Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
May 17, 2010
Edmonton councils publish papal speeches
Project marks Year for Priests, raises funds for charitable projects
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON - To celebrate the Year for Priests, several Edmonton-based Knights of Columbus councils have collected the teachings of Pope Benedict into a book.
Maurice Prefontaine, past grand knight of the Msgr. Joseph Malone Council, went in August 2009 to the Carmelite Monastery near Devon. He was told about session booklets that had been transcribed by Mother Teresa, prioress at the monastery.
The 11 booklets contained Q&A sessions between the pope and various groups of clergy and seminarians. She wanted these 11 booklets collected into one unified book.
GIFT FOR CLERGY
Prefontaine suggested that such a book would make a wonderful gift for the clergy at the Knights of Columbus' Padre Night in November.
Archbishop Richard Smith wrote a letter of endorsement that was added to the front of the book, which became known as Pope Benedict XVI: Speaking to Priests.
The book is appropriate reading material for those interested in their own spiritual discernment, said Prefontaine, and many of the pope's inspirational speeches in the book are applicable to anyone.
"Pretty well any religious community would benefit from having access to the book. Various prayer groups and Bible study groups would benefit from it as well," he said.
The printing cost for the 500 books in the first edition exceeded $2,900. Edmonton's councils donated money to pay for the first printing.
Every priest in the archdiocese received a copy, and a boxful of books went to the Carmelite monastery. The monastery sells copies as a fundraiser for itself.
"The other thing we did in January, we gave a boxful of books to the Calgary chapter of the Knights of Columbus. Books were distributed to all of the priests in Calgary. Actually, we distributed all of the first 500," said Prefontaine, who coordinates the project.
A second printing of 1,000 books has now been completed, with improved formatting. A biblical and author index, as well as letters of endorsement from St. Paul Bishop Luc Bouchard and Calgary Bishop Fred Henry were added to the second edition.
The suggested retail price is $18 per book. The Knights sell them for $12 per book, plus shipping. From the second edition, Prefontaine anticipates a profit between $8,000 and $10,000, which goes to the individual councils for them to disperse to the charities of their choice.
"The Knights in St. Paul have bought 40 books which they have taken to hand out to their priests in June. We've pretty much blanketed all of Alberta for priests," he said.
The Knights will definitely self-publish a third edition, he said. If they receive feedback on how to improve the formatting of the book, they will consider finding a public distributor for an eventual fourth printing.
Direct book orders to: Maurice Prefontaine, District Deputy 10, Knights of Columbus, State Council Alberta/NWT, 4652-43A Ave., Edmonton T6L 6L9. Cheques ($12 plus shipping) can be made to Knights of Columbus Msgr. Joseph Malone Council 13312.
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