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State Chaplain 2023 - 2024

Picture of Rev Kenney St. Hilaire

Rev Kenneth St. Hilaire

September 2023

My Brother Knights,


It’s time to start a new series of articles for the bulletin. In the last year or so, I dedicated most of my columns to the theme of prayer, attempting to offer concrete suggestions for readers to put into practice if they so chose – suggestions that could help bring about a deeper prayer life.  


Now I’d like to launch into a new topic, and although it is distinct from the topic of prayer, it certainly isn’t unrelated. Our new focus, personal holiness, is one of the aims of our engagement in the life of prayer and one of its fruits if we persevere in that engagement for the long term.


Although an exploration of the scriptural and theological underpinnings of the call to holiness could make for an interesting and enlightening series, I’m going to focus instead on the saints – our models of holiness – and try to draw insights and lessons from their lived example. This will be in addition to the “Saint of the Month” you find in the Bulletin Editor’s message.


There are, without a doubt, times when we read the scriptures or the teachings of the Church and draw tremendous encouragement from the wisdom they communicate. Their beauty has divine power to stir our hearts. However, in my experience, it’s when I see examples of people actually putting these teachings and this wisdom into practice that my desire for holiness is really awakened!


Reading about what the heroes of the Bible did – especially Jesus – and learning about the lives of the saints are two excellent ways of enkindling within us the desire for God.


Think about the inspiration you receive when you see a brother knight doing something extraordinary. Perhaps you see him give of his time, abilities, or resources in an outstanding way. It makes you want to be more like that, right?


My hope for this series on the saints is that we will learn their stories (well…. part of their stories – I’m not providing comprehensive biographies!), be inspired by their example of holiness, and trive to imitate their virtues in our daily lives.


If nothing else, the stories of the saints should convince us that holiness is possible. Too often, we think of the saints as members of a different species: as giants or superhumans of some kind. We convince ourselves that they only attained holiness because God gave them graces reserved for one person in a million.


While it is true that God gives the saints an abundance of grace, I strongly dispute the claim that the grace necessary for the attainment of holiness is given sparingly or rarely. God calls all of us to sanctity; therefore, He never fails to provide every grace that is necessary for its attainment.


The only question is: will we cooperate with that grace? The saints show us not only the kinds of graces that God gives to those who will receive them; they also demonstrate how to say, “Yes!” to God in the circumstances of real life. And that’s precisely the kind of wisdom we need.


Saints of God, pray for us! Help us on our journey and teach us to follow, as you did, the path that leads to heaven.


Vivat Jesus!

Rev. Kenneth St. Hilaire