Chevalier Fidèle

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Army Wives

A Mothers Day Feature.

May 2018


1 John 4:7 King James Version (KJV)

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.


My daughter, as some of you may know, is married to a United States Army officer. This past December 5th, our fifth grandchild was born, our daughter’s second child, anther son.


As our son-in-law had been sent away on temporary duty (TDY) this past March our daughter had arranged for me to join her for what was supposed to be eighteen days and turned out to be twenty because of being snowed out of Philadelphia.


It obviously was not my first time to the area. Actually, my first time was when I was all but a young twenty year old, fresh out of training at Fort Sam Houston.


I was assigned to an airborne division, then, shortly after arriving, because of the needs of the Army reassigned to a combat support hospital. When the field hospital was not in the field I was at the regular army hospital. My job was “medical specialist” (91B20) assigned to pediatric ward.


Full circle I’m back, now a husband; grandfather; father; retired nurse; a veteran of eleven years; writer. The weather was cold and dry. The struggle between hot and cold was evident in this small southern town.


Settling into a routine, my daughter began to find, a little, much needed down time with her friends who lived across the street and next door. They were all from varying backgrounds, ethnicity and races. They all had one thing in common. They were wives, mothers and many times, alone.


The sound of the distant boom became a part of the norm as the artillery range was busy on any given day. Helicopters, flying overhead was exciting, as I would grab a break and see what was flying.


Security both on line and in the first person is done as second nature as getting up in the morning. I would, as I do now, always have a firearm nearby or on my person. It is the world in which we live today.


Part of the routine was “where daddy was”, or “how long before daddy is home”. The moms live a life of being a single parent. Not by their choice, but because of duty to and love for country. It was and is their normal.


Cai, my grandson, 3 years old, only knew that daddy was not there. He had, outside of his bedroom door, a chain made of colored construction paper. On each link was a number representing the days left before Daddy would be home. Before his nighttime prayers he would tear off the bottom link, revealing the next link and the days left. It gave him hope.


Of the six women, all but 2 of the families had men away. For some of them, their routines and prayers, took on a deeper meaning.


Across the street Esther has 4 children. Mary has 2. Faith has 1. Martha next door has 3 children. Kathryn, who lived around the corner, had two children. I believe the oldest child of all, is nine.


They always shared, drinks, food, homes and time. They shared; they shared love for each other and children. Though the longing and difficulties were evident they put on a brave face and proceeded through life with faith and confidence.

The weather that became a snowstorm here in the northeast was first a coming together of a warm and cold front in the south. The tornado warnings for our area as anywhere in the south are fearful. There are no basements.


Of the off post homes that made up my daughter’s neighborhood, only Kathryn’s had below grade sheltering. I offered what ever I could do to help and then watched 4 women come together with 10 children and turn a scary situation into resilience.


I sat with them, watched and listened. They told stories shared anecdotes. They chased after the crying, which would sometimes occur. I watched as at one time or another one of them would pause and they would go somewhere else. Their gaze told their story.


Today is my grandson’s christening and my son-in-law is home as well as Esther’s. I am home and as I write I am of the realization of the one constant in their neighborhood. It will be the one constant on Mother’s Day, as well. It will, as families move in and move out be the same constant, Army Wives. 


Happy Mothers Day!

Willard N. Carpenter

Demelun@hotmail.com

Communications Executive Officer

Senior Editor







The Making of the Knights Templar 

Commemorative Coin

May 2018


I have been asked how I came up the idea for 900-year anniversary of the Knights Templar Commemorative Coin, so here it the story.


After becoming a part of the Order, I became aware that this year, 2018, was the 900-years anniversary since the Knights Templars officially came into existence. 


In around 1118, a French knight named Hugues de Payens founded a military order along with eight relatives and acquaintances, calling themselves the Poor Knights of the Temple of King Solomon. They later became known as the Knights Templar.


One evening while I was sitting at my desk at home working on an assignment for my Master’s program, with thoughts of the Templars floating around in my head, I found myself staring at some challenge coins laying on my desk. I thought to myself how cool it would be to have something like a challenge coin to commemorate the 900-year anniversary of the Knight Templar, and hence the idea was born. I ran the idea by Grand Commandant Carlson, who gave me the ‘thumbs up’ on the idea.


In designing the coin, I wanted it to be as historically correct as possible. I wanted the coin to incorporate all the ranks, symbols, and the motto of the Knights Templar. 


The back of the coin includes a brown backfield to represent the Companions at Arms, on the brown field are the Beausant, the Templar battle flag, and the double seal of the Knights Templar. The black ring around the brown represents the Sergeants at Arms. Within the black ring are the motto “NON NOBIS DOMINE, NON NOBIS, SED NOMINI TUO DA GLORIAM,” and a small cross Pattée at the top. 


The front of the coin has the white field and the cross Pattée to represent the knights of the Order, and a shield beneath the cross. The inscription on the front of the coin includes Knights Templar at the top, the dates 1118-2018, and 900 years. 


After the initial design, I floated the idea on the main Knights Templar page of the Order to see if there was any interest before production. I received plenty of interest from members of the Order, and some advice to fine tune the coin such as making the ends of the cross concave to represent a historically accurate cross, and making the Beausant vertical instead of horizontal, thank you Sir Zalner and Marshall Harris! The coins were also numbered to add some value since this is a once in a lifetime event, celebrating the 900 year anniversary of the Knights Templar.


The final steps before production included a professional design, which the minting company provided. An antique finish and beveled edges added to the allure of the coin.


The coin was initially made available to members of the OSMTJ-USA Templars, but has garnered interest from other Templars around the world. After the 2018 Investiture for the Priory of Saint Andrews, the coin will be made available to others on Amazon. The purpose for the design and production of the coin was to commemorate the history and continuing existence of the Knights Templar. See OSMTJ Network in this paper for Sales information

Victor Reeves

Staff Writer / National News

Priory of St. Andrews







Project Hope

May 2018


2018 has been a great year so far for The Holy Cross Priory. 


On March 10th of this year Master Commander Alan Scarlett, Sir Thomas Taylor, Brother Brian Chrzanowski and future Squire Colton Taylor assisted in handing out care packages to those in need in and around Baltimore Maryland. 


The community service was to aid “Project Hope”. We plan to assist in the future again and hope to continue to assist on a regular basis as needed. The members handed out the care bags along with taking the time to talk with both men and women who were helped by the care bags. 


A total of 20 care bags were handed out along with other items such as blankets, coats, activity books and the occasional pack of cigarettes. Several members of The Holy Cross Priory are also attending Templar boot camp. Prior Mark Mace is leading this class online. This is a requirement that CAA’s must complete before being considered for Sergeant

Edward Baker

Staff Writer / National News

Priory of the Holy Cross

West Virginia and Maryland






FORDITE

May 2018


As you can see in the classified section. Pastor Matt from Michigan has a hobby. It is making jewelry. 50% of the profits go to three Christian organizations. Of the Jewelry he makes one of them is called Fordite. What is Fordite? Fordite is a rare stone like material made up of built up paint from automotive plants. It is cut down to shape sanded and polished, turned into jewelry. Whille he was down the last time I had the opportunity to help him cut (with wet saw) a large piece of Fordite. (Pictured). 

Willard N. Carpenter

Demelun@hotmail.com

Communications Executive Officer

Senior Editor






BASH Show Choir Performs

May 2018


During  the late morning church service at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church the show choir of Boyertown Area Senior High performed for the parishioners during their service. 


8 April 2018, The show choir performed,


Fresh off their tour in Spain the choir has over the course of many decades performed for many churches throughout the area.


Bash and Trinity Evengelical Lutheran Church are in Pennsylvania Commandery of the Trinity.











Willard N. Carpenter

Demelun@hotmail.com

Communications Executive Officer

Senior Editor







Church Cancelled

May 2018


East Tawas, Michigan: Spring is usually late in this part of Michigan. But this late snow fall with ice storm forced the cancellation of church services at Grace Lutheran Church here in East Tawas, Michigan this past sunday, 15 April. 


The cancellation is the first in seven years since the arrival of Pastor Matt. 


The following was the Facebook posting. 



ATTENTION!
Due to the extreme weather conditions and anticipated ice, Sunday Morning worship on April 15th is cancelled. If you wish to worship this week, please join us on Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM. Stay warm and stay safe!





























Meanwhile this am, outside the YMCA in  Menominee, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula, life teaches us that things can be harsher. 

Amanda Carpenter

Staff Writer / Tomorrows Voice

Pennsylvania Commandery of the Trinity







The Humanity of the Apostles

April 2018


We’ve all heard the cliche “God uses cracked pots.”  Well, that may or may not be so. However HE does use real humans to do the work of the kingdom.


We hear often within the church that God used Moses even though he had a stutter, David even though he was little, and Ruth even though she was a bold woman in a Man’s world. But we often forget these were real people with faults, or we romanticize them into perfection since they were the people Jesus surrounded Himself with.


  • A hot head itching for a fight.

  • A man who would betray Him to the end of ultimate suffering and sacrifice.

  • A tax collector...the worst kind of person in the societal structure of Jesus’s day.

  • People who were not just with Christ in spirit as we are now, but in their imperfection, walked, talked, and ate with the very person of Christ, and still, as so many pastors have said to me, “They just didn’t get it.”


Let’s look first at the types of people chosen to be the first twelve. Matthew 4:18-22 shows the first four men called weren’t theological powerhouses nor were they awesomely bearded guitar playing young men with their finger on the pulse of cool. They were fishermen--stinky, swarthy, slovenly, callous-handed, fishermen, not the same apostles we later see in classical art.


At best they were Jewish men who feared God and could likely follow directions.

Then He made it worse…


In Matthew 9:9-13,  we get a tax collector. These weren’t just your standard IRS stuffed shirts on the other end of a telephone.  No, tax collectors at this time ranked pretty low on the totem pole of people you let into the house (likely just under the neighbor’s cat). They were considered betrayers of their own people. They got the same amount of “warm and fuzzy” then as the guy who sells drugs on a school yard now. Again...not standard Church Leadership.


But wait! Now enter the extremists. Simon, The Zealot, and Judas Iscariot. The Sicarii (Iscariot thought by some to refer to this group) were a splinter group of Jewish Zealots basically waiting for the Messiah to come and start a war against the Romans. They carried small daggers, waiting for the instruction to bump off someone to get the fight going. We seem to be missing this “virtue” in the beatitudes.


Even if this theory about Judas’s connection to the Sicarii can’t be fully backed up...Judas was still not top shelf church folk. John 12:3-6 has Judas stealing from the ministry of Jesus Himself. Then Judas really swings for the fences and betrays our LORD for 30 pieces of silver, a sum that with some research proves to equate to less than I got back on my tax return this year. Also this amount was the price of killing a servant according to The Law in Exodus 21:30-32


Now we get to Peter.

You know...pulled a knife on a cop...then stood in the synagogue courtyard cursing, and carrying on. Peter, in John 18:10.

You know, “On this Rock I will build My Church” Peter.


Ok. So I just described some fairly unsavory sort of people, and some might think “Hey… those are the Twelve Apostles you’re making a dig at!” 

They are US; sinners, recovering jerks, LESS THAN CHRISTLIKE.

They are God, showing us that not just does He use “cracked pots"; he can use the worst of us, and even things originally meant for harm. God will prevail.


Too often we look at the humanity of ourselves and let the adversary tell us, “God can’t use you. You screwed up too big this time, kid!” But the same Christ-denying, belligerent, spectacle in the church yard, through the power of God, becomes the foundation of The Holy Catholic Church/The Church Universal.

“You don’t have the right skills to work for the kingdom… You’re a janitor, a bus driver, not a pastor with a masters in divinity.” Jesus started with stinky, untrained fishermen. The call was first; the skills came after it.


Jesus used a bum like Matthew, a disgrace, and betrayer of his own kind, to work good for the Kingdom, saying, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’” For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners”  Matthew 9:12-13


Judas’s betrayal isn’t the end of the miracle of Easter…. It’s the middle. The horror and destruction of Friday grants us our salvation and makes us as humanity right with a holy and just God.


The hopelessness of Saturday is now often commemorated with prayer vigils, showing that when we as people can’t do anything else, we should pray to that holy and just God and wait upon The Lord.

Just like us, the Apostles felt like nothing was happening, just like we feel when we don’t see God moving, but Jesus says to us, “I was dead, but look, I am alive forevermore. I have the keys of Death and of hell.” Rev. 1:18


"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"  1 Cor 15:55


The power of Sunday morning, that empty tomb, and the Risen Christ… showing that God’s power has conquered Death and The Grave and is not bound by our mortality.


This is the banner we march under. We are Knights of THIS Christ, the Christ that knows our humanity, knows our flaws, and instead of sending us away in favor of someone “better,” tells us to put on the full armor of God. To all of us stinky, ill-equipped, hot-headed folks, even those of us with a sketchy past, the call is the same:

“Follow Me.”


I urge us all to keep this in mind as we extend the reach of our Most Holy Order here in Pennsylvania. We have chosen to take up the banner of Christ and join the fight. We do this not because we are the best and brightest of our church or because we always have it right. We join with our brothers and sisters because we all answered the call just as the first twelve that Christ Himself called to his side.


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Stephen McElroy

Staff Writer / National News
Commandery of the Trinity
Pennsylvania







Persecuted Christians

March


Since I joined the Knights Templars or American KTOA, this topic has lay heavily on my heart: The persecution of Christians around the world. 


Christians are being persecuted in the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America. 


This persecution takes many forms -- murder, rape, torture, repressive laws, social exclusion and discrimination. 


One of the things the KTOA supports is the Open Doors USA ministry, which advocates for persecuted Christians. I have gone to the Open Doors USA site, and this ministry touched my heart so I became a prayer partner for Open Doors USA. Another organization for which I am a prayer partner is The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM). 


As in the 11th century, our brother Templars protected the pilgrims going from the sea ports of Outremer to Jerusalem. Just as the Templars protected the pilgrims with sword and mace against robbers and Saracens, we, the spiritual heirs of the Knights Templar, use the mighty sword of prayer for persecuted Christians. 


I am proud to say that KTOA-Priory of HIS Coming Glory-Missouri, Kansas and Iowa have chosen each Friday to be a day of prayer for persecuted Christians as a whole group.  We encourage other Priories and Commanderies within the Knights Templar of America to select a day each week to make prayer for the persecuted church a priority in your meditations for that day.

Don Meader

Staff Writer / National News.

His Coming Glory

Missouri / Kansas







News from the Priory of St. Andrew / South Carolina

March


The New Year has started off with a bang and a boom!! This is an exciting time to be a member of the OSMTJ USA Order! This New Year brings changes to the order and the addition of new members. 


Between December 2017 and January 2018, the Priories of Saint Andrews and Saint Mark have seen a tremendous growth with the addition twenty-four new Companions At Arms in these two priories alone! It is exciting to see that the Priories of Saint Andrews and Saint Mark and rest of our order are growing! 


So why is this important? Because there is strength in numbers, a statement especially important to the war that we fight… the spiritual war that we, as Templars, fight on a daily basis.


The main weapon Templars use in this spiritual war is prayer along with the rest of The Armor of God outlined in Ephesians 6:10-20. Although there is no set biblical verse that says group prayer is more powerful than an individual’s prayers, James 5:26 (NIV) says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” The emphasis of this verse is “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective,” singular. 


Some will argue against this comment by quoting Matthew 18:19-20 which states, “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” 


However, this is from a larger passage about dealing with sin within the church. Basically, the more members we have active in the order, the more support we can offer one another. Proverbs 27:17 states, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Growth is good, but it also presents certain challenges and growing pains.


On January 2, 2018, OSMTJ USA implemented the CAA Corps Basic Training platform, in which all existing and new Companions at Arm will participate. Later in the month of January, the same was implemented for the Sergeants. 


The mission of these training platforms is to provide training and continuity across the priories of the order so that all those affiliated with our organization are on the same page when it comes to requirements and training. This mission is encouraging because we can support each other and learn from each other through this academic platform of learning.


With the new additions to the order comes the responsibility for Sergeants to train and mentor the new Companions at Arms. The Mentors of the Priory of St Andrew's and St Mark's group saw the addition of one new mentor to its ranks, Sergeant Victor Reeves.


With growth also comes the opportunity for promotions. In the Priories of Saint Andrews and Saint Mark, we saw the promotion of Sir James Howard to Knights Commander of St Thomas; Knights Lieutenants Lady Cedria King and Sir Daron Whitehead were promoted to Knights Captains; Staff Sergeants Tony Huffmaster and Marty Hagood were promoted to First Sergeants; Sergeants Jay Jurcenko, Phillip Burd Jr., Emory Raines, John McCullen, and David E. Roth were promoted to Staff Sergeants; and Companion at Arms Todd Bourgeois was promoted to Sergeant. Congratulations again to everyone! (Apologies go out to any I may have missed. )


Moving forward, let us pray for the continued growth of our order here in the United States. These are trying and turbulent times we live in, and we need each other more than ever to support each other during difficult times in prayer and in communion.


The year 2018 marks the 900th year anniversary of the Knights Templar and the Knights Templar continue to endure and grow.


As a reminder, the Investiture in Ripley, Mississippi, will also be the National Conclave, for 2018. I want to encourage everyone to make an effort to attend at least one event this coming year. 


Attending an event brings it all together, the faces, the voices, the people, the mission, and the organization… the Knights Templar OSMTJ United States Grand Priory!


For the continued growth of our Priories and our Order… DEUS VULT!

Nōn nōbīs, Domine, nōn nōbīs, sed nōminī tuō dā glōriam

Victor Reeves

Staff Writer / National News

Priory of St. Andrews

South Carolina







New Knights

March


On February 17, 2018, at Grace Episcopal Church in Keswick, Virginia, four members became knights.  Please congratulate Tony Woodard, Eric Bjerre, Chris Hios and Rob Woodfin.  


Rob Woodfin also has been named the Chaplain for the Priory.  Rayne Britt was knighted previously at National Conclave at Priestfield, West Virginia.  


St. Bartholomew would like to say thank you to Stephen Shutt, who gave three years of service as chaplain, and say we will miss you.   


The Priory of St. Bartholomew last year consisted of the Priory of Bartholomew and Commandery of Holy Cross.  The Priory represented Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland, and West Virginia.  


It was a great victory for the Priory of St. Bartholomew that The Commandery of Holy Cross was promoted to an independent Priory because the move provided strong Christian leaders the opportunity to take leadership positions.  


The promotion after the National Conclave put the states of Maryland and West Virginia under the command of Holy Cross and the state of Virginia and Washington DC, under the command of Bartholomew.


Saturday, February 17, was a monumental day for the Priory of Bartholomew because the Investiture service promoted strong Sergeants-at-Arms who are ready to lead, and will provide the strong foundation of the newly restructured Priory for years to come.  Our Priory now has six knights and five progressing to knighthood.  

Mark Mace, Prior

Communications director

Priory of St. Bartholomew

Virginia / Washington D.C.







Greetings and Blessings from 

The Priory of St. Gabriel.

March


On January 20, 2018, the Priory of St. Gabriel was pleased to host our first Investiture of the year at a real castle. Known locally as Newman’s Castle located in Bellville, Texas, the investiture echoed with historical pomp and circumstance. 


Three new knights were promoted and a new Knights Commander was promoted.


Before the Investiture, service was extended to a local nursing home where members of St. Gabriel’s ranks visited with residents and shared cookies, coffee, songs and prayers to lighten spirits and bring companionship and fellowship, as brothers and sisters, to those who may not have many visitors.


Members then travelled a short distance to the castle for a tour and lunch. A demonstration of a working trebuchet and siege of the castle, led by Sir Trujillo’s fearless nine-year-old daughter, was enjoyed by all in attendance.


The Investiture took place in the Great Hall.  The new knights, promoted for their exemplary service, are Sir Shaun Hayes, Sir William Haire, and Sir Rick Trujillo. Prior Keith Menefee then extended an accolade and promotion to me, and I became the Knight’s Commander for the Priory.


After the Investiture, all guests were treated to appetizers and a medieval feast. The feast was prepared by my wife and me, and to our delight, was a smashing success,  featuring lamb shank, roast beef and roast pork, salad greens, and other delectable meats and cheeses.  A King’s feast would have seemed to lack in comparison, a challenge to prepare, but a pleasure to serve.  Fellowshipping followed the feast, and friendships were created, as this event was the first time many of us met face to face.    


The Priory has gone through some changes and growing pains, but with Prior Menefee at the helm, we will be stronger and continue to grow in the near future. We seem to be adding Companions-At-Arms at a quickening rate, adding tremendous quality Christians to the order.


Prior Menefee has also created the 12 in 12 initiative. This was a challenge to have each member host one service project in their local area for a chosen month. A member chooses a month to host a service project; this procedure will allow other members to attend and will benefit that member’s community. So far we are off to a successful start.


The Priory of St. Gabriel continues to grow and will continue to serve our Order as Friends, Companions, and Disciples of Christ.  May we all be continually blessed.


In the name of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Kevin Dorsey, Knight Commander

Staff Writer / National News

Priory of St. Gabriel

Texas







The Praying Chair

February 


There is a simple green folding camp chair on a small barren patch of concrete that is the patio to my ground floor apartment.  Very simple in all of its ways. If one were to walk past it, the chair would not even warrant a second look.


This patch of concrete and simple chair have been the temple, chapel, confessional, and the tiniest of humble churches for me. In the evenings I will sit in the " praying chair" seeking to spend time in devotion and conversation with God. In this chair is where I learned to turn off the noise of the world, the distractions and endless chatter that assaults the mind: work, worries, TV, cell phone, internet and the rest of the white noise that prevents us from truly hearing what HE says to us in prayer.


The Praying Chair is the perfect place to strip away the edifice, the self-imposed barriers, the walls we put up during prayer built out of fear, fear of the true honesty we must have when opening our soul to its creator. To truly open myself in communication, knowing that trying to hide myself or my thoughts from God is pointless and self defeating and inevitably leads an unrewarding spiritual life.  The more time I spent in the Praying Chair, the easier and more open communication with God became. In these times, our friendship developed through talking and sharing my deepest hopes and fears. And other times we just enjoyed each other’s company, in my time spent with God.


James 4:8    Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.


This gift of love and friendship is on the table for everyone.


The death and resurrection of Christ cemented the new covenant. The curtain was torn.

And that is the greatest gift ever given--God's friendship


His Grace to us, through his Son, so that everyone with an open heart can have a personal relationship with Him, our heavenly Father, Creator, and through his beloved Son, Jesus Christ, and moved by the blessed blowing winds of the Holy Spirit.


Everyone should find his or her own Praying Chair.

Doug Petersen

Staff Writer / National News

Priory of His Coming Glory

Kansas/Missouri







Helping Hands

February


The year 2017 was a great year for Holy Cross Priory. Holy Cross became a Priory in November with the appointment of Alan Scarlett as Master Commander for Maryland and West Virginia. We are now sixteen members strong with great hopes for growth in 2018.


This past October, five of our members attended the National Conclave at Priestfield, West Virginia. Sergeant Thomas Taylor was knighted, and Don Thompson and Bob Zalner were elevated to the rank of Knight-Lieutenant. Sir Don was appointed as Seneschal for Holy Cross, and Sir Bob as Marshall.


The charity event at the conclave benefitted Jefferson County Community Ministries, which serves over 1,000 needy families in West Virginia’s eastern  panhandle. Conclave participants went grocery shopping and delivered over 2300 pounds of groceries, valued at $3,000. plus another $3,000 in a check  to the center. It was a splendid event that allowed us all to help others in the name of Jesus Christ.


Holy Cross- eleven knights and five companion at arms strong – is ready for the new year and eager to fulfill our Lord’s will!

Edward Baker

Staff Writer / National News

Priory of the Holy Cross

West Virginia and Maryland







Eyes Of The Seeking Child

February


As I look at the year’s events pass and the start of a new one, I too, like many of you, take stock.


I see how far we have come, and I notice many things never change.

At times I miss my Sunday school teacher, my uncle, and my mentor, Robert Davalos who passed away six years ago and sits with our Father waiting.  He would show a room full for teen-aged boys what God’s grace and a little faith would do.  And, yes, he had his faults, but he was amongst the most patient and kindest people I was ever graced to have met. He told me that without faith, we are incomplete.


So now I take stock of the battles- the wins, the losses, and the draws. But today I ask you not to take pity or sorrow. Instead, I entreat you all to celebrate my scars and your scars. Stand with me at the feast, and toast the sweet victories, hard losses, the bitter lumps, and the nights that made you need something on which to lean. We lean on the only thing that matters- Faith. As we all know, faith starts small. It’s hard to kill. Faith is like water, and nothing can withstand the force of water. Faith is our armor, the fuel of our fire, and the force of our zeal.


I entreat you to hear with your heart. This year has humbled me above most.  From a loss of a pregnancy to the small cry of a child seeking answers that you cannot provide to the nights that cause tossing and turning. But don’t fret; celebrate with me. Celebrate the faith that pulled me through when I fell short. Rejoice because I tempered my armor in hell’s fires. When you trust in God and believe, there is nothing that cannot be accomplished. When the final call is made and we all sit that the supper of our Father, we will all look upon our armor. Why, you ask? Because it will be dented, mashed, cracked, bent and twisted. We put our armor/faith to the test.  But above all, we did as our Father asked of us. We believe, we keep the faith, we show others what we are. Give praise that you were able to test your faith. Give glory to the Almighty because we stood back up.


In all of Christendom, we the few who have heard a call have taken our vows. We must SHOW the path. We must be humble and kind. Be proud but not arrogant. Humility must be our cloak. We must guide our houses, and keep our families and clans together. We must defend the faith. As the Order is given another year of life, we must do our best. Even when we fail, his grace will be sufficient. He is faithful to us, and grants us refuge. But above all- stand back up. Make proud those who taught you. Through these virtues, our teachers are blessed by our performance.

As we start this year, hold fast your faith, hold tight your families.

Castro Hawk 

Staff Writer / National News

Priory of New England