Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

monument 1041Father Aidan N. Donahue blesses a monument of the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes donated by two Milford councils of the Knights of Columbus during a dedication ceremony held Sept. 29 on the grounds of the St. Mary Parish. (Mary Chalupsky)

MILFORD – St. Mary Parish recently blessed and dedicated an 850-pound, five-foot, four-inch monument of the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes that was donated by two local Knights of Columbus councils.

Since 2004, Milford’s 125-year-old Tinto Council 47 has led an effort to place a Ten Commandments memorial on the property of each of Milford’s five parishes, plus the Knights of Columbus Hall in which the council holds its meetings.

Together with St. Mary’s Santa Maria Council 14546, the two groups raised more than $6,000 to purchase, transport and install the memorial, which is easily seen by parishioners as they approach the church from the parking lot.

"I’ve spent many hours on this project," said Andrew Charland, who spearheads the project for the 520-member Tinto Council as committee chairman, "but I feel it’s been well worth it. I saw a need and I followed through with it."

According to Knights of Columbus member John Meuser, who emceed the dedication, Project Moses is a national organization created to restore respect and appreciation for the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes.

Local promoters further stated in the parish bulletin that the monument is a reminder to the faithful "that we live under the law of God and ultimately will answer to God alone."

Project Moses is the brainchild  of a Kansas businessman who decided to fight back when a Ten Commandments monument was removed in 2000 from the Wyandotte County Courthouse lawn in Kansas City after the American Civil Liberties Union threatened to sue over what it claimed was a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution.

According to the organization’s website, the effort is being raised now because in the last 30 years, respect and admiration for God’s sacred Commandments have fallen victim to both apathy and hostility.

Organizers hope to place 7,000 monuments at churches, synagogues and religious schools and on private properties across the country. National organizers also plan to establish an estimated $10 million memorial in Washington, D.C.

To date, some 600 monuments have been placed in 46 states, with the state of Texas leading the way by erecting 45 monuments. Currently, there are seven monuments in Connecticut, five of which are in Milford, thanks to the Tinto Knights of Columbus council, which already has erected monuments in all but one of Milford’s parishes.