September 14, 2007

Catholic News Around Indiana

Diocese of Lafayette

Young men grow in faith as ‘Knights of the Holy Temple’

By Lisa Wilson-Cotillier (The Catholic Moment)

KOKOMO—They are called the Knights of the Holy Temple.

The name alone stands out, but the young men serving Mass on Sundays draw meaningful attention to the importance of the celebration, not to themselves.

Derek Aaron was one of 11 young men who ­participated in the first chapter of the Knights, established at St. Joan of Arc Parish in Kokomo for high-school aged boys by Father Brian Doerr in 1999. Now 24, Aaron has fond memories of his knightly experiences, and still helps where he is needed.

“Once you’re a Knight, you’re always a Knight,” Aaron said. “The fellowship and fraternity you form with other Knights is long lasting. It’s a great organization for young men to grow in their faith.

“It’s a great opportunity, too,” Aaron continued, “because in high school, you deal with a lot of pressures and you have a lot of questions about the faith and just about life in general. There were great priests in my chapter, willing to help and readily able to answer any questions I had.”

Participants are encouraged to develop a deep reverence and devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, serve the poor, live their faith privately and publicly, and follow an honor code. They also are encouraged to discern whether God is calling them to the priesthood or religious life.

Several chapters have been established across the Diocese of Lafayette. Knights serve at St. Joan of Arc and St. Patrick in Kokomo, Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Carmel, St. Alphonsus in Zionsville, All Saints in Logansport, and the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Lafayette.

Since the Knights formed at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, “more young men are involved in youth ministry in general,” said Father Richard Doerr, pastor. “In addition, there is an increased understanding of the Mass among our youth. [They] have also inspired many of the parishioners, who are moved by their reverence and seriousness when they serve. I think it has also ensured that a significant group of young men have thought about the priesthood as a possibility. Whether they are called or not, this group also ensures that these boys will be better Catholic men.”

“I thought it was a really cool thing,” said Dustin Youngs, 17, of St. Alphonsus. “I went to the first meeting, and after that I decided I really wanted to be a part of it. What attracted me to it the most is the fact that we serve the Mass so reverently.”

Jonathan Matthes, 17, of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, agreed.

“This is my fourth year as a Knight, and serving more reverently is a big part of what’s kept me involved all these years,” he said. “I have had the opportunity to get to meet more people, and to be more involved in Church. It’s just a great thing to help young Catholic men grow in their faith.”

Faith lives are strengthened by “knighthood.”

“There are always times when you don’t feel strong in your faith, but being a part of the Knights definitely has helped me to grow,” John Strong, 18, of the cathedral parish, said. “The experience is invaluable.”

“I think the Knights is something that you can throw yourself into and really dedicate yourself to,” said Josh Marrah, 17, of St. Joan of Arc.

“A lot of Catholics go to Mass and go through the motions, but don’t necessarily understand what they’re doing or why,” said Strong. “Through the Knights, I’ve gained a better understanding of the Mass, and why we do what we do as Catholics. And I do it because I love to do it. I don’t just go through the motions.” †


St. Louis de Montfort organist receives top honor

FISHERS—Scott Foppiano, organist, choirmaster and coordinator of liturgy at St. Louis de Montfort Parish in Fishers, Ind., in the Lafayette Diocese, recently was named 2007 Organist of the Year.

He received the title and a plaque at the national convention of the American Guild of Organists and the American Theatre Organ Society held in New York in July.

“The candidates are chosen from an international roster of players and voted for by the awards committee and board of directors,” Foppiano said. “Those who have received the award in previous years are among the top shining stars in the organ world and some of the most famous players of the last 100 years. It is truly an honor to be recognized.”

While in New York state, he performed at the Cadet Chapel of the Military Academy at West Point. Foppiano also played a solo recital at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Manhattan on its historic Kilgen Grande pipe organ.

“It was, without question, an absolute thrill to sit at those consoles, to play music through the same pipes and bounce sound off the same walls as so many of the top organists from decades past,” he said. “It is almost overwhelming, and something I will never forget.” †

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