Arizona State Council Knights of Columbus - Fraternal Year 2020-2021
Welcome to the new fraternal year! At the start of every fraternal year, the State Deputy introduces a new State Pin and theme and I wanted the State Pin for this year to depict part of the religious heritage that I brought with me from Malta, the island where I was born and raised. Additionally, as St. Paul is one of the patron saints of Malta, I would like St. Paul to be a role model to us brother knights in Arizona during this fraternal year.
The State Pin is shaped in the outline of the State of Arizona and depicts St. Paul who is one of the greatest apostles but also was a convert, a missionary and a martyr. The pin also includes the logo of the Emblem of the Order. As part of the pin are two small baby’s feet, included to remind us that we must always fight to preserve the sanctity of life from natural conception to natural death. At the top of the pin is this year’s theme “Living Our Faith Through Service and Charitable Deeds.” Our theme is an expression of what the goal of every Knight of Columbus should be. We are men of faith who demonstrate our faith by being of service to our priests, parishioners and neighbors and perform charity with those members in our community who are in need.
In recent weeks our founder, Fr. McGivney was advanced in the cause of sainthood and will is to be beatified in the coming months during a celebration to be held at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Connecticut. During this fraternal year, it is my intention that we return to our charitable and fraternal roots. Seek out opportunities to help those in need. Reach out to and care for your brother knights who may be in need or be grieving a loss. Phone calls and e-mails are great lifelines even when we are socially distant. Remember to leave no neighbor or brother knight behind. Of course, we need to grow our numbers and not deprive Catholic men the opportunity to become knights. These are the things that honor the vision of Fr. McGivney in this year of his beatification.
My brothers, I am happy to say that we finished last year strong, despite the Corona Virus. I recently learned that we have achieved the Circle of Honor for reaching our state’s membership goal. Much hard work by many brother knights across the state was done to help our state achieve this great Supreme Award recognition. At this writing, I am aware of at least 25 councils that qualify for Star Council awards. I am expecting several others to submit their paperwork before the deadline to qualify. Congratulations on achieving this level of Columbianism.
I am especially thankful to the many individuals who stepped up especially our Worthy State Membership Director Bobby Nielsen; Worthy General Agent Nate Raso and his team of Field Agents, who recruited new members and organized Insurance Benefit Events; Worthy Ceremonial Chairman Skip Hopler and CUF Degree teams for the 3 State CUF Online degrees; the Bishops of the Dioceses in Arizona for sending memorandums to their priests; and Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix for recording a recruiting advertisement now playing on Relevant Radio. This is what Unity in action looks like. We worked together and we got it done. Thank you.
It is July 1, 2020. There are 365 days remaining until the end of the fraternal year. We cannot waste one day. We must start strong. The situation with the Corona Virus and the social unrest will create challenges for us as we go forward. However, we will turn these challenges into opportunities. We will adapt to these situations and overcome the obstacles. For those of you with military experience you have probably heard these words before. In the business world the term used today is call pivot, like in basketball. We pivot one way or the other to find the open man. So, when confronted with a wall, we must look for a way around, over, or under it. We do not. I repeat, we do not, lose sight of our goals. Brothers It is our duty to serve those in need, to serve our church, to be leaders in our families, and to be protectors and guardians of life. We need more members to help us in our mission. Therefore, we must recruit every day like it is the last month of the fraternal year. Our quota for the year is 940 which is an average of 78 new members per month. I know that with unified action we can accomplish anything we set out to do.
On June 6, 2020 in the Diocese of Tucson and Phoenix five young men, all Knights of Columbus, received the sacrament of Holy Orders and were ordained into the priesthood. Our congratulations go out to each and I am sure that wherever they serve there will be a local council nearby to assist them in any manner possible.
In Tucson, after his ordination, Fr. Peter Pedrasa was assigned as the Parochial Vicar for St. Anthony of Padua parish in Casa Grande. I am sure the members of Fr. Patrick Murphy Council #3136 will take good care of our brother knight and priest.
In Phoenix, Fr. Nathaniel Glenn from Corpus Christi parish and council, has been assigned as Parochial Vicar to St. Daniel the Prophet in Scottsdale, home of council #9312. He is also serving as the chaplain to Xavier High School. Fr. Kevin Penkalaski of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne parish and council in Anthem, has been assigned as Parochial Vicar of St. Henry’s parish in Buckeye, home to council #9467. Fr. Gabriel Terrill of St. Mary Magdalene parish and council in Gilbert, has been assigned as Parochial Vicar to Queen of Peace parish in Mesa, home to council #9446. Fr. Estevan Wetzel, of Most Holy Trinity parish and council, has been assigned as Formator to the new Nazareth House seminary for the Diocese of Phoenix. He will also serve as the chaplain for his alma mater St. Mary’s High School. Both Fr. Glenn and Fr. Wetzel were Squires in Circle 5000 at St. Mary’s and graduated with honors from this great institution of Catholic education. Fr. Wetzel’s father was SK Charles Wetzel of Council 7306 and Assembly 1805, who died a few years back.
Because I have dedicated this year to St. Paul, I would like to end with a verse of the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans, 5:1-8:
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access [by faith] to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us. For Christ, while we were still helpless, yet died at the appointed time for the ungodly. Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”