Solar Eclipse

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 08/17/2017 Under: All Articles (321 Hits)      

On Monday, August 21st, there will be an eclipse of the sun.  It will be the first total eclipse in the United States this century.  The last one was in February 1979.

As you look up at the eclipse and contemplate the motion of the planets, you should be aware of the role the Catholic church played in Astronomy throughout the past 500 plus years.

Back in the 1400’s the world in general believed all the stars, sun, moon and planets seems to circle the Earth.  We were the center of everything, the center of the universe.  Genesis also seemed to imply the Earth was the center as well.  The Catholic Church, like everyone else, believed the Earth was, in fact, the center of the universe.  While the stars, sun and moon all seemed to have circular orbits around the Earth, the planets acted very strange and involved extremely complex mathematical formulas to explain their motion.

In the late 15th century, Nicholas Copernicus came on the scene.  He realized that if you place the sun (not the Earth) at the center, the motion of the planets became relatively circular and elegant.  This, then, placed the sun (not the Earth) at the center of the universe.  Copernicus, a Catholic Deacon, also realized the difficult position he was in and was afraid of upsetting the Catholic Church.  The Protestant Reformation was also in full swing so the Catholic Church already had many challenges it was dealing with at the time.  Copernicus decided to keep his findings relatively secret until the end of his life when he finally published his works.

In the late 16th century, Galileo Galilei began to study the writings of Copernicus.  Galileo was also a very devote Catholic.  The telescope had been invented by this time and he was one of the first to use the telescope to watch the planets and stars.  He saw what Copernicus theorized and published his works which proved the planets did, indeed, orbit the sun.  At first, the Catholic Church accepted Galileo’s findings which were purely scientific.  But, eventually, things turned sour.  People began to ask Galileo to explain the dilemma between his scientific findings and scripture which appeared to imply the Earth was the center of the universe.  Galileo got caught in the situation where he was interpreting scripture which, the Catholic Church believed, was their job, not his.  He was summoned to see the Pope, found guilty and confined to house arrest and silence for the remainder of his life.

Over the next few hundred years, science continued to learn more through Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein just to name a few.  Einstein, who was an atheist, had uncovered many secrets of the universe but also refused to believe the universe was created.  He believed that the universe was eternal.  It always existed and will exist forever.  It is called the steady state theory.  So, the Catholics, once again, arrived on the scene to explain the universe.  George Lemaitre, a Catholic Priest studied Einstein’s equations and was the first to suggest the universe was expanding.  He also was the originator of the Big Bang theory.  His theory’s stated that there really was an …  “In the beginning”.  He sought out Albert Einstein and shared his research hoping to get his acceptance and agreement.  But, Einstein was stubborn and said Lemaitre’s math seemed accurate but his conclusions were flawed.  It took a few years but eventually Edwin Hubble proved Lemaitre’s findings and now many people unfortunately and falsely believe Edwin Hubble was the originator of the Big Bang theory.

So, as you gaze up at the eclipse on Monday, remember and thank the Catholic contribution to our knowledge and understanding of the universe through Nicholas Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, and George Lemaitre.

International Youth Program 2nd place winner

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 08/17/2017 Under: All Articles (200 Hits)      

International Service Program Awards recognize outstanding council programs in six key areas of outreach - Church, Community, Council, Culture of Life, Family and Youth - during the preceding fraternal year. Whether ongoing or one-time initiatives, these programs embody the spirit of the Order and serve as an example and inspiration for all Knights of Columbus.

Youth Activities 2016-2017

Second Place – Father J. Leo McCann Council 7304

Brighton, Michigan

Catholic College Night

Realizing the importance of a Catholic college education and addressing issues facing college-age youth, such as the trend to get further away from a faith foundation, Fr McCann Council brought students and families together with twenty-one Catholic colleges to discuss benefits and educational assistance available.

The Catholic College Night, which was organized by the council and held at Cleary University, came from the strong belief of council members that “the transition to a Catholic college is the most difficult. It is here that the pressures are at their extreme to attack or ridicule our faith.”

By first contacting local teachers and counselors, the council verified that the idea was well-supported by them and that next steps of contacting Catholic colleges and universities within 300-miles radius would be the plan of action. The deans of admissions who were contacted all agreed that it was a new and very positive program that they wanted to be a part of. Council members reached out to all area diocesan youth directors who then promoted the event through direct mail campaigns, Ave Maria Radio, articles in the parish newspapers and mailing to public and private high schools.

Various booths were set-up in a fair-like setting, with representatives from colleges such as University of Notre Dame, Franciscan University of Steubenville and Ave Maria University, who distributed literature and spoke with prospective high school students and parents. All agreed that the event saved time, travel and expense in their decision process by not having to visit several schools during months and years leading up to the application submission deadlines. It also offered valuable insight and awareness into making that important decision of attending the right university that will allow students to continue their higher education without excluding their Catholic religion and love of God.

Support for the Holy Land

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 08/17/2017 Under: All Articles (135 Hits)      

Support for the Holy Land from All Michigan Councils

At the request of the State Chaplain and with the Support of the State Council and following the direction of the Supreme Knight who asks the Knights of Columbus Councils to support Christians of the Middle East:

The State Chaplain is asking all Councils to make one emergency check of support as their basic project in support of Our Brothers and Sisters.

These funds, which will receive receipts from the receiving agents will support the following initiatives: 

1) St. Joseph Patriarchal School in Bethlehem: The upper school has no furnace, cooling or proper fire protection. The Sisters of St Joseph there ask our help in funding replacement furnaces and safety devices.

2) Summer Programs for the children, who in these months are caught in conflicts between protests, the Israeli protection forces and retaliation for violence. The parishes provide summer programs for the children at the churches. One specific initiative has a traveling troop from parish to parish to provide for them half days much like our own Vacation Bible School Programs.

  Israeli school children

 These projects are time sensitive and I am asking Grand Knights to bring the support request to their councils immediately. Please send your checks, which should not exceed the amount that you are allowed to process that night from your Council funds to the Michigan State Council, Knights of Columbus and mail your check to the State Office at 6025 Wall St. Sterling Heights, MI 48312, and mark the check for the Holy Land Initiative.

Councils are free, and are encouraged to do more at a later date as this request represents only an emergency request for support at this time.

Update July 24, 2017

I thank all Councils that have submitted funds to the State Office for our Holy Land Initiative. Those donations so far have supported and paid for the summer programs in the Archdiocesan schools and the remaining goal of $50,000.00 for St. Joseph School is nearing the half way mark.

As of this date we are still short of goal and I hope that more Councils and Assemblies will send in funds so we can successfully support St. Joseph school Furnace Project in Bethlehem. The Sisters are actively forwarding this project to provide heat for the children in the school building.  I know that our Michigan Councils will answer our Supreme Knight’s call to support our brothers and sisters in the Middle East by this Initiative.

Vivat Jesus,

V. Rev. William J. Turner 

State Chaplain

Membership Proposers Incentives

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 07/03/2017 Under: All Articles (352 Hits)      

 Membership Proposers


 July, August, September, October


July – All Proposers -- $10.00 Gift Card per Member

Gift card 10 

August – All Proposers - $5.00 Gift Card per

 Gift card 5


August – Proposers in a drawing for one of Ten $50.00 checks

 50 bucks

September – Same as August


October – all proposers with five or more new or Reactivated Members

A Knights of Columbus Pen & Pencil Set  pen & pencil



Proposer Pin     New State Incentives:


   July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018


  All members who recruit a new or reactivated member will recieve a specially designed Proposer pin.


Every month of this Fraternal Year that Michigan attains 250 or more new or reactivated members, the names of 50 proposers will be drawn for a

 Polo shirt

K of C "Catholic and Proud" polo shirt!

New Members Advocate Program

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 06/26/2017 Under: Council (154 Hits)      

 Do you want to retain more of your new members?

 Do you want to have more active members?

 Do you want to have more 2nd & 3rd & 4th Degree members?

 Do you want your new members to recruit more new members?

 Do you want to activate more of your old members who you haven’t seen in a while?

 Do you want a program that you can easily adapt to your council?

Then our new advocate program can help your council.

                            To view the Power Point presentation

                            of this new Retention program

                            click the logo to the right .......................> 

                            for link that will take you to

                            Retention Resources on our State website    

                            then look for Advocate Retention ppt     

Ex Perience of Lifetime logo 

  There are also many helpful items to help you initiate this program at Retention Resources including; Advocate Retention info sheet, Advocate Retention Council Activites list, Advocate Retention feed back survey, Shining Armor Award info & Advocate Retention new member questionaire.

July Columbian Available Online

Published by: Dane Jurkovic On: 06/28/2017 Under: All Articles (339 Hits)      

This issue of the Michigan Columbian is made available for viewing in two formats below. A Flipbook version that needs no plugin to read or a PDF version that needs a plugin. We suggest using Foxit PDF reader over Adobe reader.

-- Michigan Columbian July 2017 (Flipbook) --   OR   -- Michigan Columbian July 2017 (PDF) --

View previous Michigan Columbian issues here