As Knights, we work through both word and deed. As Catholics, both go naturally hand in hand as proclaimed in the Gospel,

‘What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works’.  James 2:14-26

As a registered charity, as Knights, we do many charitable works across Ireland and beyond. One of the most prominent charitable functions we organise is the Christmas Day dinner in Dublin each year. The Christmas Day dinner has been a feature in Dublin since 1924. This year marked our 94th continuous year of organising the event at which the Lord Mayor and the Archbishop of Dublin generally attend, with the Taoiseach, President of Ireland and many other famous faces showing up on the day. As recently as 2011, we provided 850 takeaway meals escalating to over 3500 this year alone, even during these difficult times of Covid 19. It is indeed a credit to all the Brothers involved, who gracefully and gladly give up their time over the Christmas period, to ensure those most in need are looked after. As Saint Luke proclaims,

‘When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbours; if you do, they may invite you back, and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’ Luke 14:12-14

However, the Charitable works of the Order do not stop there. From helping with the Credit union’s initial formation in Ireland, the Catholic boy scouts, Radio Housebound to today’s increasing work of helping the poor and needy, especially during the Covid crisis, the Order’s works are never-ending. Our work focuses on helping the poor, the sick and the elderly, and abandoned children, alcoholics, drug addicts, the marginalised and unemployed. God has given all of us a remarkable ability to care for each other, and through organisations such as our Order, we can work collectively as one body, able to use those skills and give something back to the poor and needy. The more humble and simple our works, the more able we are to perform the works of God for others. As an Order and as Catholics, we have a responsibility to serve, comfort and encourage others to do good works in Christ’s name. We must serve the Church and the world. It is our responsibility to help out in our parishes, and by doing these works, the kingdom of God becomes apparent through us.  There is a long, rich road ahead of us, come on board, join us, and together we can work as disciples of Christ here on earth.

Love for others, and in the first place love for the poor, in whom the Church sees Christ himself, is made concrete in the promotion of justice. Justice will never be fully attained unless people see in the poor person, who is asking for help in order to survive, not an annoyance or a burden, but an opportunity for showing kindness and a chance for greater enrichment. Only such an awareness can give the courage needed to face the risk and the change involved in every authentic attempt to come to the aid of another.[1]

[1] Pope  JOHN PAUL II, Centesimus Annus, 58-59.