The name “Knights of Columbus” seems like an unusual title for a Catholic men’s organization. What do those words have to do with Christianity?
When I think of knights I think of armor, swords, battles and damsels in distress, and Columbus brings to mind exploration and finding new places. How do those two scenarios work with the teachings of Jesus?
The answer became obvious to me recently when I was able to witness the local Knights of Columbus arrange the purchase of a new ultrasound machine for Heartbeat of Lima’s satellite office. The dynamics of their pursuit of funding for the machine placed everything into perspective.
Like the knights of old, the Knights of Columbus heard about damsels in distress in the persons of women in a crisis pregnancy. They formulated a plan of rescue, determining that an ultrasound machine would help these women from suffering the loss of a child — a trauma that would haunt them later. It would also save the lives of little children.
With this goal in mind, the Knights flew into action. They put on their armor of unity, their strength in numbers. They took up their sword of words and began speaking to brother Knights and to those in parishes to raise money for this project. And they battled the large amount needed to purchase the expensive piece of equipment, the funds to train volunteer nurses to run the machines, the cost of insurance, and more. The Knights of Columbus remained focused on the challenge, quickly raised the money and made the ultrasound machine a reality.
By exploring another way to address the evil of abortion, the Knights of Columbus have found a new approach. They did not remain stagnate in tackling the issue, but identified and embraced new methods and new places to move forward to support life.
The Knights of Columbus have been doing this task throughout our Diocese of Toledo, in Defiance, Lima and Toledo, and throughout the United States as well. Every Knight contributes to this cause so that matching funds are available to make the purchase of ultrasound machines possible.
The men of the Knights of Columbus not only follow the teachings of Jesus, but are a stronghold in defending those teachings. They put our Catholic Faith into action. They choose to lead in the direction of right choices and to support the most vulnerable among us.
As the respect life coordinator for our Diocese of Toledo, I am very appreciative of the work our Knights of Columbus do for life. As a Catholic, I am genuinely grateful for the example of these strong lay men living their Faith.
Jan Kahle is the respect life coordinator for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Toledo. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.