A council must conduct this required program in the Faith category to be eligible to receive the Columbian Award. This program creates annual opportunities for prayer and reflection as a fraternity. Under the guidance of their chaplain, Knights of Columbus councils can attend a retreat or day of reflection together or perhaps organize their own event for men of their parish. These events might be held for council members or men of the parish – or may be open to entire families. Council attendance should be significant with at least 10 percent of the council or a minimum of 10 members participating. If councils are unable to organize these events themselves, they could go as a group and attend a retreat in their area to satisfy the requirement.
Councils may make a pilgrimage to the St. Mary’s Historic Site in Baltimore. A recent event included a visit to St. Mary’s Spiritual Center, the Mother Seton House and the original Seminarian Chapel. It concluded with a walk to the Basilica. Contact: Deacon Vita Pizza Sr., 410-728-6464, firstname.lastname@example.org
Parishes often sponsor retreats throughout the year. An example is a pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal in Philadelphia. An opportunity to move many closer to our Lord. Contact: Paulette, 215-848-1010 x252, 500 E Chelten Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19144
Other Parish yearly retreats may include a visit to a Jesuit Retreat house in Faulkner Maryland, i.e. “Loyola on the Potomac”. This weekend retreat can bring parishioners and Knights into a deeper relationship with God. Councils may arrange their own event or join those already scheduled. Contact: Lisa White, Registrar, 301-392-0801, Lisa.White@loyolaretreat.org
A Council and their Chaplin may set up a one-day retreat. A theme for one recent event was the “roles of Icons in promoting our Faith”. It began with the Saturday morning Mass, followed by 5-6 hours together in the Church with presentations, discussions, periods of reflection, and confessions.
The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America on Quincy St. in Washington D.C. is a specially uplifting environment for a tour or a period of quiet reflection as a group. Consider contacting them and explore the possibilities. Contact: Carolyn Tott, 202-526-6800, https://myfranciscan.org/visit/#guided
The Shrine of St. Anthony in Ellicott City Maryland would also be a great venue for a day of spiritual reflection. This Monastery offers quiet days of prayer and other workshops led by the brothers and priests. Contact: Carrol Derrenge, 410-531-2800, https://shrineofstanthony.org/schedule-a-retreat
St. John Paul II Shrine is a great place for a day of adoration and reflection and the staff are happy to work with us. Contact: Brandon Brown, Knights of Columbus Outreach, 202-635-5400, Totus Tuus Pilgrimage Program at www.jp2shrine.org