In medieval days, knights were men who were elevated by their king and consecrated to a position of trust. These noble and faithful men would pledge to give their very lives to the service and protection of their lord and his kingdom. Today, the consecrated men of the Knights of the Holy Eucharist provide that very service for their Lord and King, Jesus Christ.
HANCEVILLE, Ala.(Catholic Online) - In medieval days, knights were men who were elevated by their king and consecrated to a position of trust. These noble and faithful men would pledge to give their very lives to the service and protection of their lord and his kingdom.
Today, the consecrated men of the Knights of the Holy Eucharist provide that very service for their Lord and King, Jesus Christ, through their work at the magnificent Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady of Angels Monastery in rural Hanceville, Ala., some 45 miles north of Birmingham.
The primary focus of the Knights of the Holy Eucharist is to foster reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. The Knights help maintain reverence for the Blessed Sacrament by ensuring that visitors to the Shrine are modestly attired, that a sacred silence is observed in the church, and that the environment as a whole evokes a peace and serenity conducive to meditation and contemplation. They also serve as acolytes at Shrine liturgies.
The Knights also help maintain the grounds and facilities; host clergy, brothers, and seminarians on retreat; and provide assistance to the nuns of the monastery and to Shrine visitors.
Community members live the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience but do not profess public vows. Putting aside the things of this world, they seek to live by the motto of their patron, St. Francis of Assisi: "My God and my All."
The Knights strive for a structured balance of work and prayer. Besides their assigned labors, every Knight participates daily in Mass, the Rosary, Morning and Evening Prayer, and two hours of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. They also receive formation three days a week, make a weekly Holy Hour, and have a monthly retreat day.
Founded in 1998, the Knights of the Holy Eucharist were the inspiration of Mother Angelica, who also founded not only the Shrine and the monastery, but also the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). One of her first recruits, Brother David Mary, presently serves as Brother Guardian of the community. The original pole barn on the monastery grounds converted into living quarters by the first Knights has undergone additional expansions and annually hosts 200 priests, brothers, and seminarians who visit the Shrine for retreats.
"God continues to call young men to the consecrated life, but unfortunately, with all the distractions of today, they don't hear God's voice calling them," said Brother David.
As a result, "There's a sense of a lack of fulfillment in the soul, and the soul can't be at peace where it is, and ultimately that leaves them unhappy. They have to develop not only the awareness that they have a vocation from God, but also how to carry out that vocation plan in their lives."
Further expansion planned for the Shrine grounds includes a Pope John Paul II Eucharistic Center, conceived as an educational center designed to lead both Catholics and non-Catholics to a deeper appreciation of Christ's Eucharistic Presence-which is what the Knights of the Holy Eucharist are all about.
For more information:
Knights of the Holy Eucharist
Attn.: Brother David
3222 County Road 548
Hanceville, AL 35077
Gerald Korson (firstname.lastname@example.org) has been a Catholic editor and journalist for more than 28 years. For more information on the Knights of the Holy Eucharist, visit their website
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