From the Director’s Desk
Unity Through Charity in Action
“A love which unites,” Pope Francis said in the Opening Ceremony of the 34th World Youth Day in Panama, “is the quiet love of a hand outstretched to serve, a commitment that draws no attention to itself. It is a love that does not put on airs, a humble love that gives itself to others with an outstretched hand. This is the love that unites us today.”
I wish to share with you the beautiful charitable efforts exhibited by our brother Knights and their families on behalf of pilgrims to World Youth Day in Panama. While the K of C has existed in Panama for more than 100 years, membership was not growing. Then a priest in Panama, Father Vincente Amable, dreamed that Father McGivney asked him not to let the Knights disappear in Panama. Father Amable then revived the men in Panama Balboa Council 1371 in Panama City. Later, three new councils would eventually spin off from that council.
Knights from these councils served as the volunteers at the FIAT Festival (co-sponsored by the Knights and FOCUS) held during this year’s World Youth Day. Local K of C and their families staffed the FIAT Festival, serving as the primary logistical partners for the event which drew over 8,000 international pilgrims. These same men provided logistical support for a three-day catechesis offered for Spanish-speaking pilgrims. Many local K of C also supported their local pastors in receiving pilgrims and hosted international pilgrims in their homes.
These brother Knights exhibited the “quiet love” highlighted by Pope Francis, and this charity in action had a deep impact. Many of the 50 or so men from various backgrounds and parishes had not known each other before working together during WYD. Their individual ‘yeses’ to join a council — and become more involved in their parish through the K of C — led them not only to help lead an international gathering of thousands of young adults, but also to a deeper encounter with other men who sought to build up the Church in Panama.
This is the impact our evangelizing charity can have: the renewal of men and their family to deeper faith. May we as K of C chaplains follow the pattern of Father Amable and reanimate councils, re-engaging our brother Knights in the “quiet love” of faith-filled charitable service. The impact may be greater than you realize.
To view a recording of the WYD Panama FIAT Festival, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sx4cMx_ScQU.