Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
December 24, 2001
Knights to honour Troy
Transplanted Irishman was state Chaplain for 16 years
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON — As state chaplain of the Knights of Columbus, Spiritan Father Michael Troy's greatest contribution was his formation program, which ensured that the order's work of fraternity was always enlightened by faith.
Troy, 84, recently stepped down as state chaplain after 16 years on the job, a record in the Alberta-Northwest Territories jurisdiction. He will be honoured for his service at the Jan. 5 state deputy's ball along with former state deputy Lito Reyes.
A priest since 1947, a Canadian since 1958 and a knight since 1966, the Irish-born Troy accepted the position of state chaplain in 1985 because he saw the value of the order.
"I think the Knights of Columbus is one of the best Catholic lay organizations in the Church today," he said Dec. 17.
"The Knights have got a faith dimension, they are not just another humanitarian organization. In addition to doing a lot of good work, they are good men and they are good Catholics."
The Knights also provide the Church with well-trained lay leaders and have "a worldwide view of the Church, not just a parochial one."
One of Troy's major accomplishments as state chaplain was his creation 16 years ago of a formation program for the Knights. The program, now used by the Knights internationally, is aimed at teaching members the basics of the faith so that their work of service does not degenerate into mere humanitarian service divorced from God.
Based on popular parables of Jesus, the program is set up in 10 sessions to cover the 10 regular council meetings of the council year, from September to June.
"If these people are going to be leaders, they better be well informed about the Catholic doctrine," Troy said. "They have to keep up to date."
As well as being the state chaplain, Troy has served as chaplain of Archbishop O'Leary Council, for 29 years and as Edmonton Chapter chaplain for 24 years. He has also served as high school and armed forces chaplain as well as editor of the Spiritan order's magazine.
Serving as spiritual leader of the Knights has been fulfilling for the priest. "I learned more from the Knights than I taught them," he laughed. "I learned what it is to be a common sense Catholic in the Church today. You know, they are all good men and they are the salt of the earth in many ways."
Troy's retirement as state chaplain doesn't really mean retirement. He is still chaplain of St. Joseph's High School and recently took over as chaplain of the newly-formed Nazareno Council of the Knights, a council of Filipino men.
"I never retire," he laughed. "I just recycle into some other kind of work. I haven't given up yet."
Former state deputy Denis Castellino described Troy as an "astute individual," an excellent writer and an inspirational spiritual guide who made sure the Knights were always inspired by faith.
"He is loved wherever he goes in the jurisdiction," he said. "Over the years he's provided us with tremendous support, especially in difficult times when he got us all to realize the good of the order over our individual agendas."
To state secretary Mickey Casavant, Troy is "most certainly one of the jurisdiction's greatest state chaplains ever." Why? "Because of the number of years he served and his unparalleled commitment to the Knights and to the community as a whole," he said.
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