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State Chaplain 2020 - 2021



Picture of Rev Kenney St. Hilaire

Rev Kenneth St. Hilaire
Email: Chaplin@kofc-wa.org

May 2021

Dear Brother Knights,

Happy Easter! I pray that this grace-filled season has brought new hope and joy into your homes, and that you continue to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection with grateful hearts.

One thing I really enjoy about the Easter season is the inclusion of so many passages from the Acts of the Apostles in the daily Mass readings. We hear account after account of the Apostles and other early disciples going about and proclaiming the good news (i.e., the Gospel) with boldness and great zeal.

It strikes me that the members of the early Church didn’t seem to be at all worried about how their message was going to be received by the people to whom it was preached. To my knowledge, there is no record of any hesitation on the part of the Apostles when it came to the question of sharing what they had experienced of the Risen Lord.

We don’t hear them asking, “What if my friends abandon me? What if I’m ridiculed for believing that this really happened? This could get ugly - how much might I potentially suffer? Will people be offended? If so, how am I going to handle it? What do I do if I’m met with resistance?”

Instead, we see the Holy Spirit powerfully at work in the early proclamation of the Gospel. People are being baptized by the thousands, and the Christian faith spreads like wildfire.

We tend to think that nothing like this could happen in our world today because our situation is so different than that of 2,000 years ago. But I ask you: is not the field ripe for the harvest? What percentage of the people in your neighborhood or community do not go to church on Sunday? There are a lot of people in the state of Washington who fit that description, and it’s not just people who are not currently practicing the faith they used to profess.

You probably know that our state is one of the most unchurched in the entire country. We can see that as a discouraging problem, or we could see it for what it really is: an opportunity from God to share our faith and help usher countless others into a relationship with the Lord Jesus.

Not many of our parishes are bursting at the seams (even pre-pandemic). Let’s bring the people to Christ!

One of our troubles is that we can get hung up on the questions above (press rewind for five paragraphs). We worry about how people will respond if we share our faith, and if people will think we’re being pushy or judgmental if we suggest that they open their heart to Jesus. We fear alienation from our family and mockery from coworkers or neighbors.

Inspired by the example of the early Church, we can entrust all of these concerns to the Holy Spirit and proceed with bold confidence, filled by the love of God.

The only other question is this: What will we say? Once we stop worrying about how the sharing of our faith will be received (or not), we can turn our attention toward “owning” the message that is to be proclaimed. Through prayer and study, we become capable of speaking with others about Jesus. When we are solidly grounded in our knowing the Lord, we won’t be surprised that He provides all the words we need. Vivat Jesus!
 

Fr. Kenneth St. Hilaire, State Chaplain

 



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