Knights of Columbus – Orange County Chapter
If you didn’t come to the February Chapter meeting, you missed the First Annual “Chapter Under The Stars” event! Our State Secretary presented single, double, and triple Star Awards to our winning Councils, the State Chairman for Volunteers for the Special Olympic World Games gave us a rundown on how we can be part of this upcoming historic event, and we got to experience the joy of nature as we held our meeting on St. Joachim’s patio! What really happened was that the Parish Confirmation class needed the Hall and the Iron Knights of Jubilee Council set things up for us on the patio. Lasagna, stars, and short speeches. How good can it get?
This month, we need to move the Chapter meeting up one week because of a conflict with the St. Joachim Parish Hall. We will meet at our usual time, but on Thursday, March 19th. This will be an important meeting. We will be discussing the final plans for the Day of Sharing, progress on our ID drive, and planning for the State Convention.
Dr. Mike Cushing, Culture of Life Chairman Bernie Vitchus, and I attended a Diocesan meeting on the Death with Dignity Act, SB 128 now in State Senate committee hearings. Speakers included Bishop Vann, Bishop of Orange, Fr. Robert Spitzer S.J., President of Magis Institute, Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, Director of the Program of Medical Ethics at UCI, Dr. Vincent Nguyen, palliative care specialist at Hoag Health Center, Tim Rosales from Californians Against Assisted Suicide and Dr. Vincent Fortanasce, Neurologist, author, and bio-ethicist. The program outlined SB 128, its parallels and diversions from similar bills in Oregon and Washington, the evolving history of euthanasia in Europe and North America, and the outlook of the future if this bill is allowed to pass in California. Essentially, the bill is being sold as offering choice to the suffering. Where this has been in practice, the “protections” built into the laws have been diminished by the court systems and often, the “Right to Die” becomes a perceived or even openly suggested, “Duty to Die.” The disadvantaged are the most abused victims of misuse of Physician Assisted Suicide.
The Knights are being asked to take a number of actions. First, we must educate ourselves and then others, on SB 128 and how it has evolved in other places that have made euthanasia legal. Second, let our Pastors know that the Knights of Columbus are ready to help them in building opposition to this law within their Parish Communities, Third, and Bishop Vann stresses the importance and urgency of this action, notify your legislators how you, as an individual and constituent, oppose Physician Assisted Suicide and those who are proponents of it. Finally, organize and exercise the Power of Prayer that this bill shall be defeated.
Here is a link provided by the Diocese and Catholic Conference that will provide you and anyone else interested with current information on Legislative Action: http://cqrcengage.com/cacatholic/app/write-a-letter?0&engagementId=77606.
One statement has stayed in my head from that meeting, more than any other. “Once a practice is made law, it becomes acceptable and then it becomes moral.” If you don’t believe this simple tenet, look at how abortion has evolved in this country since Roe-vs-Wade.
Ryan Lillyengren, Director of Communications for the Diocese, has been scheduled to talk to the Chapter membership at this month’s Chapter meeting on this issue. I will have to confirm his availability next week instead of on the 26th, but if Ryan is unavailable, there are a number of other speakers who can fill in for him. Please come to this important meeting because the time for action is now. On that note, if any Council would like to have either myself or a member of the SB 128 opposition team come to speak at a Council or Parish meeting, please contact me.
The Chapter Basketball Free Throw Championship took place at St. Norbert’s on February 28. We had a great turnout with typically 3 to 6 competitors in each age group for both boys and girls. Hats off to Chairman Don Ehrman and the District Deputies, Council Chairmen, and Parents who made this event possible. Also, thanks to St. Norbert’s for the use of their beautiful facility. If anyone is interested in pictures from this event, please contact me for a link.
All Councils are asked to turn their ID drive contributions in as soon as possible. In order to have your donations recognized for 2014, those funds need to be recorded by the Columbian Charities corporation by April 1.
Speaking of Columbian Charities, I’d like to take just a minute more of your time to ask each of you to consider volunteering to become a director on the board of Orange County Chapter Charities. Chapter Charities is the 501C3 corporation that collects, accounts for, and distributes, your ID drive contributions. The Board of Directors meet once a month. They are responsible for monitoring all accounts, determining distributions, approving all checks, and handling of ID drive funds. If you feel a calling to help in this necessary and rewarding corporation, please contact PGK John Ruelas, our elections Chairman for the upcoming Columbian Year.
The State Convention is two months away! Please ensure that your Council’s delegates have been appointed, delegate registration forms have been signed and returned to the State Council, and you have made reservations at the Town and Country in San Diego. Festivities begin on Thursday, May 14th. The Convention business begins with an opening Mass on Friday morning and sessions fill the day on both Friday and Saturday. Saturday evening is the Convention banquet and the final night for hospitality.
Why go to the Convention? Delegates represent their Councils and are the Council’s voice for both the election of next year’s State Officers and the review and decision process to approve or decline resolutions brought before the membership. It is a time of recognition for the year’s work. It is an opportunity to get a first look at the Order’s plan for the State of California in the upcoming Columbian year and to meet the Officers and Directors who will guide the State in 2015-2016. It is a time for getting to know Knights at all levels in both business and social surroundings. And it’s fun! Programs are planned both for families and our wives who get to go out and enjoy San Diego while we slave away in our business sessions. If you haven’t been to the State Convention in recent years or if you have never attended one, ask people who have been there.
Yours in service,
Jack Haney President, Orange County Chapter Knights of Columbus
Fr. McGivney, Pray for Us!