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State Chaplain 2021 - 2022

Picture of Rev Kenney St. Hilaire

Rev Kenneth St. Hilaire

May 2022

Dear Brother Knights,

Happy Easter!

The month of May is traditionally dedicated to the Blessed Mother, not only to give her honor, as is fitting, but also to remind us of the importance and value of Marian devotion in our spiritual life.

It’s one of the aspects of Catholicism that seems to draw the heaviest fire from our non-Catholic brothers and sisters. “Why do Catholics worship Mary?” is a common question in discussions about Church teaching. Some Christians have an uneasy feeling that giving attention or veneration to Mary somehow detracts from the love and adoration we owe to God.

One of my favorite statements on the subject is attributed to St. Maximilian Kolbe: “Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much” – he said – “You can never love her more than Jesus did.”

The Church has for a long, long time made distinctions between different kinds of praise or honor. She speaks of latria, which is the highest praise – adoration – which is given only to God. She also speaks of dulia, which is the praise we offer the saints, acknowledging that the goodness and holiness of God is reflected in them. She further speaks of hyperdulia, which is an exalted kind of dulia, but not so exalted that it becomes latria. Hyperdulia is only offered to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

There are many good reasons Mary ought to be praised so highly.

She is an excellent model of ready obedience to God’s will, even when what God proposes is not completely understood.

It was through her cooperation with God’s will that our world received its Savior.

She is the Mother of God.

She is the Mother of the Church. We are members of Christ, so Mary is our Mother.

She is a powerful intercessor. She loves us and obtains many graces for us by her prayers.

She is a model of discipleship and every virtue.

She always points us to Jesus.

Praising her is a way of honoring her Son.

There are many other excellent reasons to praise Mary, and most (if not all) are for our benefit, not for hers.

I once spoke to a priest involved in the ministry of exorcism. He stated that Mary’s hand in that ministry is extraordinarily powerful and effective. If only we knew the true strength of her advocacy for us!

Brother Knights, I urge you to foster Marian devotion in your spiritual life. I encourage you especially to be faithful to the daily Rosary as a means of drawing near our heavenly Mother.

One of the last things my mom said before she died was, “Stay close to Our Lady.” It’s a pearl of wisdom I am happy to pass on to you.

Vivat Jesus!

Fr. Kenneth St. Hilaire
State Chaplain