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Columbia FEBRUARY 2021





Departments 3

Building a better world The Blessed Virgin Mary, star of the first and new evangelization, has inspired my service to the Knights of Columbus.

By Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson

4 Learning the faith, living the faith Supreme Knight Anderson has brought a wealth of gifts and perspective to his leadership of the Order. By Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori

PLUS: Catholic Man of the Month

Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson delivers remarks following his installation as the Order’s 13th supreme knight Feb. 3, 2001, in ceremonies at Mexico City’s Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Supreme Chaplain Bishop Thomas V. Daily and Past Supreme Knight Virgil C. Dechant look on.


‘Let Us Go Forward in Hope’

In his 20-year tenure as supreme knight, Carl Anderson has faithfully implemented Blessed Michael McGivney’s vision.

6 Knights of Columbus News Silver Rose Program Marks 60th Anniversary • Order Prays for Healing for Indigenous Peoples • K of C Wheelchair Donations Surpass 100,000 • Supreme Knight Commends Recognition of Religious Freedom Violations in Nigeria • K of C Leaders Named ‘Catholics of the Year’

Knights of Columbus Multimedia Archives

By Columbia staff


Charity That Evangelizes


Growing the Order


Protecting Families, Investing With Faith


Our Founder’s Cause and Legacy


Building the Domestic Church

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Strong Right Arm of the Church Evangelizing the American Continent Building a Culture of Life Serving Those Who Serve Faithful Citizenship Standing With the Persecuted


Supreme Knight Carl Anderson is pictured during an interview for the recent documentary film A Witness for the World: The Global Impact of Blessed Michael McGivney.

Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to men 18 years of age or older who are practical (that is, practicing) Catholics in union with the Holy See. This means that an applicant or member accepts the teaching authority of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals, aspires to live in accord with the precepts of the Catholic Church, and is in good standing in the Catholic Church. Copyright © 2021 All rights reserved




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Putting Faith Into Action


THE PHRASE “faith in action” is not a mere

PUBLISHER Knights of Columbus

marketing slogan or just a catchy name for the Knights of Columbus program model introduced in 2018. Rather, it gets to the heart of the laity’s irreplaceable role in the life the Church and in society. This vision for the laity, articulated by the Second Vatican Council and further developed by recent popes, was foreseen by Blessed Michael McGivney when he founded the Knights of Columbus, and it has been deeply understood — and exemplified — by the Order’s 13th supreme knight, Carl Anderson. St. John Paul II, in his 1988 apostolic exhortation on the vocation and mission of the laity, wrote of a “particular urgency for the action of the lay faithful” (Christifideles Laici, 3). Upon taking office as supreme knight in October 2000, Anderson began his first message to members saying, “The only adequate way to convey my gratitude to you is through action — in the daily stewardship of the responsibilities with which I have been entrusted.” As Supreme Knight Anderson’s tenure draws to a close this month, this issue of Columbia features highlights of his more than 20 years of faithful leadership. The initiatives, events and milestones of his tenure could fill volumes, but it is clear from these pages that Anderson kept his promise to be a man of action — as all Knights are called to be. Yet, we are not called to action for its own sake, but rather to action that is grounded in the mission of the Gospel. John Paul II explained in his exhortation, “The lay faithful, in virtue of their participation in the prophetic mission of Christ, are fully part of this work of the Church. Their responsibility, in particular, is to testify how the Christian faith constitutes

the only fully valid response … to the problems and hopes that life poses to every person and society” (34). Supreme Knight Anderson, in a February 2008 Columbia interview about his book A Civilization of Love: What Every Catholic Can Do to Transform the World, said, “The overall message of the book might be summarized by the two-word phrase the Knights of Columbus has adopted over time as a fraternal greeting: Vivat Jesus! (May Jesus live!), which is to say, ‘May he live in my life and through me for others.’” Finally, there is the question of where this mission ought to begin. In Christifideles Laici, John Paul II wrote, “Without doubt a mending of the Christian fabric of society is urgently needed in all parts of the world. But for this to come about what is needed is to first remake the Christian fabric of the ecclesial community itself” (34). He further noted, “The lay faithful’s duty to society primarily begins in marriage and in the family” (40). One can easily recognize here the rationale behind Building the Domestic Church While Strengthening Our Parish — the far-reaching initiative introduced by the supreme knight in 2015. As the challenges facing the Church and society increase, so too does the need for urgent action, authentic Christian witness and a renewal of family life. And as we prepare to welcome a new supreme knight, perhaps the only adequate way to convey our gratitude to Mr. Anderson for his visionary leadership is to pledge to be loyal sons of Father McGivney — men of faith, and men of action. B Alton J. Pelowski, Editor

Featured Book: These Liberties We Hold Sacred For the past two decades, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson has been an ardent and articulate advocate for religious freedom, both nationally and internationally. These Liberties We Hold Sacred: Essays on Faith and Citizenship in the 21st Century (Square One) is a collection of his most compelling speeches, essays and articles in defense of this “first freedom” and about the role of faith in public life. The book is available at various booksellers and at knightsgear.com. 2

SUPREME OFFICERS Carl A. Anderson Supreme Knight Most Rev. William E. Lori, S.T.D. Supreme Chaplain Patrick E. Kelly Deputy Supreme Knight Michael J. O’Connor Supreme Secretary Ronald F. Schwarz Supreme Treasurer John A. Marrella Supreme Advocate EDITORIAL Alton J. Pelowski Editor Andrew J. Matt Managing Editor Cecilia Hadley Senior Editor Margaret B. Kelly Associate Editor

Blessed Michael McGivney (1852-90) – Apostle to the Young, Protector of Christian Family Life and Founder of the Knights of Columbus, Intercede for Us. HOW TO REACH US COLUMBIA 1 Columbus Plaza New Haven, CT 06510-3326 columbia@kofc.org kofc.org/columbia Address changes 203-752-4210, option #3 addresschange@kofc.org Columbia inquiries 203-752-4398 K of C Customer Service 1-800-380-9995



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A Guiding Light The Blessed Virgin Mary, star of the first and new evangelization, has inspired my service to the Knights of Columbus By Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson THIS MONTH marks my final Columbia

column as supreme knight. For 20 years I have shared my thoughts on the challenges of the day and the good work of our Order. As I conclude my service as supreme knight, I would like to reflect on an important source of guidance and inspiration during this time. In February 2001, I brought the supreme directors to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe for the installation of new Supreme Officers and to place our Order under the protection of the Blessed Virgin. That pilgrimage was influenced by St. John Paul II, whose first international journey included a visit to the same basilica. Years later, he would write, “To some degree, this pilgrimage inspired and shaped all the succeeding years of my pontificate.” Today, I would say the same of my tenure as supreme knight. In his 1999 apostolic exhortation Ecclesia in America, John Paul II set out a blueprint for greater communion and solidarity among Catholics in our hemisphere. Our Lady of Guadalupe, star of the new evangelization and the sign of a perfectly inculturated Christianity, was vital to this initiative. As leader of the preeminent Catholic organization throughout North America and the Philippines, I considered her key to our role in this great mission and for our own development. The first step was the renewal of the Order in Mexico — moving from one nationwide jurisdiction to the current five state jurisdictions, with revitalized charitable and fraternal initiatives throughout the country. Later, with Msgr. Eduardo Chávez, postulator of the cause for canonization of St. Juan Diego, I would write a groundbreaking book titled Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love. In that book, we explain how Holy Mary’s message of hope, healing and reconciliation among peoples was not only a historic event but continues to be fully relevant to today’s global, and often violent, clash of civilizations and cultures. At a time when our Church’s saving message is criticized as the imposition

of European imperialism, Mary’s message in the language and symbols of an Indigenous people reaffirms the power of the Gospel to lift up every people. And the fact that she chose a layman as her messenger emphasizes the essential role of the laity in evangelization. During my tenure as supreme knight, the Knights of Columbus sponsored Guadalupe festivals that brought together tens of thousands of people in Phoenix and Los Angeles. Millions participated in our Guadalupe prayer programs and a national tour of a relic of the tilma. These events helped spread and deepen devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, as did our close collaboration with the Pontifical Commission for Latin America to organize a series of international conferences at the Vatican and in Latin America with the participation of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. St. John Paul II had also placed all unborn children threatened by abortion under the protection of Our Lady of Guadalupe, making her patroness of the pro-life movement. Surely her motherly care has led to the success of so many of our pro-life efforts during the past 20 years — especially the extraordinary success of our Ultrasound Initiative. Looking to the future, may we recall the advice of St. Maximilian Kolbe: “Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much; you can never love her more than Jesus did.” So, too, we recall the confidence we express during our Exemplification of Charity, Unity and Fraternity: “Mary, to whom her Son would refuse nothing, with her Knights, for justice and compassion for the downtrodden and all those who suffer. Her holy rosary in our hands going where we go. The salutation ‘Hail Mary’ on our lips. What challenge can we not face? What victories can we not achieve?” Throughout my 35-year journey as a Knight of Columbus, Mary has been a guiding star. To travel this road together with so many great men has been my greatest privilege, and one for which I will always be grateful. Vivat Jesus!

‘Holy Mary’s message of hope, healing and reconciliation among peoples was not only a historic event but continues to be fully relevant to today’s global, and often violent, clash of civilizations and cultures.’




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Renaissance Man Supreme Knight Anderson has brought a wealth of gifts and perspective to his leadership of the Order By Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori THE PHRASE “Renaissance man,” referring to a person with wide-ranging interests and talents, tends to be overused. I use this term only when it really fits, as it does in the case of Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. He truly is a Renaissance man. I speak from experience. I met him in 1980 in Washington, D.C., introduced by a mutual friend, Father Lorenzo Albacete. The rest, as they say, is history. Father Albacete had a profound influence on many young Catholics, including our future supreme knight and his wife, Dorian. Together they explored faith, culture and spirituality, thus encountering the depth and beauty of the Catholic faith while growing in commitment to the Church’s mission. Exactly what the Lord had in mind for Carl Anderson was yet to unfold. It was clear, however, that the 1978 election of Pope John Paul II was an event that crystallized his thought, faith, prayer and service. After earning a degree in family law, Anderson placed himself at the service of the most vulnerable — the unborn in particular. He championed the pro-life cause both on Capitol Hill and in the White House. Along the way, he learned how government works, and about advocacy and communications, skills he would put to good use leading the Knights of Columbus. At the same time, he immersed himself in Pope John Paul II’s vision of human dignity and the irreplaceable role of the family in a justly ordered society. He also embraced the Order’s fidelity to the Holy Father and to the Church’s mission, not to mention the extraordinary reach of its charities. With the approval of Archbishop James Hickey of Washington and support from the Knights of Columbus, Anderson led the way in establishing an American session of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies in Marriage and Family in Washington. He became its first dean and taught for the Institute both in Rome and in Washington. 4

Meanwhile, he engaged in the fraternal life of the Order, rising to become the state deputy of the District of Columbia. It was my honor to be his state chaplain. In addition to the supreme knight’s knowledge of law, government, philosophy and theology, I must add his deep interest in and understanding of art, music, history and literature. He studied the intersection of faith and culture and developed formidable executive abilities. Clearly, the Lord prepared him well for his calling as supreme knight. Anderson was installed as supreme knight 20 years ago, dedicating his service to Our Lady of Guadalupe. He brought to this role more than a remarkable set of interests and skills. He also brought vision — rooted in the original vision of Blessed Michael McGivney, yet attuned to the changing needs and circumstances of our day. He has guided the Order to live more deeply its foundational principles of charity, unity and fraternity. He has emphasized the Order’s role in helping men live their faith and be better husbands and fathers. He has sought to root councils more deeply in the life of the parish and thus be “the strong right arm” of our parish priests. He has tirelessly promoted the cause of our founder, Father McGivney, and heroically championed international and domestic religious freedom. He has intensified the leadership of the Order in the cause of life. He has strengthened the John Paul II Institute and established the Saint John Paul II National Shrine. And under his leadership, K of C Insurance and the Order’s investing services have reached new heights, not only in sales and returns, but also in ethical standards. Let me conclude with a word of tribute to the supreme knight’s wife, Dorian, and to his family, who have accompanied him every step of the way. Thank you, Carl and Dorian! May God bless you, and may your good work bear abundant fruit for years to come! B

‘He brought to this role more than a remarkable set of interests and skills. He also brought vision — rooted in the original vision of Blessed Michael McGivney, yet attuned to the changing needs and circumstances of our day.’



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Supreme Chaplain’s Challenge

Catholic Man of the Month

A monthly reflection and practical challenge from Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori

IN 1903, Capuchin Father Stephen Eckert wrote to his superior: “I humbly ask you for the privilege of devoting my life to missionary work alone.” He felt called not to foreign lands, but to a neglected community closer to home. His request was eventually granted, and Father Eckert joyfully began the work he longed to do: serving the spiritual, educational and material needs of African Americans. Eckert grew up in Ontario, the fifth of nine children born to German immigrant farmers. His devout parents encouraged his vocation, and he attended St. Jerome’s College in Waterloo before entering a Capuchin monastery in Detroit in 1892. He was ordained in Milwaukee in 1896. For nearly two decades, Father Eckert served parishes in Wisconsin, Michigan and New York. His piety, warmth and powerful preaching endeared him to many. He was also known for his ecumenical outreach, an example that influenced another Capuchin who knew him well, Blessed Solanus Casey. Father Eckert’s desire to evangelize African Americans grew, but he waited patiently in obedience. Ten years after

FROM TOP: Courtesy of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Archives — Healing of the Leper in Galilee, Byzantine mosaic, 12th-13th century/Alfredo Dagli Orti/Art Resource, NY — CNS photo/Vatican Media

A leper came to him [and kneeling down] begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.” The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. (Gospel for Feb. 14, Mk 1:40-42)

What profound faith this leper possessed. He knew beyond a doubt that Christ could heal him and make him clean. The leper’s humble cooperation with the healing grace of Christ allowed him to be cured. Do we recognize our own need to be healed? Do we approach Christ in the sacrament of confession with similar faith, saying to the Divine Physician, “If you wish, you can make me clean”? May we continually return to Christ on our knees, aware of our sins, so as to be made clean again through his mercy. Challenge: This month, I challenge you to make a comprehensive examination of conscience at the end of each day and make at least one good and humble confession. Second, I challenge you to begin (or continue) viewing as a council the Knights of Columbus Into the Breach video series, putting a particular emphasis on the “Spiritual Warfare” episode.

Father Stephen Eckert (1869-1923)

Liturgical Calendar

making his request, he was sent to be the first resident pastor of St. Benedict the Moor Mission, serving the Black community in Milwaukee. He immediately went from home to home to meet his parishioners and other neighbors. The parish quickly grew, and Father Eckert was kept busy celebrating the Mass and sacraments, expanding the parish school and establishing other ministries, including a nursery for working mothers. Father Eckert also traveled frequently, preaching parish missions to raise money for the school and a new church building. He developed pneumonia during one of these trips and died soon after, on Feb. 16, 1923. His gravestone reads: “The Apostle and Champion of the Colored Race.” Father Eckert was declared a “Servant of God” in 1952. B

Holy Father’s Monthly Prayer Intention

Feb. 2 The Presentation of the Lord Feb. 5 St. Agatha, Virgin and Martyr Feb. 6 St. Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs Feb. 10 St. Scholastica, Virgin Feb. 11 Our Lady of Lourdes Feb. 17 Ash Wednesday Feb. 22 The Chair of St. Peter the Apostle

We pray for women who are victims of violence, that they may be protected by society and have their sufferings considered and heeded. FEBRUARY 2021 B C O L U M B I A



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Silver Rose Program Marks 60th Anniversary

Order Prays for Healing for Indigenous Peoples THE SAINT JOHN PAUL II NATIONAL SHRINE in Wash-

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS delegations from the United States and Mexico met at the border Dec. 9, 2020, to hand off three Knights of Columbus Silver Roses — 60 years after the first K of C rose made the international crossing in 1960. Some of the details were different: The first rose was real, not made of silver, and Columbian Squires ran with it on foot from the border to the Basilica of Guadalupe in Monterrey. But the intent was the same: to honor the Blessed Mother under her title of Our Lady of Guadalupe and to celebrate the unity of Knights throughout North America. The Silver Rose program developed over the years to become a Supreme Council program that also reaffirms the Order’s dedication to building a culture of life. This past year, Knights stewarded eight Silver Roses, including one blessed by Pope Francis last February, along various routes extending from Canada to Mexico. At each stop, councils held a prayer service that included a rosary for the protection of human life. The three roses that entered Mexico on Dec. 9 were on their way to Monterrey. Due to pandemic restrictions, only a few dozen Knights could participate in the 60th anniversary handoff at the midpoint of the Gateway to the Americas International Bridge between Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo. But they represented many more, united in fraternity and devotion. B 6

Father Henry Sands, executive director of the Black and Indian Mission Office, celebrates a Mass for Healing Among Native Communities Dec. 9 at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine.

TOP LEFT: Photo by Spirit Juice Studios — BOTTOM RIGHT: Photo by Sarah Gorham

K of C leaders from Mexico receive three Knights of Columbus Silver Roses on the Gateway to the Americas International Bridge between Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo.

ington, D.C., recently hosted a special Mass for Healing Among Native Communities on the feast day of St. Juan Diego, patron of Indigenous peoples in the Americas. Father Maurice Henry Sands, executive director of the Black and Indian Mission Office and a longtime Knight of Columbus, celebrated the Dec. 9 Mass. A member of several Native American tribes, he preached about the need to build hope in native communities, which suffer high rates of poverty, unemployment and other social ills after centuries of injustice. “Helping native peoples to experience a living and personal faith in Christ — and inviting them to live that faith as members of the Body of Christ — is the best way that we can help them receive the hope and healing that only Christ can offer,” he said. Father Sands also encouraged Knights and other Catholics to be present to native peoples with acts of charity and spoke about the Order’s ongoing outreach initiative to Indigenous communities, which was announced at the 137th Supreme Convention in 2019. In the coming months, he noted, the Knights of Columbus will be working with Native American and First Nations peoples to plant trees and develop other “living memorials” to honor Native Americans who have died in the pandemic. “Culturally and traditionally, native peoples have a strong connection to creation and nature,” explained Supreme Director Patrick Mason, a member of the Osage Nation who also serves as assistant supreme secretary. “This project hopes to create living monuments both in memory of those who have lost their lives, but also for the survivors as a place for prayer and remembrance.” B



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K of C Wheelchair Donations Surpass 100,000

TOP LEFT: Photo by Randy Hale — TOP RIGHT: EMMY IBU/AFP via Getty Images

THE ORDER’S wheelchair program

reached a major milestone in late 2020, surpassing more than 100,000 wheelchairs since the first donation 18 years ago. The Supreme Council donated 2,000 wheelchairs in 2003 to help land mine victims and others in Afghanistan and the Middle East. State and local councils have since purchased wheelchairs for people in need around the corner and around the globe, including in countries throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa and Asia. Since 2009, this work has been done in collaboration with the Global Wheelchair Mission, which includes the American Wheelchair Mission and Canadian Wheelchair Foundation. It is also a featured program of the Faith in Action program model. “The partnership between the Knights of Columbus and the Global Wheelchair Mission has been a great blessing not only for our respective organizations, but most especially for the more than 100,000 people who have received the gift of mobility through our cooperation,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “I am proud of what we accomplished together and am grateful for the work of our brother Knights and their Christian charity.” B

Supreme Knight Commends Recognition of Religious Freedom Violations in Nigeria THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT official-

ly recognized grave threats to religious freedom in Nigeria following months of advocacy by the Knights of Columbus and other groups. For the first time, the department listed Nigeria as a “country of particular concern” under the Religious Freedom Act of 1998. This designation, announced Dec. 7, 2020, signifies that the West African nation is engaging in or tolerating “systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom.” More than 11,500 Christians have been killed in Nigeria since 2015, primarily by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram and Fulani jihadist militias, the nongovernmental organization Genocide Watch reported in May 2020. Christians are also targets of abduction, robbery and sexual assault, and several thousand Christian churches have been destroyed. “Nigeria’s Christians have suffered grievously at the hands of Boko Haram and other groups,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo deserves credit for shining a light on these atrocities,

Nigerian bishops and priests gather at the burial of two priests killed by Fulani herdsmen during Mass. Seventeen parishioners also died in the April 2018 attack on St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Mbalom.

which verge on genocide. The Christians of Nigeria, both Catholic and Protestant, deserve attention, recognition and relief now.” In his annual report in August 2020, the supreme knight announced a new initiative focused on religious persecution in Nigeria, to facilitate “greater attention by American diplomacy and humanitarian aid.” B

K of C Leaders Named ‘Catholics of the Year’ BLESSED MICHAEL MCGIVNEY, found-

er of the Knights of Columbus, and Supreme Knight Carl Anderson were recently honored as “Catholics of the Year” by the Catholic publisher Our Sunday Visitor. Announcing the honorees Dec. 17, 2020, OSV editors wrote, “Despite unprecedented times, there were beacons of light that shone through the darkness — men and women whose witness of faith inspired the Body of Christ.” Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore penned the tribute to the two K of C leaders, noting

their shared faith and commitment to the Church. “As the Church gives thanks for the beatification of Blessed Michael McGivney, so, too, let us give thanks to God for the wonderful example and leadership of Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson,” the supreme chaplain wrote. Our Sunday Visitor’s “Catholics of the Year” for 2020 also included Pope Francis, parish priests, Australian Cardinal George Pell, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, radio host Gloria Purvis and the Little Sisters of the Poor. B FEBRUARY 2021 B C O L U M B I A



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‘Let Us Go Forward in Hope’ In his 20-year tenure as supreme knight, Carl Anderson has faithfully implemented Blessed Michael McGivney’s vision By Columbia staff


he year 2000, the Great Jubilee, was a significant turning point in the life of the Catholic Church and of the Knights of Columbus. More than 20 years earlier, St. John Paul II had made preparation for the third millennium of Christianity a central theme and task of his pontificate — a task enthusiastically embraced by the Order, led by then-Supreme Knight Virgil C. Dechant. As the long-awaited celebration of the Great Jubilee was drawing to a close in 2000, Carl A. Anderson became the Order’s 13th supreme knight, taking office Oct. 1. Several months later, John Paul II published a visionary apostolic letter titled Novo Millennio Ineunte (At the Beginning of the New Millennium), which the new supreme knight called “a blueprint for the work of the Church in the new millennium.” On a fundamental level, John Paul II wrote, the task of the Church does not change: “The program already exists: it is the plan found in the Gospel and in the living Tradition, it is the same as ever. Ultimately, it has its center in Christ himself.” But at the same time, he added, this program “must be translated into pastoral initiatives adapted to the circumstances of each community.” Echoing Christ’s words, the Holy Father exhorted the Church to “put out into the deep”: “Let us go forward in hope! A new millennium is opening before the Church like a


vast ocean upon which we shall venture, relying on the help of Christ.” Supreme Knight Anderson focused on these words in his first annual report, delivered at the 119th Supreme Convention in Toronto in 2001: “My brothers, Pope John Paul is speaking to the Knights of Columbus! He is challenging us to new initiatives and new boldness. He is telling us to ‘put out into the deep’ to seek new ways to serve our Order, our Church and our world.” Anderson then urged members to “look to the example of Father McGivney to make us his true spiritual heirs, true Knights of Columbus,” and added, “May he, as ‘Apostle to the Young and Protector of Christian Family Life,’ lead us into the new millennium with confidence and hope!” Two decades have passed since these words were spoken, and the Knights of Columbus now faces another turning point — marked by the conclusion of Supreme Knight Anderson’s 20-year tenure as well as unprecedented challenges facing the Church and society. Though many of the events of this past year stand in stark contrast to the celebration that surrounded the Great Jubilee, the recent beatification of Blessed Michael McGivney reminds us of our call to be joyful witnesses of the Gospel in our own time. Therefore, as we look back at the past 20 years, we also look to the future, full of confidence and hope in Christ. B

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson addresses more than 20,000 people gathered for the Guadalupe Festival in August 2009. The historic celebration, which the Order hosted in Glendale, Ariz., followed the 127th Supreme Convention in Phoenix and the first International Marian Congress dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe.



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WHEN HURRICANE KATRINA slammed the Gulf Coast Aug. 29, 2005, it soon became one of the most devastating storms in U.S. history. Within several days, Supreme Knight Anderson urged all state deputies to mobilize support, and the board of directors voted to match money raised by councils toward disaster relief. In a message to members, Anderson wrote, “We must be prepared to do everything we can to help those who have lost so much.” The supreme knight’s words, and the Knights’ actions in the months that followed, seemed to anticipate what Pope Benedict XVI would write in his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, which was published on Christmas Day 2005. “The Christian’s program,” the Holy Father wrote, “is ‘a heart which sees.’ This heart sees where love is needed and acts accordingly.” Pope John Paul II similarly wrote, just two years earlier, of “serving the Gospel of hope by means of a charity which evangelizes.” These themes would be echoed often by Supreme Knight Anderson and define the Knights’ charitable work in the years to come. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, for example, the 10

supreme knight declared 2009 the Year of the Volunteer and announced a new initiative called Neighbors Helping Neighbors. This led to two signature programs of the Order — Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids and Food for Families — and it set the stage for the Leave No Neighbor Behind initiative, introduced last year. Under Anderson’s leadership, the Order has also developed partnerships with numerous organizations and has undertaken unique charitable initiatives to assist people in need throughout North America and around the world. But perhaps most significantly, in 2018 the supreme knight introduced Faith in Action, the Order’s first new program model in nearly 50 years, which has focused council activities in four fundamental categories: Faith, Family, Community and Life. “The name encompasses what it means to be a Knight of Columbus and a true Knight of Charity,” he explained in his 2018 annual report. “It’s our way of proclaiming that in today’s world there are men who put their faith into action — men who bring value to our communities and hope to our nations.” B

Photo courtesy of Apostles of Jesus

Charity That Evangelizes

Above: Students and teachers hold up Father McGivney prayer cards outside the Marengoni Primary School in Uganda. The school, which serves AIDS orphans, was constructed in 2012 by the Apostles of Jesus with assistance from the Order.


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TOP RIGHT: Photo by Randy Hale — MIDDLE AND BOTTOM LEFT: Photos by Spirit Juice Studios

Top left: Stuart Baker of Paddy Nolan Council 6994 in Calgary, Alberta, packs turkey dinners to be delivered to 12 convents in the Diocese of Calgary, as Grand Knight Andrew Egbase (left) looks on. The council converted its 41st annual “Sisters’ Night” banquet in October 2020 to a food drop-off for the safety of COVID-vulnerable participants. • Top right: Supreme Knight Carl Anderson and his wife, Dorian, meet with a boy and his mother during a wheelchair distribution outside the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City in February 2016. The event, in partnership with the Global Wheelchair Mission, marked the 50,000th wheelchair donated by the Knights since 2003. • Middle left: A Lakota girl receives a coat from Supreme Knight Anderson during a Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids distribution on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota in September 2019. The previous month, the supreme knight announced an initiative to aid Native American and First Nations communities. • Above: Members of Benedictine College Council 4708 in Atchison, Kan., volunteer at a Habitat for Humanity build in St. Joseph, Mo. The Order has supported Habitat for decades, with Knights volunteering hundreds of thousands of hours annually. • Left: Knights unload food and supplies for migrant families at the Casa del Migrante in Matamoros, Mexico, in December 2019. The effort was part of a K of C initiative that provided humanitarian assistance to migrant families in cooperation with dioceses and councils near the U.S.-Mexico border. FEBRUARY 2021 B C O L U M B I A

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THOUSANDS OF KNIGHTS helped organize soup kitchens and temporary shelters, and donated $10 million in aid, in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. In the years since this historic effort, the Order’s response to natural disasters has been far-reaching, responding not only to hurricanes — including Sandy (2012), Harvey, Irma and Maria (2017) and Michael (2018) — but also to devastating tornadoes, earthquakes and flooding. Central to the Order’s relief work over the past decade has been the Knights of Columbus Disaster Relief Fund, which Supreme Knight Anderson announced at the 129th Supreme Convention in 2011. With the help of first responders, the supreme knight said, “We will build a local council network that can better help those who need food, clothing and shelter following a disaster.” Since that time, the Knights of Columbus has also responded with unique initiatives, such as the Livelihood Project to help Filipino fishermen, farmers and craftsmen rebuild their lives after Super Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in 2013.


From top: Father Michael Nixon, pastor of St. Dominic Church in Panama City, Fla., and Supreme Knight Anderson survey the damage to the parish youth center caused by Hurricane Michael in November 2018. • Forty new motorized boats were delivered to Filipino fishermen through the Knights of Columbus Livelihood Project following the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. • Three-yearold Anaika walks on two legs for the first time since Haiti’s 2010 earthquake after being fitted with a prosthetic leg by prosthetist Adam Finnieston. In partnership with Project Medishare, the Order’s “Healing Haiti’s Children” program provided prosthetics and two years of physical therapy for children who lost limbs in the earthquake.

FROM TOP: Photo by Spirit Juice Studios, Photo by Ronalyn Ramos Regino, Knights of Columbus Multimedia Archives — BOTTOM RIGHT: Photo by Stephen Mieczkowski — OTHER: Knights of Columbus Multimedia Archives

When Disaster Strikes


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Growing the Order FROM DAY ONE of Supreme Knight Anderson’s tenure, he spoke of “a moral obligation to offer the opportunity of membership in the Knights of Columbus to every eligible Catholic man.” He further emphasized Father McGivney’s desire, when founding the Knights in 1882, to establish a council in every parish. In the past two decades, the Order has made strides toward these goals — growing from 1.6 million members in 2000 to 2 million today, and chartering thousands of new councils in that time. This growth has included international expansion of the Order for the first time in nearly a century (see page 14) and a surge in membership in the Philippines, where the number of Knights and councils has more than doubled. College Knights and councils have also grown more than 100%. At the 2019 midyear meeting of state deputies, Supreme Knight Anderson announced a groundbreaking new combined exemplification of charity, unity and fraternity, which “stays true to our traditions while addressing the needs of our times.” Together with the Order’s online membership initiative introduced a year earlier, the new exemplification has made joining the Knights much more accessible. “We must find new ways to bring the men we need — and the men who need us — into our Order,” the supreme knight explained. “We must forge a new generation of Knights — men who see in our principles of charity, unity and fraternity a path to leading a Catholic way of life that can strengthen their families, their parishes and their communities.” B

Top right: Members of Commodore John Barry Council 14534 inspect the new council charter presented to them by Supreme Knight Anderson at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., Nov. 11, 2010. There are now nearly 400 college councils worldwide. • Middle: The supreme knight meets charter members and officers of Paul M. McGlinchey Council 14800 in Santa Rosa, Laguna, Luzon South, during his visit to the Philippine National Convention in April 2010. The Order first expanded to the Philippines in 1905, and has grown dramatically in recent years. • Bottom: Anderson shakes hands with Connecticut State Deputy Gary P. McKeone after delivering remarks at the Order’s first exemplification of charity, unity and fraternity Jan. 1 in the basement of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Conn. FEBRUARY 2021 B C O L U M B I A

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AS THE KNIGHTS of Columbus celebrated the centennial of its presence in Mexico and the Philippines in 2005, Supreme Knight Anderson announced that the board of directors had voted to accept an invitation from the Polish bishops — and Pope John Paul II — to expand for the first time to Europe. Since the first councils in Poland were chartered in January 2006, the Knights’ presence there has grown to 136 councils with more than 6,300 members, including more than 600 priests. The first councils in Ukraine, as well as a roundtable in Lithuania, were established in 2013. In 2014, the first non-military councils were chartered in Korea. And a year later, the Knights established a presence in France, which now counts 24 councils in 14 dioceses. In his 2020 annual report, the supreme knight noted that the Order’s growing presence in these new jurisdictions testifies to “the universality of Father McGivney’s vision and the appeal of the Knights of Columbus.”


Clockwise, from top left: Supreme Knight Carl Anderson meets with new Polish Knights outside of the Divine Mercy Shrine in Kraków in 2006. • Supreme Knight Anderson, Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki of Lviv, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kyiv-Halyc, Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore and Supreme Secretary Michael O’Connor celebrate the designation of Ukraine as a new state council at the 136th Supreme Convention in Baltimore in 2018. • Bishop Francis Xavier Soo-il of the Military Ordinariate of Korea, Auxiliary Bishop F. Richard Spencer for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and Supreme Knight Anderson join members of the first two South Korean councils, St. Andrew Kim Taegon Council 16000 and St. Paul Chong Hasang Council 16178, as they receive their charters in 2014. • The supreme knight joins more than 100 Knights gathered for a combined exemplification ceremony Feb. 13, 2020, at the Cathedral of Saint-Louis des Invalides in Paris.

BOTTOM RIGHT: Photo by François Régis Salefran — OTHERS: Knights of Columbus Multimedia Archives

Universal Appeal


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TOP RIGHT: Photo by Bryce Vickmark — LOWER LEFT: Photo by Servizio Fotografico Vaticano — OTHERS: Knights of Columbus Multimedia Archives

Protecting Families, Investing With Faith FATHER MICHAEL McGIVNEY wrote in a letter to Connecticut priests in April 1882 explaining that he founded the Knights of Columbus, in part, “to unite the men of our Faith … that we may thereby gain strength to aid each other in time of sickness; to provide for decent burial, and to render pecuniary assistance to the families of deceased members.” Over the next century, the Order became a leader in the life insurance industry, and by late 2000, Knights of Columbus Insurance had over $40 billion of insurance in force and $8.5 billion in assets. In 2015, life insurance in force surged past $100 billion, and assets exceeded $22 billion. The same year, the Knights of Columbus received its 40th consecutive highest possible rating for financial strength from A.M. Best. In an interview at the time, Supreme Knight Anderson noted that these impressive numbers told only part of the story. “The Knights of Columbus is not like ‘most insurance companies’ because we are not concerned with profit in the way a traditional business is,” he said. “Our ‘bottom line’ is different. It’s not a question of how much money we made; it’s a question of how many Catholic families we protected. That is our mission.” As the insurance program continued to grow, so too did the Order’s commitment to protecting families, ethical investing and service to the Church. Since February 2015, Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors has offered faith-informed investment strategies to Catholic institutions looking to invest in accordance with Church teaching. The K of C subsidiary currently serves dozens of dioceses, Catholic universities and schools, as well as more than 100 state and local K of C councils. In 2019, the Order also became affiliated with Knights of Columbus Charitable Fund, an independent 501(c)(3) public charity that offers a donor-advised fund helping both individuals and institutions to direct their charitable giving more effectively. “We must always remember that Father McGivney could have easily directed his parishioners to the insurance companies that already existed in Connecticut,” Supreme Knight Anderson said in his 2020 annual report. “But he wanted something different — something with a Catholic difference.” B

From top: Knights of Columbus field agent Matthew DiCalogero meets longtime client John Walsh, a member of Norwood (Mass.) Council 252, and his wife, Jaynellen, to discuss their insurance needs. • Columbia announces an insurance program milestone, as the Knights of Columbus surpasses $100 billion of life insurance in force in late 2015. • Supreme Knight Carl Anderson speaks at a Sustainable Investments Conference hosted by the Order in Chicago in 2011. • Neill Jordan, a member of the Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors investments team, monitors the performance of K of C mutual funds. • The supreme knight presents Pope Francis with a check in 2018 on behalf of a deceased priest who made the Holy Father the beneficiary of his insurance and annuity policies. FEBRUARY 2021 B C O L U M B I A

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Our Founder’s Cause and Legacy


Above: Supreme Knight Carl Anderson speaks after the Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Mary’s Church Nov. 1, 2020, the day after Father McGivney’s beatification. The church, where Father McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882, required major repairs in 2019, and a restoration was completed last summer with assistance from the Order. Below: A member of The Citadel Council 6900 in Charleston, S.C., views a painting of Father McGivney at the Knights of Columbus Museum in 2006. Titled “Founding Vision” and created by Italian artist Antonella Cappuccio in 2003, the painting also depicts Knights serving 19th-century immigrant families outside St. Mary’s Church.

TOP: Photo by Matthew Barrick — BOTTOM: Knights of Columbus Multimedia Archives

THE MASS OF BEATIFICATION of Blessed Michael McGivney, celebrated Oct. 31, 2020, at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, Conn., was truly the culminating moment of Supreme Knight Carl Anderson’s tenure. In his first column for Columbia as supreme knight 20 years ago, he wrote, “The greatest resource we have today is the spiritual strength we have inherited from Father McGivney. Through his continued intercession and, we pray, his eventual beatification, that strength gives us the ability to do even greater things in the future.” Months later, in his first annual report, Anderson called the spirituality of Father McGivney “a source for vitality and renewal in the Order,” adding, “Certainly it is our duty to communicate the vision of Father McGivney to the whole Church.” The year 2002 then marked a massive leap forward in the promotion of the Knights of Columbus founder’s life and spirituality. In May, a 1,000-page positio document laying out the case for Father McGivney’s holiness was submitted to the Vatican. Then, on Aug. 12, the 150th anniversary of Father McGivney’s birth, the Order began a yearlong initiative to promote the founder’s cause, as well as to promote vocations, with the motto “We Know One Good Priest Can Make a Difference.” Over the past two decades, membership in the Father Michael J. McGivney Guild has grown dramatically, and Supreme Knight Anderson has written and spoken extensively about the “prophetic vision” and “spiritual genius” of the founder, who recognized the irreplaceable role of the laity and gave Catholic men a practical path to holiness. To further promote Father McGivney’s cause and spirituality, the supreme knight has authorized several documentary films as well as an official biography, Parish Priest: Father Michael McGivney and American Catholicism, which has been translated into several languages since it was first published in 2006. Pope Benedict XVI approved a decree of heroic virtue for Father McGivney in March 2008, declaring him Venerable, and last May Pope Francis approved the miracle that opened the way for his beatification. Addressing the midyear meeting of state deputies in November, after Father McGivney was declared Blessed, Supreme Knight Anderson called the beatification “a great gift to us and to the universal Church.” He then added, “As with all gifts from the Lord there come responsibilities. The gift of Father McGivney’s beatification presents to us a great responsibility — to be faithful and productive stewards of his legacy.” B


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TOP RIGHT: Photo by Aaron Joseph — MIDDLE LEFT: Photo by Spirit Juice Studio — MIDDLE RIGHT: Knights of Columbus Multimedia Archives — BOTTOM: Photo by Jeffrey Bruno

Top right: A banner with Father McGivney’s official beatification image is unveiled during the Mass. The portrait, commissioned by the Knights, was painted by Chas Fagan in 2016. • Above left: Jeffrey Rentegrado leads the rosary with fellow members of Davila Council 14302 in Pasuquin, Luzon, Philippines. Rentegrado, who was shot 13 times in a 2009 attack, attributes his survival to the intercession of Father McGivney. • Above right: Bishops, priests and guests recite the prayer for the canonization of Father McGivney at the 131st Supreme Convention in San Antonio in 2013.

IN THE FIRST YEAR of Supreme Knight Anderson’s

tenure, the Knights of Columbus Museum moved from the Supreme Council headquarters to its own building. After Father McGivney’s beatification last October, the museum officially became the Blessed Michael McGivney Pilgrimage Center. The center will continue to preserve K of C history, but will expand its focus to share the spirituality and vision of the Order’s founder. The Supreme Officers are pictured at the center following the Nov. 1 ribbon-cutting. FEBRUARY 2021 B C O L U M B I A

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Building the Domestic Church THE LETTER OF GREETING of Pope Francis to the 138th

the Church. Families need it, the Church needs it, and we pastors need it.” When Supreme Knight Anderson addressed the midyear meeting of state deputies two months later, he launched a major initiative to guide the Knights’ work for years to come. Titled Building the Domestic Church While Strengthening Our Parish, the initiative would consist of many elements, including a greater emphasis on collaboration with pastors and new family programs, such as a consecration to the Holy Family. “Today, the Knights of Columbus is providentially positioned to play a key role in the new alliance between the Church and the family called for by Pope Francis,” said the supreme knight. “We must devote even greater efforts to our fundamental mission of charity, unity and fraternity, and we must do so with even greater attention to the needs and the future of our parishes and our families.” The Order has since launched the Faith in Action program model and has enhanced efforts to build up the faith of men and their families with programs like Into the Breach. When introducing the combined exemplification of charity, unity and fraternity in November 2019, Supreme Knight Anderson said the Church is facing “a crisis of evangelization — or, rather, it is a crisis of a failure to evangelize. In a particular way, it is a failure to evangelize the Catholic family and to evangelize within the Catholic family.” He then added, “The Knights of Columbus will rise to meet this challenge. We will take up our essential and irreplaceable role.” B

Photo by Spirit Juice Studios

Supreme Convention last August noted, “Since its earliest days, care for the family has been a priority for the Knights of Columbus.” Indeed, Blessed Michael McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus not merely as a fraternity, but for the express purpose of protecting Christian family life. And though many of the problems facing families have changed since the 19th century, the Order’s family-centered mission has not. It has, in fact, become even more important in recent decades — and more focused in recent years. In 2014, Supreme Knight Anderson introduced a new fraternal program as the Knights of Columbus prepared to welcome Pope Francis to the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. The program of prayer, catechesis and service was called Building the Domestic Church: The Family Fully Alive, drawing its name from the Second Vatican Council’s description of the family. Like the Church itself, the supreme knight explained, “The family is not only a subject for evangelization; it must also be an active agent of evangelization.” St. John Paul II — whom Pope Francis hailed as “the Pope of the Family” when he canonized him earlier that year — put it this way: “The family has a mission to guard, reveal and communicate love” (Familiaris Consortio, 17). During his apostolic visit in September 2015, Pope Francis called for a deepening of “the covenant between the Church and the family.” He added, “May God grant us this gift of a renewed closeness between the family and



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Vital Center of Study

FROM TOP: Photo by Matthew Barrick, Photo by Corky Miller, Vatican Media, Knights of Columbus Multimedia Archives

IN 1988, seven years after the Pontifical John Paul II

Opposite page: Joseph Krebs, a member of Albany (Ore.) Council 1577, and his wife, Nicole, rest during a hike with six of their eight children. The Krebs were recognized as the 2019 Knights of Columbus International Family of the Year for service to their parish and the broader community. • Top left: State deputies carry images of the Holy Family at the conclusion of the opening Mass of the 133rd Supreme Convention in Philadelphia Aug. 4, 2015. The images served as the centerpiece of an Orderwide prayer program. • Top right: A father prays with his son during eucharistic adoration at a monthly Holy Hour for men organized by St. Joseph Council 1748 in Salem, Ore. The Faith in Action program model includes the Holy Hour and Into the Breach, a study guide and video series about men’s spirituality, as recommended programs. • Above: Rudy and Leona Gonzales, together with several of their children and grandchildren, meet Pope Francis during the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in 2015. They were one of eight families chosen to share their story publicly with the Holy Father during the event. Rudy is a past grand knight of Our Lady of Fatima Shrine Council 14622 in Lewiston, N.Y., near Niagara Falls, where the couple retired after many years as educators in Native American reservation schools.

Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family was founded in Rome, the Knights of Columbus made possible the establishment of a session of the institute in Washington, D.C. Carl Anderson, who was then the Knights’ vice president for public policy and had taught at the Rome Institute for 5 years, was named founding vice president and dean. The Order has continuously supported this graduate school of theology devoted to the Church’s teaching about marriage and family. Since 2008, its home has been McGivney Hall, a prominent building at The Catholic University of America that was renamed and dedicated after extensive renovation. Among its nearly 600 graduates are hundreds of laypeople as well as several priests who have since become bishops. Supreme Knight Anderson, Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori and Father Antonio López (front right), provost and dean, are pictured with graduates in 2014.


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Strong Right Arm of the Church WHEN COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic last March, the Vatican communications office received a letter from Supreme Knight Anderson with an offer of help. Within days, Pope Francis’ Urbi et Orbi blessing was being broadcast worldwide with financial support from the Order. With the launch of the Leave No Neighbor Behind initiative soon after, parish priests began receiving calls from their local councils with a similar offer: What do you need? At a moment of crisis, Knights stood in solidarity with their priests and bishops — as they have always done. “Our mission is simple,” said Supreme Knight Anderson in his 2017 annual report. “Whether it is a pastor, a bishop or the pope who needs our help, the Knights of Columbus responds. We do this because we are first and foremost men who love our Church.” During the pilgrimage of the board of directors to Rome last February, Pope Francis thanked the Order for its century of charitable service in the Eternal City, adding, “Since its foundation, the Knights of Columbus has demonstrated its unswerving devotion to the successor of Peter.” Under Supreme Knight Anderson’s leadership, the Order has supported many Vatican initiatives, papal visits and international events such as the World Meeting of Families and World Apostolic Congress on Mercy. It has likewise assisted bishops’ conferences with a wide array of projects, ministries and evangelization efforts. The Knights of Columbus has also continued to promote vocations and foster devotion in various ways. Within the first five years alone of Supreme Knight Anderson’s tenure, the Order organized three eucharistic congresses, two Marian prayer programs and a Divine Mercy prayer program, as well as a Sacred Heart Holy Hour to strengthen solidarity with priests. That solidarity, the supreme knight has emphasized, begins close to home. With Supreme Chaplain Archbishop Lori, he has revitalized the role of state and local chaplains. And he has urged councils to collaborate with their pastors and integrate more closely into parish life. The Building the Domestic Church While Strengthening Our Parish initiative, announced in 2015, formalized and accelerated this process. In March 2007, on the 125th anniversary of the Order, Supreme Knight Anderson affirmed, “We are proud that in so many ways we have earned the title of the ‘strong right arm of the Church.’ In this regard, we often recount service to our Holy Father and our bishops.” He then added, “Our greatest contributions, however, will always be at the parish level. It is there that we must make our mark as the strong right arm of the local church and the strong right arm of our parish priest.” B


From top: Pope John Paul II blesses an image of Divine Mercy that would be used by Knights during an Orderwide prayer program celebrating the 25th year of his pontificate. The intention was for the pope and all priests. • Father Egren Gomez carries the heart of St. Jean Vianney during a candlelight procession at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Hacienda Heights, Calif., in February 2019. The Knights of Columbus organized a seven-month nationwide pilgrimage of the major relic, entrusted to the Order by the Shrine of Ars, France. • Cardinal Jaime Ortega, archbishop of Havana, stands with priests and seminarians outside San Carlos and San Ambrosio Seminary following its dedication Nov. 3, 2010. The seminary — the first new seminary in Cuba in more than 50 years — opened with assistance from the Knights. Supreme Knight Anderson attended the dedication, which took place a few months after Cardinal Ortega received the Gaudium et Spes Award at the 2010 Supreme Convention.


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TOP: Vatican Media — ABOVE: CBCP/Roy Lagarde — TOP RIGHT: CNS photo/Paul Haring — RIGHT: Mallio Falcioni/Courtesy of Fabbrica di San Pietro — OPPOSITE, MIDDLE: Photo courtesy of Archdiocese of Los Angeles — OTHERS: Knights of Columbus Multimedia Archives

Top: Supreme Knight Carl Anderson and Supreme Chaplain Bishop William Lori present Pope Benedict XVI with earnings from the Order’s Vicarius Christi Fund during a private audience in 2010. • Above: The Blessed Sacrament is carried through the streets of Cebu City, Philippines, accompanied by more than 1.5 million people during the 51st International Eucharistic Congress Jan. 29, 2016. The Order provided volunteer and financial support for the event as it did for International Eucharistic Congresses in Guadalajara (2004) and Québec City (2008). • Top right: Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square several days after the canonization of St. Teresa of Calcutta in September 2016. Mother Teresa’s official canonization portrait was commissioned by the Knights as a gift for the Missionaries of Charity. The Order provided other support for the canonization as well, as it did for the beatification of the Mexican martyrs in 2005 and the canonizations of St. André Bessette in 2010, St. John Paul II in 2014 and St. Junípero Serra in 2015. • Right: Supreme Knight Anderson and his wife, Dorian, view a 14th-century crucifix being restored by the Fabbrica di San Pietro in June 2016. Vatican restoration projects funded by the Order during Anderson’s tenure have also included two chapels in the Vatican Grottoes (2002-2004) and two ancient fresco paintings of the Blessed Mother (2012, 2013).

The Joy of the Gospel KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS presence at international World Youth Day celebrations, which began with Pope John Paul II’s visit to Denver in 1993, has been significant under Supreme Knight Anderson’s leadership. In addition to the participation and support of councils, the Order contributed $1 million for a vocations pavilion and the Duc in Altum reconciliation park at World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto. Later support included co-sponsorship of major catechetical sites in Sydney (2008), Madrid (2011) and Kraków (2016), each of increasing size, assisted by delegations of college Knight volunteers. Kraków’s Tauron Arena was transformed into the Knights of Columbus Mercy Centre (pictured left), hosting 100,000 pilgrims over five days of programming.


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Evangelizing the American Continent IN HIS 1999 apostolic exhortation Ecclesia in America,

St. John Paul II urged the Church to build a new “solidarity and communion” across the continent’s different cultures. He observed, “America, which historically has been, and still is, a melting-pot of peoples, has recognized in the mestiza face of … Blessed Mary of Guadalupe an impressive example of a perfectly inculturated evangelization” (11). Supreme Knight Anderson dedicated the Order to Our Lady of Guadalupe during his installation the following year, and later called Ecclesia in America “the document that most comprehensively affects the mission of the Knights of Columbus.” He noted that “the ability of our Order to overcome divisions of language, heritage, ethnicity and geography already suggests the potential for ‘solidarity and communion’ within our hemisphere.” In 2002, Pope John Paul II canonized St. Juan Diego, the native layman to whom she appeared in 1531. To help spread devotion and Our Lady’s message, the Knights of Columbus has since sponsored a series of events, beginning with a 2003 U.S. tour of a relic of St. Juan Diego’s tilma — the cloak on which the image of Our Lady was miraculously imprinted. In 2007, the Order organized a speaking tour with Msgr. Eduardo Chávez, the postulator for St. Juan Diego’s cause of canonization and later co-author with Supreme Knight Anderson of Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love. Other major K of C-sponsored events have included an international Marian Congress and Guadalupe Festival in Phoenix in 2009 and the Guadalupe Celebration in Los Angeles in 2012, drawing tens of thousands of people. The Knights also organized international gatherings, including a Vatican conference on Ecclesia in America in collaboration with the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. Meanwhile, the Knights of Columbus has promoted solidarity and communion among the continent’s Catholics by preserving and celebrating their history — supporting existing shrines and building new ones. In honor of the canonization of St. Junípero Serra, the Apostle of California, and Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope, the Order donated $600,000 to the historic Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs in New York in 2015. Construction is currently underway in New Mexico on a new Shrine of St. Kateri Tekakwitha. B



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A Place of Encounter

TOP LEFT: CNS photo/Tyler Osburn — BOTTOM LEFT: Photo by Spirit Juice Studios — OTHERS: Knights of Columbus Multimedia Archives

THREE MONTHS AFTER the beatification of Pope John Paul

From top: Msgr. Eduardo Chávez, postulator for the cause of canonization of St. Juan Diego, is pictured with Supreme Knight Anderson at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2008. • Anderson and then-Deputy Supreme Knight Jean Migneault stand with Cardinal Marc Ouellet, then-archbishop of Québec, after announcing the Order’s $1 million pledge of support for the 49th International Eucharistic Congress in Québec in 2008. • The supreme knight processes with a reliquary of six Knights of Columbus martyrs in 2005 outside of the Old Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. • Opposite page, from top: Mosaics depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary and saints of particular significance to America adorn the Trinity Dome of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The central and largest dome of the basilica, it was completed in 2017 with financial support from the Order. • Supreme Knight Anderson addresses a crowd of about 75,000 attending the Guadalupe Celebration in Los Angeles in 2012, co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. • Supreme Knight Anderson and Father Maurice Henry Sands (right), executive director of the Black and Indian Mission Office, pray with Deacon Bill White at the Wounded Knee Massacre Monument during a visit to South Dakota in 2019.

II in 2011, Supreme Knight Anderson announced a historic initiative: The Order would purchase the John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C., and transform it into a multi-faceted pilgrimage site. “It will be a place where English, Spanish and French-speaking pilgrims from throughout North America will encounter the mission and legacy of one of history’s greatest popes,” the supreme knight explained. “It will also be a place where our children and grandchildren will learn about their great heritage as Catholics.” In anticipation of John Paul II’s canonization in 2014, the U.S. bishops designated it Saint John Paul II National Shrine. Later that year, an integral component of the site was completed — a world-class, permanent exhibit on John Paul II’s life and teachings. One year later, Supreme Knight Anderson and Jesuit Father Marko Rupnik (pictured below) designed two worship spaces for the Shrine featuring Father Rupnik’s mosaics— the Redemptor Hominis Church and Luminous Mysteries Chapel. (Earlier in 2005, the supreme knight and Father Rupnik enlarged and redesigned the Holy Family Chapel in the Supreme Council’s headquarters in New Haven.) The shrine’s mission statement affirms that it is “a place of genuine encounter with God that leads to a renewal of individuals, families, societies and cultures.”


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“THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS, through countless acts of charity, affirms the dignity of every person, from conception to natural death,” Supreme Knight Anderson declared in his 2019 annual report. “And nowhere is our commitment more obvious — and today more important — than in our stand for the sanctity of unborn life.” During his first months as supreme knight, Anderson addressed the 2001 March for Life in Washington, reaffirming the Order’s solidarity with the pro-life cause: “With one voice we say: Defend life. Let the children live. Roe v. Wade must be overturned.” The inaugural Knights of Columbus Day of the Unborn Child was observed the next year on March 25, the feast of the Annunciation. While the Order has continued its work to mobilize participation in the annual March for Life and support the U.S. bishops pro-life efforts and ministries like Project Rachel, Supreme Knight Anderson has also introduced important new initiatives. In 2004, the Knights of Columbus established Villa Maria Guadalupe, a pro-life retreat center in Stamford, Conn., 24

operated by the Sisters of Life. And since 2008, the Supreme Council has conducted annual surveys on abortion in partnership with the Marist Poll. The polling, which has helped to shape the national discussion, has consistently found there is a broad, bipartisan consensus of Americans in favor of substantial restrictions on abortion. But the Order’s most impactful prolife effort began Jan. 22, 2009, when Supreme Knight Anderson announced the Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative (see sidebar). Within five years, councils had donated more than 500 ultrasound machines to pro-life pregnancy centers throughout the United States, helping abortion vulnerable women to choose life. “Not only has this program saved the lives of countless children, it has also saved countless mothers from a lifetime of sorrow,” Supreme Knight Anderson explained in 2015. “We can stop abortions by helping both the mother and her child. And should someone ask why the Knights of Columbus does this, tell them the answer is simple: because we love them both.” B

TOP: Photo by Matthew Barrick — BOTTOM: Photo by David González

Building a Culture of Life

Supreme Officers and their wives join Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, at the front of the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Jan, 27, 2017. The Knights of Columbus has also had a strong presence in local pro-life marches, Canada’s National March for Life and at marches in the Philippines, Mexico, Poland and elsewhere.


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Seeing Is Believing

FROM TOP: Knights of Columbus Multimedia Archives, Photo by Christian Rizzo, Photo by Victoria Verderame


sound Initiative began in January 2009. Within 10 years, councils had donated 1,000 machines to pro-life pregnancy centers through matching grants from the Order’s Culture of Life Fund. The milestone machine (pictured below) was presented to Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic in Manassas, Va., in January 2019 — an event that Supreme Knight Anderson called “one of my proudest moments as supreme knight.” Ultrasound technology has proven to be one of the most effective tools to empower women with crisis pregnancies to choose life. For example, when Melissa (pictured opposite page) was referred for an abortion by her doctors, a 3D ultrasound scan she received at Heartbeat of Miami helped her choose life for her daughter, Destiny. The machine was donated by Juan Pablo II Council 14215 in Miami through the Ultrasound Initiative in 2015. To date, the Order has donated more than 1,300 life-saving ultrasound machines, and on several occasions, the supreme knight has called the initiative “the greatest humanitarian achievement in the history of the Knights of Columbus.”

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson and Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori, then bishop of Bridgeport, Conn., gather with Sisters of Life outside Villa Maria Guadalupe in Stamford, Conn. The pro-life retreat center, established by the Knights of Columbus and run by the Sisters, was dedicated Oct. 20, 2004.

A Celebration of Life and Dignity SINCE 2000, the Knights of Columbus has donated hundreds of mil-

lions of dollars, as well as millions of volunteer hours, to organizations that serve those with disabilities. As Supreme Knight Anderson noted in his 2005 annual report, “Our commitment to Special Olympics and to hundreds of grassroots programs for people with intellectual and physical disabilities is an expression of our belief in the intrinsic worth of every human being.” The Order’s relationship with Special Olympics is particularly strong, dating to the very first games in 1968. In recent years, the Supreme Council contributed to the Summer World Games in Dublin (2003) and Los Angeles (2015) by sponsoring travel, food and medical costs for athletes from Canada, Mexico and the United States. The Order also hosted the Unified Special Olympics Soccer tournament at its Pius XI playground in Rome (above) in 2016 and 2017. FEBRUARY 2021 B C O L U M B I A

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Serving Those Who Serve FOLLOWING the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Supreme Knight

Anderson wrote a message to members with a question: “Today we must ask ourselves, what will be our response?” The answer was both prayer and action, including the immediate establishment of a Heroes Fund. Contributions poured in from councils, assemblies and individuals, and the fund distributed $1.4 million to support the families of first responders who died. Months later, in his annual report, the supreme knight said, “The world changed forever on Sept. 11, but not the Knights of Columbus. Our role in the ever-evolving events shaping our history can be found in the guiding principles of our Order: Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism.” Sept. 11 and its aftermath shaped many of the Knights’ patriotic initiatives in the new millennium. As combat operations began in the Middle East, the Order worked closely with the Archdiocese for Military Services, USA, to address the spiritual needs of service members. Beginning in 2003, the Order provided more than 600,000 copies of a pocket-sized prayer book, Armed with the Faith, for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and deployed across the globe. The Knights also contributed funds to help the archdiocese create “Catholics Seeking Christ,” a peer ministry network, and worked to establish new K of C units on military bases.


“Our military councils and roundtables fill a real need in the armed forces, because there is a serious shortage of Catholic chaplains,” Supreme Knight Anderson noted in his 2010 annual report. “We often provide the only way that Catholic soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines can share and sustain their faith while on deployment.” The Order responded to that shortage by supporting the Co-Sponsored Seminarian program, which helps to fund diocesan seminarians’ education in return for several years of service as a military chaplain. Since 2011, the Knights of Columbus has donated nearly $2 million to the program. In recent years, attention has turned to serving the wounded, ill and injured — especially those with spiritual and mental wounds. Since May 2013, the Order has sponsored the Warriors to Lourdes Pilgrimage in partnership with the Archdiocese for Military Services, USA, bringing hundreds to pray at the Marian shrine. “No one knows the value of peace better than those who endured war,” Anderson said in 2014. “The Knights of Columbus are honored to be able to support — and pray with — these soldiers and veterans as they come to Lourdes to seek the help of the Blessed Mother in their lives, enrich their faith, and pray for peace with those in uniform from around the world.” B


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The Patriotric Degree OPPOSITE PAGE: Photo by Tamino Petelinšek — TOP LEFT: CNS photo, Reuters — OTHERS: Knights of Columbus Multimedia Archives

SINCE THE ORDER’S Fourth Degree celebrated its 100th anni-

Opposite page: Warriors to Lourdes pilgrims march past the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes on their way to Mass at the Grotto on May 18, 2019. • Top left: Franciscan Father Brian Jordan blesses a cross formed by the rubble of the World Trade Center in the weeks after Sept. 11, 2001. Nearly four dozen Knights died in the attacks on New York City and the Pentagon. • Top right: Supreme Knight Anderson and retired Marine Col. Charles Gallina, Assistant to the Supreme Knight for Military and Veterans Affairs (right), are welcomed to United Nations Command headquarters in South Korea by brother Knight Marine Corps Major Gen. Michael Regner in 2012. During his trip, the supreme knight also visited Bishop John J. Kaising Council 14223 in Seoul, currently one of four K of C military units in South Korea. • Above: Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, holds up a copy of Armed with the Faith while speaking at the 2010 Supreme Convention.

versary in 2000, assemblies have played a prominent role in the new millennium, supporting active-duty service members and first responders, honoring veterans, and promoting love of country. Beginning in 1999, Fourth Degree assemblies and members raised and donated more than $520,000 toward the construction of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., and were well represented at its dedication five years later. In 2003, the Fourth Degree began “Serving Those Who Served,” a program to provide support to veterans at Veterans Affairs medical facilities. These efforts continue to this day: In 2019-2020, Sir Knights volunteered 97,000 hours of service at more than 120 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers. The Fourth Degree has also led the way in raising nearly $2 million for the Co-Sponsored Seminarian program of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA. A historic change was introduced at the 135th Supreme Convention in St. Louis in 2017, when the familiar regalia used since the mid-20th century was replaced with a new uniform. Supreme Master Dennis J. Stoddard and vice supreme masters are pictured above during the opening Mass. FEBRUARY 2021 B C O L U M B I A

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Faithful Citizenship his recent book, These Liberties We Hold Sacred, that Father Michael McGivney was addressing certain questions when he founded the Knights of Columbus — Can a person be a good Catholic and a good citizen? And, if so, what does that look like? “For nearly a century and a half,” Anderson writes, “the Knights of Columbus has answered the first question affirmatively, and the second question by example.” In fact, the supreme knight has observed, a good Catholic makes a better citizen. In his 2013 annual report, for instance, he said, “Living [our] principles in civil society today is also a high expression of patriotism. It is among the best things we can do as citizens to contribute to the common good.” This understanding of civic responsibility has informed the Order’s engagement in public life, especially as it has continued the Knights’ long history of defending religious liberty. In June 2004, for example, the Knights successfully defended a legal challenge to the phrase “under God” in the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance — a phrase the Knights had championed half a century earlier. Subsequent court decisions in 2009 and 2010 again upheld constitutionality of the phrase. “The words ‘under God’ do not somehow turn it into a prayer,” Supreme Knight Anderson said. “They simply reaffirm the truth spoken in the Declaration of Independence, that we ‘are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.’ These rights are not the government’s to give or take away.” When conscience rights were threatened in 2011 by the contraception mandate of the Affordable Care Act, the Knights of Columbus lent its support to the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty — chaired by Supreme Chaplain Lori, then bishop of Bridgeport — as well as the bishops’ “Fortnight for Freedom” prayer initiative. The Order also supported the legal challenge to the mandate mounted by the Little Sisters of the Poor, later honoring the Little Sisters with the Gaudium et Spes Award in 2016. In response to growing political rancor and societal division, in 2012 Supreme Knight Anderson announced “Civility in America,” a national nonpartisan campaign calling on all people of good will to engage in more civil discourse. He has likewise urged all Knights to participate in Novenas for National Unity; has written about the principled, nonviolent example of Martin Luther King Jr.; and has promoted Christian charity as a source of civic unity. “We must lead by the example of the good that we do,” Anderson declared in his 2013 annual report. “And we must not be silent in speaking up for our rights.” B


From top: Supreme Knight Carl Anderson speaks on Capitol Hill after the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the Iraq and Syria Emergency Relief and Accountability Act (H.R. 390) in June 2017. Also pictured are Chaldean Catholic Bishop Bawai Soro of San Diego and Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), who sponsored the bill. • Mother Loraine Maguire of the Little Sisters of the Poor speaks outside the U.S. Supreme Court after the court heard Zubik v. Burwell in March 2016. The Knights of Columbus supported the Little Sisters’ yearslong legal challenge to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act that they pay for contraception, sterilizations and abortifacients in their employee health plans.

TOP: Photo by Lloyd Wolf — BOTTOM: CNS photo/Joshua Roberts, Reuters

SUPREME KNIGHT Anderson notes in the introduction of


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FROM TOP: Knights of Columbus Multimedia Archives, Photo by Thom Wolfe, Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Top: In Boston’s Faneuil Hall, Supreme Knight Anderson delivers a speech titled “Making God’s Work Our Own: The Importance of John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address 50 Years Later” in April 2011. Kennedy’s address affirmed, “The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.” • Left: The supreme knight joins African American religious leaders at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., in October 2017 to promote Rev. King’s message of racial justice and nonviolence. • Above: A detail of the Christopher Columbus Memorial Fountain is pictured in Washington, D.C. The Order was instrumental in the creation of the monument, which was unveiled in June 1912. FEBRUARY 2021 B C O L U M B I A

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“THE BLOOD of these martyrs cries out to you and me for help,” said Supreme Knight Anderson during his 2015 annual report, as he invited his brother Knights to stand with him in solidarity for persecuted Christians in the Middle East. “It is time for a season of truth about what is happening to Christians and other minorities.” His impassioned words galvanized further support for the Christian Refugee Relief Fund — the massive campaign of prayer, humanitarian aid and diplomacy put in motion by the Knights of Columbus after Islamic State militants swept into Iraq and Syria in 2014. The Order has since donated more than $28 million to assist affected communities through the support of food programs, medical clinics, housing, education and other Church-sponsored initiatives, primarily in Iraq and Syria. The Order also launched an intense public policy and media campaign to raise public and government awareness. Supreme Knight Anderson testified before members of the U.S. Congress and at human rights conferences, and then submitted a report documenting atrocities against Christians in the Middle East to the U.S. State Department in March 2016. Eight days later, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry declared that Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East faced genocide at the hands of ISIS. Urging immediate government action, Anderson provided further congressional testimony in May, telling lawmakers, “The world’s greatest humanitarian crisis since World War II is

unfolding now.” His advocacy was instrumental in the creation of the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act that was signed into law in late 2018. During the crisis, the Knights of Columbus co-sponsored with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops a Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians on Nov. 26, 2017, followed by a Week of Awareness and Education. The Order also unveiled the icon “Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians” as the centerpiece of its latest Marian Prayer Program. Following the military defeat of ISIS, the Order continued its support in the Kurdistan region by rebuilding the Iraqi town of Karamles and the Syriac cathedral in Qaraqosh; constructing McGivney House, an apartment building for internally displaced Christian families in Erbil; and helping expand the Catholic University of Erbil. This was not the first time the Knights of Columbus has addressed religious oppression around the world, and, the supreme knight affirmed, it won’t be the last. “While the threat from ISIS has been reduced, the persecution of Christians in other parts of the world has increased,” Supreme Knight Anderson said in his 2020 annual report, citing escalating persecution in Africa. He then announced a new initiative to report on the situation in Nigeria, similar to what was done in Iraq, “in the hope that greater attention by American diplomacy and humanitarian aid can make a difference there.” B


Knights of Columbus Multimedia Archives

Standing With the Persecuted

Supreme Knight Anderson and delegates to the 133rd Supreme Convention raise olive wood crosses in solidarity with victims of Christian persecution in the Middle East. In the months that followed, the Supreme Council initiated the Solidarity Cross Program — inviting K of C units to purchase olive wood crosses made by Christian artisans in the Holy Land for distribution in their parishes and communities.


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CLOCKWISE FROM BOTTOM LEFT: AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen, Photo by Matthew Barrick, Photo by Stivan Shany/Courtesy of the Archdiocese of Erbil, Photo by Gregory Shemitz/Catholic News Service, L’Osservatore Romano, Photo by Tamino Petelinšek

Clockwise, from bottom left: Syrian children attend a class at a makeshift school on the outskirts of Mafraq, Jordan, in August 2015. That year, the Order partnered with Catholic Relief Services to help the Catholic Church in Jordan serve refugees fleeing violence and persecution in Syria and Iraq. • Melkite Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart of Aleppo, Syria, addresses the 2018 Supreme Convention in Baltimore and introduces the Order’s 18th Marian Prayer Program, featuring the pilgrim icon of Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians. • An Iraqi boy holds one of the K of C food baskets distributed to some 12,000 displaced families in Erbil, Iraq, in late 2017. • Supreme Knight Carl Anderson discusses the Knights of Columbus report about genocide of Christians in the Middle East during a conference at the United Nations in April 2016. • Pope Francis blesses an image of Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians at the Vatican on Nov. 16, 2018. • Supreme Knight Anderson visits McGivney House with Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, Iraq, in March 2019. The Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of Erbil completed the 140-unit apartment building, with financial assistance from the Knights, to house Christian families displaced by ISIS. FEBRUARY 2021 B C O L U M B I A

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Join the Father McGivney Guild



Please enroll me in the Father Michael J. McGivney Guild:

A Legacy of Leadership A chapter in Knights of Columbus history closes with the retirement of the 13th supreme knight

NAME ADDRESS CITY STATE/PROVINCE ZIP/POSTAL CODE Complete this coupon and mail to: The Father McGivney Guild, 1 Columbus Plaza, New Haven, CT 06510-3326 or enroll online at: fathermcgivney.org


James T. Mullen 1882-1886

John J. Phelan 1886-1897

James E. Hayes 1897-1898

John J. Cone 1898-1899

Edward L. Hearn 1899-1909

James A. Flaherty 1909-1927

Martin H. Carmody 1927-1939

Francis P. Matthews 1939-1945

John E. Swift 1945-1953

Luke E. Hart 1953-1964

John W. McDevitt 1964-1977

Virgil C. Dechant 1977-2000

Official council and Fourth Degree equipment IN THE UNITED STATES

THE ENGLISH COMPANY INC. 1-800-444-5632 www.kofcsupplies.com IN CANADA

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CARL ANDERSON joined the leadership of the Knights of

Carl A. Anderson 2000-2021

Columbus after a distinguished career as a public servant and educator. He served as vice president for public policy and supreme secretary before taking office as the 13th supreme knight in October 2000. Under his leadership, the Order surpassed 2 million members and $100 billion of life insurance in force, and expanded internationally for the first time in a century. His signature initiatives have included the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, the Ultrasound Initiative, Building the Domestic Church, and a landmark campaign in support of persecuted Christians. Reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70 for Supreme Officers, he will retire at the end of February 2021.


Photo by Mihoko Owada/Courtesy Catholic Standard

Knights of Charity Every day, Knights all over the world are given opportunities to make a difference — whether through community service, raising money or prayer. We celebrate each and every Knight for his strength, his compassion and his dedication to building a better world.

Cardinal Wilton Gregory, archbishop of Washington, receives a portrait of Blessed Michael McGivney from District of Columbia State Deputy Brandon Brown (left) and Faithful Navigator Amado Alvarez of Washington Assembly 151 after celebrating Mass Jan. 10 at Nativity Catholic Church. Cardinal Gregory is a member of Assembly 151 and St. Augustine Council 15723, also in Washington, D.C.

To be featured here, send your council’s “Knights in Action” photo as well as its description to: Columbia, 1 Columbus Plaza, New Haven, CT 06510-3326 or e-mail: knightsinaction@kofc.org. COLUMBIA FEB 21 ENG COVERS 1_21 FINAL.indd 3

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‘I experienced a profound peace.’

Father Bryan Kassa Chaldean Diocese of St. Thomas the Apostle USA St. Michael of Sterling Heights (Mich.) Council 13799

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Photo by Jonathan Francis

After working in corporate America for 10 years and earning three degrees, I realized that everything the world said would make me happy wasn’t fulfilling my deepest desires. If anything, these accomplishments left me emptier and more anxious. I had never thought about being a priest, but I remember reading an article that mentioned three hurdles to discerning a religious vocation — noise, fear and family. That’s when I decided to spend more time in eucharistic adoration. Getting away from the world’s noise to hear God’s will for me, I experienced a profound peace. Through prayer and reading Scripture, it became clear that he was calling me to be a priest. However, I still struggled with fear and feelings of inadequacy; and my family, though Catholic, didn’t understand why I would leave my worldly achievements behind. With God’s grace, I was able to persevere and follow the Lord into seminary. Now, after four years as a priest, I have begun to experience what Jesus meant when he said, “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”

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Profile for Columbia Magazine

Columbia February 2021  

Columbia February 2021