Saturday, June 07, 2008

Missouri Knights of Columbus resolution

WHEREAS, John Anthony Kaiser, MHM, of the St. Joseph's Missionary Society, also known as the Mill Hill, was a priest for 36 years; AND

WHEREAS, having attended and received a degree from Saint Louis University, Fr. Kaiser received his First Degree at Bishop John N. Wurn Council, formerly Clayton Harty University City Council, in 1973 while parochial vicar at All Souls parish in Overland, and remained a member of the Missouri Knights of Columbus for 27 years, AND

WHEREAS, Fr. Kaiser, while serving since his ordination as a Missionary in Kenya, fought tirelessly for the human rights of his parishioners and for all Kenyans, including bringing the attention of the world to the mistreatment of internally displaced Kenyans in a camp at Maela through his testimony before the Akiwumi Commission; and in another incident, finding assistance for a number of young girls in his parish who were alleged victims of sexual abuse, which allowed at least one of them to keep her baby and avoid an abortion; AND

WHEREAS, Fr. Kaiser was the recipient of numerous awards for his human rights work, including the Human Rights Award from the Law Society of Kenya, an award subsequently renamed in Fr. Kaiser's honor; and the Milele Lifetime Achievement Award, received posthumously, from the Kenyan National Human Rights Commission; AND

WHEREAS, Fr. Kaiser was found dead on August 23, 2000; and on August 1, 2007, a Kenyan court found that Fr. Kaiser had been murdered by unknown assailants; AND

WHEREAS, the Most Rev. Giovanni Tonnucci, former Apostolic Nuncio to the Republic of Kenya called Fr. Kaiser's death "a religious assassination," and Fr. Kaiser himself "a martyr;" and the United States Congress agreed by adopting a resolution in its 106th session, twice referring to Fr. Kaiser's death as an "assassination;"

RESOLVED, THAT the Missouri State Council continue to use its resources to tell the story of Fr. Kaiser's dedication to human rights and heroic service to his parishioners, and of his murder; AND

RESOLVED, THAT the Missouri State Council of the Knights of Columbus encourage all of its members to annually set aside August 23 as a remembrance to our deceased brother Knight and priest; AND

RESOLVED, THAT copies of this resolution be forwarded by the State Secretary to Mrs. Carolita Mahoney, Fr. Kaiser's sister and next of kin; to Fr. Hans Boerakker, archivist for the St. Joseph's Missionary Society; to Bro. Eugene Hippe, State Deputy of Minnesota, Fr. Kaiser's home state; and to the Supreme Council for their consideration.

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