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My brother Knights,

For Americans, November is traditionally a month for us to
express our gratitude. We have a lot to be thankful for: family,
 friends, jobs, education, and the many freedoms we enjoy in our country, especially freedom of religion. We are thankful for the many people who have served our country, in the military or as first responders, to protect our freedoms. We are grateful for people who have done something special in our lives. In addition to my family members, friends, brother priests, and parishioners, I am especially grateful to the many Knights of Columbus who have meant so much to me. I am thankful for Past State Deputy Dave Helmstetter, who graciously appointed me State Chaplain from 2011-13; for State Treasurer Mike Felerski, with whom I have the pleasure of working; Vice Supreme Master Ed Ponder, who recently appointed me Provincial Friar; and the many Grand Knights and Faithful Navigators of the Councils and Assemblies I’ve served.

 

For Catholics, November is traditionally a month where we reach the end of our liturgical cycle. The Gospel readings focus on the end times and the four last things: death, judgment, hell, and heaven. They remind us of our mortality and that our ultimate destiny is the heavenly kingdom to be with God and all the angels and saints for eternity. November is a month when we remember and pray for the deceased who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith. We celebrate All Saints Day for all those in heaven. We celebrate All Souls’ day for all the deceased that need our prayers. And we continue to live in preparation for Jesus Christ’s second coming.

 

November is a wonderful month when we can be grateful for those who have come and gone before us. We are grateful for deceased family members, friends, and mentors who have done so much for us, especially when we were younger. We are thankful for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country, or the martyrs who bore witness to the Christian faith. I am especially grateful for Al Hickey, III, who was both Vice Supreme Master for the Hennepin Province and Ohio State Deputy. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing many Knights of Columbus, but it was Al that introduced me to a whole new world of Knights in the Dayton Chapter and the Ohio State Council. From time to time, I could call upon him for fatherly advice. I remember him as a kind, generous, and wise man. I will miss his friendly smile and warm disposition at State Conventions. He meant so much to many Knights whose lives he touched.

 

The Advent season is just around the corner. At that time, we begin a new liturgical cycle and look forward to the future with hope. May we continue to move forward as we end each cycle: with gratitude and love for God and for each other.

 

Fr. Ron Williams

Provincial Friar, Hennepin Province