A Message from the Worthy Grand Knight

Greetings all! My name is Sam Esparza, and if you didn’t get the chance to talk to one of the Knights last night, I’m going to tell you about what goes on in our chapter in preparation for Go Roman Week next week. Now I know what you’re thinking: “Knights of Columbus? Isn’t that the organization of old guys that dress up sometimes and have all those steak dinners?” While that seems to be the stereotype that has come about nowadays, that isn’t exactly the case. Yes, the commonality of parish councils seems to be that seniors make up the majority of them, but the Knights of Columbus is open to any young man 18 years of age or over. In fact, college councils like us were established to get young men more involved and to really understand this organization that we become part of for the rest of our lives.


Now this still leaves the question: What is the KoC? There are a lot of titles and accolades attributed to it: it is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization, it has been called the strong right arm of the church, but the organization really started as an insurance company (believe it or not). Father Michael J. McGivney, our founder, established the Knights as a way to insure the families of Catholic men. This mission was devised as a way to take care of men and their families during a time when Catholic men were at risk of dying in their dangerous workplaces. What he did not foresee, however, was the rise of brotherhood among the men that joined. Now, over 100 years later, that brotherhood is close to 2 million strong.


Here at our Baylor Council, we have high hopes for this upcoming year.

Of course, Go Roman Week (Aug. 30-Sept. 2) isn’t the only time we focus on these important aspects of being Catholic men, we look forward to all the activities we can participate in this upcoming year. We plan to participate in more Pro-life activities like the Annual March for Life, weekly pro-life prayers, and partnering with Pro-life Waco for any other opportunities we may encounter. We look forward to our Social Events as well, such as the yearly trip we take to the Texas Stars Hockey Game, or our annual basketball cookout known comically known as Sausagefest. We look forward to everything we have in store this year, and to meeting all of the young men interested in joining our council.


Sam Esparza will be the Grand Knight for the upcoming school year. He is a senior, Physics major, from El Paso, TX.



Green, Gold, and Catholic

The Catholic Student Association of Baylor University is an apostolate unique unto both Baylor and St. Peter’s. It is the only chartered Catholic organization on Baylor’s campus, which allows it to work hand-in-hand with St. Peter’s and the greater Baylor community.

The mission of CSA is to provide service to the Catholic community and Baylor University by reaching out to all Catholic students, as well as those of other faith traditions at the university to promote moral, intellectual, social, and spiritual growth. We do this through activities which adhere to our three pillars: spiritual, social, and service.


Our spiritual pillar is the most fundamental. Through it, we find the basis for all of our activities. CSA gets the unique opportunity to be a large witness of Catholic spirituality on a traditionally Baptist campus. This past year, we instituted Catholic Prayer Nights, nights in which we essentially try to bring as much of St. Peter’s to campus as we can. Normally Fr. Daniel comes and hears confessions in one the chapels on campus while the rest of the community is lead in praise and worship music, quiet prayer time, or some other organized prayer.

Social events are, of course, always also another big hit. We have two major socials—one per semester—Christmas Coffee and Dia Del Catholic along with various other social activities throughout the school year. We think that it is important for our members to grow in fellowship with their brothers and sisters in Christ, not just in CSA, but also in the greater Catholic community.

We are not an explicitly service-based organization, like many of the other on-campus organizations. We do try to organize various service activities throughout the year including, Move2BU, Steppin’ Out, St. Peter’s clean-up, and feeding the homeless. This past year, in honor of the Year of Mercy, we began working our way through the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

Amongst all the denominations represented on campus, the relationship between Baylor and its Catholic students has probably been the one to note most. Next to Baptists, Catholics are the most largely represented denomination amongst all the student, faculty, and staff populations.

The Catholic Student Association is a way to show people that you’re green, gold, and Catholic.




To all those who thought I lost my phone,

These past three weeks was a time that changed me and millions of others in unforgettable and massively significant ways.

My brother and I spent time in four different countries on a pilgrimage for our faith. That is the simplest way to sum it up. We traveled from Chicago to Austria to the Czech Republic and finally to Poland with over 80 other university Students. Each day walking miles to visit Holy Shrines, all the while bearing our hearts to each other and the world.

WYD lasted from July 26th through August 1st, but my pilgrimage started about a week and a half earlier. Evan and I met with our fellow FOCUS pilgrims in Chicago on July 17th and from there we flew to Berlin to catch our connecting flight to Vienna, Austria. Outside the Vienna Airport (which might be the nicest airport I’ve ever seen, I highly recommend international travel just to hangout in its many food courts) our group of over eighty collided with the CCO (Catholic Christian Outreach, a Canadian organization similar to FOCUS.) Then all 150 of us hopped on a bus to travel to our first pilgrimage sight—the Melk Monastery. This was my first glimpse of Europe. The monastery sat upon a large hill over looking a very very European town. The castle-like monastery, with its expansive library, high walled courtyards, and grand gardens, was everything I ever hoped Europe would be. The first Mass we attended was at this monastery, in a beautiful church with walls and ceilings covered in gold and frescos.


The week following this first day was spent in Gaming, Austria at the Franciscan University Austrian campus. During these days we lived snuggled in a valley at the base of the Alps, surrounded on all sides by hills that made Mount Bonnell look like a lump of dry Texas dirt. We attended daily Mass, spent at least an hour every day in prayer, and attended talks by FOCUS and CCO representatives. This was a time of peaceful reflection and spiritual growth. We were able to form friendships with our fellow pilgrims that would be tested and strengthened repetitively for the next twelve days.

The next leg of our journey was to Zory, Poland for the Youth Arise Festival. We made several stops at gas stations in the Czech Republic (Waco friends, let me tell you this was a very different kind of Czech stop than what you are thinking), one of which included a comical misunderstanding with a Czech woman that resulted in Monique and I using the men’s restroom. With short notice we were informed of our unexpected accommodations for the weekend—we would all be staying with host families. Everyone was spread throughout Zory. Our families welcomed us with, very literally, with open arms and tables full of food. Most of the families, including mine, were elderly couples who did not speak a word of English. We conversed using a rebellious Google Translate app that often resulted in of lots of pointing and miscommunication. Despite the language barrier, the generosity and kind spirits of my Polish host parents—Edmund and Stefania—will stay with me forever and will always have a very special place in my heart. It is truly beautiful to see the Holy Spirit shine through a stranger who gives everything out of the goodness of their hearts.

After Zory, we came to Krakow, Poland. The five days we spent there stretched and suffocated me. Upon our arrival, it seemed a peaceful town, but as the day went on it, became quite clear that the whole world had shown up. World Youth Day is an international gathering of Catholics meant to glorify and honor our one true king, Jesus Christ. What it looked like was two million young people, soaked in rain and mud, crammed into a tram car. Two million young people hiking 16 miles to sleep in a spider-filled field. Two million young people giving everything they have to our God.

Krakow is the home of some of our greatest saints—including Pope Saint John Paul II and Saint Faustina—because of them Pope Francis invited the youth of the Catholic world to this city. Every street, every shop, and even every puddle seemed to reverberate Catholicism. The streets were packed with people from six continents and 187 countries. Every flag imaginable was waved, every national anthem sung. In one city I experienced the whole world.

It was during these days that I learned many new things about the Catholic faith. I learned that everyone suffers, whether it be from heartbreak, devastating loss, or physical weakness, but the absolute joy that comes from living the Catholic faith makes it all worth it.

Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere. (Ps 84:10)

Erin MorleyErin flag

“Be demanding of the world around you; be demanding first of all with yourselves. Be children of God; take pride in it!” – JPII Czestochowa, Poland, 1991

Erin is a sophomore, English major from Austin, TX.





Missioning With Joy and Sorrow

As our group arrived in Houston and prepared to leave for Mexico City, we were told, “when you encounter God, there will be great joy, but also great sorrow.” I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this when when I first heard it, so instead, I just let myself get the experience.

Our group consisted of five FOCUS missionaries, one priest, and sixteen students from FOCUS campuses all across the country. We were told that every single one of us was a missionary doing God’s service everyday. Our mission was to serve the women of Villa de Mujeres and encounter Jesus in everyone we met. Some of my personal fears about the trip were that I wouldn’t be useful without fluent Spanish. I was afraid of my own ignorance of Mexican culture and I hoped that I would be able to hear what God was speaking to my heart above the noise of distractions and lies from Satan, who was waiting eagerly to work on us.

In Mexico City, we stayed with the Conceptionista sisters in their convent, which was only a short walk from the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I found myself excited to walk out of the doors of the convent everyday to go where I could look straight up at the tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe during our daily holy hour. The attitude of constant prayerfulness on the trip is one of the ways I know that God held me together and bound our group together in blessed friendship.


Monday was our first day of service at the Villa, and it was nothing that I had expected it to be. The conditions of this women’s shelter were heartbreaking.We walked around to see the lonely, abandoned, bruised, hungry, anxious, and dying filling the buildings, congregating near radios, and sitting on the bare ground to feel the warm sunshine and breathe fresh air. At first, the whole scene was hard to take in. The needs of the shelter became more apparent in every step and in every conversation. Debrief for me on that first night was emotionless as I was still processing all that I had seen. The rest of the time we were able to spend with the women was filled by praying rosaries with them, painting their nails, and rubbing lotion on their hands and legs. Cleaning and feeding tasks were also split up between our group and we did our best to see that all of the workers had the help they needed. One of the most moving encounters I had was when all I could do was simply to hug one of the women to keep her warm. The women just wanted to be loved and listened to. They did not even care that we were unable to understand everything that they were saying.

God entrusted us to give hope, and I was comforted to know that we could show them through a simple smile. Our theme verse for the trip was Matthew 25:40 which says, “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to Me.’” Though our work was hard, especially seeing the incredible suffering of the women, this verse kept us going. I will never forget looking into the eyes of those beautiful women and seeing the face of Jesus. My life was changed forever by encountering Christ, and as promised I found incredible sorrow, but also overwhelming joy in Mexico City.

Andi Kitten (far left) is a Freshman, Baylor Business Fellows major from Lubbock, TX.


A few ideas for Lent

Here are 3 links to help you get ready for Lent, which starts tomorrow:

7 Reasonable Ideas for Lent

Don’t Waste your Lent

6 Simple Ways to share your faith on Ash Wed. 


Homily – 3rd Sun of Advent (2015)

This recording was made on Dec. 13, 2015 on the 3rd Sunday of Advent, by Fr. Daniel Liu  Please visit http://www.baylorcatholic.org for more information.


To download click here.




Homily – 2nd Sun of Advent (2015)

This recording was made on Dec. 6, 2015 on the 2nd Sunday of Advent, by Fr. Daniel Liu  Please visit http://www.baylorcatholic.org for more information.


To download click here.