While reading this mornings news, I came across an article entitled, ‘Mass Mobs’ Aim To Keep Pews Full At Old Churches. I thought to myself, “what a great idea.” In a world that is filled with much anti-Christian sentiment, here is a project that is actually positive and heart felt, which would melt even an atheistic heart (*Smile*)!

In Detroit, a group of Catholics borrowed the idea of flash mobs for “Mass mobs” to help revitalize urban churches.Every month, a group called Detroit Mass Mobs picks a church, spreads the word on Facebook — and just like that, it fills up and buzzes with the energy it once had. St. Florian Catholic Church is an eight-story, red-brick church built in 1908 by the Polish families who flocked here to work for Dodge, Ford and Packard. It seats 1,500 people, but normally only about 200 people attend noon Mass. On a recent Sunday, Thom Mann, an organizer with Detroit Mass Mob who’s not a regular at St. Florian, had to get here early because, he says, “there’ll be standing room only.” “People are upset that the churches are closing, but the simple reason is, people don’t go,” Mann says. “When you have a church that seats 1,500 people, and there’s 100 people there or less, how are they going to keep them open?” Detroit Mass Mob started earlier this year after Mann saw an article about a similar effort in Buffalo. The first event in Detroit was in April and drew 150 people. The Detroit Free Press ran an article right before the second event. “And it doubled our attendance. We filled that church at 400,” Mann says. Nine hundred people came to the third Mass. Then they started looking for bigger churches. At the recent Mass mob at St. Florian, 2,000 people showed up. “I’ve always wanted to see the insides of a lot of these places,” says Thom Kinney. It’s his fifth Mass mob event. Kinney says there’s something special about coming to Mass with so many other people. “To be in attendance when it’s full, as opposed to just the sparse. There’s an electricity that’s amazing,” he says. People trickle in, looking for seats, and then the traditional Roman Catholic Mass begins. There are Polish hymns. The priest, the Rev. Mirek Frankowski — who also doubles as music director — says the crowd nearly brought him to tears. “Because, I mean, such a big crowd, it’s impossible to see these days in any of the churches. But thanks to the mob Mass we have this feeling of what it was so many years ago, when the churches were filled with people,” he says. Nancy Tash is a regular parishioner here. She says she loves what the Mass mob is doing — and she hopes it gets Catholics to start going to church again. “And if they don’t go to church, I sure hope they send some money sometimes, just to keep these old parishes surviving,” Tash says. The day of the Mass mob, St. Florian’s collection basket brought in more than $19,000 — about 10 times the amount donated at a typical Mass. The Mass mob’s next target is St. Francis d’Assisi in southwest Detroit, another church that could use an influx of parishioners to fill its pews and collection baskets.

Mass Mob

Nevertheless, while watching the following video, I also witnessed several Knights of Columbus men in full uniform (0.40-0.47 / 1.00-1.06 / 1.20-1.21 / 2.04-2.15.

Now, I know many Masons might be thinking that Knights of Columbus members are not Masons – to this I say HOGWASH. Yes, the order was formed by and for Catholics. Primarily because the church was concerned about regular Masonry influencing Catholics during the late 19th century. However, this does not negate the fact they hold Masonic values, have degrees and even have uniforms eerily similar to Knights Templar; which also so happens to be the Christian order of regular Masonry (York Rite). Here are a couple of pictures of regular Masons and Knights of Columbus Masons fellowshipping together – it does not look like there is any animosity between these two groups at all. It’s almost like they were acting like Brothers (*Smile*)!

And here is a picture of Sir Knight David Goodwin, Grand Commander of the United States 2012- 2015. Notice the similar uniforms and chapeaus:

And I know there are a great many people who claim Knights of Columbus membership promotes anti-Masonic views and vice versa. Again, I say HOGWASH! I personally know several men who are members of the order – trust me, they stand for the same things we do, and there is mutual respect amongst both organization – at least at the upper levels. I also know of several men who are regular Masons who happen to be Catholics, and they have told me that the Catholic church is not concerned with their association with regular Masonry – the church is only concerned with their devotion to the faith. This is a particularly important point. You see, Masonry is not a religion, thus it is not a competing entity with a man’s religion. In short, Masonry is a philosophy of gnosis, or spiritual knowledge. That is why a man can be of any faith and still be a Mason. To say otherwise, simply means that person has been misinformed.

The question has to be asked, how can one be a good and upstanding Mason, as well as a Knights of Columbus Mason if you will, follow the religious doctrines of their particular faith and still feel comfortable enough attacking other men who join orders similar to regular Masonry? I just don’t get it. If a Mason is following the most basic tenants of the Craft, no matter the order, than he will most certainly be following gnosis. Like Jesus said, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” I don’t want to taint my soul, or my relationship with God, by going around the Internet attacking other orders of the broader Craft – Masonry. We are all Masons, who collectively want to improve ourselves and this world. WE are not improving ourselves if we are attacking other Masonic orders who claim similarities to regular Masonry. Just like Christians of differing faiths, we should be looking at our similarities, rather than or differences.

So Mote It Be!

Hank Kraychir