Knights Honor Priests, Deacons, Women Religious And Seminarians
Knights of Columbus from Dubois, Pike and Spencer counties honored their priests, deacons, women religious and seminarians to the Huntingburg Events Center on Oct. 30 for the 6th Annual Father Michael J. McGivney Vocations Dinner. A large crowd saluted the honorees with multiple ovations during the evening, which was capped with donations to Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand, St. Meinrad Archabbey in St. Meinrad and the Diocese of Evansville’s Father Deydier House of Discernment.
“The Knights of Columbus embrace the role of serving others,” said dinner chair Steve Leugers of Jasper. “Knights serve to lighten the loads of others.”
“You’re here tonight because you truly recognize the importance of vocations,” said Knight Tim Jarboe, founder of the Father McGivney Endowment that enables support of vocations across the three counties. “Your attendance at this event speaks volumes of your vocations.”
The crowd learned that there are approximately 1,900 Knights living in the three counties, and they work tirelessly to, as Leugers said, lighten the loads of others.
Bishop Joseph M. Siegel offered the evening’s keynote, speaking on the role of the Knights in the New Evangelization. He mentioned “startling” statistics that suggest only 30 percent of Catholics are practicing their faith regularly. He acknowledged that there are a variety of reasons so many are not practicing actively, and he suggested that they among the groups “on the fringes” that Pope Francis encourages us to reach out to.
Bishop Siegel noted the importance of prayer to the evangelization effort. Providing a personal, communal example is also important, he said, along with the ability to communicate actively and persuasively. He concluded by telling the large crowd that now is the time to pray for the courage to be the faithful witnesses our world needs.
K of C State Secretary Paul Zielinski thanked the local Knights councils for welcoming him and his wife to the dinner, and he reported that Indiana is home to more than 33,000 Knights. The statewide Support Our Seminarians initiative has raised approximately $48,000 this year, and Zielinski said that 91 Indiana seminarians would each receive a check for $525 from the K of C as the holiday season approaches. He also discussed the ongoing Race for Vocations and Refund Support Vocations programs, and he noted that more than 350 men have joined the Knights in Indiana is just the past four months.
Father John Boeglin, chaplain of Jasper Council #1584, recognized the Benedictine Sisters from Ferdinand in attendance, the deacons and their spouses in attendance, the priests from across the three counties in attendance and the seminarians from the three counties who are studying at Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis and St. Meinrad Seminary at St. Meinrad Archabbey.
Council #1584 Grand Knight Vince Granager then joined Father Boeglin to present donations to Monastery Immacuulate Conception and St. Meinrad. As he asked Bishop Siegel to lead the closing prayer, Father Boeglin said he had a surprise; he and Granager then presented this bishop with a donation to help with the support of the diocese’s recently opened Father Deydier House of Discernment in Evansville.