Canadian Knights stand out at international convention - Courtesy Archdiocese of Toronto Blog

THANK YOU TO THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS
For their hard work and great barbecuing…..Knights of Columbus donated $500 to the Building Fund.
Thank you to all parishioners & visitors who participated.
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Did you know there are 56,000 members of the Knights of Columbus in Ontario alone? The fraternal order is prominent in parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Toronto, serving the needs of our communities through the principles of “Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism”. Their contributions were celebrated August 5-7 at a global gathering in Orlando, Florida. The Knights of Columbus provide the following report.

Cardinal Gérald Lacroix - Courtesy Archdiocese of Toronto Blog

The Knights of Columbus’ 132nd annual international convention honoured a number of Canadian Knights and councils and featured a keynote address by Canada’s Cardinal Gérald Lacroix, ISPX, archbishop of Québec and primate of Canada.

Nearly 90 archbishops and bishops — including 11 cardinals — along with scores of clergy joined approximately 2,000 Knights and family members. They came from North and Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Europe for the three-day international convention in Orlando, Florida, guided by the theme of “You Will All Be Brothers: Our Vocation to Fraternity.”

Cardinal Lacroix gave the keynote address at the event’s opening dinner. He was joined at the convention by nine other Canadian archbishops and bishops, including Archbishop Paul-André Durocher of Gatineau, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. 

Globally, Knights donated more than $184 million and 70.5 million hours of service to charitable causes in 2013. The Canadian contribution was an all-time high of more than $30 million and 9,323,063 hours of service.

Of the Knights’ 70-plus regions, known as states, Québec placed first in the world in charitable donations for the fifth consecutive year, giving $11.4 million and nearly 1.7 million hours of service to charitable causes in 2013. Ontario came in second with $7.9 million.

When it comes to the amount of time volunteered per member last year, four Canadian jurisdictions were in the top 10. Prince Edward Island took first place with more than 135 hours per member. British Columbia was second with nearly 114 hours, while Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia rounded out the Canadian presence in the top 10.

“The generosity of our members in Canada is an inspiring example to every member of our organization,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “Their contributions help to improve the quality of life of those most in need. On behalf of our more than 1.8 million members, I congratulate them for their inspiring work.”

Founded in 1882 by Father Michael J. McGivney, who completed some of his priestly studies in Montreal, the Knights of Columbus has grown to more than 1.8 million members. The first Canadian council was established in Montreal in 1897 – just 15 years after the founding.

“This has been a special year for Canada,” said Anderson. He reported to the convention that the Knights’ Supreme Council, the Knights’ Québec State Council and the Canadian Association joined together to fund a new holy door – used only when the Church proclaims a holy year -- at the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec. The first Vatican-sanctioned holy door in North America, the massive bronze door bears the emblem of the Knights of Columbus.

The Knights also joined with the Church in Québec in celebrating the 350th anniversary of the Church in Québec, the canonizations of St. François de Laval and St. Marie of the Incarnation, and the Knights’ supreme directors made a special pilgrimage to pray at the tomb of St. Brother André in Montreal.

Many of the proceedings were broadcast on Salt + Light Television and can be found on social media with hashtag #KofCFL14 on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. More information is also available at www.kofc.org.

Cardinal Collins: Canada can do more to help Christians under siege in Iraq


Statement from Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto re: Iraqi Christians
August 7, 2014

Far away from the comfort of our television screens, tablets and newspapers, a tragedy continues to unfold in Iraq. Islamist extremists, intent on eliminating any trace of Christianity, have cast out tens of thousands of Christians, a people with an almost 2,000-year history in the region.

Shortly after I began my mission as Archbishop of Toronto, 7 years ago, the Archbishop of Mosul visited me and shared his hopes for caring for his community. He wanted to build a little school, and we tried to help him. He also told me of what his people were suffering even then. Now Mosul, one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, is devoid of any trace of Christianity. Churches have been desecrated and destroyed. Families have been told they must convert to Islam or die.

Scenes unfold daily of residents forced to flee their homes, stripped of their possessions, right down to the crosses around their necks, while others are murdered, martyrs literally laying down their lives for their faith. In 2003, there were an estimated one million Christians in Iraq; some suggest that no more than 150,000 remain today.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stated that this persecution could be considered a “crime against humanity”. Iraqi Christians have been begging the world to help them. It is fair to question whether the world is listening?

From a distance, we ask ourselves, what to do? It is good that our Prime Minister has condemned this violence in Iraq. We can urge the Canadian government to use its full diplomatic influence to support the demands of the Archbishops of Mosul, led by His Beatitude Patriarch Mar Louis Raphael Sako. These faith leaders have urged the Iraqi national government to:

• Provide full protection of all religious rights and those of other minorities who wish to remain in their homeland.
• Offer financial support for displaced families who have lost everything.
• Compensate victims for damages and losses suffered by Christians, providing immediate shelter and educational facilities to those forced now to live in refugee camps.

In Canada, I appeal to our government to expand available spaces for Iraqi Christians seeking refuge in our country, and to remove any bureaucratic impediments to their reception. The Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto, through the generosity of our parishes, has sponsored 820 refugees from the Middle East, many Iraqi Christians, over the past three years. As the largest Canadian private sponsor of refugees from the region, we stand ready to welcome more, with parishes mobilized to facilitate sponsorship and settlement at a moment’s notice. Let us accelerate the process at once.

We would do well to follow the lead of countries like France, that have announced publicly their intention to provide asylum for those who are persecuted. Canada should take immediate action to provide a safe haven for those forced to flee their homeland. In Iraq, religious freedom is not just being tested; it is being assaulted.

As always, we join in prayer and solidarity with our Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq. In the words of Pope Francis, “Violence will not win over violence. Violence is won over by peace!” Let us pray for an authentic peace in Iraq and in so many other troubled places in the world.

Courtesy Archdiocese of Toronto Blog