We tried something new this year. Since all the churches are locked and we have no access to the Sacraments, we had to take matters into our own hands. Divine Mercy Sunday is too big of a deal to allow it to pass us by.

Lead by Deacon Kurt Godfryd, we organized a virtual prayer service to take advantage of the promises offered in connection to this celebration. I’d like to thank Father Chris Alar of the Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge for giving us the idea. We took the inspiration from this YouTube video posted below.

This is our celebration of the Lord’s promises to St Faustina. Please pray along and receive God’s unfathomable mercy. If you’d like to slides we used in this service, please use the button below.


Fr. Chris Alar’s Message of Hope

Partial Transcript

Even though churches are closed and you cannot go to Confession and receive Holy Communion, you can receive these special graces this Sunday, April 19, Divine Mercy Sunday. And we’re going to tell you how.

Let’s begin by reading what is arguably the most important passage in St. Faustina’s Diary, when Jesus tells St. Faustina:

I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the Fount of My Mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet (699).

Diary of St Faustine

There it is. Jesus promises that the soul that’s been to Confession and receives Holy Communion will be completely wiped away of the two stains that are on our soul. Those stains are sin and the punishment due to sin. The special grace promised by our Lord for Divine Mercy Sunday is nothing less than the equivalent of a complete renewal of baptismal grace in the soul.

But how can you receive this complete forgiveness of sins and remission of all punishment? After all, churches are closed and Confession and Communion are not available. 

There is, however, still a way to receive this grace. Do these three things on Divine Mercy Sunday with the intention to turn away from sin in your life:

Make an Act of Contrition

Since you are unable to get to Confession, make an Act of Contrition, instead. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Among the penitent’s acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is ‘sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again'” (1451).

You thereby will be completely forgiven of all sins, even “mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible” (Catechism, 1452).  

Make a Spiritual Communion

Since churches are closed and you cannot receive Holy Communion, make a Spiritual Communion instead, asking God to come into your heart as if you received Him sacramentally — Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. For instance, you can say this:

Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Blessed Sacrament. 
I love You above all things and I desire You in my soul. 
Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, 
come at least spiritually into my heart. 
As though You were already there, 
I embrace You and unite myself to You; 
permit not that I should ever be separated from You. 
Amen. 

Again, do this act of trust with the intent to return to the sacrament of Holy Communion as soon as possible.  

Say a prayer like this:

Lord Jesus Christ, You promised St. Faustina that the soul that has been to Confession [I’m unable, but I made an Act of Contrition] and the soul that receives Holy Communion [I’m unable, but I made a Spiritual Communion] will receive the complete forgiveness of all sins and punishment. Please, Lord Jesus Christ, give me this grace.

Finally, please remember that this extraordinary promise of Divine Mercy Sunday is for everyone. Tell your non-Catholic friends about it. Everyone can ask Jesus to forgive their sins. Everyone can make a Spiritual Communion. And everyone can ask for this grace to completely wipe their slate clean of not only all sin, but all punishment due to sin. Normally, the punishment is not remitted unless one has absolute perfect contrition. And unlike a plenary indulgence, there is no requirement of having perfect detachment from sin. In other words, as long as we have a desire for this grace and intention to amend our lives, we can be completely cleansed with grace similar to our original Baptism. It is a way to really start over in our spiritual life! 

“I promise you, it will be the most important thing you ever do in your entire life. In fact, it could mean the difference in your salvation. And Jesus told St. Faustina, Divine Mercy is mankind’s last hope of salvation [see Diary, 998]. Please don’t let this grace pass you by.” 

Fr. Chris Alar, MIC, the director of the Association of Marian Helpers

By now, you may have heard about the Knights changing their admission ceremony. We are pulling down a veil of secrecy surrounding our ceremonies. This is an effort to showcase our core principles and encourage Catholic men to become spiritual leaders in this family, parish and community.

“There is nothing we do that is secret or needs to be secret. We decided this is a way to let other parishioners know, family members know, what the Knights of Columbus is all about. And we think that’s a good thing.”

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson

Why have these changes been made?

The future of our Order depends upon growth. True growth can only be accomplished by providing an inviting entry path that is accessible to prospective members and their families. Efforts to create a combined ceremony focused on 1.) removing the barriers of secrecy and 2.) the commitment of time inhibiting many from joining. It also focuses on presenting the lessons of Charity, Unity and Fraternity in a clear and convincing manner. This new Exemplification is designed to be held in a parish with family and friends seated in the pews. All can now witness – firsthand – the organization their husbands, fathers and brothers are joining; its principles, values, and why they matter. The new Exemplification of Charity, Unity and Fraternity stays true to our traditions while addressing the needs of our times.

What Should People Wear?

This is not a casual event.

CANDIDATES: Please wear a suit and tie, but a collared dress shirt with dress pants is also appropriate.

PRESENTERS: The preferred attire is suit and tie with ceremonial baldric. At the very minimum shirt, blazer, and slacks with ceremonial baldric.

COUNCIL OFFICERS: The preferred attire is suit and tie with Medal of Office. Matching, branded Knights of Columbus Council shirts would also be appropriate.

More Info on K of C’s New Ceremonial

It’s the beginning of a new era for the Knights of Columbus: A modern single, public exemplification ceremony can now be used to welcome men to our ranks as full members of the Order. The new ceremony combines the three ceremonies used in the past.

This issue takes an in-depth look at the new exemplification ceremony: what it is, why it’s changed and how you can run one. 

New Ceremony: Rooted in past and tailored for present (Read more here)

 Eight steps for a successful new exemplification (Read more here)

The four items every council needs (Read more here)

 FAQs about the new K of C exemplification (Read more here)

Five questions with new director of ceremonials (Read more here)

Who’s who at the new K of C exemplification (Read more here)

A momentous day for the Knights of Columbus (Read more here)