Interview with Director of Development MI RTL

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 08/03/2020 Under: All Articles (190 Hits)      

To continue Building a Culture of Life an interview took place with Brian Cusack, Director of Development, Michigan Right to Life. 

This is the beginning of Rise Up and Answer the Call Life series which focuses on Building the Culture of Life. This interview focused on three main topics:
1) Dismemberment petition drive comments
2} Primary and general elections
3) RTL Banquet status - September 23, 202
It is our hope you find this interview insightful as we continue to Build a Culture of Life. 

 To view this interview click on the photo below.

Strach & Cusak

 Ed & Lynn Strach Pro-Life Couple 

Michigan State Council Knights of Columbus 

Family Week

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 07/13/2020 Under: All Articles (254 Hits)      

Garret Kelenske 

Click on Garrets smiling face to view his latest video on   

Family Activities. 




Fr McGivney Beatification Date

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 07/26/2020 Under: All Articles (567 Hits)      

Fr McGivney Portrait Fr. Michael McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus Catholic fraternal organization, will be beatified on October 31, 2020 the Congregation for the Causes of Saints announced this week.  The congregation made the announcement July 20.

A miracle credited to the intercession of McGivney was approved by the Vatican and announced by Pope Francis on May 27. A child who was diagnosed as terminally ill in the womb was miraculously healed following prayers for the intercession of Fr. McGivney. 

The priest’s beatification Mass is expected to be celebrated in his native Connecticut. 

McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, Connecticut, 1882. Initially, the organization was intended to assist widows and their families upon the deaths of their husbands. It has grown into a worldwide Catholic fraternal order, with more than 2 million members carrying out works of charity and evangelization across the globe. The Knights also offer life insurance policies to their members. 

In 2018, the Knights’ 16,000 councils worldwide donated more than $185 million to charity and gave over 76 million hours of hands-on service in 2018, worth over $1.9 billion according to a valuation of volunteer work by the Independent Sector. Their volunteer work included support for the Special Olympics, coat drives, and food drives for needy families. 

Between 2017 and 2018, the Knights raised and delivered $2 million for the Iraqi town of Karamles; the Knights have helped Christian survivors of the ISIS genocide in the town resettle in their homes and rebuild for the future. 

In an audience granted to Supreme Knight Carl Anderson earlier this year, Pope Francis praised the organization’s “particular faithful witness to the sacredness and dignity of human life, evident at both the local and national levels.”

He also noted the Knights’ dedication to aiding, “both materially and spiritually, those Christian communities in the Middle East that are suffering the effects of violence, war and poverty.”

“In our world, marked by divisions and inequalities, the generous commitment of your Order to serve all in need offers, especially to young people, an important inspiration to overcome a globalization of indifference and build together a more just and inclusive society,” Francis said in February.

Beatification, being declared “blessed” by the Church, is the final step of recognition before a person can be declared a saint.

McGivney will become the fourth U.S.-born man to be beatified, joining Bl. Stanley Rother, Bl. James Miller, and Bl. Solanus Casey. 

While the Church has recognized three women born in the United States as saints--St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Katharine Drexel, and St. Kateri Tekawitha--there have been no  U.S.-born canonized men.

The Vatican also announced this week that the beatifications of two others, Benigna Cardoso and Fr. Giuseppe Ambrosoli, will be postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Their beatifications had previously been scheduled for October 21 and November 22, respectively. Cardoso was set to be beatified in Brazil, one of the hotspots of the virus, and Ambrosoli in Uganda, where he served as a missionary priest.

Catholic News

Miracle attributed to Fr. McGivney

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 07/28/2020 Under: All Articles (12 Hits)      

Parents: Baby miraculously cured in utero by

   Fr. McGivney, now 5, ‘has changed our life’

DICKSON, Tenn. (CNS) -- Mikey Schachle, 5 years old, climbs onto a stump in the yard of his family's home in Dickson.

He carefully takes stock of the short distance to the trampoline buried in the ground below him, then slowly steps off the stump into space and falls happily onto the trampoline as some of his 12 brothers and sisters surround him with smiles and hugs.

It's a scene that would have been impossible for his parents, Dan and Michelle Schachle, to imagine five years ago when they sat in a doctor's office to hear that their still unborn son had zero chance of living more than a few days or weeks.

It took a miracle to save Mikey. 

Mickey Schachle & parents


 Mickey Schachle

                   On May 27, Pope Francis approved the promulgation of a decree recognizing Mikey's cure from a deadly case of fetal hydrops while still in his mother's womb as a miracle attributed to the intercession of Father Michael J. McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus. With the approval of the miracle, Father McGivney, who now has the title of "Venerable," will be beatified and receive the title "Blessed."

 Fr McGivney Portrait  

I think God had a plan for Father McGivney. I think God had a plan for Michael," Dan Schachle said of his son's miraculous cure. "You have to be open to God's grace, you have to be open to God's plan, because if you're not open to God's plan, he can't use you."

You may read the entire Article from Detroit Catholic  

Steps to Sainthood

2020 Michigan State Camporee

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 06/26/2020 Under: All Articles (336 Hits)      

Our State Camporee is scheduled for Friday August 21 through Sunday August 22 with checkout on August 23rd.

This year’s event will be the Mecosta Pines Campground located at 550 S. Tallcott St. in Morley, Mi approximently 40 miles north of Grand Rapids.

We have a limited number of sites available, 20 water and electric sites at $38 per night, and 8 full hookup sites at $41 per night.

 Please complete the registration form then, send the form and payment to me at 15893 Leonard Rd. Spring Lake, MI 49456, by no later than Saturday, August 1st. If you are interested in Full Hookup, please contact me at 616-329-0781 to confirm availability before completing the Registration Form. Remember that sites are first come first served. Please find the Registration Form and tentative schedule here.

 For those who do not camp or do not have a camper, there are several hotels within 15 miles of the campground, see Hotel List. If you decide to come and stay in a hotel you will need to contact the hotel directly for reservations. If you are staying at a hotel, please complete the Registration Form so we can include you in updates and make sure to come by my rig to register and get any handouts.

 Mecosta Pines offers many amenities and activities, plus we will be able to utilize their Outdoor Pavilion in the event of inclement weather. There also is an indoor gathering area available.

 Just to give a few highlights of what we are planning, we will be doing a Bean Bag Toss Tournament, Pot Luck, and Mass as we normally do, but we are also looking into the possibility having something for the kiddos, and maybe a Wine Tasting for the adults. If you have any ideas please forward them to me at or if you are interested in helping with any of our events for the Camporee please reach out to me, your help will be greatly appreciated.

My wife Ramona and I are planning to arrive at the campground Thursday, August 20th to begin getting things setup and to work with the campground staff. If you are interested in arriving Thursday or extending your stay, please contact me to let me know and contact the campground to make your reservation for the additional days only. Currently the plan is to have a Michigan KC Camper registration setup and also have 50/50 raffles, possibly some prize give-a-ways, etc.

 In years past the Michigan KC Campers hosted the KCIC event and we would love to be able to rebuild the group and get back to where we could bring the International Camporee back to Michigan in the future.

We are looking forward to this year’s Camporee and to rebuilding the Michigan KC Campers group. Lots of additional information to come before, during and after this year’s Camporee, so get your tent or camper ready and let’s make this a Camporee to remember and build upon.

tents & camper

RTL Petition Drive update

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 07/15/2020 Under: All Articles (313 Hits)      


End of the Petition Drive to Ban Dismemberment Abortions


On July 13, Planned Parenthood issued an expected challenge to the second sample of signatures for the Michigan Values Life petition drive to end dismemberment abortions. Sadly, that challenge has invalidated enough signatures to end the petitoin drive.
We know we submitted signatures from more than 340,047 registered voters. It is tragic that children will continue to be dismembered because we lost just enough signatures due to errors and petition damage like small tears and stains.
Instead of focusing on court challenges regarding the counting process, we will be focusing on the critical 2020 elections moving forward.
For those who worked so hard on this petition drive, thank you! You did an excellent job. The bulk of the errors were things beyond your control, specifically people not knowing their voter registration status or forgetting they already signed the petition.
Unlike our previous petition drives, we were forced to fight a series of unprecedented battles we did not choose. We had to retrain volunteers for a different petition drive law, the dismemberment ban was never sent to the governor to veto, a competing prolife petition drive confused people, and we faced other challenges every step of the way.
The biggest hurdle was the large turnout in the 2018 election, which increased the number of signatures required. Our signature total would have been more than required in any previous year in Michigan history. We submitted about 65,000 more signatures than we did in our successful petition drive in 2013 to stop taxes from paying for abortion insurance coverage. It wasn’t enough this time.
Your effort behind this petition drive was worth it and will carry forward. We educated more than 400,000 people about this barbaric abortion procedure. We will need them in the future, because we will continue working until we end this form of violence and protect the lives of every unborn child.

We will keep you updated! Right to Life of Michigan

Cans for Seminarians

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 06/24/2020 Under: All Articles (222 Hits)      

Our challenge for the 2020/21 calendar year was born from one man’s dream to help boost donations to our seminarian fund.  As you know this fund was created so that no seminarian would have to forgo his calling due to lack of monies which happens to be one of the main issues for men to leave the seminary. We all have lots of cans at home and probably know of many in our parishes that also have cans. 

This challenge has been designed to function similar to the horse race, with three divisions based on council membership. The first part is a council competition which starts on July 1 and runs to September 24th. The object is for councils to collect those cans and turn them in for cash then build their donation fund to be turned in to the State Faith Director to be tracked in their division. 

The winner of each division will have their councils First and Second delegates to the state convention staying at the Grand Hotel. 

The second challenge is a District wide winner takes all competition with a great incentive prize to remain a secret to the end. I can guarantee it will be awesome! This will run from October 1 to June 15th. Let’s show our seminarians we have their back and start collecting those cans, we have a mission to fulfill.


Cans for Seminarians:  Tips for a Successful Drive With a


 *Ask Everyone in your Council for their help and their cans to reach our goal     

* Ask Your Friends and Neighbors for their help and cans, every little bit helps

* Talk with FR. about addressing the Parish for their help! Everyone likes to pitch in!

* Be organized, appoint a chairperson to track the funds and keep the drive alive!

* Remember to have FUN, after all that is what it is about, Brother Knights and their Families coming together to accomplish something Grand {as in Hotel} in showing our Seminarians that we support them 100% in helping them achieve their goals!   

*So, do not be shy and let’s round up those Cans for our Seminarians!!!

 For more information contact Charlie McCuen State Advocate at

Michigan RTL Dinner 2020

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 04/10/2020 Under: All Articles (563 Hits)      

New Date Wednesday Sept. 23, 2020

6:00 p.m. Social Hour

7:00 p.m. Dinner Served

New Venue

San Marino Club

1685 E. Big Beaver Troy, Michigan 48083


 $50 Individual

  $475 Table of Ten

Register online by Sept 12 at


For more information contact Brad at

State RTL 20 dinner flyer 2

  Reverend Father, Brother Knights, Ladies, all;

  On this day that we all mourn the death of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ we hope and pray that you and your families are healthy and safe.

 Today we have made the decision to postpone the Respect Life Banquet which was scheduled for April 27, 2020 to Wednesday September 23, 2020. The time and venue remains the same as previously communicated which are listed at the top left of this article.

 We realize that many may be fearful of attending any group events which was the main reason to push it out until September. For those of you that have reserved a table or a single reservation, you will be receiving communication from Brad Smith at RTL of Michigan informing you of this change. However, if you have not reserved a table or an individual reservation and would like to attend, please know that you can do so online at until September 12, 2020.

 This is a very difficult time for many and even more difficult for others, however on this most Holy of Holy Days let us not forget the Gift that we have been given by the Sacrifice that provided us Life.

 May God bless all of you!

 Tim & Cindy Donovan MI K of C Pro Life Chair Couple

 William Chasse' MI K of C State Deputy

 Mike Slater


Mike Slater

Mike is a 33-year-old graduate of Yale University where he majored in history. His passion is to speak for the prolife movement at pregnancy resource center events. Mike also speaks at churches about the importance of properly-defined masculinity, and the role they are called to play in the prolife movement. 


July 2020 MI Columbian

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 07/14/2020 Under: All Articles (303 Hits)      

Mi Columbian logo


To view the latest Michigan Columbian click on the above logo.


Local Councils in Action

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 07/01/2020 Under: All Articles (59 Hits)      

 promote the activities of our local councils around the State, various council programs will be posted here.

 Send your stories of worthy council programs along with pics to


Iron River Council 2300 Iron River

Knights cleaned and painted the Iron County Ice Arena in Caspian in preparation for the opening hockey game of the season.

St. Michael Council 13799 Sterling Heights 

wreaths across amer The council donated $1,000 to Wreaths Across America to sponsor the placement of wreaths on the graves of veterans at Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton Township. Council members also assisted in laying the wreaths.

Pope John XXIII Assembly 1536 Plymouth

The council sponsored a coat collection for veterans. Over a period of three weeks, Knights and family members collected, sorted and delivered more than 600 coats to several veterans’ service organizations in southeastern Michigan.

St. Francis Council 13958 Traverse City


The council sponsored a “piggy raffle” to raise funds for Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids®. A local high school student donated the hog, which he raised as part of a 4-H project. Members drew two winning tickets; the pig was butchered and the winners split the pork. The council used the proceeds to donate more than 60 coats and 30 snow pants to The Father Fred Foundation, a Traverse City nonprofit offering food, clothing and financial assistance to local people in need.

   St. Sebastian Council 14642 Byron Center &

Pope John Paul II Council 13760 Wyoming

Knights from both councils worked together to hold a Christmas breakfast at Holy Name of Jesus Parish. Members bought and prepared breakfast for a record 400 people and distributed gifts to the children, raising $500 for Council 13760’s projects.

St. Stephen Council 15691 Grand Rapids

15691 grounds work

Members of the Council at St. Stephens Parish spent a warmest morning of the year spreading mulch, trimming trees and bushes and cleaning up around the church and school grounds. Father Scott Nolan and transitional Deacon Noah Thelen pitched in also. In the pictures you will notice the Priest working and the Deacon trying to figure which end of the pitchfork to use lol.


 Bishop Allen J. Babcock Council 7341 Caledonia

fireworks food drive

Holy Family Church provides a great viewing area for the community fireworks display allowing everyone to use their parking lot which is next to the launch site.

Admission to the lot was a non-perishable food item which the members of the parish Knights collected and donated to the food pantry.

Over 500 pounds of food along with monetary donations of over $400.00 were collected in this unique & fun program to feed the hungry in the local area.


Msgr. Victor Gallagher Council 12668 Reed City

12668 Pro Life Bench

One of the projects this Council has been working on is 2 Pro Life benches to be placed at St. Ann and Mt. Olivet Cemetery's locally. The Knights belong to St Philip Neri parish in Reed City.

The dedication and Blessing will take place on Sunday July 5, 2020.

 Michigan Technological University Council 17237 in Houghton

 17237 confer College Knights and their council chaplain, Father Dustin Larson, distribute information and recruit members at SLS20: You Were Made for Mission, a youth conference presented by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. Nearly 9,000 people, including more than 4,500 college students, attended the five-day event in Phoenix,AZ.