Elections are a time for debate and decisions about the leaders, policies and values that will guide our nation. Our nation faces political challenges that demand urgent moral choices. We are a nation battling several types of wars, with all of its human costs, a country often divided by race, ethnicity and positions on issues that frame our Christian character. Church leadership has an obligation to help us shape our consciences and, by doing so, helps us become better informed and faith-filled Christians. In recent months the Catholic Church has spoken some of the loudest expressions of disgust and anger I have publicly heard from its leaders, (at least in my lifetime) in response to several concerns and issues arising from our nation’s leaders. Please join me in thanking our church leaders for their steadfast courage to fight for the preservation of religious liberty and the culture of life, from conception to natural death. Taking and making the time to say thank you to our church leaders is something many of us provide to our local pastors. However, the concerns facing our country are not only a battle that must be fought locally, but a fight that must be challenged nationally too. Please continue to pray for our Iowa bishops and all those who have stepped forward to fight for religious liberty, including those bishops throughout our country who have initiated cases in litigation challenging our nation’s leaders’ decision to require Catholic institutions to provide insurance coverage for services that violate our consciences. Let them know of your prayers and desire to be in solidarity with them! We all know the power of prayer! Please join me in prayer as we unite FOR OUR COUNTRY and the preservation of expressing our faith in a country that strives to continue living and breathing the freedom our brothers and sisters have sacrificed their lives for across the globe.
Now….changing the subject, many of you may have already learned that I have been reappointed to serve as Iowa’s State Chaplain for two more years. I am more than pleased and honored to serve you! As I said when I accepted these duties three years ago, serving you at this level is my way of giving back what the Knights of Columbus provided to me when I was in seminary formation. Your prayers and generosity meant so much to me and my peace of mind during that critical time in my life. Again, thank you for the opportunity to serve you.
During the next two years I hope to provide our state’s councils with a better vision for what is expected and desired at our regular council meetings’ Chaplain’s Reflection time. During our recent State Convention I spoke briefly on catechetical formation and our Supreme Council’s request to begin providing opportunities for knowing our faith. I want to thank those who shared stories and experiences with me about their renewed knowledge of our faith. I also heard of a few situations where little to nothing has been initiated yet by local council leaders. Gentlemen, I urge each of you to take ownership in your council and know your faith. Get to know your chaplain. If he cannot attend your council meeting, make arrangements for his delegate or an alternative to his presence. Yes, it is true that some extra time may be needed to ensure all these arrangements are in place. Trust me. It is worth it! As more and more of us discover how much there truly is to know about our faith, the drive to grow in it also continues to grow. And, as we continue to discern the roles and gifts of our priests’ verses those of a layperson, it is once again paramount to be formed and informed in our faith. Again, thank you for being a Knight! And, thank you for stepping up to the plate to know our faith!
Fr. Brian Danner,