By Chris Bencharski, State Deputy,
Photos by Ken Dumont
Courtesy of the Saskatchewan State Council of the Knights of Columbus
[Catholic Saskatoon News – Muenster, SK] – The ninth annual Priests’ Sports Days were held July 15-16 at Muenster. Some 40 priests from across the province as well as a dozen Knights of Columbus members who assisted in organizing, and several Benedictine monks from St. Peter’s Abbey participated in prayer, socializing, relaxation and games.
The two days began Monday, July 15, 2019, with registration at 4:30 p.m. followed by prayers at 5:30 and supper at 6:00 p.m. The first day was a social evening which included table tennis, darts, card games, refreshments, snacks and socializing.
The second day of the Priests’ Sports Days on Tuesday, July 16 started with vespers at 6:20 a.m., Mass at 7:00 a.m. and breakfast at 8 a.m. Games that day included soccer, volleyball, basketball, ladder golf, washers, bocce, and horseshoes. Priests were invited to participate in the activities of their choice.
Priests’ Sports Days began nine years ago when Fr. Ed Gibney was State Deputy (before he was ordained a priest). He attended a Bishop’s meeting where he asked: “What can the Knights do to support the bishops of Saskatchewan?” The idea of a “sports day for priests” was born, visualized as an event for promoting camaraderie among the clergy and the Knights of Columbus.
The first annual Clergy Sports Days was organized by a committee of Denis Carignan who was State Treasurer at the time, assisted by State Warden and State General Program Director Chris Bencharski, and State Deputy Ed Gibney.
This year, the event included four bishops—Archbishop Don Bolen from Regina, Bishop Mark Hagemoen from Saskatoon, Knights of Columbus State Chaplain Bishop Bryan Bayda of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon and visiting Bishop Augustine Tochukwu Ukwuoma of Orlu, Nigeria. Abbot Peter Novecosky of St. Peter’s Abbey at Muenster also participated in the annual gathering.
The event concluded with noon prayers followed by lunch. Closing comments by all the bishops, Abbot Peter Novecosky, Fr. Demetrius Wasylyniuk, OSB (Abbey Guest Master), and State Deputy Chris Bencharski were given to complete a great event.
Chris Bencharski, State Deputy of Saskatchewan said: “We are very fortunate and blessed in Saskatchewan to have such great support for the Knights from our bishops and the Abbacy in many of our programs we conduct.”
Archbishop Don Bolen expressed his gratitude to St. Peter’s Abbey for hosting us each year and also to the Knights for treating the bishops and priests so well.
State Chaplain Bishop Bryan Bayda said: “Fraternity is truly a principle of the Knights; the Trinity manifest among many. Venerable Father McGivney knew well the principle of Ffraternity was meant for Knights and Clergy.”
Next year, the 10th annual Priests’ Sports Days will be held at St. Peter’s Abbey in Muenster on July 21 and 22, 2020.
View gallery of photos by Ken Dumont, Saskatchewan Knights of Columbus: