ORLANDO - Charity. Unity. Fraternity. Patriotism.
The core principles of the Knights of Columbus are no longer merely inspiring words for 23 men of
Incarnation Catholic Church
in Florida. They are the credo of the parish’s St. Thomas à Becket Council, the newest Knights council in the Ordinariate.
Fr. William “Doc” Holiday, pastor at Incarnation Catholic Church, initiated the council to infuse the community with one of the hallmarks of a Catholic parish.
“I believe the establishment of a Knights of Columbus Council was essential immediately following our reception into the Church, in order to unify the men of the parish upon a foundation that presented not only a fellowship among themselves, but also one that objectively manifests the truly universal aspect of being Catholic,” Fr. Holiday said.
“I desired to ensure the men shed the parish-centered mindset of fellowship that is prevalent in the Anglican tradition, and to appreciate a broadened understanding of the fellowship and ministry in communion with like-minded men from all over the world,” he said.
The St. Thomas à Becket Council was formally installed at Incarnation Catholic Church on July 29, 2015, following a year of collaboration with other Knights in the Orlando district — specifically Council 5618 from St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Altamonte Springs, Florida.
The neighboring parish in the Diocese of Orlando offered invaluable assistance in helping establish the new council at Incarnation, said Luis Rosas, charter Grand Knight for the St. Thomas à Becket Council.
Rosas joined Incarnation Catholic Church two years ago. He was thrilled when Fr. Holiday approached him and a handful of other men about launching the council at the parish. Together, they led a membership drive this past spring to enroll the requisite 20 members to start a Knights council at Incarnation Catholic Church. The group is among the first Knights councils to be initiated since the Ordinariate was formally established in January 2012.
“The Knights are a great organization to be a part of,” Rosas said. “The fraternity and spirituality of the Knights of Columbus, along with the charity we will provide, will bring something special to our parish community.”
“I look forward to a wonderful year in leading our council in the direction that God leads us,” Rosas added. “This year in particular, we will be focusing on charity within our parish and surrounding community.”
With Incarnation Catholic Church fast approaching the 100-family mark, the Knights are set to play an active roll in evangelizing the faithful within and outside the parish community. Since July, the St. Thomas à Becket Council has held a “tootsie roll drive,” a fundraiser to collect donations for Morning Star Catholic School, which serves students with special needs in Orlando. They have also organized parish work days, volunteered at pro-life events in the Diocese of Orlando and led the parish in a recitation of the Rosary. In August, they hosted a “Family Week” of Masses and a movie night emphasizing the importance of family as the domestic church. This month, they will volunteer with Habitat for Humanity; next month, they will be sponsoring a blood drive at the parish.
And “since the inception of our formal association with the Knights of Columbus, our men have established a regular Bingo night at the parish, which I might add makes us officially Catholic,” Fr. Holiday said.
Additionally, the St. Thomas à Becket Council is discussing fundraising efforts to support Ordinariate seminarians.
Photos courtesy of Luis Rosas
The St. Thomas à Becket Council, the newest Knights council in the Ordinariate, surrounds its official charter at the council's installation, July 29 at Incarnation Catholic Church in Orlando. The council is led by charter Grand Knight Luis Rosas. The chaplain is Fr. William "Doc" Holiday, pastor of Incarnation Catholic Church.