“This is the first time that there has been a state meeting of the Columbian Squires in nearly 25 years. Our hope is to provide the information and share the enthusiasm to all in attendance who want to start a circle,” said Young, 59.
He noted that there is much fervor for the Squires in the Green Bay Diocese. “Four of the current nine active circles are in the Green Bay Diocese,” Young told The Compass.
The Squires are open to boys, ages 10 to 18, with the goal of training them in the area of Catholic leadership. In Weyauwega, the circle meets at the parish one Sunday each month. Their meetings are structured in a similar way to a KC gathering. Meetings begin and end with prayer. Each circle has a priest who serves as a chaplain. Young said that each circle has a spiritual element and a service component. However, he stated, this is not just another parish youth group.
“A circle’s spiritual program distinguishes the Squires from any other leadership program,” said Young. “Squires develop a distinctly Catholic form of leadership. It is one based on service to others in the loving, self-sacrificing example of Christ.”
Another added bonus to the program is that the Squires provide a training ground for future Knights of Columbus. Young says that in a recent questionnaire to state circles, seven of the nine groups stated that they will have an 18-year-old Squire who will be joining the Knights later this year.
Michael Weber and 12 of his Squires will be making the 150-mile journey to Green Bay for the Squires convocation. Weber is chief counselor for the Elkhorn group, which just began last year in April.
One of his hopes, as he leads his squires, is that the Catholic faith doesn’t have to be drudgery — nor does it have to be just limited to Sunday Mass. “I believe that if we can get a group of young people together, guide them in a faith-based setting with prayer, fund-raisers, charity, etc., in a fun atmosphere, then we can start to see younger people in our churches coming to Mass because they want to be there,” Weber explained. “We as adults also have to decide if our youth are important enough to give them a little of our time.”
His hopes for his Squires is that the young men will not only enjoy their Green Bay trip but also let their friends know how much fun they had. As a result, others would be inspired to join the Squires. “The ultimate goal is to instill leadership, strengthen their faith and enjoy life,” Weber said.
“Our young men today are bombarded by so much negative influence; we must take an active role in providing guidance in the area of service and real life experience that will impact their spiritual development,” he added.
For more information about the state circle of the Columbian Squires held at Lambeau Field Atrium March 9-11, contact John Young, (920) 407-1755; email: [email protected]