is reserved for an ongoing vocations fund to help financially those seeking Holy Orders.
Anyone seeking membership must be a practicing Catholic man and should contact a Knight in his parish to fill out a form 100. After consultation with the parish priest and the rest of the Council, the candidate is invited to participate in three ceremonies, known as Degrees, These are performed in order to teach the proper functions and devotions of the Order to the inductee. If the new Knight desires, he is given the opportunity to rise to the highest station of service, the 4th Degree. There he participates in the public and patriotic arm of the Order. He is allowed to wear the Order’s regalia and take part in many ceremonies, which may include being part of the Color Guard, providing service to our military, and/or the administrative function of the Church.
The Knights assist the pastor in enhancing parish life and help with other charitable or community works. Socials are held throughout the year. Rosary begins at 7 p.m., with meetings at 7:30 p.m. the first and third Mondays of the month. Ministry Coordinator: Kevin Hopkins.
- Legion of Mary: The Legion of Mary is the largest world-wide apostolic organization of lay people in the Catholic Church with over three million active members and twelve million auxiliary praying members. It has been approved by the last six popes and was endorsed by the Second Vatican Council. What does the Legion of Mary do? The Legion is an organization of men, women, and children who want to do something meaningful for the Church while at the same time deepening their spiritual life and strengthening their Catholic faith. The Legionary learns to forget himself and rely completely on the Holy Spirit and Our Blessed Mother. As an extension of the heart and hands of our pastor, a methodical system is used for prayer and visitation of the homebound, nursing home residents, prisoners, and neighbors through a door-to-door program. How does it work? Active members meet weekly on Saturday mornings for prayer and discussion in a family setting. Then, working in pairs, they perform two hours of definite works of spiritual mercy. Auxiliary members attend no meetings but are required to pray daily the Rosary and the Legion prayers contained in the Tessera.
What are the fruits? Gathering with like-minded Catholics supports and encourages members in their spiritual life. Then they are sent to visit others and share these graces with each other. Often we see the fruits of people having their faith increased or restored, with a greater love and devotion to Our Lord and Savior, returning to the sacraments, having their marriages validated, having their children baptized, or being consoled in their trials. If you are longing for a closer walk in the faith, come and see. Meetings are Saturdays at 9 a.m., except First Saturday at 8 a.m. Ministry Coordinator: Helga Fallis.
In addition to their charitable works, the Knights of Columbus here act as a color guard in the Corpus Christi procession.