Saint John Vianney Council 7525

Proud To Be A Knight

We are Catholic men building a bridge back to faith. There is much good and necessary work to be done in this world, and that’s what Knights do every day. 

Blessed Michael McGivney (1852 – 90) – Apostle to the Young, Protector of Christian Family Life and Founder of the Knights of Columbus, intercede for us.

Quote from Blessed Michael J McGivey

“Our primary object is to prevent people from entering Secret Societies, by offering the same, if not better, advantages to our members. Secondly, to unite the men of our Faith throughout the diocese of Hartford, that we may thereby gain strength to aid each other in time of sickness; to provide for decent burial, and to render pecuniary assistance to the families of deceased members.” 

— To Connecticut parish priests, April 1882 

Knighthood Takes Courage

Love of God and neighbor conquers fear and leads us to live sacrificially

By Supreme Knight Patrick E. Kelly 6/1/2022
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Supreme Knight Patrick E. Kelly

 
 

. THE IDEA OF the “knight in shining armor” is attractive. What young man has not at some time in his life been captivated by armor, sword and shield? But the essence of knighthood is not a matter of tools and external trappings; it is a matter of the heart — a heart that is brave in the face of hardship, danger and even death. Knighthood takes endurance and a willingness to give sacrificially. Knighthood takes courage.

Since I was installed as supreme knight last year, I have spoken frequently about our call to creative courage. In recent days, I have witnessed countless examples of it.

Perhaps most poignantly, I was struck by the courage of the Ukrainian people and especially Ukrainian Knights of Columbus, who continue to serve tirelessly, despite dire threats and mounting hardships.

I have been struck by the courage of those who continue to proclaim the truth about life, even in the face of hatred, condemnation and the threat of violence.

And I have been increasingly moved by the courage of men and women of deep faith who, despite a strong cultural current running against them, lovingly witness to their Catholic faith to family members, neighbors and friends.

There is a great deal of courage going around, and there can be no doubt that the world is better for it.

Courage, or fortitude, is that virtue which allows us to the do the right thing even in the face of fear. Without it, men fail to act when there is danger. Or, they jump rashly into serious danger because they fail to fear the right things — another kind of foolishness.

Courage, rightly lived, properly assesses danger — but leads us to act anyway. It requires endurance and discipline, but most of all it requires love, because it is our love for something — or for someone — that makes us willing to endure hardship, and even death.

‘Our Lord tells the disciples, “Be not afraid.” Not because there aren’t real things to fear, but because “perfect love drives out fear” (1 Jn 4:18). And in the Eucharist we are fed with and drawn into his life and love; in the Eucharist we are empowered to love as he loved.’

It was love, not fear or duty or a desire for honor, that led our Lord to take up his Cross. This love freed us from the bondage to sin, the tyranny of evil and the futility of death.

Consider, then, what love we should have in return. The one who gave everything to rescue us and everyone we love deserves all our love in return. It is our love of Christ, to whom we owe all our hope and joy, that gives us courage. If we would be courageous, we must love.

There are many ways we can love our Lord, but we can love him directly in special way by fostering love for the Eucharist.

For that reason, I return again to another theme of my service as supreme knight: our call to be “Knights of the Eucharist.”

Our Lord tells the disciples, “Be not afraid.” Not because there aren’t real things to fear, but because “perfect love drives out fear” (1 Jn 4:18). And in the Eucharist we are fed with and drawn into his life and love; in the Eucharist we are empowered to love as he loved.

This month, bishops in the United States are launching a National Eucharistic Revival for all the faithful. And we Knights in the United States are being called to support and promote the movement with courage and zeal. But no matter where we are, Knights of Columbus should promote belief in Christ’s presence in the Eucharist in themselves, their families and others. It is not only “right and just” to do so, as we say at the Mass, but this faith is an endless source of the courage to which we aspire as Knights.

Being a Knight of the Eucharist requires endurance in the face of fear and a confidence built on love for that which is greater — and, particularly, for he who is greater. In serving our neighbors and the living body of Christ — and in strengthening faith in our Lord’s eucharistic presence — we seek to serve God above all else.

Vivat Jesus!

The Knights of Columbus was initiated by the efforts of Blessed, Father Michael J. McGivney, assistant pastor and some of his parishioners of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven Connecticut in 1881.

Less than 6 months later the Connecticut State Legislature officially incorporated the Kights of Columbus (KoC) in the spring of 1882. Originally serving as a mutual benefit society to low-income immigrant Catholics, the KoC developed into a fraternal benefit society dedicated to providing charitable services, promoting Catholic education and Catholic public policy positions, and actively defending Catholicism in various nations.

The Knights of Columbus was formed to render financial aid to members and their families. Mutual aid and assistance are offered to sick, disabled, needy members and their families. Social and intellectual fellowship is promoted among members and their families through educational, charitable, religious, social welfare, war relief, and public relief works.

The history of the Order shows how the foresight of Blessed, Father Michael J. McGivney, whose cause for sainthood is being investigated by the Vatican, brought about what has become the world’s foremost Catholic fraternal benefit society.

The Order has helped families obtain economic security and stability through its life insurance, annuity, and long-term care programs, and has contributed time and energy worldwide to service in communities.

For their support for the Church and local communities, as well as for their philanthropic efforts, Pope John Paul II The Great referred to the Order as a “strong right arm of the Church.” In 2015, the Order gave over US$175 million directly to charity and performed over 73.5 million man-hours of voluntary service. Additionally, over 413,000 US pints of blood were donated in 2010 through the KOC.

The Knights of Columbus has grown from several members in one council to 15, 342 councils and 1.9 million members throughout the world. Over the years the Order has remained true to its founding principles of charity, unity, and fraternity.

Founded in 1882, the Knights of Columbus has grown into the largest cathedral fraternal organization in the world with 1.9 millions members. Our council was founded in 1980 and now has more that 170 members.

Our council is located in the beautiful Green Mountain State of Vermont in South Burlington, where skiing is the sport of choice and maple sugaring is a way of life. Most visitors call Vermont “God’s country” and rightly so.

In the fall our mountains are painted all shades of red, orange, and yellow that are the envy of artists and enjoyed by leaf-peepers from all over the globe.

Saint John Vianny Parish where we make our home has approximately 1300 families. Member Brother Knights in our council live in several of the surrounding towns as well. 

Although not the largest parish in the state, we have a reputation for being one of the most charitable. As all Knights know, charity is the watch-word of the Order. Our council gives to charities like Camp Ta Kum Ta & Special Olympics, provides scholarships to students and supports pro-life causes.  

Anyone considering a vocation to our mission and adopting a rewarding way of life would be welcome to our order as a brother knight.

  “You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14, 16)

Worthy Officers, Brothers and Sir Knights,

My name is Michael Bullock, your new Council 7525 Grand Knight. It is a distinct honor and privilege to take on this important position at this challenging period in our history. I live in Hinesburg with my wife Candice of 42 years and daughter Elizabeth, age 11, and our dog Marlo. We have four grown children, and six grandchildren. I belong to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Charlotte, but most weekends you can find me at a service at St. Jude the Apostle Church. I currently work for Valiant Integrated Services as a full-time Officer Senior Trainer to the Vermont Army National Guard (VTARNG) 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) (Mountain) and other units in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maryland. I served 31 years in the US Army, mostly part-time (M-Day) for the VTARNG. For 27 years I enjoyed a concurrent career in Insurance Adjusting. I deployed to Afghanistan in 2003 with the 124th  Regional Training Institute (Forward) and retired with the rank of Colonel in 2007. In 2011 I retired a second time after a second tour in Afghanistan with the 86th  IBCT (MTN) in 2010.

The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement have challenged us in many ways. This is a time of introspection and reflection, a time to question long held assumptions about what it means to worship God and serve our neighbor in His holy name.

I recall being distressed when the Churches closed, but not the liquor stores, when our collective response to the pandemic meant “social distancing”, “shelter in place”, “wear a mask” and ”wash your hands frequently.” Certainly, I thought, worship was an essential human activity. My comfort came from the Word; “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24)

The BLM Movement has shattered our complacency about matters of race, bias, inequality and injustice. We are reminded of the anti-Catholic sentiment common at the time of our founding and moved to consider whether Catholic lives can matter until black lives matter. When will the lives of the unborn matter? Is it enough to consider ourselves “color blind”; or should we endeavor to be militantly anti-racist? People are questioning the persistent loyalty to cherished icons; founding fathers, confederate leaders, and explorers like our own Christopher Columbus. How best should we reconcile their great achievements with their human frailty?

This moment and this movement are opportunities to excel. They serve to reinforce our commitment to our founding values and principles. Our creative response has already made it possible to engage members virtually who have not been able, due to health or distance, to attend a meeting or an event. We need their ideas and their prayers to get after the important work of the Council. Our Mission remains our focus in 2020; “to provide members and their families with volunteer opportunities in service to the Catholic Church, their communities, families and young people.”

We owe a debt of gratitude to all of our members and officers who have succeeded in bringing us safely to another base camp in our ascent to the Kingdom of Heaven. I especially want to thank our Brother, Sir Knight Tom Gravelin for his leadership and patient assistance during this transition. As the leader he blazed a new trail through three feet of snow against a strong headwind, assisted by many Sherpas. “Many hands make light work” and the role of the Sherpa, the officers and members of our Council, is essential. (Some scholars believe that the first humans to summit Mount Everest where Sherpas, not famous explorers) Thank-you Brother Tom for your service as Grand Knight.

The theme and focus of my service will be “renewal”. Even in the four years since I became a member of the Knights of Columbus, the number of Sherpas, or laborers in the field, has grown noticeably smaller. The cross that must be carried to achieve the summit of our aspirations does not change; the total weight is divided by the number of willing carriers. Our success depends on the number of laborers. The burden can be joyfully carried if each of us grabs a rucksack and takes on our share of the load to the next basecamp.

Father M. Eugene Boylan, in his wonderful book “This Tremendous Lover” reminds us that “There can, therefore, be no true union with God unless we love also our neighbor.” But he also observes “The greatest service we can render our neighbor is to sanctify ourselves… and to pray for them; …by a life of faith, hope, charity, humility, and abandonment to the will of God.”

It is my hope and prayer that you will find in your membership in the Knights of Columbus, a fraternal community dedicated to your sanctification and demonstrating a love of neighbor by becoming Christ to each other and to those we serve.

Fraternal Blessings,

Mike Bullock

Grand Knight

Council 7525

 

Mr Christopher G JohnsonPlease support these Worthy Council 7525 Officers for 2022-2023:

 

______________________  ______________________
Grand Knight Mike Bullock
Deputy Grand Knight Dave Martin
Financial Secretary Charles Brown
Chancellor Raymond Paul Bouchard
Recorder Ray Michaud
Treasurer Richard Gravelin
Advocate Tom Buzzell
Warden Jay Benson
Inside Guard Christopher Johnson
Outside Guard Cullen H Bullard
One Year Trustee Ted Barrett
Two Year Trustee Tom Gravelin
Three Year Trustee Bradley S Chenette
Chaplain Fr. Tim Naples
Lecturer Bernie Prendergast

Please support these Worthy Assembly 2601 Officers for 2021-2022: 

Faithful Navigator: SK Dave Martin
Faithful Comptroller: SK Charles Brown
Faithful Captain: SK Ted Barrett
Faithful Admiral: SK Dick Stevens
Faithful Purser: SK Richard Gravelin
Faithful Pilot: SK Richard Labrecque
Faithful Scribe: SK Ray Michaud
Faithful Inner Sentinel: SK Doan Vu
Faithful Outer Sentinel: SK Dinh Dang
Faithful Trustee (1 yr.): SK Bernie Prendergast
Faithful Trustee (2 yr.): SK Mike Bullock
Faithful Trustee (3 yr.): SK Tom Gravelin
Faithful Friar Sir Knight and Rev. Tim Naples
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