Chaplain's Desk

Rev. William Murphy, Worthy Council Chaplain

Knights' Prayer and Vision, 13 May 2009

Heavenly Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name (Eph 3:15), bless this gathering of men to do great things in this community.

We commend ourselves to You, knowing that only in You can good come of our prayer, our work and our leisure.

You know our hearts. You know of what we are capable. Keep us from all except what unifies, loves and honors You. We ask the intercession of Mary, our Mother and model, Venerable Michael J. McGivney, and Servant of God John Paul II, and make our prayers in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Amen. +


A Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians 2:1-13.

If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing. Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but (also) everyone for those of others.

Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.

Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work.

The Word of the Lord, thanks be to God.


Psalm 133

How good it is, how pleasant, where brothers dwell in unity!

Like precious ointment on the head, running down upon the beard,

Upon the beard of Aaron, upon the collar of his robe.

Like dew of Hermon coming down upon the mountains of Zion.

There the LORD has lavished blessings, life for evermore!

The Word of the Lord, thanks be to God.


A Reading from the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke 6:13-19

In those days Jesus departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

And Jesus came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured.

Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.

The Gospel of the Lord, praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.



Staying within the context of prayer, I'd like to sketch out for you the fruit of discussion Juan and I have been having about the needs of this wider community and the direction of our Council.

We have the capacity as individuals and as a group to make a strong impact. We are Catholic men, baptized into the life of the Trinity. The power of the resurrection as sustained in God's Holy Spirit provides a reservoir of grace from which we draw. Our purpose in life is to live in imitation of Jesus Christ, loving fully, as St Paul's Letter to the Philippians describes. Charity is the first principle of our order. This is caritas -- love.

The second principle of our order is Unity. We draw this from the loving unity of the Holy Trinity, the oneness of faith and our common desire to serve. We do not seek uniformity. Personalities, backgrounds, personal formation and vocation differ among us. Still, we can be one, accepting one another, dealing honestly and sincerely with each other and seeking to understand differing viewpoints, never attacking or undermining.

We are brother Knights. Here we have the privileged relationship of Fraternity, which is the third principle of our order. As men there are distinctive ways we relate, relax and grow that we can encourage when together. We can enjoy one another's company. We can be supportive in areas of faith, relationships, vocation, and career. We are called to live to provide good example, building each other up.

Another way to approach growth as Catholic men is to study and apply the Virtues. The three theological virtues give identity and renewal to our souls. Faith, hope and love are indispensable. We also look to the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance and courage as necessary for the formation of character. The content of meetings, programming and our ordinary interactions will reinforce the practice of these virtues. With God's help we can grow into strong Catholic gentlemen.

Our lives of faith grow through prayer and in action. Participation in the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation will help us become valued members of the wider Catholic community. At the altar and in the confessional we learn the power of redemption, and the freedom that comes from humility before God's design.

We share in the sacramental and devotional life of the Church in order to let what God gives us affect those we meet. We are not to be men of narrow ideology of any sort. Instead with generous hearts and engaging minds, we aim to understand differences and accommodate perspectives as a first step to appreciating what others sincerely believe.

Our purpose in working hard to build a community amongst ourselves is so that we will become leaders and examples. In Christ's name we strive to be servants to our brothers and sisters, to the Chaplaincy and the whole community.

Michael Brewer, Founding Grand Knight of this Council, now leads the efforts at Supreme to form College Councils. I'll end with a summary of his vision for all college councils. There are four dimensions of our lives together: (1) personal and social development, (2) spiritual formation, (3) leadership training, and (4) community service.

This is the heart of our program for the coming year. We ask God's blessings. May our Lord challenge us to grow and guide us along the way.

Amen. +

Altar and Tabernacle of Venerable Fr. Michael J. McGivney's Parish, St. Mary's Church in New Haven, CT.