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IWKnights Corner for July 24, 2022 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Did you know this about the IW Knights of Columbus? 

Chesterton sits for a portrait by British photographer Howard Coster in 1935, a year before the author died at age 62.
Chesterton sits for a portrait by British photographer Howard Coster in 1935, a year before the author died at age 62. Photo by Howard Coster/National Portrait Gallery, London

“On Jan. 10, 1921, G.K. Chesterton stepped off a ship in New York City and was greeted by a huge press reception.  The Englishman told the many reporters that he had come ‘to lose his impressions of the United States … to see this country and to talk, to give inadequate after-dinner speeches known as lectures.’

At the time, Gilbert Keith Chesterton was one of the most famous literary figures in the world — an author of epic poetry, plays, novels, detective stories with a priest protagonist, and books on philosophy, art, history and social criticism.  He was known primarily as an irresistibly quotable journalist read in daily newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic.  His speaking tour in America lasted three months, taking him to dozens of cities, where he lectured to packed auditoriums, drawing crowds in with paradoxical titles such as ‘The Ignorance of the Educated,’ ‘The Perils of Health’ and ‘Shall We Abolish the Inevitable?’

His great strength was amusing and enlightening his readers and listeners by defending the normal in an increasingly abnormal world.  The Boston Post wrote, ‘G.K. Chesterton is a man of enormous common sense.  Some say this is what has made him famous.’

On Jan. 26, Chesterton gave a lecture in New Haven, Conn., at Yale University’s Sprague Memorial Hall.  He appreciated the ‘jolly’ audience and told them how impressed he was with the university’s Gothic architecture.  ‘I have often thought that if I were a millionaire, I should like to erect a Gothic cathedral, a beautiful work of art, like these buildings,’ he said.  ‘And yet, if I were a millionaire, I probably would be so worldly-minded that such an idea would be the last one to enter my mind.  There ought to be many more such buildings, but I suppose people are not happy enough to build them.’

During the course of his visit, Chesterton became acquainted with another New Haven institution as well.  He met with local Knights of Columbus, led by Edward P. O’Meara, a past grand knight of San Salvador Council 1, and received a gift from them — a gift he so treasured that he chose to have it with him when he entered the Catholic Church the following year, in July 1922.

A prominent lawyer (later judge) known for his wit and humor, Edward O’Meara would have felt a great affinity toward Chesterton.  He had also done his homework.  He knew that Chesterton always carried a walking stick.

A walking stick is not a cane. It is a prop.  But it does not prop up the walker; it accompanies him.  He gestures with it.  He points with it.  He poses with it.  He sits with it as much as he stands with it and walks with it.

Chesterton liked walking sticks. His most famous was a sword stick, which he used to stab the couch pillows in his study while dictating essays to his secretary. (His sword stick now resides somewhere in the British Library, but nobody knows where.  It’s been misfiled.)  So, apparently aware of this penchant for props, Edward O’Meara presented Chesterton with an unusual “snakewood” walking stick on behalf of the Knights of Columbus…”

Read the rest of the story about GK Chesterton, the serpentine stick and his visit to the U.S. and about the Knights of Columbus at KofC.org, IWKnights9981.com/bulletin or on facebook.com/IWknights9981 and NOW on Twitter at twitter.com/IwKnights.

Links Related to this week’s column:

The Knight Who Was Chesterton

When G.K. Chesterton entered the Catholic Church a century ago, he had a K of C “sword” ready at hand.

 By Dale Ahlquist, President of the Society of Gilbert Keith Chesterton  (6/24/2022)
   Click here to read the article 



Renewing the world through Christian joy & common sense

Our mission is to evangelize through education, inspiring people to live joyful, holy lives, with G.K. Chesterton as a model of lay spirituality. Let G.K. Chesterton be your guide to a deeper faith, intellectual clarity, and greater joy.
   Click here to go to the website 

G. K. Chesterton: Apostle Of Common Sense | EWTN

A study of the wit and wisdom of the great 20th Century writer, G.K. Chesterton, hosted by Dale Ahlquist, President of the American Chesterton Society.

 By EWTN Global Catholic Network  (7/1/2022)
   Click here to visit the show website 

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