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Tuesday, April 2, 2024

New Apostolate Aims to Reclaim our Communities for Christ

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New Apostolate Aims to Reclaim our Communities for Christ

Endorsed by Bishop Strickland, the simple format of this new apostolate requires pairs of men to go out though the streets of their own towns or communities on a weekly basis, praying the Rosary and other prayers. The formula of prayers has been carefully selected for its spiritual potency as well as to ensure protection for the participants from demonic backlash.

It is true that nature abhors a vacuum and that the enemy of man takes great pleasure in assuming Christ’s rightful place wherever we cede authority to him, be that in our individual souls or in our nations. While few of us are in a position to influence an entire nation, it does lie within our grasp to exert a good and holy influence within our own homes and within our communities. Men especially, in their roles as protectors, have an obligation to control their own sphere of influence both materially and spiritually. It is from these principles that an inspiring new Apostolate of modern-day knighthood has emerged: Catholic men committing to prayerfully reclaim their local communities for Christ.

For Daniel Potvin, founder of the Apostolate, the desire to be a knight began in childhood. As he explained to this author by email, his family loved to watch a classic movie about the life of St. Joan of Arc, in which Joan was played by Ingrid Bergman.  Daniel says, “What young boy who watched that movie did not want to fight in her holy army, fighting for a just cause?”

In 1997, a conversion experience at Mont. St. Michel, (“after a ride with the world”, as he puts it), led the adult Daniel to take his faith more seriously. After a Marian pilgrimage twenty years later, Daniel knew he had to put his inspirations into practice. By May of 2020, his new Apostolate was officially launched in Massachusetts; it has been endorsed by  Bishop Strickland. The simple format requires pairs of men to go out though the streets of their own towns or communities on a weekly basis, praying the Rosary and other prayers. The formula of prayers has been carefully selected for its spiritual potency as well as to ensure protection for the participants from demonic backlash.

Daniel believes the role of the nine angelic choirs to be crucial to his Apostolate, writing that this was inspired directly from his experience at Mont. St. Michel. Daniel, a lumberjack by trade, also recalls a moment when he was working in the woods and was feeling overwhelmed by the number of forces arrayed against God’s people: the money, media, military leaders, financial centers, schools, universities. The thought that Catholics are outnumbered and outgunned was immediately replaced by great hope: since only a third of the angels fell, the rest of the angels are on our side. This means we actually outnumber the enemy. As Daniel points out, “When you throw in all the saints in heaven and all the souls in Purgatory, we have an army that cannot be matched.”

The main patron of Daniel’s Apostolate, and the one for whom it is named, might surprise traditional Catholics: it is Pope John Paul II. The flaws of this somewhat paradoxical pope cannot be overlooked, so the decision may seem curious, even off putting for some Catholics. Indeed, a conversation at the Rome Life Forum last year, during which this author met Daniel personally, honed in on why John Paul’s deficiencies potentially make him a poor candidate for the name of the Apostolate.

Daniel, while acknowledging John Paul’s errors, stands by his decision, defending it with great candor: “St. John Paul II had many facets. He prophesied the times we are in back in 1976 in Philadelphia, when he connected today’s world with “the final confrontation between the church and the anti church, between the gospel and the anti gospel, between Christ and the Antichrist”.

Daniel also acknowledges the good impact John Paul had on so many young Catholics, this author included, which often resulted in vocations. Despite the failings of which many of us were or are even now unaware, it is a matter of justice to acknowledge that John Paul II put many Catholics on the path to orthodoxy, if not to tradition. Daniel writes:

“JP2 inspired me and countless millions to follow Christ, to build a civilization based on truth and love, to go out and evangelize, to defend life, and to place our sexuality in the proper place, which is marriage between a man and a woman. He fought communism, the Mafia, and the culture of death head on: without fear, without tiring.”

In response to this author’s query about the fruits of his Apostolate, Daniel writes that for the first few years, there didn’t seem to be many results. However, locals generally were pleased to know that someone was praying for their community, and some first responders, whose role it is to physically protect the community, have been quite enthusiastic about it. Daniel’s group was also able to coordinate a prayerful protest against the promotion of transgenderism at the local school.  When his group became aware that the school sent the 7th and 8th grades on a school trip to a transgender political rally, they met on the school grounds before the next several school board meetings to assemble the heavenly army, pray the rosary and then attend the meetings. They were joined by Protestants and even unchurched people. Now two women who fought against the school board are running for seats on the board. Daniel writes, “If they get on, I will see that as a fruit of our prayers.”

Daniel also points to another possible fruit: “Four years ago we had to travel some distance to find a good priest. Now we have four good priests within 45 minutes. They are young, strong, orthodox priests. Any connection? Maybe!”

Now it appears that the seeds being sown by Daniel’s Knights are starting to grow. Daniel writes:

“John Henry Westen of LifeSiteNews started a Knights of JP2 Chapter in Canada and became one of our advisors along with Sister Dede. Bishop Strickland agreed to be our Chaplain, and Bishop Schneider is going to give us an imprimatur for our “Prayer to Summon the Army before the Rosary”.

Bishop Strickland consecrates the Knights of JPII

I, for my part, am just trying to keep up with Our Lady. How quickly she is moving this forward now! This week we have another interview with John Henry Westen and I expect in 2024 new chapters to really spread more internationally. I think we are now in four or five countries.”

Daniel believes it is time for Catholic men and boys to “fight like a king’s son”. He  writes:

We have a prayer which we say before going out on the streets in pairs of two praying the rosary through towns, which took four months to finalize. Our prayer calls upon Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Joseph Terror of Demons, St. Michael and all nine choirs of angels, all the saints in heaven and all the souls in Purgatory to join us physically in the town we happen to be in, and drive the demons and evil out of the town. The prayer also entrusts the town by name, to our King and Queen, Jesus and Mary, and claims it for them. It is very powerful and something I believe the Knights of JP2 bring to the fight, and that others should use. Even if they don’t want to join or become Knights, they will benefit from saying this prayer.

“To the men and boys out there, I quote Leo XIII: “Catholics were born for battle” and St. Paul: “Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities”. So get out, claim your town for Jesus and Mary and assemble the Heavenly Army to join you and push back against the evil that has taken over our towns and country.”

At a time when so many are asking what they can do in the face of overwhelming odds, this simple Apostolate of prayer may provide the answer. And knowing how it is crucial for men to regain their God-given role as protectors and defenders, this Apostolate which is founded on respect for spiritual hierarchies provides a powerful witness. For more details, visit the Knights website.

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Last modified on Monday, April 8, 2024
Kathy Clubb | Australian Correspondent

Kathy Clubb is an Australian home-educator and author of Latina Rosarii, the Latin Primer for the Reluctant.

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