STATE DEPUTY’S MESSAGE

My Dear Brothers in Christ…

I hope all is good with you and your family. As we prepare for the season of Lent I like to share with you our experience in Mexico City delivering wheelchairs to those in need. We had a delegation from our State Council made up of all the State Officers, our Supreme Board of Director PSD Jim Scroggin, three District Deputies, State Chairman, State Committeeman and wives. We also were honored to have his Excellency Bishop Kevin Vann from the diocese of Orange, along with former state chaplains Father John Grace and Father Art Albano. There was a total of 45 wheelchairs that were given out by our delegation. We started day one, giving out wheelchairs at a rehabilitation center in the city of Hidalgo Northeast of Mexico City. We had a chance to tour the facility and to meet the clients as they were going through their therapy. This facility is a state of the art facility known as the Crit Center or Teletón as the locals would call it. Many of them traveled hours to reach the facility. The average weekly salary for most the clients was about 300 pesos. This equals to a little over $15 a week. We were definitely visiting the poorest of the poor. They had such a grateful spirit and were so thankful that we were there to give them a Wheelchair. We had a chance to hear personal stories of their lives and they gave us gifts of gratitude of what little they had. Day two, we went to the surrounding city called Pachuca where we made three home visits. There we had a chance to see how they lived, once again sharing with us personal stories. How they displayed this tremendous grateful spirit, one that exhibited a true faith. This was definitely an experience that each of us felt and were touched by the courage that was displayed. Day three, brought us to the Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe where we had a mass said by Bishop Vann. This mass was also co-celebrated with Father John Grace and Father Art Albano. Such a beautiful experience with our lady right in front of us. We also had the privilege to watch Bishop Vann renew the wedding vows of DD 101 Pona Magana and his wife Judy. Later we had a chance to go to the Metropolitan Cathedral to tour and to see all the wonderful art work displayed throughout the cathedral. Truly we were doing God’s work when we were down delivering wheelchairs. Thank God for organizations like the American wheelchair mission and their work to provide wheelchairs throughout the world.

Here in our own state, and in our own country, we have a humanitarian tragedy happening right before our own eyes. I’m sure you can not help to notice the growing homeless population in cities throughout our state, but more noticeable in San Francisco and Los Angeles where the homeless population has reached an epidemic crisis. Councils in the Los Angeles area, have already started to address some of these issues, by attending meetings with county supervisors and city officials. They are working with their churches to provide meals for the homeless, looking to find ways to provide shelters and to get them off the street. The need is great my brothers, and the humanitarian tragedy cannot be overlooked. We must do everything we can to address this growing problem.

Also, opening in theaters throughout the country on founders day weekend is the movie Unplanned. It’s a movie of Abby Johnson, who was one of the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic directors in the United States. She had worked at a clinic in Texas for eight years, and became a community outreach director and media spokeswoman for the organization. One day she was asked to assist in an ultrasound-guided abortion at thirteen weeks gestation. After what she witnesses, she resigned, and became part of pro-life movement. On Friday March 8th we plan to have a special viewing of the movie unplanned at the Ontario Gateway hotel conference center. The movie will start at 7:15 PM all are invited. Contact brother Richard Marciniak at marciniakrb@gmail.com for more information. One other thing, I’d like to mention before I close my letter is to make sure the chapters remember that our statewide free-throw contest is on March 16th in Fresno . There has been some confusion on the date, so please make sure that all your councils know that this is the day. Contact brother Dan Reitz for more information for the state wide free-throw contest, and don’t forget about the upcoming statewide founders day recruitment drives. Contact Michael Brault for more information on all the incentives. Last but not least, I like to mention that Northern California Chapter led all other chapters in the state for membership in the month of February. Congratulations my brothers, and hats off to you my brothers!

Wishing you all a most blessed Lenten season.

God bless and Vivat Jesus!

VIVAT JESUS!

Joe Salaiz
State Deputy
state.deputy@californiaknights.org