What is the mandate of the Knights of Columbus State Culture of Life Program in BC and the Yukon? It is to promote and support Culture of Life values, principles, programs and initiatives that are in line with the values of our Catholic faith. We do the following types of strategic activities at the State Level in support of this mandate;
- Provides advice and guidance to the State Deputy and State Program Director in Culture of Life matters.
- Researches and analyzes pro life legislation, regulations, policies and Culture of Life issues in society to identify trends and issues.
- Research and develop strategies and plans to promote and preserve the sanctity of life in society within the Knights of Columbus’ mandate;
- At the State Level;
- At the District Level and Council Level.
- Coordinates and promotes State wide Culture of Life events and fund raising for Culture of Life events and State Award programs with Grand Knights and Culture of Life Directors.
- Liaise with our clergy to discuss and develop meaningful ways for the Knights to support the clergy in Culture of Life areas.
- Liaise with our Culture of Life partners in other organizations to share ideas and strategies to support mutually agreeable Culture of Life initiatives.
This might sound formal and a bit bureaucratic but it provides a meaningful and necessary context to the core meaning of a Culture of Life program. It states how we are going to proceed with developing a form of governance on such a vast and wide sweeping important program like Culture of Life.
Culture of Life means many things to different people. Most people automatically think of anti-abortion when the term Culture of Life is mentioned. The term actually entails the following spectrum:
- Legal status of a fetus;
- Abortion issues;
- Bioethical issues to do with reproductive technologies and issues such as reproductive technologies, invitro-fertilization, cloning and stem cell research;
- Adoption and caring for unwanted children;
- Experimentation on human subjects be they embryonic or for scientific advancement on children or adults to battle diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s;
- Euthanasia, assisted suicide and care of the dying;
- Issues related to defining the moment of death and the impact on organ transplantation
There are a great and varied number of areas to cover in the area of Culture of Life and whatever strategy is developed, it needs to be done with proper analysis and due consideration by the leadership of the Knights at all levels in the BC and Yukon State jurisdiction. To do any less would not do justice to the issue at hand.
How precious is life? It sounds like a simple enough question. What makes a Canadian soldier join the Armed Forces knowing he or she could end up on a battlefield in another part of the world fighting for peace, and possibly paying the ultimate price? What makes a US President stand on the brink and look into the precipice of possible war in far off nations like Syria? What made our Saviour pray so fervently in the Garden of Gethsemane to point where he sweats blood? A large part of the answer comes down to the inherent knowledge and feeling as to just how precious life really is.
In each instance above, it is the great concern and love for our fellow human beings that prompts each of them to the point where they are willing to put it all on the line for our fellow human beings. And this is because life in this world and the next is just so very important, fundamental and precious.
So, if life is so precious that it can become a cause worth fighting and dying for, how is it that society in general does not seem to understand this or practice it consistently in other areas of life issues? A large part of the answer is we are human and therefore, imperfect and inconsistent. In the human world, there is always room for improvement. If segments of society don’t understand or appreciate how precious life is, then we have an obligation and responsibility to help them understand that. This may take several attempts and a lifetime of effort but that is what we are called to do with the truth and knowledge we possess. This truth and knowledge is a tremendous gift and we need to pass it on to our family, friends and the world in a loving caring way.
For those in Culture of Life programs, the task of passing on this truth and knowledge can be a difficult one. Our attempts to plant the seeds of truth and knowledge on how precious life is will be met with resistance or indifference in many instances but we will also meet with success. Life is busy and people in general have a lot of priorities, responsibilities and challenges just living day to day. It can be hard to get their attention to plant that seed of truth and knowledge but we need to keep at it. The task may seem like wandering in a desert trying to plant gardens throughout the whole desert and at times it may seem like nothing is growing no matter how hard we try. Start by watering your gardens with prayer on a regular basis. Wait, listen and see where our Father takes you. Work, wait and see how the little mustard seeds of truth grow. Also, network and talk with other Culture of Life colleagues for moral support.
Working in Culture of Life programs and issues will always be an on-going job with its’ small victories and large frustrations. There will always be future generations to teach and segments of society to reach out to in order to help them understand how precious life is. It takes time and hard work to do anything worthwhile but it needs to be done. Why? Because life is precious.
Dale and Debbie McGregor
Culture of Life Directors
Knights of Columbus
BC and Yukon State
“A Little Message – Please Let Me Stay” (Downloadable Song in MP3 audio and PDF format sheet music)
We are pleased to bring you a song composed by Dale McGregor entitled “A Little Message – Please Let Me Stay.” It is a song written to give voice to those unborn who have no voice to speak to their parents. An audio recording sample of the song is also available to provide you with one interpretation as to how the song goes – right click this link and select “Save link as..” or “Save link target as..” to download the MP3 file. Sheet music is also available in the key of Bb and A upon request.
Please share it with your parishes and pro-life organizations in your area as you see fit. It is free to reproduce and perform in public forums such as pro life rallies and marches. The usual SOCAN conditions apply for recording the song for albums. Any profits realized from recordings will be donated to support Pro-Life programs and events. As well, the whole song is available for download from CD Baby at the following web page http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/dalemcgregor
Culture of Life Program activities for the Coming Year
- Culture of Life Youth Contest – We are interested in hearing what students think about any particular Culture of Life issue. The Knights of Columbus is running an Essay, Poster and Picture Contest open to all Catholic students in British Columbia and the Yukon Territory in public, private or parochial schools in grades one (1) through twelve (12) during the current school year. Students participating from Grade 12 to Grade 7 will be required to submit a word processed essay on letter sized paper on a “positive themed” culture of life topic of their choosing. Students participating from Grade 4 to Grade 6 will be required to submit a “Celebration of Life” themed culture of life poster and slogan. Students participating from Grade 1 to Grade 3 will be required to submit a “Celebration of Life” themed culture of life picture. There are cash prizes for the top three students in each student category. The closing date for the contest is January 15, 2014. For more details see our Contest web page at http://kofcbc.org/programs/life/culture-of-life-contest/
- Support Legislative Initiatives in Favour of Culture of Life – In the past, this meant support legislative changes such as Motion 312 and Motion 408 tabled in the House of Parliament in Ottawa, Ontario by various Members of Parliament. Motion 312 was defeated and Motion 408 was cancelled. This year, there are no active Motions before the House of Parliament. However, Euthasia is a developing issue in Quebec and recently BC so this will be a “topic of interest” for the Culture of Life program this year in our jurisidiction.
- Culture of Life Conference Attendance – Support the youth to attend relevant conferences and conventions. Students from local colleges have been supported financially to attend a Culture of Life convention in Toronto recently.
- BC Culture of Life State Web Development – Refine the Culture of Life section of the BC State Web site to better serve the Councils’ Culture of Life programs.
- January 2014 – Culture of Life Baby Shower – Sixth Annual – The purpose is to organize a clothing and supply drive to benefit pro-life organizations that help mothers to be and fathers who might otherwise choose abortion, and the unborn that might otherwise be denied the right to life. Link Culture of Life Baby Shower. The shower was well organized by several Councils with donations of items that totalled in the $1000 to $2000 range.
- May 2014 – Culture of Life “March for Life” – Victoria BC. Plans are in progress for the march which will happen on Thursday, May 8, 2014. The theme of this year’s event is “End Female Gendercide”. The information for the event can be found here. http://www.m4lvictoria.ca/
- May 2014 – Culture of Life Hour of Prayer – Councils to plan a mass and prayer for the Council and Parishioners the weekend prior to or the weekend after Mothers Day.