Everyone likes getting noticed for doing good work

People like being noticed for their work even if they think it’s not necessary to receive an award for helping others. Members of the Knights of Columbus are no exception.

The Knights honored one family and several councils for a job well done during their 126th Supreme Convention Aug. 5-7 in Quebec City.

Dr. Mario Loomis, a member of St. John’s Council 1106 in Goshen, N.Y., and his family received the Family of the Year Award.

Loomis is active with Doctors Without Borders, a humanitarian group whose members provide medical care and advocate for people threatened by violence, famine or catastrophe around the world. He also participates in Light of the World charities to help alleviate poverty. If that’s not enough, he volunteers to correct cleft palate deformities in children.

He’s not the only family members helping others. His wife, Donna, works with A Drop of Clear Water, a Catholic teen support program that stresses prayer, chastity and charity. She also homeschools the couple’s four children, Joseph, 17, Rebecca, 17, Gabriel, 7, and Teresa, 4.

Joseph is involved with the Knights’ Squire program for teenagers and he produced a video aimed at teens considering a religious vocation.

In addition to the Loomis family, the Knights honored the St. Alphonsus Rodriguez Council 13294 in Woodstock, Md. with the Family Activities Award; the San Marco Evangelista Council 13910 in Paraiso, Tabasco, Mexico, with the Community Activities Award; the Mary, Mother of God Council 11847 in Paranaque City, Philippines, with the Youth Activities Award; the Archbishop James V. Casey Council 9349 in LIttleton, Colo., with the Council Activities Award; and the Father Simpson and Father Dwyer Council 6191 in Edinboro, Pa., with the Church Activities Award.

The convention, by the way, is a gala event with for the delegates to reacquaint themselves with old friends and make new ones. Catholic News Service offered comprehensive coverage of this year’s convention, where the delegates had the chance to hear from speakers, listen to reports, worship at Mass, and enjoy hospitality during the annual States Dinner. The three-day affair also offered the Knights to speak out by adopting resolutions on important issues of the day.

From the Vatican to Olympic gold … in 1904

VATICAN CITY — Today, the opening day of the Olympic Games in China, the Vatican newspaper is running a curious sports feature titled, “From the Vatican to St. Louis in search of Olympic gold.”

The article tells the story of Louis Handley, who won gold medals as part of the New York Athletic Club’s water polo team and the club’s  four-by-50-yard freestyle swimming relay team at the 1904 games in St. Louis.

Born in Rome in 1874, the name on his birth certificate was Luigi de Breda (his Italian mother’s last name). His father was Francis Montague Handley, a U.S. sculptor who lived in the Vatican and served as the private butler to both Popes Pius X and Leo XIII, the article said.

The sculptor’s son moved to the United States when he was 22 years old and began using the name Louis de Breda Handley.

The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, said that in addition to studying in Rome with the Christian Brothers — and becoming proficient in Italian, English, French, Spanish, Latin and Greek — he also was a dedicated sportsman. Swimming was just one of his passions, but because there were no pools in Rome at the time, he did it in the Tiber River (which, the newspaper pointed out, was not polluted at the time).

After winning two gold medals in 1904, he went on to become a famous — and winning — coach of female swimmers. (Women’s swimming did not become a regular part of the Olympics until the 1912 games in Stockholm, Sweden.)

The Vatican newspaper article said Hanley was “a promoter of women’s emancipation.”

Handley died in New York Dec. 28, 1956, and was inducted into the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1967.

Whats the call?

Many Catholics associate “being called” with a vocation to the priesthood or religious life. However all Catholics, lay and ordained, are called to serve others.

A year ago I wrote a piece on the same subject that appeared in The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Diocese of Metuchen, N.J. Unfortunately, that piece is not available online.

In the Archdiocese of Louisville, Ky., Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz spoke to young people about their calling as Catholics at an Ignite Your Torch youth conference. The Record has more on the event in this recently published story.

The Servant Leadership Center in Toledo, Ohio, is a place where “people who are passionate about justice are invited to explore their gifts and discern where God is calling them.” The Catholic Chronicle, diocesan newspaper in Toledo, published this profile of the center.

More seminarians

Earlier this week I wrote this piece linking to articles about the life and work of seminarians from Catholic newspapers across the country. News on these men who are studying for the priesthood has not stopped.

The Catholic Sun, newspaper of the Phoenix Diocese, published this article in its latest edition. It focuses on how these seminarians are learning to maintain a strong prayer life while immersing themselves in parish life and applying what they’ve learned in the seminary to real-life parish situations.

Bill Cosby hangs out with Catholics

Bill Cosby, the famous entertainer, comedian and activist, recently gave a speech at St. Ambrose Catholic Parish in Baltimore. Cosby encouraged those in attendance to attend both school and church.

The Catholic Review, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, provided coverage of the event, which also drew local television stations.

Seminarians in the news

Many are unsure what takes place in the life of a seminarian. Fortunately there are Catholic newspapers to provide readers with insight.

The Florida Catholic published this story looking into what seminarians do on their summer assignment.

Seminarians apparently had an impact on other WYD pilgrims, according to this story in the Pittsburgh Catholic.

Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl of Washington recently hosted Seminarian Family Day in the archdiocese. The Catholic Standard has more on the day in this article.

Client editor posts musical tribute to ‘Last Lecture’ author

Our good friend Tom Dermody, editor in chief of The Catholic Post in Peoria, Ill., earlier composed a musical tribute to Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon professor whose “Last Lecture” nearly a year ago captivated the nation. Now that Pausch has died, Tom posted the tribute on YouTube:

This isn’t Tom’s first foray into public musicianship. In 2003 his song of prayer for U.S. troops deployed in Iraq became a local favorite in Peoria. In 1997 a collection of 10 songs written by Tom and performed by Professional Bowlers Association tour winner Randy Pedersen and some of central Illinois’ best country musicians was released in an album called “Bowl Me Over.”

And none of us here at CNS can forget Tom’s tribute to the news service at the annual Catholic press convention in 1995, when CNS celebrated its 75th anniversary. The convention was in Los Angeles that year and, given its proximity to Disneyland and Hollywood, Tom decide to rewrite the lyrics to “Be Our Guest” from “Beauty and the Beast” into a song simply titled “CNS.” Unfortunately — or maybe fortunately — there is no footage of that song available on YouTube.

(Hat tip to Anne Marie Amacher at The Catholic Messenger in the neighboring Diocese of Davenport, Iowa, for the alert!)

Most-viewed CNS stories for July

Here’s our latest list of top 10 stories viewed in July on our main Web site, catholicnews.com, with links in case you missed any of them:

1. On 40th anniversary, ‘Humanae Vitae’ starts to gain more attention (July 18).

2. Contraceptives affect environment too, water expert tells conference (July 28).

3. Ten texts help crack pope’s pontificate, mission, ministry (May 30). (And if you haven’t read that story, also don’t miss this blog item with links to those papal texts.)

4. Vatican approves new English translations for constant parts of Mass (July 25).

5. Youths join pope for lunch, present gifts, including Mickey Mouse hat (July 18).

6. Bishops to reconsider liturgy translation rejected in mail balloting (July 7).

7. Vatican: Receiving Eucharist kneeling will be norm at papal liturgies (June 26).

8. Papal spokesman calls Catholics for Choice ad ‘paid propaganda’ (July 25).

9. Vatican regrets Church of England’s move toward women bishops (July 8).

10. Vatican official: Anglican Communion must stay true to Scriptures (July 31).

Knights of Columbus convention around the corner

The Knights of Columbus will be holding its 126th annual Supreme Convention Aug. 5-7. This year the convention will take place in Quebec City, the same site as June’s International Eucharistic Conference.

The Intermountain Catholic recently published two stories regarding local councils of the Knights of Columbus. The first article looks at the centennial celebration of the oldest council west of the Mississippi River. The second article recognized a coalition of 11 councils working together to raise money for a multiple sclerosis walk in Salt Lake City.

Dennis Sadowski will be traveling to Quebec to cover the convention for Catholic News Service.

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