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135th Supreme Convention St. Louis Aug. 1-3, 2017

MDRT Ad 2017 V3 En.qxp_Layout 1 9/13/17 2:16 PM Page 1

2017 The Premier Association of Financial Professionals ®

A commitment to excellence, outstanding service and the highest ethical standards: ese are the traits of all Knights of Columbus field agents, but the dedication of the agents listed here has earned them membership in the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) for 2017. MDRT is an international organization that recognizes the top 1 percent of financial professionals in the world. We salute these men for their devotion to continuing Father McGivney’s mission of protecting Catholic families.

Extraordinary Service. Exemplary Dedication. 

Robert Abbate – Virginia Beach, VA* Matthew Albers – Aviston, IL Henry Angelucci – Hamilton, NJ Blaine Anhel – Tappen, BC Joe Ayroso – Hayward, CA Ben Baca – Whittier, CA* Michael Barrett – Annapolis, MD Kenneth Basel – Harvard, IL Larry Bate – Carthage, TX Cameron Beddome – Red Deer, AB Daniel Bouchard – Leduc, AB* Phillip Brand – Grimsby, ON James Brockert – Muscatine, IA Gregory Bronson – Rescue, CA William Buchta – Grand Island, NE D. Frank Burns – Sarasota, FL Joseph Butler – Auburn, MA Robert Callaway – Burtonsville, MD* Nicholas Calvino – Plymouth, MA Robert Canter – Upper Marlboro, MD* John Canter – Crownsville, MD Jeffrey Carvalho – Fremont, CA David Cary – Colorado Springs, CO Cleo Castillo – Winnipeg, MB John Cesta – West Palm Beach, FL Wayne Cherney – Devils Lake, ND* Pablo Contreras – Dinuba, CA Timothy Coskren – Walpole, MA Jeffrey Cummons – Jackson Center, OH Brian Daly – Clinton, NJ John Day – Lake Charles, LA Jon Deakin – York, PA Dustin Dean – Denham Springs, LA Mark Deaton – Cypress, TX Justin Deges – Lafayette, LA Daniel DelVillar – Costa Mesa, CA* Joseph DeMarco – Vero Beach, FL Jeffrey Denehy – East Walpole, MA John DiCalogero – East Walpole, MA* Matthew DiCalogero – Medfield, MA Robert DiCalogero – Canton, MA* Glen Dobmeier – Humboldt, SK Matthew Doty – Woodstock, GA Robert Duncan – Albany, OR Shane Duplantis – ibodaux, LA Denis Duval – Garson, ON* Joe Flores – San Diego, CA David Gallagher – Ottawa, ON Kevin Garza – Diamond Bar, CA Daniel Gimpel – Sarnia, ON Robert Gordon – Mooresville, NC Brian Graham – Kensington, MD* Mark Hedge – Butler, OH* Joseph Hengehold – Hamilton, OH Joel Herman – Harwood, ND Scott Hinkebein – Nixa, MO Larry Hoelscher – Jefferson City, MO* John Hoolick – Wilkes Barre, PA Ted Hunkins – Pacific, MO Steven Hutek – Carlisle, PA omas J. Jackson – Brighton, CO* James Johnson – Regina, SK Robert Karaczun – Manalapan, NJ Douglas Kelly – Omaha, NE* Joseph Kong – Nanaimo, BC Brian Lawandus – Lakewood Ranch, FL Jose Lebron-Sanabria – Humacao, PR William Lewchuk – Calgary, AB* Ernesto Literte – Torrance, CA Michael Lodato – Fort Collins, CO Ian Maddock – Fredricton, NB Eduardo Manrique – Lawrence, MA

Kevin Maxwell – Ocala, FL Timothy Mayer – Manassas, VA Chad McAuliff – Broken Arrow, OK Henry McCormick – Knoxville, TN Mark McEniry – Seal Beach, CA Robert McFadden – Iselin, NJ* Michael McGranahan – Fullerton, CA* Gregory Miskiman – Calgary, AB* Robert Monaco – Lancaster, CA omas Moore – Chandler, AZ Michael Mullin – Brooklin, ON Seth Myhre – Minneota, MN Jason Nelligan – Hamilton, ON Timothy Nowak – Ogallala, NE Douglas Nurenberg – Saint Johns, MI Edward O'Keefe – Middle River, MD* Guy Ouellette – Legal, AB Paolo Pacana – Whittier, CA Kevin Paish – St. Albert, AB* Craig Pfeifer – Madison, NE Neil Pfeifer – Norfolk, NE* Kevin Philip – Regina, SK Mark Primeau – Unionville, VA Timothy Pugh – Niceville, FL Henry Rangel – Cypress, TX Darin Reed – Ellis, KS Bobby Renaud – Sudbury, ON* David Rhodes – Marietta, GA James Rolleri – Collierville, TN John Ruffo – Middletown, CT Joe Sandoval – Los Angeles, CA Ronald Sandoval – San Gabriel, CA Jayme Sanford – Englewood, CO Sonny Sangemino – Windsor, ON* Michel Saumure – Orleans, ON Kevin Schubert – Linn Creek, MO John Seguin – Sturbridge, MA Daniel Sheehan – Neoga, IL James Siermine – Aston, PA Victor Silva – Flagler Beach, FL omas Sitzmann – Pueblo, CO* John Spencer – Marietta, OH Joseph Spinelli III – Tallahassee, FL Jason Staas – Estero, FL Phillip Stackowicz – South Bend, IN Christopher Stark – Ft. Worth, TX John Stewart – Sagamore Beach, MA John Stoeckinger – Lincoln, NE* Blake Stubbington – Edmonton, AB Douglas Supak – La Grange, TX* Jody Supak – La Grange, TX* James Swartz – Harbor Beach, MI* Howard Tank – Pollock Pines, CA Norman Teal – Towson, MD Elvis Tebeu – Ottawa, ON Jeffrey Toeniskoetter – Boynton Beach, FL Young Tran – Portland, OR Joseph venderBuhs – Abbotsford, BC James Vukets – Surrey, BC Kevin Weber – Gretna, NE James White – Palm Beach Gardens, FL Louis White – Phoenix, AZ Stephen White – Pelham, NH Shawn Williams – Charlotte, NC Michael Wilson – Hacienda Heights, CA Pete Wimer – Bend, OR Michael Wise – Henderson, NV Joseph Wolf – Harker Heights, TX* Mark Yubeta – San Clemente, CA Pierre Zermatten – Palatine, IL Stephen Znoj – Canton, GA *Denotes MDRT Life Member

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K N I G H T S O F C O LU M BU S OctOber 2017 ♦ VOlume 97 ♦ Number 10


The Knights of Columbus Board of Directors is pictured at the 135th Supreme Convention, held in St. Louis Aug. 1-3.

135th SUPREME CONVENTION Aug. 1-3, 2017 2

Convinced of God’s Love and Power Knights celebrate Order’s achievements and continued mission at the 135th Supreme Convention.


Papal Greetings Greetings from Pope Francis sent to the 135th Supreme Convention by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.


Supreme Convention Highlights In Support of Christians in Middle East, Order to Rebuild Town • Missionary Priest Receives Knights’ Highest Honor • Annual Awards Session Honors Outstanding Knights, Programs • New Supreme Directors Elected • Order Introduces a Historic Change to the Fourth Degree Uniform

20 Annual Report of the Supreme Knight 22 26 27 28 33 34 35 40 44 46 47

Knights of Charity Membership Growth Building the Domestic Church World War I and the Armed Forces Insurance by Brother Knights for Brother Knights Investments Commitment to the Church Faithful Citizenship Culture of Life Living the Charter of the Beatitudes Conclusion



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Convinced of God’s Love and Power M

ore than 2,000 Knights, family members and guests attended the 135th Supreme Convention Aug. 1-3 in St. Louis. Some 90 members of the hierarchy, including 12 cardinals — together with approximately 100 priests from around the world — were present for concelebrated Masses and other events. The theme for this year’s convention — Convinced of God’s Love and Power — was inspired by Pope Francis’ message for the 50th World Day of Peace Jan. 1. The Holy Father lauded those who, rather than resort to violence, are “so convinced of God’s love and power that they are not afraid to tackle evil with the weapons of love and truth.” In a letter of greeting to the convention sent by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin (see page 4), 2



Pope Francis commended “the unremitting efforts of the Knights of Columbus to defend and promote the sanctity of marriage and the dignity and beauty of family life.” He also expressed his “gratitude for the commitment of the Knights to supporting our Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East.” During the opening business session Aug. 1, Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson delivered his annual report (see page 20), in which he announced that the Knights of Columbus will partner with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to promote a “Week of Awareness” for persecuted Christians beginning Nov. 26. The Order will also raise and donate $2 million to save Karamles, a predominantly Christian town in the Nineveh Plain region of Iraq (see page 9).

“Now we will ensure that hundreds of Christian families driven from their homes will return,” he explained. “We will give them and many others hope for the future.” Anderson also cited the Order’s record of accomplishments over the past year, including more than $177.5 million in charitable donations and 75 million hours of volunteer service. By the time of the convention, the Order counted 1,941,728 million members and 15,589 councils, and the insurance program had surpassed $105 billion of life insurance in force. “No other Catholic organization offers men what we do,” the supreme knight said. “We help a man to protect his family with our exclusive, top-rated insurance. We help a man to bolster his faith

Photos of Supreme Convention by Matthew Barrick and Tom Serafin

Knights celebrate Order’s achievements and continued mission at the 135th Supreme Convention

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Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson addresses delegates and guests during the 135th Supreme Convention’s opening business session Tuesday, Aug. 1. and strengthen his family through our Domestic Church program. And we offer him the opportunity to live out his faith through charity as part of a brotherhood of Catholic men. We have done this for 135 years, and today we continue to do this in even greater ways.” The supreme knight also announced the Campaign to Save 1 Million Lives as part of the Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative, which was launched in January 2009. Urging the Order to reach the goal of 1,000 ultrasound machines as soon as possible, Anderson explained, “If each machine saves the lives of just four unborn children each week, then with 1,000 machines, by the 10th anniversary of this initiative, we will have saved more than 1 million lives.” During the States Dinner Aug. 1, the Order bestowed its highest honor, the Gaudium et Spes Award, on Father Gerard E. Hammond, a heroic Maryknoll priest who has completed more than 50 missionary journeys to North Korea since

1995. A Knight for more than 50 years, Father Hammond was the 13th recipient of the prestigious award (see page 12). The annual awards session Aug. 2 also honored Knights and councils for outstanding achievement during the past fraternal year (see page 14). As the Knights of Columbus continues to grow it also continues to adapt: Following a unanimous vote by the board of directors, the Knights introduced a new uniform for the Fourth Degree (see page 18). Delegates also passed resolutions during the convention in support of a culture of marriage and life, in defense of religious liberty, in solidarity with persecuted Christians and to pray for national unity. The following pages feature photos, news and excerpts from the convention’s proceedings, together with the complete text of the Supreme Knight’s Annual Report. For additional coverage, visit♦

Venerable 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 MAIL COLUMBIA 1 Columbus Plaza New Haven, CT 06510-3326 ADDRESS CHANGES 203-752-4210, option #3 PRAYER CARDS & SUPPLIES 203-752-4214 COLUMBIA INQUIRIES 203-752-4398 FAX 203-752-4109 K OF C CUSTOMER SERVICE 1-800-380-9995 ONLINE & ________ 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 © 2017 All rights reserved ________ ON THE COVER St. Louis IX of France is depicted holding Christ’s Crown of Thorns in a stained glass window at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer in New York City.




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‘Solid Foundations’ Greetings from Pope Francis sent to the Supreme Convention by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin HIS HOLINESS Pope Francis was pleased to learn observed that in our own day a new world war is being that from 1 to 3 August 2017, the 135th Supreme fought piecemeal, as an ungodly thirst for power and Convention of the Knights of Columbus will assemble domination, whether economic, political or military, in St. Louis, Missouri. He has asked me to convey his is leading to untold violence, injustice and suffering in warm good wishes to all present, together with the as- our human family. He has asked Christians everysurance of his closeness in prayer. where, truly convinced of the infinite power of God’s The theme of this year’s Convention — Convinced love, to reject this mentality and to combat the growth of God’s Love and Power — points to the secret source of a global culture of indifference that discards the least of all Christian life and misof our brothers and sisters. In fision: our conviction that God’s delity to the vision of the Sersaving love, revealed in the vant of God Father Michael THE HISTORY OF YOUR ORDER death and resurrection of his McGivney, may the Knights, in DEMONSTRATES HOW A SPIRIT Son and poured into our hearts their families, their parishes and by the Holy Spirit, impels us to their local councils, respond OF SOLIDARITY AND MUTUAL share the Good News of salvagenerously to this challenge, CONCERN INSPIRED BY GOD’S tion with every man and first and foremost by recommitLOVE CAN GROW , LIKE THE woman. It is precisely this ting themselves to their properly “conviction” that underlies all lay vocation of striving for the MUSTARD SEED IN THE PARABLE, our enthusiasm for evangelizasanctification of the world from INTO SOMETHING IMMENSELY tion, for “we have a treasure of within, by carrying out their GREATER, CONTRIBUTING life and love which cannot dedaily responsibilities in the ceive, and a message which spirit of the Gospel and revealTO THE GLORY OF GOD, cannot mislead or disappoint” ing Christ to others through the THE SPREAD OF HIS KINGDOM, (Evangelii Gaudium, 265). witness of their lives (cf. Lumen AND THE UNIVERSAL This same experience of Gentium, 31). In this way, they God’s love and power, lived in will help to lay solid foundaMISSION OF THE CHURCH. the heart of the Church, led to tions for the renewal of society the founding of the Knights of as a whole, by working to Columbus as a fraternal and charitable union of change hearts and build peace, one person and one Catholic laymen, workers, husbands and fathers. The community at a time. subsequent history of your Order demonstrates how a His Holiness is especially appreciative of the unspirit of solidarity and mutual concern inspired by remitting efforts of the Knights of Columbus to deGod’s love can grow, like the mustard seed in the para- fend and promote the sanctity of marriage and the ble (cf. Lk 13:19), into something immensely greater, dignity and beauty of family life. In his apostolic excontributing to the glory of God, the spread of his hortation Amoris Laetitia, echoing the concerns exKingdom, and the universal mission of the Church. pressed by the 2015 Synod of Bishops, he linked “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom healthy family life to the health of society as a whole, 8:31). Saint Paul’s question to the Romans expressed and emphasized the special task of education that, in his own firm conviction that the infinite power of God’s plan, is entrusted to Christian parents (cf. nos. God’s love, revealed in the cross of Christ, prevails over 274-279). It is in the family that we come to see that every form of worldly evil. The Holy Father has often the larger world is also our home, in which we are



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CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters


called to live together, to learn closeness, care and respect for others, and to value the God-given gifts that each of us has to offer for the good of all. The strengthening of sound family values and a renewed vision of our responsibility for the moral health of the greater community will contribute to overcoming the polarization and general coarsening of the social fabric that is an increasing source of concern even in the most prosperous of our societies. Finally, and in a very particular way, Pope Francis has asked me to express his gratitude for the commitment of the Knights to supporting our Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East in their witness of fidelity to the Lord, often borne at great personal cost. None of us can be blind to the sufferings of those whom fratricidal violence and religious fanaticism have left homeless or forced to flee their ancient homelands. The Knights of Columbus Refugee Relief Fund is an eloquent sign of your Order’s firm commitment to solidarity and communion with our fellow Christians.

The Holy Father once more asks the Knights and their families to pray for those in need, for the conversion of hearts, and for an end to the spiral of violence, hatred and injustice in that region. With these sentiments, His Holiness commends the deliberations of the 135th Supreme Convention to the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, and assures the Knights and their families of a special remembrance in his prayers. With great affection he imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of strength and peace in the Lord. Yours sincerely,

Pietro Cardinal Parolin Secretary of State



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Convinced of God’s Love and Power C 135th Supreme Convention

From top: Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore celebrates the Sunday Vigil Mass July 29 at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. The Knights of Columbus Board of Directors and others gathered for the Mass, which preceded the 135th Supreme Convention. • Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson throws the honorary first pitch of a baseball game at Busch Stadium July 30. • Brian W. Schatz, state deputy of Saskatchewan, chairs the annual Canadian Association meeting July 31. 6



IN 1871, Michael Joseph McGivney was in his final year of minor seminary at Our Lady of the Angels Seminary near Niagara Falls, N.Y. In the spring of that year, the Holy Father, Blessed Pius IX, proclaimed that St. Alphonsus Liguori, whose feast we celebrate today, is worthy to be numbered among the Church’s greatest teachers. … The centrality of prayer is a truth that St. Alphonsus loved to teach and insisted upon in all of his preaching and writing. … Without prayer, we will not be able to accomplish the mission that God has given to us. Without prayer, the Knights of Columbus will bear no lasting fruit. … We pray as individuals, making time for God in the midst of our days to read the Scriptures, to pray the rosary, to meditate on the great mysteries of the life of Jesus. We pray as families united in a common faith and love. This is so important and is at the heart of the life of the domestic church, the most fundamental cell of society and the Church. The initiative you launched in 2015 to “build the domestic church” is filled with great promise and has already borne great fruit. As you continue this crucial work, it must always remain grounded and nourished by prayer. — Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis Homily, Memorial of St. Alphonsus Liguori, Aug. 1

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Opening Mass

Clockwise, from top: Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis delivers the homily during the opening Mass of the 135th Supreme Convention. • The choir of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., led by Dr. Peter Latona, provides music during the liturgy. • Seminarians from the Archdiocese of St. Louis lead the opening procession.




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Opening Business Session

Clockwise, from top left: California State Deputy Romeo Quevedo (right) and California State Chaplain Father Arturo L. Albano (center) join other delegates and members of the clergy in reciting the prayer for the canonization of Father Michael J. McGivney. • Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson delivers his annual report during the opening business session Aug. 1. • A color guard — composed of members of the 82nd Airborne Division, 3rd Special Forces Group and Joint Special Operations Command — carries the U.S. and Vatican flags. The color guard members all belong to Chaplain Maj. Charles J. Watters Assembly 3459 in Fort Bragg, N.C. 8



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Convinced of God’s Love and Power C 135th Supreme Convention

In Support of Christians in Middle East, Order to Rebuild Town CONTINUING ITS CAMPAIGN of humanitarian and spiritual support for religious minorities at risk of genocide in the Middle East, the Knights of Columbus launched an initiative on behalf of persecuted Christians Aug. 1. During his annual report, Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson announced that the Order will fund the resettlement and restoration of an ancient Christian town in Iraq. “The town the Knights of Columbus is saving is Karamles. It is a town in Iraq that until recently was controlled by ISIS,” the supreme knight said. “The terrorists desecrated churches and graves and looted and destroyed homes. Now we will ensure that hundreds of Christian families driven from their homes will return. We will give them and many others hope for the future.” Forced to flee for their lives from Islamic State militants three years ago, families have begun returning and rebuilding their ancestral town, liberated in late 2016 after being pillaged and burned by ISIS. The Order’s board of directors set a $2 million fundraising goal, aiming to

restore 1,000 families to their hometown. The approximate cost of resettling one family is $2,000. As part of this effort, the Knights of Columbus and the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops will sponsor a Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians Nov. 26, followed by a Week of Awareness and Education. Several members of the Eastern Church hierarchy traveled to St. Louis

to attend the convention, including Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Younan of the Syriac Catholic Church of Antioch and Melkite Catholic Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart of Aleppo, Syria. At the close of the opening business session Aug. 1, Bishop Barnaba Yousif Benham Habash of the Syriac Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Deliverance of Newark, which includes the United States and Canada, sang the Our Father in Aramaic, the ancient language spoken by Jesus and still used in Syriac Catholic liturgy. A votive Mass for persecuted Christians was celebrated the following morning. Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, served as the principal celebrant of the Mass, which included prayers for modern-day martyrs and suffering Christians, especially those in the Middle East. Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM, Cap., archbishop of Boston, was the homilist (see page 13). Since 2014, the Knights of Columbus Christian Refugee Relief Fund has raised more than $13 million in humanitarian relief. For more information, visit♦

I AM SURE THAT YOU are wellinformed about what is going on in Syria, the destroyed country of the Middle East. … In these few minutes, I want to tell you about what we are doing to help our Christians in Aleppo keep faith in the Lord and confidence in his holy providence. We believe that our success has three main streams: It comes, first of all, from the One who has heard our prayers. Second, it comes from the generous help you, the Knights of Columbus, have given us. And third, it comes as a result of what we have been able to do, strengthened by the grace of God, Merciful and Almighty! We believe in God, we believe in Christian brotherhood and we believe in the courage and the good will of our

people who want to live. The Knights of Columbus and their support to our people in Aleppo has been instrumental and part of the secret of their survival. … Thanks to your significant help, more than 1,500 families and a large number of elderly people, school children, young men in professional training, young spouses with their newborn babies, the sick and many others have been cared for generously. Through our Build to Stay development program, more than 580 damaged apartments have already been restored. And more than 100 long-term loans free of interest have also been offered to help heads of households to relaunch a small business or to youngsters for small startups. … What I have said, dear friends, is actually more than enough to let you understand

that I rely on your help. Here I find tenderness and love among the members of this marvelous family founded by Father McGivney. May the Lord bless you and safeguard our friendship for many, many years. — Melkite Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart of Aleppo, Syria Remarks during Aug. 2 business session

Bishop Barnaba Yousif Benham Habash of the Syriac Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Deliverance of Newark speaks during the opening business session.




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States Dinner

Top: Supreme Officers and directors, together with cardinals, bishops and other dais guests, pause in prayer as Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore gives the closing benediction at the States Dinner Aug. 1. • Clockwise, from bottom left: Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Younan of the Syriac Catholic Church of Antioch and Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, walk in the opening procession of the dais guests. • Knights, family members and guests from Poland, Mexico, the Philippines and Ukraine sing and wave flags during the States Dinner. 10



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Convinced of God’s Love and Power C 135th Supreme Convention

AS THE PRESIDENT of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I have been able to get a bird’s eye view in the last year of the principles of the Knights of Columbus in their charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism — and the way that weaves into the whole number of works they do in assistance to us at the bishops’ conference. Certainly, the local councils of Knights throughout the country have been generous in their activities for dioceses and parishes. … I can speak for all the bishops in saying how grateful we all are for you and for what you do. The efforts of the Knights of Columbus at all levels have been consistent with and tied into the efforts, teaching and pastoral priorities of our Holy Father, Pope Francis. His ministry has been a significant source for charity as the driving force of all missionary activity and a sure inspiration for all missionary disciples. This year in his message for the Lenten season, Pope Francis spoke of “the other” — the neighbor — as a gift. He recalled the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, and told us, “Remember: Lazarus means ‘God helps.’” … The Holy Father emphasized self-gift, the treasure of the poor and the beauty of the person. Every person is a neighbor. Commandments are lived and deepened by the neighbor. Charity, unity, fraternity — do you hear these words? The principles of the Knights are implied here in the pope’s message. Sisters and brothers, open up a book of ancient religion of any culture, and you will see the pictures of their gods. Open up a book of Jewish religion — you will never see a picture. You will hear the word, and you will know that the neighbor is the picture by which God will be shown. … In his extraordinary teaching, Jesus helps us to see a new equation of love. We are called to be self-gift. — Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops States Dinner keynote address, Aug. 1 OCTOBER 2017



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Gaudium et Spes Award

Missionary Priest Receives Knights’ Highest Honor


he Knights of Columbus recognized the brave and tireless missionary work of Maryknoll Father Gerard E. Hammond to the people of North Korea at the annual States Dinner. The Order conferred its highest honor, the Gaudium et Spes Award, on the Maryknoll priest and brother Knight. Held Aug. 1, the States Dinner was attended by some 2,000 Knights and family members, together with members of the Church’s hierarchy, other clergy and special guests. “Tonight we celebrate a priest whose sense of fraternity and belief in God’s love and power has moved him to heroic witness,” said Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson as he introduced Father Hammond. “He goes behind lines most would fear to cross.” Father Hammond, 83, was chosen as the 13th recipient of the Gaudium et Spes Award for “caring for the physical and spiritual welfare of North Koreans in need.” A missionary priest for 57 years, Father Hammond currently serves as regional superior of Korea for the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. “Our honoree has courageously journeyed into North Korea more than 50 times over the course of more than two decades to bring humanitarian assistance,” explained the citation for the award, which was read by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori. “Combining the healing love of Jesus with the charitable work of the Church, his mission is a manifestation of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.” The citation also noted that, during the apostolic visit of Pope Francis to Korea in 2014, the Holy Father met with Father Hammond and personally commended his important work in the North. The missionary priest was also honored by another pope, St. John Paul II, who bestowed on him the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal in 1980, recognizing his service to the Church and the Holy Father. 12



Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson greets Maryknoll Father Gerard E. Hammond, the recipient of the 13th Gaudium et Spes Award, the Order’s highest honor. Due to government restrictions, Father Hammond usually wears civilian clothes during his missions, which involve delivering food and medicine to adults and children who suffer from tuberculosis. Father Hammond joined the Knights of Columbus in 1960, the year of his ordination, and has been a strong supporter of the recent establishment of the Order in South Korea. He serves as chaplain of Bishop John J. Kaising Council 14223 and faithful friar of Bishop Joseph W. Estabrook Assembly, both located at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan in Seoul. “I stand before you in deep gratitude for your love and concern for hearing the cry of the poor,” Father Hammond said in his acceptance speech. “As a mis-

sioner, I am blessed to have several families: my birth family, my Maryknoll family and my Korean family. Especially during this grace-filled evening, you, too, brother Knights of Columbus, are my family.” Following his remarks, Father Hammond was joined by Knights of South Korea in offering a traditional, profound bow to those in attendance as a sign of love and gratitude. Named for the Second Vatican Council’s document on the Church in the modern world, the Gaudium et Spes Award was first bestowed in 1992 on Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who was canonized last year. Father Hammond is the first priest who is not a bishop to be accorded the honor.♦

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Votive Mass for Persecuted Christians

IN TODAY’S MASS, we remember our modern-day martyrs, especially our brothers and sisters who are persecuted in the Middle East. In many parts of the lands that are the cradle of civilization and also of Christianity, today Christians are being driven out, tortured and murdered. In some countries where there were thriving Christian communities living in peace with their non-Christian neighbors, now only a remnant of the faith community remains. … As the number of Christians — Catholic, Orthodox and others — who are suffering for their allegiance to Christ grows ever larger, Pope Francis often speaks eloquently of an ecumenism of blood. The Holy Father reminds us that our love for Christ and the Christian faith unites us closely with the Orthodox and other Christians who are shedding their blood in witness to the Christian faith. … We are all grateful to the Knights of Columbus for their ongoing and generous commitment to aid the suffering Christian brothers and sisters whose lives and communities are in shambles. Today’s Gospel reminds us that Christ promises happiness to those who are persecuted. Our reaction to martyrdom cannot be one of despair, but rather of hope. — Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM, Cap., archbishop of Boston Votive Mass homily, Aug. 2

From top: Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington serves as the principal celebrant during a votive Mass for persecuted Christians Aug. 2, assisted by Deacon Rey Garza (with chalice). At left is Cardinal Norberto Rivera, archbishop of Mexico City and primate of Mexico. • Cardinals from the Philippines, Canada, the United States, Poland and elsewhere sit among the concelebrants.




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Awards Session

Annual Awards Session Honors Outstanding Knights, Programs


he annual Supreme Knight’s Award Session Aug. 2 recognized K of C councils, assemblies and individual members for superlative achievement in such areas as charitable outreach, membership growth and retention, and insurance sales. Here is a summary of some of this year’s winners, including recipients of the international service program awards: International Family of the Year: Larry and Beth Odom of Buda, Texas, married for nearly 29 years, are the parents of 10 children, ages 3 to 28. Larry has been a Knight for 10 years and belongs to St. Catherine of Siena Council 8156 in Austin. He has served his council as grand knight for three years and is currently the Church activities director for the Texas State Council. The Odoms have taught the importance of charitable witness to their children. For example, when a single mother and her four children lost their home in a fire, Larry and Beth hosted them for five months. The Odoms also carry “homeless bags” when they go out to provide various essentials to those in need. The Odoms are parishioners of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Austin, where nine of the 10 children have been altar servers. The couple’s oldest son, Alex, has been a Knight for six years and is now a seminarian for the Diocese of Austin. One daughter, Crystal, is discerning a vocation with the Sisters of St. John in the Philippines. The family volunteers at Council 8156’s community dinners and fundraising events and is also involved in parish activities such as youth catechesis, ACTS Retreat Ministry, 40 Days for Life, the Toastmasters Club, the Boy Scouts and parish choirs. Church Activity: Winnipeg (St. John Brebeuf ) Council 1107 in Manitoba reminds people of the true meaning of Christmas by annually entering a float in Winnipeg’s popular Santa Claus Parade. Last year, an honor guard and state council representatives led an illuminated Nativity in procession, accompanied by volunteers dressed as angels, the three Wise Men, shepherds and farm animals. The float won the “WOW Award” for best float in the parade. Viewed by more than 70,000 spectators, as well as the hundreds of thousands who watch via a national livestream, the parade is one of the council’s most effective ways of spreading the message of the birth of Christ. For each of the past five parades, Council 1107 has designed and built a float with the collaboration of parishioners and Knights from other local councils and assemblies. The council provided food for the busy construction crews, hosted a post-parade party and distributed “Keep Christ in Christmas” T-shirts, pins and hats. Community Activity: Ascension of Our Lord Council 9623 in LaPlace, La., was one of the first groups to step up




when catastrophic flooding struck the Baton Rouge region in August 2016. Council members immediately took to the streets and assisted with the urgent rescue of families struggling to get to safety. Others took shifts serving food to families sheltering at community centers and helping to fill sandbags and gut damaged homes. The council solicited the aid of local parishes and merchants and delivered truckloads of supplies to people in need. In addition, council members provided some 5,300 hot meals of pastalaya, chicken, gumbo and more to the hundreds of families who remained displaced. Council 9623’s recovery efforts continued through the holiday season and months that followed. The council also collected $30,187 from area donors and distributed funds raised through Knights of Columbus Charities and other sources. Council Activity: St. Isidore Council 5898 in Leopold, Mo., accompanied Edgar, a terminally ill Knight, by hosting a series of 12 fundraisers to assist him in his final months. During Edgar’s 37 years as a Knight, he and his wife coordinated the council’s entries for the Missouri State Knights of Columbus annual horseshoe tournament. Edgar often provided food and other items needed for the council’s projects and programs. The events organized for Edgar — a horseshoe tournament; dry dumpling sales; an ATV poker run; a euchre tournament; a softball tournament; a shooting match; a benefit dinner; silent and oral auctions; raffles, souvenir sales and sponsorship drives — brought together all the Knights of the council and their families, as well as members of the community. At the end of the two-month campaign, the council presented a donation of $81,508 to Edgar and his wife. A few months later, Edgar lost his four-year battle with cancer. Culture of Life Activity: Western Batangas Council 4668 in Luzon South recognized the need to support pregnant women in its community and launched the Expectant Mother’s Day initiative. The Knights assembled and distributed care packages that included a referral for a free ultrasound; feeding bottles; vouchers for pregnancy consultations; prenatal vitamins; a documentary film on child development and pro-life issues; and a talk on women and children’s rights. The council also worked with doctors and vendors in the local community, including a pro-life gynecologist who agreed to provide free ultrasound examinations, consultations, medical care and advice throughout each pregnancy. Knowing that many of the expectant mothers were in violent situations, Council 4668 arranged for a police officer and a registered nurse to discuss their legal and medical rights, and those of their children.

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Convinced of God’s Love and Power C 135th Supreme Convention

Larry and Beth Odom of Buda, Texas, and nine of their 10 children are pictured with Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson and his wife, Dorian, as well as Texas State Deputy Douglas E. Oldmixon, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin and Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore.

Kraków, where they had the opportunity to meet Pope Francis. The council organized fundraisers — including four concerts and auctions featuring gifts donated by celebrities — to cover the cost of travel and registration. Prior to sending the pilgrims to World Youth Day, the council arranged pilgrimages to Our Lady of Częstochowa Parish in Radom and the Divine Mercy Sanctuary in Kraków-Łagiewniki. For six days before WYD, Knights and their families hosted the young Ukrainians — building solidarity in the local community and developing relationships within the parish.

Family Activity: St. Joseph Council 8872 in Colbert, Wash., came to the rescue of a family in dire need. When 12-year-old Gregory Morrow, an altar server at Council 8872’s home parish, was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor, Gregory’s mother left her job in order to care for her son. Faced with the extensive medical expenses, she realized she needed to sell their family home, but desperately needed assistance making home repairs. Knights from Council 8872 evaluated the home, solicited donations and discount supplies from local retailers, and personally made the repairs. They replaced floors and windows, painted, landscaped, stained the deck and graveled the driveway. As a result, the house’s final sale price exceeded its original estimated market value by more than $75,000. The Knights then organized a pig roast, which covered the cost of the repairs and raised an additional $16,000 for Gregory’s family. Finally, members of the council helped the family move into a new home.

Leading Field Agents: Blake Stubbington of the Bouchard Agency in Alberta (748 percent of quota) and Joseph ven der Buhs of the Lee Wah Agency in British Columbia (509 percent of quota).

Youth Activity: Our Lady of Częstochowa Queen of Poland Council 14004 in Radom, Poland, helped 50 young people from war-torn eastern Ukraine attend World Youth Day 2016 in

Top Recruiter: Eduardo Valdez of British Columbia was recognized as the top recruiter for 2016-17 for signing up 122 new Knights.♦

Leading General Agents: Marc Bouchard of Alberta (204 percent of quota) and Sonny Sangemino of Ontario (184 percent of quota).




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Business Sessions

New Supreme Directors Elected

Patrick T. Mason

Carmine Musumeci

Colin R. Jorsch Jr.

THREE NEW MEMBERS were elected to the Knights of Columbus Board of Directors during the business session Aug. 2. Patrick T. Mason was elected to complete the unexpired term of retired former Deputy Supreme Knight Logan T. Ludwig. Carmine Musumeci and Colin R. Jorsch Jr. were each elected to a three-year term, beginning Sept. 1. Mason became the youngest member of the board at age 36. He is serving his second year as New Mexico state deputy. A partner in a law firm, he has represented the Little Sisters of the Poor, the Missionaries of Charity and the Navajo Nation. He and his wife, Rachel, have three young children. Musumeci, a past state deputy of New York, is managing partner in a Manhattan law firm. He is president of an organization that supports and maintains the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs in Auriesville, N.Y. He and his wife, Claudia, have two grown children. Jorsch is the immediate past state deputy of North Carolina. In 2004, he retired after 20 years of service in the U.S. Army, and for the past 13 years he has worked as a training specialist for the Department of Defense. He and his wife, Regina, have a daughter who is a Navy officer. Retiring from the board at the completion of their terms were Thomas M. Wegener of Michigan and Arthur J. Harris of New York.♦ 16



From top: Delegates raise signs to show their jurisdictions’ support. • Former Supreme Warden and Past State Deputy of Hawaii Michael P. Victorino joins in prayer for the intercession of St. Teresa of Calcutta as the Aug. 3 business session begins. • Past State Deputy Anthony Colbert of the District of Columbia sings the closing ode at the conclusion of the final business session.

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Memorial Mass

Clockwise, from above: Relics and images of saints are carried in procession during the memorial Mass Aug. 3. The relics, including those of the Knights of Columbus Mexican Martyrs, St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Louis, St. John Paul II, St. Faustina Kowalska and Blessed Teofilius Matulionis, were placed for veneration following the Mass. • Following the memorial Mass, Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, archbishop emeritus of Kraków, carries a blood relic of St. John Paul II, whom the cardinal served for many years as a personal secretary. • A delegate holds a Mass booklet as the choir sings a Communion motet by the late Polish composer and Knight Henryk Górecki.

THE GOSPEL PAINTS the picture of the Last Judgment when Christ will come in glory to separate the sheep from the goats. In any humble soul, there is always a twinge of holy fear lest we fall into presumption and take our salvation for granted. Yet, as members of the Knights of Columbus, this Gospel passage should fill our hearts with special hope and fervent joy. For the criterion, the standard, by which the Good Shepherd will judge is charity — the foundational principle of the Knights of Columbus. … Those whom we commend today to the Lord of life and love were our partners in the charitable works of the Knights of Columbus — a charity that is as intensely local as it is far-flung. It was alongside of these, our deceased brother Knights, that

we provided warm winter coats for inner-city kids; it was with these same Knights that we recognized the image of Christ in a young person competing in Special Olympics. With our fellow Knights, now in eternity, we helped families facing natural disasters, fire, and the death of loved ones, even as in solidarity with the whole Order we reached out to persecuted Christians halfway across the world and to those suffering disease and hunger on a scale that is hard to imagine — and all because Father McGivney taught us the capital importance of seeing Christ in the widow, the orphan, the outcast, the vulnerable. May God bless us and keep us always in his love. — Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore Memorial Mass homily, Aug. 3 OCTOBER 2017



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A New Uniform, the Same Mission Order introduces a historic change to the Fourth Degree uniform


t the opening Mass of the 135th Supreme Convention in St. Louis, the Order’s vice supreme masters processed wearing the new uniform of the Fourth Degree: a blue blazer, blue tie and a black beret — all with the Fourth Degree emblem — worn with a white shirt and dark gray slacks. Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson officially announced the change in his annual report that afternoon (see page 32). Weeks earlier, the Knights of Columbus Board of Directors unanimously voted to adopt the new uniform for the Fourth 18



Degree. The decision was made with the good of the entire Order in mind and was based on the following factors: • our Fourth Degree’s aging membership; • the slow growth of the Fourth Degree (fewer than 20 percent of Knights are Fourth Degree members, and only a fraction of that number serve as honor guards); • consistent reports that the old regalia presented a barrier to Fourth Degree membership. Understandably, some members may prefer the old regalia,

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Convinced of God’s Love and Power C 135th Supreme Convention Opposite page: Supreme Master Dennis J. Stoddard and vice supreme masters wearing the new Fourth Degree uniform process during the opening Mass of the 135th Supreme Convention Aug. 1. • Right: A Fourth Degree Knight wears the new uniform with the interior of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Conn., seen in the background.

but the supreme master and vice supreme masters urge all Fourth Degree members to put the good and unity of the Order before personal preference. Likewise, during the convention, the Good of the Order Committee stated: “We commend all of the faithful Sir Knights who have proudly worn the Fourth Degree regalia, bringing much respect to the Order. With the new Fourth Degree uniform, recently approved by the Board of Directors, this honor and respect associated with Sir Knights will remain, and it will open the door more widely for a new generation to join their ranks. In a spirit of unity, let us assist with a smooth transition to this new uniform and encourage it to be worn with great dignity and pride.” Below are frequently asked questions that have arisen concerning this change. Q: Will the new uniform allow the use of ceremonial swords? A: Yes. Ceremonial swords will continue to be part of the Fourth Degree. When swords are used, gloves should also be worn (see picture to the right). Q: How will rank be distinguished? A: Colored patches will be worn on the beret behind the Fourth Degree emblem as follows: • Dark Blue — Supreme Master • Light Blue — Vice Supreme Masters • Gold — District Masters • White — Faithful Navigators • Green — District Marshals • Purple — Color Corps Commanders Those not holding office (who formerly wore red capes) will wear berets with no patch. Q: Where can I buy the new uniform? A: The uniform can be purchased at or by calling 1-855-GEAR-KOC (855-432-7562). Q: Is the Order making money on the new uniform? A: No, the uniform is being sold at (or sometimes below) cost. Q: What if a member just purchased the old regalia? A: Any member who purchased the old regalia after May 1, 2017, can submit their receipt along with their member number to Information will then be sent to that member on how to receive a $200 credit toward the new uniform.

Q: Can the old regalia still be worn? A: Yes, for a time. While the preference is for the new uniform wherever possible, the old regalia can still be worn until the end of the current fraternal year (June 30, 2018). After that date, only the new uniform should be worn. Q: Was the new uniform field tested prior to its release? A: Yes. The new uniform was field tested by Fourth Degree members attending the Warriors to Lourdes pilgrimage. Q: Who made this decision? A: The board of directors made this decision earlier this year after a three-year period of testing and discussion. In addition, the change was previously discussed with the vice supreme masters at the Supreme Assembly. Q: Did members have input on this? A: For years, supreme officers and directors have received comments from members and prospective members that the old regalia was a barrier either to membership in general or to membership in the Fourth Degree.♦ OCTOBER 2017



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Annual Report of the

Supreme Knight 135 T H S U P R E M E C O N V E N T I O N | S T. L O U I S My brother Knights, eight centuries ago, a king of France led his nation by the example of his faith. Unlike other kings people could remember, this one invited the poor to eat at his table and even washed their feet. He cared for lepers, defended the rights of his citizens and protected the Church from the abuses of civil authorities. He sought to protect Christians in the Middle East, spending years in Syria. He led France in an exceptional era of its history. He was considered the “first among equals” of the monarchs of Europe and was called upon to settle disputes beyond his own kingdom. Putting his faith first, this king built his royal chapel, the beautiful Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, to enshrine one of history’s most precious relics, our Lord’s Crown of Thorns. Louis IX, king of France, lived the ideal so often expressed by Pope Francis — that true power is service. St. Louis was a leader of knights, and today, the Knights of Columbus meets in the city named for him. For generations, this city was the gateway to America’s West. It is also a city with a rich Catholic heritage and deep roots for the Knights of Columbus. French missionaries brought the faith here — men like Jesuit Father Sebastian Louis Meurin, who worked tirelessly ministering to the French settlers and the Native Americans. The legacy of the North American martyrs that we celebrated last year in Toronto continued here in St. Louis. Descendants of the Iroquois who had been converted decades earlier came to St. Louis in the 1830s asking for a “Black Robe” priest to minister to them. The priest who answered their plea was the famous Belgian Jesuit missionary Pierre-Jean de Smet. In addition to his missionary work, he mapped the Missouri River and served as an emissary of peace to Native Americans. After a life of service, he died here in St. Louis in 1873. These missionaries loved God and they loved their neighbor. They showed the very real power of love and service. They knew that God’s love could be transformative. And through his love and their service, they transformed the world. 20



The city of St. Louis has seen many changes over the years, but its tradition of faith remains. What began here as a French outpost soon came under the authority of Spain and then the United States. But the Catholic faith had taken root. And it continued to flourish. It flourished because of the determination and prayers of missionaries such as St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, who came to the St. Louis area in 1818 to help evangelize the children of French and Native Americans. Even when elderly and infirm, her presence was demanded. “She must come,” wrote one missionary. “She may not be able to do much work, but she will assure success to the mission by praying for us.”1 Missouri was the birthplace of the first black priest in the United States — Servant of God Father Augustus Tolton. He was ordained in Rome in 1886. He returned home to the United States, where he led an exemplary life, ministering with love and care to his community. Catholics not only brought their faith to the Western United States — they also brought higher education. Our country’s first institution of higher learning west of the Mississippi was founded here in St. Louis by a bishop. And what began as a Latin academy soon became St. Louis University, the second oldest Jesuit university in the United States. This Catholic university would develop into the first graduate school, the first medical school and the first law school west of the Mississippi. For the Knights of Columbus, St. Louis also has special meaning. Council 453 was established here in 1899, less than two decades after the founding of our Order. It was one of our first councils west of the Mississippi. And so, also for the Knights of Columbus, St. Louis was the gateway to the West. This city has also been home to key leaders in Knights of Columbus history. One in particular stands out. Prior to becoming the 10th supreme knight, Luke Hart practiced law in St. Louis, served as assistant city attorney, and was elected to the St. Louis Board of Aldermen. In 1953, under his leadership as supreme knight, the Knights of Columbus helped establish the Vatican Film Library at St. Louis University. The archive now includes 37,000 microfilmed manuscripts from the Vatican Library.

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Photo by Lloyd Wolf

Following the U.S. House of Representatives’ unanimous vote to pass the Iraq and Syria Emergency Relief and Accountability Act (H.R. 390), Supreme Knight Anderson participates in a press conference on Capitol Hill June 7. With him are Chaldean Catholic Bishop Bawai Soro of San Diego and Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), who joined the supreme knight in stressing the urgency of the situation facing Christian and other religious minorities in the Middle East. Rep. Smith and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) were the principal co-sponsors of the legislation. Today, we also recall the historic 1999 visit to St. Louis of Pope John Paul II, a visit regarded by many as the most important event in the history of St. Louis. His Mass, which was celebrated here in this very building, was attended by more than 104,000 participants. It is still considered the largest indoor gathering in the history of the United States. Today, we recall his words during that papal Mass. After recounting the Catholic history of St. Louis — a history that began in 1698 — he said: “These three centuries have been a history of God’s love poured out in this part of the United States, and a history of generous response to that love.”2 This year marks our 135th anniversary. We celebrate our anniversary in a city named for a great and saintly Catholic king, a city of missionaries, a gateway city opening up the promise of a new continent. And, like

those early missionaries, we come to St. Louis because, in the words of this year’s convention theme, we are “convinced of God’s love and power.” Our theme comes from Pope Francis’ World Day of Peace message. He praised those who — rather than resort to violence — are “so convinced of God’s love and power that they are not afraid to tackle evil with the weapons of love and truth.”3 My brother Knights, each day we tackle the evils of our times in ways large and small. We do so peacefully, and we do so with love and truth. We take to heart these words attributed to St. Teresa of Ávila: “Christ has no body now on earth but yours; no hands but yours; no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ must look out on the world. Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which he is to bless his people.”4 OCTOBER 2017



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Knights of Charity Every day, Knights serve as our Lord’s hands. And last year, we did so as never before. The Knights of Columbus reached an all-time high in charitable giving, with $177,500,673 donated. That is $2,421,481 more than in 2015.

And over the past decade, we have donated $1,622,606,995. The jurisdiction that led the way this year was Texas, with $9.2 million. It was followed by California, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Ontario, Missouri, New York, New Jersey and Wisconsin. We also set a new record for the time volunteered by Knights: 75,112,694 hours. Each Knight spent, on average, 39 hours volunteering. The 10 jurisdiction that led the way in volunteer hours were Texas, with 5.6 million hours, followed by Luzon North, Florida, California, Illinois, Luzon South, Ontario, Visayas, Pennsylvania and Québec. Independent Sector estimates the value of a volunteer hour at $24.14. In other words, last year, Knights gave more than $1.8 billion of their time. Over the past decade, the value of our volunteer hours has totaled more than $15.5 billion. 22



The overall numbers are impressive, but these numbers reflect countless individual acts of kindness and love. It is the lives changed — more than the numbers — that show what we do as Knights. Most of our charitable work is done in the large and longestablished jurisdictions of the United States, Canada and the Philippines. But councils around the world — including in nations where the Knights of Columbus is new — also contribute in impressive ways. In Poland, the bishops announced a year in honor of St. Brother Albert. Early in his life, Brother Albert Chmielowski had been an acclaimed artist, but he left everything to serve the poor. On the feast day of St. Louis of France, he took religious vows and founded a religious community known as the Servants of the Poor. To support the year in his honor, our Polish State Council organized a national pilgrimage of his relics to 100 parishes throughout Poland. During the tour, Knights have collected blankets and sheets

Photo by L’Osservatore Romano

Above: Pope Francis is welcomed by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore to the K of C-sponsored Mercy Centre at Tauron Arena Kraków July 31, 2016. With them are (left) Bishop Damian Muskus, coordinator general of WYD Kraków, and (right) Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, then-archbishop of Kraków.

Photo courtesy of STEP-IN

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to be distributed to the poor by the Albertine sisters and brothers. In Lithuania, Knights — together with the Archdiocese of Vilnius — translated the Order’s Building the Domestic Church booklets and printed 50,000 copies that were distributed to parishes throughout the country. In Ukraine, Council 16417 in Khmelnytskyi raised awareness of veterans with disabilities and collected funds and materials to help their families. In Korea, Knights from Council 16000 in Seoul assist migrant workers with donations of basic necessities. They also provide scholarships for the children of refugees from North Korea. In Mexico, members of Council 13963 in Mérida, Mexico South, reached out to poor families during Holy Week and Christmas by bringing them basic necessities, spending time praying with them and giving toys to children. In France, members of Council 16502 in Paris renovated a room at their parish to use for youth activities and raised funds for persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Knights from Council 16503, also in Paris, sponsored sports activities at their parish for the children of their neighborhood, many of whom are Muslim. Knights are also there when natural disasters strike. In August 2016, more than 30 inches of rain fell in southern Louisiana in only a few days. The rainfall was equal to three times the water that inundated the region during Hurricane Katrina. More than 60,000 homes were flooded. In response, the Supreme Council spearheaded a national fundraising campaign to assist the flood victims. That September, I visited the area with Supreme Secretary Michael O’Connor. We witnessed firsthand our relief efforts. The destruction was breathtaking, but so was the response of our brother Knights. Among the first to respond were members of Council 9247 in Baton Rouge. They were joined by the Louisiana State Council and Knights throughout the region to provide meals, emergency supplies and hands-on support. They transported drinking water and even filled sandbags to stop the flooding. They also helped relocate families and served more than 4,000 meals to those affected. After the floodwaters subsided, the work of our brother Knights continued as they assisted with the rebuilding. Then, soon after these floods, Knights came to the aid of victims of Hurricane Matthew. In addition to local relief efforts in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida, Knights from throughout the country provided aid. And Knights of Columbus Charities raised more than $100,000 for emergency relief. Hurricane Matthew hit the Caribbean as well, and brother Knights in Puerto Rico purchased and shipped bottled water to victims in Haiti. Some disasters capture national or international headlines. Others attract little attention but are no less devastating. In both cases, Knights turn out to help.

Doctors and staff who serve displaced Christians and other minorities targeted for genocide by Islamic State militants are pictured at the STEPIN clinic, a medical center in Erbil, Iraq, supported by the Knights of Columbus Christian Refugee Relief Fund.

After a destructive apartment fire in Littleton, Colo., Knights from Council 3340 worked evenings preparing dinner for those displaced by the fire. When our neighbors need help, Knights respond. One of the greatest examples is our Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids program. This initiative started in the winter of 2009, and since then, we have distributed 394,722 new winter coats. Last year, 1,736 councils provided coats for 88,062 children. Many of our U.S. councils distribute coats for kids on the day after Thanksgiving. Pioneered by Connecticut Knights, these Black Friday coat distributions are now conducted by councils from coast to coast. In Lincoln, Neb., Knights teamed up with first responders, University of Nebraska-Lincoln student athletes and former NFL players to provide more than 1,000 coats to kids at the local Catholic Social Services center. Another one of our popular programs is Food for Families. Also begun in 2009, this initiative continues to grow. Last year, councils donated nearly 3 million pounds of food and almost $1.6 million to support soup kitchens and similar programs. Council 8045 in Airdrie, Alberta, partnered with the St. Vincent de Paul Society to conduct a 40 Cans for Lent food drive. The council set a goal of 2,500 pounds of food, but after six weeks, it had collected more than 9,200 pounds for a local food bank. OCTOBER 2017



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Supreme Secretary Michael J. O’Connor, Supreme Knight Anderson, Louisiana State Deputy James Riente and Bishop Robert W. Muench of Baton Rouge walk down a street in Denham Springs, La., Sept. 17, 2016, amid recovery work following last year’s devastating flood in Louisiana. For eight years, we have been distributing wheelchairs in partnership with the Global Wheelchair Mission. During this time, we have donated more than 64,000 wheelchairs. Last year, we distributed wheelchairs around the globe, including in the Holy Land, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, the Philippines, Sierra Leone and Vietnam. In Plano, Texas, Council 11716 organized a parish fundraising drive that collected $62,451 to provide wheelchairs for the Teletón Children’s Rehabilitation Center in La Paz, Mexico. Of course, not all disabilities are physical. And Knights have long been friends to those with intellectual disabilities. One of our longest-standing charitable partnerships is with Special Olympics. We assisted the first Special Olympics in 1968, and we have been helping ever since. Last year, Knights volunteered nearly 300,000 hours and raised more than $4 million for Special Olympics. And we raised an additional $4.2 million for other programs to benefit people with intellectual disabilities. For example, Council 13217 in Roswell, Ga., sponsors an annual 5K race to raise money for Special Olympics and other organizations. Last year, the event raised $24,000. We also continue working with Habitat for Humanity. Last year, our councils raised nearly $600,000 and gave more than 1 million volunteer hours to Habitat for Humanity projects. Councils around the country also help save lives through blood drives. Last year, more than 400,000 blood donors participated in Knights of Columbus-sponsored blood drives. The Knights sponsored the first nationwide blood drive in 1938, and we have been champions of this lifesaving service ever since. This year, one blood drive in particular stands out. When 24



political violence shook our country with the shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA), brother Knight Adrian Bruneau and Council 1437 in New Orleans organized a special blood drive in the congressman’s name. It was the perfect counterpoint to that act of violence, and it helped bring his community together. Along with sponsoring blood drives, we undertook a variety of health-related projects. One example is Council 2403 in Timmins, Ontario. They donated $60,000 to a local hospital to purchase new medical equipment. Knights care for the health and well-being of individuals in many ways — and that includes care for our “common home.” We have answered the call of Pope Francis in Laudato Si’. In that encyclical, the pope stressed the need for clean water. And we are continuing our partnership with the organization charity: water to build 20 new clean water wells — 10 in Ethiopia and 10 in Uganda. These wells will save lives and improve the health of entire communities and thousands of people. The wells in Ethiopia are moving forward and are already transforming lives. The ones in Uganda will be finished next year. In the Philippines, Knights from Council 11594 in Batangas, Luzon South, planted mangrove trees to help protect fish, coral and the shoreline. And Council 8026 in Georgina, Ontario, planted 160 cedar trees on their parish grounds. Many of our councils participate in the Adopt a Highway® program. Members of Council 6037 in Conneaut Lake, Pa., for example, have been doing so for 25 years. We have a special responsibility to care for the world around us. As St. Ignatius of Loyola wrote: “All the things in the world are gifts of God, created for us, to be the means by

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which we can come to know him better, love him more surely, and serve him more faithfully.”5 One of the ways we serve him faithfully is by being good stewards of his gifts. As preparations were underway for the Super Bowl, Anthony Muñoz, one of the greatest NFL players of all time, joined the Knights of Columbus to promote a characterbuilding sports camp in Houston for approximately 150 children. Recently, I had the privilege of introducing a delegation of Pro Football Hall of Fame members to Pope Francis during a special audience at the Vatican. The delegation included Jerry Jones, Franco Harris, Floyd Little, Ronnie Lott, Jim Taylor, Curtis Martin and Chris Doleman. We will continue to find ways to team up with great athletes who are also great men of character. We do this in the spirit of Brother Knight Vince Lombardi, who once said: “After all the cheers have died down and the stadium is empty,” the enduring thing that is left is “the dedication to doing with our lives the very best we can to make the world a better place in which to live.”6 Overall, we donated nearly $1.7 million to support youth athletics. We helped young people in other ways, too — assisting schools, offering scholarships and providing practical training. Members of Council 15533 in Cincinnati, Ohio, helped replace ceiling tiles in the library of St. Dominic School, saving the school approximately $4,000. Knights from Council 8447 in Metro Manila, Luzon South, donated 160 desks — along with overhead projectors, screens and music players — to four schools. Council 10483 in Wichita, Kan., held a clinic that showed young drivers how to deal with road emergencies. The Knights offered one-on-one coaching and gave each participant a vehicle emergency kit. And two of our most successful youth programs continue to grow: our Free Throw Championship and Soccer Challenge. The Order also offers a variety of educational scholarships. Local councils and assemblies gave more than $7.6 million in scholarships. The Supreme Council gave an additional 515 scholarships totaling nearly $1.3 million. Overall, our local councils and assemblies gave nearly $19.5 million to youth programs last year. The Knights of Columbus continues to work to provide safe environments for our children through our work with Praesidium. We utilize the most up-to-date resources available, and the Supreme Council’s Office of Youth Protection works vigorously to ensure safe environments. In July 2016, we sponsored the site for English-speaking pilgrims attending World Youth Day in Kraków, Poland. The Knights of Columbus has had a significant role in World Youth Day celebrations since 1984, including our sponsorship of catechesis sites in Sydney and Madrid. But

Supreme Knight Anderson joins Pro Football Hall of Fame “Gold Jacket” members outside the Paul VI Auditorium at the Vatican. Pictured (left to right) are Chris Doleman, Floyd Little, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Jones, Curtis Martin, Franco Harris and Jim Taylor. our work in Kraków was unprecedented. We partnered with the Sisters of Life, the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, Salt + Light Television, Holy Cross Family Ministries and the Dominican Friars. Together, we transformed one of the largest arenas in Poland into the Mercy Centre. There we welcomed more than 100,000 pilgrims over five days. It was the most popular catechesis site in any language. The Mercy Centre held the largest World Youth Day gatherings outside of the papal events. And on the final day, we hosted the meeting of Pope Francis with 12,000 WYD volunteers. In addition to the national gatherings from Australia, Canada and the United States, the Mercy Centre offered daily Mass and catechesis and featured speakers, performances and exhibits. College Knights from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Poland volunteered to help make the Mercy Centre a great success. In the past three years, we have donated more than $13 million for Christian refugee relief. Most of the money has provided Christians in Iraq with food, clothing, shelter, education and medical care. We have also helped Christian communities in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. And we have helped other religious minority groups targeted by ISIS, including the Yazidis. Along with our work in the Middle East, we continue to reach out in Africa. In addition to building wells through our support of charity: water, our work with the Apostles of Jesus continues to provide shelter, education and care for AIDS orphans in Uganda and Kenya, many of whom are HIV-positive. For 135 years, Knights have gone to the peripheries with works of charity. Father McGivney’s vision of helping widows and orphans in 19th-century New England has become a 21st-century global initiative. OCTOBER 2017



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Membership Growth For 45 years, membership in the Knights of Columbus has grown. We now stand at an all-time high of 1,941,728 members. This is an increase of 23,606 over last year. Along with these new members, we added 279 new councils for a new high of 15,589 councils. This is the 80th consecutive year of council growth. As the Church around the world observed Holy Week, Supreme Master Dennis Stoddard and I had the opportunity to visit South Korea. We met with brother Knights and their families, as well as Church, military and civic leaders. We also joined Auxiliary Bishop Richard Spencer of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, during his pastoral visit there. We met with Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soojung, archbishop of Seoul, and Bishop Francis Xavier Yu Soo-il, head of the Military Ordinariate of South Korea and a Fourth Degree Knight. I can report to you the great enthusiasm and determination of our brother Knights in Korea to extend our principles of charity, unity, fraternity and our good works in a region of the world so in need of God’s love and power. No other Catholic organization offers men what we do. We help a man to protect his family with our exclusive, toprated insurance. We help a man to bolster his faith and

strengthen his family through our Domestic Church program. And we offer him the opportunity to live out his faith through charity as part of a brotherhood of Catholic men. We have done this for 135 years, and today we continue to do so in even greater ways. As we look at the past year, we can see that Christ has done great things with our hands. But he could do even more if more Catholic men would join our ranks. If every Knight recruited one new member each year, imagine the good we could do. This is especially true of our brother Knights on college campuses. For example, college Knights from both North Dakota State University Council 9126 and the University of North Dakota Council 10829 participated in an annual 32-mile bike race to raise funds for their Newman Centers. They raised more than $120,000. We must also make sure that each council is providing the support that young men — especially young husbands and fathers — need. We should plan activities that encourage

Supreme Knight Anderson and retired Maj. Gen. Michael Regner of the U.S. Marine Corps join college Knights from military schools and academies during the 2016 College Councils Conference. 26



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them to participate and organize events that include their families. Many councils excel in membership recruitment, insurance promotion and charitable service. In this way, they attain Star Council status. The total number of Star Councils for this year is 2,071. So I ask you to continue to promote Star Councils. And I

ask you to build a strong foundation for your jurisdiction’s success by recruiting more new members and establishing more new councils. Strive to make every council a community of brothers where the faith of a new member is supported and where the principles of charity, unity and fraternity radiate out into the parish and community.

Korean members of the Fourth Degree are pictured with Supreme Knight Anderson; Supreme Master Dennis Stoddard (far left); and Marine Col. Charles Gallina, assistant for Military and Veterans Affairs (far right), following a Fourth Degree exemplification that took place in the base chapel of U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan April 9.

Building the Domestic Church In founding the Knights of Columbus, Father McGivney sought to respond to the difficulties faced by Catholic families in 19th-century America. As a priest, he confronted the problems affecting the families of his parish. Father McGivney strengthened his parishioners’ faith and their lives as Catholics. And considering that his two brothers followed him into the priesthood, we can understand that the McGivney family home was a true domestic church. His family was a living example of what the Second Vatican Council would later teach — that each person is called to holiness. The Knights of Columbus supports families in their vocation to holiness through our Building the Domestic Church While Strengthening Our Parish initiative. This initiative helps our families grow in their faith by

strengthening the connection between family life and parish life. Councils help strengthen our parishes in a variety of ways, including Family Consecration to the Holy Family, Family Week Celebrations and our Affirmation of Wedding Vows program. Throughout our jurisdictions, councils have sponsored our Holy Family Prayer Program. During the past two fraternal years, we have held 13,759 prayer services with more than 2.36 million participants. We also introduced a program of men’s spirituality based upon Bishop Thomas Olmsted’s apostolic exhortation Into the Breach. OCTOBER 2017



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World War I and the Armed Forces Many of our founding members in the 1880s were Civil War veterans. They were men who cherished the values of brotherhood — values that had helped them survive the darkest days of that terrible conflict. in American life as the United States entered the First World War. Indeed, the Knights of Columbus was one of the most important groups supporting the effort. We took a leadership role during World War I, attending to both the spiritual and the physical needs of our troops. The Knights of Columbus Committee on War Activities raised more than $14 million, which provided support to servicemen in America and abroad through Knights of Columbus centers known as “KC Army Huts.” By the end

A Knights of Columbus “Casey” assists a wounded soldier in the Argonne Forest, France, in 1918. Pictured in the background is one of the many Knights of Columbus rolling kitchens, which were used to transport food and other supplies to soldiers serving on the front lines who were beyond the commissary’s reach.  Army 1st Lt. William Fitzsimmons, a medical doctor and brother Knight from Kansas City (Mo.) Council 527, was the first American to fall in World War I. 28



LEFT: Photo by J.C. Memmen — RIGHT: Knights of Columbus Multimedia Archives

They knew that if the nation, once divided, was to emerge stronger, it would have to discover a new sense of brotherhood that could cross the line of blue and gray. Father McGivney believed that Catholics could make a unique contribution. He proposed a new form of Catholic brotherhood based upon charity, unity and fraternity. And within a short time of the Order’s founding — the year 1900, to be exact — it would seem only natural that patriotism should be added to that list. Almost two decades later, patriotism was front and center

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TOP: Photo courtesy of the Afghanistan Roundtable

Above: Members of the Afghanistan Round Table — sponsored by Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle Council 11302 in Washington, D.C. — and other personnel deliver supplies to local Missionaries of Charity sisters. The round table collected clothes, toys, food, toiletries, backpacks and school supplies for the sisters’ work.  Father Joseph Idomele, Air Force captain and Catholic chaplain at U.S. Osan Air Base in South Korea, shows how his Armed with the Faith booklet fits in his uniform pocket. The Order has provided more than 600,000 such prayer books to active duty military personnel. of the war, nearly 2 million men would serve in the American Expeditionary Forces. The first American to fall in battle was a brother Knight from Missouri: Army 1st Lt. William Fitzsimmons, a medical doctor from Council 527 in Kansas City. We provided Catholic chaplains, and more than 2,000 Knights of Columbus, nicknamed “Caseys,” volunteered to manage our army huts. One of those Caseys — who ran one of our largest centers in France — was Thomas Dwyer, a lawyer from here in St. Louis. Two of our most famous volunteers were Jack Hendricks, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, and Chicago Cubs second baseman Johnny Evers. Evers made national headlines when, just before leaving for France, he announced that he’d soon be playing baseball in Berlin. We had only one motto: “Everybody Welcome, Everything Free.” And everybody meant everybody. A soldier’s uniform was the only ticket he needed to enter any of our centers. During a time when the U.S. military was still racially segregated and religious prejudice was not unusual, the Knights of Columbus did not “draw the color

line,” nor did we apply a religious test of any kind.7 Here is how a report at the time described our work: “The Knights have attended the soldiers in their time of trouble; they have helped them to make good use of their moments of leisure. “They have knelt by their side on the battlefield, and, when no priest was to be had, they have taken the dying lad’s last message, encouraged him in making his act of contrition, and, when all was over, they have closed his eyes. In times of military stress they have taken food to soldiers in areas which the commissary had been unable to reach.”8 The effect of our work was profound. Many men from non-Catholic areas first experienced Catholicism through the charity they received at our centers. e Knights of Columbus Museum is now commemorating OCTOBER 2017



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the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into the war with its exhibit “World War I: Beyond the Front Lines,” which runs through the end of next year. Our proud tradition of serving the military continues today. Through our collaboration with the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, we have provided 600,000 copies of our Armed with the Faith military prayer book. We have also provided 65,000 copies of a similar bilingual prayer book for Canadian forces. We continue to support the Co-Sponsored Seminarian Program of the Archdiocese for the Military Services. We started with a five-year pledge of $1 million. Not only did we meet that goal in 2015, but we contributed $200,000 last year and this year as well. Thanks to the generosity of Fourth Degree Knights, I am pleased to announce that we will make a further donation of $200,000 next year — bringing our support of Catholic chaplains to $1.6 million. Our brother Knights in the armed forces are often chari-

table leaders through the work of our 66 active military councils. Members of our Afghanistan round table, sponsored by Council 11302 in Washington, D.C., collected clothes, toys, food and school supplies for the Missionaries of Charity to distribute to poor families in Afghanistan. Following Hurricane Matthew, brother Knights from military Council 15250 at Fort Bragg, N.C., visited the homes of veterans with disabilities to clean up, remove debris and repair damages. As our military councils reach out to help those in need, Knights serve veterans in a variety of ways. Brother Knights are regular volunteers at VA facilities. In the past fraternal year, more than 1,130 Knights have regularly volunteered at 130 VA facilities, putting in 101,420 hours of service. Today, we are one of the largest participants in the VA Voluntary Services Program. Council 5780 in Madison, Conn., held a drive to collect business attire for returning veterans who need to attend

U.S. Army Capt. Luis Avila; his wife, Claudia; and their three sons gather in front of their new smart home, built through a partnership with the Gary Sinise Foundation. 30



OPPOSITE PAGE: Photo courtesy of the Gary Sinise Foundation — TOP: photo by Tamino Petelinsek — RIGHT: Photo courtesy of the Gary Sinise Foundation

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job interviews and seminars. The event was such a success that the Knights delivered a truckload of business suits and other clothes to the Save-A-Suit foundation. Members of Council 14555 in Ferdinand, Ind., worked with the VFW to provide an Iraq War veteran with disabilities a cement sidewalk and gravel drive to create wheelchair access for his home. Last year, I reported on U.S. Army Capt. Luis Avila. When Capt. Avila encountered an IED while serving in Afghanistan, his life changed forever. Although he survived, his injuries made even the simplest tasks nearly impossible. Through our partnership with the Gary Sinise Foundation, we helped Capt. Avila overcome those obstacles by building him and his family a new custom smart home. The smart home was dedicated this past Veterans Day in Chevy Chase, Md.

Above: A group of American pilgrims, including wounded and nonwounded military personnel, pose during this year’s Warriors to Lourdes Pilgrimage. Sponsored by the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and the Knights of Columbus, the pilgrimage is a time for both spiritual and physical healing.  U.S. Army Capt. Nicholas Vogt is pictured with his wife, Navy Lt. j.g. Lauren Vogt. Capt. Vogt was on patrol in Afghanistan in 2011 when the platoon he was leading discovered a weapons cache, including an IED that detonated, leading to the amputation of his legs. The Vogts will be the recipients of the third smart home sponsored by the Knights of Columbus in partnership with the Gary Sinise Foundation. OCTOBER 2017



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This was the second smart home we helped build in partnership with the Gary Sinise Foundation. And now we are working on a third home — this time for U.S. Army Capt. Nicholas Vogt. It will be completed later this fraternal year. Capt. Vogt lost both legs following an IED explosion in Afghanistan. Because of his catastrophic injuries, Capt. Vogt, then a first lieutenant, was considered clinically dead. He required open-heart massage and more than 500 units of blood — much of which was donated by more than 300 of his fellow troops. But today, Capt. Vogt is married and the proud father of a newborn son. The Knights of Columbus is proud to support this American hero. This year, we again joined the military archdiocese in sponsoring the annual Warriors to Lourdes pilgrimage. There were 192 participants — including wounded soldiers, caregivers, military personnel and chaplains — who traveled with us to France. Many of our programs that serve our active military and our veterans are led by our Fourth Degree Knights. But, along with this work, we also conduct various activities that promote love of country. For example, Assembly 2594 in Monument, Colo., organized a speech contest at a local Catholic school on the theme “What the Flag Means to Me.” Participants delivered 32



their remarks in front of the assembled student body, and the winners were presented with a monetary prize. In the past fraternal year, 17,689 Knights advanced to the Fourth Degree, bringing the total of Sir Knights to 358,907. During that time, 81 new assemblies were established, making their total 3,412. Throughout the history of the Fourth Degree, its official regalia has changed with the times. In 1940, the white tie, tails and top hat changed to the tuxedo, chapeau and cape that we know so well. And in 1981, different color capes and chapeaus were officially recognized. This fraternal year, we make another historic change. The Board of Directors has decided that the time is right for a modernization of the Fourth Degree uniform. This morning, at the opening Mass, our vice supreme masters processed wearing the new uniform of the Fourth Degree. Beginning today, the uniform of the Fourth Degree is a blue blazer with the Fourth Degree emblem, dark gray slacks, a blue Fourth Degree tie, a white shirt and a black beret with the Fourth Degree emblem. On a limited basis, assemblies may choose to continue using the traditional cape and chapeau for color corps at public events and for honor guards in liturgical processions. However, the preferred dress for the Fourth Degree — including color corps and honor guards — is now the new uniform of jacket, tie and beret.

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Insurance by Brother Knights for Brother Knights Father Michael J. McGivney was a man who knew adversity. It is the result of quality products, professional agents and being an industry leader in ethical business practices. Last year, our insurance premiums exceeded $1.2 billion. Our annuity deposits were more than $658 million — an increase of 23 percent. And we paid nearly $253 million in dividends. But the best indicator of our financial strength and stability is our surplus. And our $1.95 billion surplus provides rock solid protection for our policyholders. We continue to earn A.M. Best’s highest rating of A++ (Superior). We are also among the small group of companies to have received the highest rating given to life insurers in America by Standard and Poor’s. These ratings are achieved by a few select companies that show exceptional performance. On this year’s list of Fortune 1000 companies, we were number 880. These impressive sales numbers — and the overall success of our insurance program — is due in large measure to the commitment of our 1,524 agents. Our agents are all brother Knights who are dedicated to the principles of the Order and to serving our families.

At St. Mary’s Parish, he saw and shared in the suffering of families that had lost their father and breadwinner. Day in and day out, Father McGivney was a true parish priest to his people, accompanying them during times of hardship and tragedy. Today, we remain committed to his vision of protecting the financial future of our Catholic families. The protection of our brother Knights’ families is the mission of our insurance program and our agency force. Last year, we achieved our 16th consecutive year of growth in insurance sales with a new record: $8.54 billion in new life insurance. The Knights of Columbus now has more than $105 billion of life insurance in force — a $50 billion increase in the last decade and a 4.4 percent increase over last year. We issued 71,186 life certificates, surpassing the closest fraternal benefit society by 19,500 certificates. We now have 1,779,248 certificates in force. Our five-year sales growth of 1.4 percent was seven times greater than the industry average. The Knights of Columbus lapse rate is only 3.5 percent — one of the lowest in the industry. Simply put, 96.5 percent of our insurance members keep their policies. That is the best measure of customer satisfaction.















96.7 92.6








88.4 80


0 2012

















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Investments When a brother Knight buys a Knights of Columbus insurance policy or annuity, that money goes to work for his family — and for the Order. Last year, on average, we invested more than $12 million each day. Our total investments increased by $1.4 billion, and we earned $956 million of investment income. Our net investment yield for the year was 4.26 percent. Our total assets increased to $23.6 billion — an increase of $1.4 billion. Our surplus increased by $108 million to a total of $1.95 billion. And our income after realized capital gains totaled $89 million. In the low interest-rate environment of the past decade, these achievements stand as a testament to the excellence of our investment department. ey also stand as a testament to something else: We invest only in ways that are consistent with our Catholic principles. We believe that the guiding philosophy and ethical standards of the companies we invest in matter. For example, we refuse to invest in companies involved in abortion, contraception, embryonic stem-cell research or pornography. We are proud to report to you that the Knights of Columbus way of doing business is not only ethical but also successful. We do not sacrifice our ethics in order to chase profits. On the contrary, we believe a values-based, ethical strategy in both marketing and investments is the best way to achieve sustainability and to remain competitive in a freemarket economy. Now we have decided to make our investment model available to other Catholic institutions. In 2015, we built on our investment team’s long-term success and founded Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors. This service offers faith-based investment solutions designed to meet the investment needs of Catholic institutions. We do this with portfolios managed by the same staff that has managed the Order’s assets so well for so many years. In this way, we can help other Catholic organizations put their money to work in ways consistent with Catholic principles. In two years, Asset Advisors has already attracted 137 clients in the United States, including 14 dioceses. Our investment department also helps parishes and dioceses through our ChurchLoan program, which enables parishes and schools to finance construction programs at competitive interest rates. At the close of 2016, our portfolio of ChurchLoan mortgages totaled nearly $100 million. at money is helping to build up our Church by building churches from coast to coast. 34



Again, for the fourth year, we were named a World’s Most Ethical Company® by the Ethisphere® Institute. We were one of only three life insurers to earn this designation, which was awarded to just 124 companies around the world that strongly promote business ethics. Pope Francis has urged Catholics to take up what he calls “an ethics of fraternity” as a means to help transform our societies.9 This was also the vision of Father McGivney. We should remember that in Father McGivney’s day there were already insurance companies in Connecticut. He could have easily referred his parishioners to these companies, but instead, he wanted something different, something new, something distinctly Catholic. He wanted a new Catholic fraternity that would transform the practical men of his day into a committed brotherhood of men capable of helping each other. That is what he founded, and that is what we continue today. At the Knights of Columbus, we have developed a strong, successful business model based upon “an ethics of fraternity.” It is what we mean when we say “insurance by brother Knights for brother Knights.”

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Commitment to the Church

TOP: Photo by L’Osservatore Romano — BOTTOM: Photo by Paul Haring

The Knights of Columbus has long been called the strong right arm of the Catholic Church. This has been true at every level — from the smallest parish to the Vatican. Our mission is simple: Whether it is a pastor, a bishop or the pope who needs our help, the Knights of Columbus responds, and we have done so for 135 years. We do this because we are first and foremost men who love our Church. Sometimes we also have the opportunity to be part of an extraordinary celebration of our faith. Last month, I had the opportunity to give a keynote address at the Convocation of Catholic Leaders on “The Joy of the Gospel in America.” The convocation was inspired by Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops convened this meeting of more than 3,000 leaders from Catholic organizations and dioceses. There were many impressive aspects of the convocation. But to me, one of the most important was the evidence that the Knights of Columbus in every diocese throughout the country is already bringing the “joy of the Gospel” to millions of our fellow Catholics and those outside our Church through our works of charity. Today, we have a leadership role in the great mission of our Church to build communities where people truly care for one another and where the light of the Gospel shines more brightly in our families and in our parishes. Joining me at the convocation were Deputy Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly, who participated in several workshops, and Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori, who was the main celebrant and homilist for the Fortnight for Freedom Mass. Our Florida brother Knights were among the hundreds of volunteers assisting with the event, and the Knights of Columbus was a premier financial sponsor of the convocation. Last year, we were honored to work with Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator for the cause of Mother Teresa’s canonization. No one was surprised that Pope Francis would declare Mother Teresa a saint. She led a life that radiantly expressed God’s love to the poorest of the poor. Since the 1970s, we have been privileged to work closely with Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity. We always felt a special affinity with her, since our first principle is charity. We commissioned the portrait of Mother Teresa displayed on the façade of St. Peter’s Basilica during her canonization as a gift for the Missionaries of Charity. It was painted by renowned American artist Chas Fagan.

Pope Francis greets Supreme Knight Anderson during a papal audience for the International Catholic Legislators Network, Aug. 28, 2016. During the audience, Pope Francis asked Catholic legislators to protect human life and to stand against a “throwaway” culture.  Missionaries of Charity Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator for Mother Teresa’s cause for canonization, holds one of the prayer cards printed by the Knights of Columbus for her canonization in St. Peter’s Square. OCTOBER 2017



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Our gift also included the printing of more than 1 million prayer cards bearing this new image. These were distributed at Mother Teresa’s canonization and carried by her sisters to communities around the world. In February, I had the privilege to meet privately with Pope Francis to discuss the activities and priorities of the Knights of Columbus. He thanked the Order for our works — especially those on behalf of persecuted Christians in the Middle East. At that time, I presented the Holy Father with the earnings from our Vicarius Christi Fund in the amount of $1.6 million. Since that fund began in 1981, it has allowed us to give more than $57.6 million to the pope for his personal charities. We also assisted the Vatican during the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. As part of our continuing efforts to foster greater cooperation between Catholics in North and South America, we provided funding for a conference on the Jubilee of Mercy in Bogotá, Colombia. Co-sponsored by the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, the Latin American Episcopal Conference and the Archdiocese of Bogotá, the event was attended by bishops from the United States, Canada, Latin 36



BOTTOM: CNS photo/Bob Roller

Above: Supreme Knight Anderson and Lord David Alton of Liverpool visit a replica of the Tower of London cell where St. Thomas More was imprisoned in the final days of his life. The replica was featured in the “God’s Servant First: The Life and Legacy of Thomas More” exhibit presented at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in partnership with the Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst in England.  Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore serves as the main celebrant and homilist for the Fortnight for Freedom Mass, July 3, during the Convocation of Catholic Leaders in Orlando, Fla.

Photo by John Whitman

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America and the Vatican. Our local councils also participated in the Jubilee Year of Mercy in many different ways. For example, Council 5080 in Toronto led a Jubilee Year of Mercy pilgrimage. Its 150 pilgrims traveled to St. Paul’s Basilica to enter through the Holy Door and attend Mass. Then they traveled to St. Patrick’s Church to pass through its Holy Door and pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. In honor of the Holy Year, we also sponsored the restoration of a priceless masterpiece of sacred art: a 700-year-old crucifix in St. Peter’s Basilica. Another way we participated in the Jubilee Year was through the production of the documentary film The Face of Mercy. Narrated by Jim Caviezel, the film uses powerful testimonials to highlight the impact of God’s mercy on people’s lives. It aired on more than 130 ABC affiliates throughout the United States. Following our documentaries on Pope Francis and on John Paul II in America, we released Liberating a Continent: John Paul II and the Fall of Communism. The film recounts how St. John Paul II’s spiritual leadership ensured a peaceful revolution of conscience that brought freedom and democracy to Eastern Europe. In December, the film received two Emmy® awards. The film also made its premiere on Polish national television and was broadcast on Ukrainian national television. Liberating a Continent is now available on Netflix. In addition to this film, we have continued to evangelize through the printed word. Through our Catholic Information Service — which began here in St. Louis nearly seven decades ago as the Catholic Advertising Program — we provide catechetical materials in English, French and Spanish. These materials are available in print, and they are also available worldwide online. We continue to share the faith with thousands of Catholic pilgrims through our work at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine. Last year, the shrine opened a historic exhibit titled “God’s Servant First: The Life and Legacy of Thomas More.” We did this in partnership with the Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst in England. The exhibit included artifacts and relics of St. Thomas More never before displayed in the United States. When declaring Thomas More the patron saint of statesmen and politicians, Pope John Paul II said that the message of his life and martyrdom “speaks to people everywhere of the inalienable dignity of the human conscience.”10 And so did our exhibit. For the opening ceremony of the exhibit, we were honored to have with us one of the great champions of international human rights, a member of the United Kingdom’s House of Lords, Lord David Alton of Liverpool. And on St. John Paul II’s feast day, we unveiled an 11foot bronze statue of John Paul II to commemorate his 1979 Mass on the Mall in Washington, D.C. The unveiling took place during a daylong youth and family festival, which

Missionaries of Charity sisters admire the new bronze statue at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C., sculpted by Chas Fagan, an internationally acclaimed sculptor and portrait artist based in Charlotte, N.C. brought together alumni from past World Youth Days. While we celebrate recent saints like Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa, we continue to pray for the beatification of our founder, the Venerable Father Michael McGivney. His life, virtue and vision inspired the founding of our great Order, and his cause remains active at the Vatican. We should all continue praying for Father McGivney’s intercession, and I would ask that any possible miracles or favors received through his intercession be reported to the Father McGivney Guild. We look forward this Sept. 23 to the beatification of Father Stanley Rother, martyr and missionary priest of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. We are proud to have contributed financially to the preparations that are underway for his beatification ceremony. OCTOBER 2017



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We have long been strong supporters of priestly and religious vocations. Our Refund Support Vocations Program remains our flagship initiative that supports vocations. Last year, 3,213 local units distributed nearly $4 million to 6,614 people pursuing religious vocations. Since this program began, we have supported more than 100,000 individuals. Many councils support vocations in other ways as well. Council 4999 in North Palm Beach, Fla., thanked 35 priests, sisters, deacons and members of religious orders at their 29th annual Religious Appreciation Dinner. At the event, the council also donated $5,000 to the local Office of Vocations. 38



Texas Council 14355 in Port Arthur donated $14,000 to seven seminarians at St. Joseph’s Abbey and Seminary College in Louisiana following the recent flooding there. Our support for our parishes and priests remains strong at the state and local level. It included more than $50 million in donations to the Church last year, of which more than $19 million went to parishes, $7.7 million to Catholic schools, $7 million to seminarians and $1.9 million to seminaries and houses of formation. Lithuanian Knights joined the thousands who gathered in the country’s capital, Vilnius, for the beatification of Archbishop Teofilius Matulionis on June 25. The archbishop was martyred by the Soviet regime after spending many years in prison and labor camps. Lithuanian Knights

CNS photo/ Roman Baluk

Thousands of Ukrainian Catholics participate in a procession for Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, the former head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, in Lviv June 3, two days before his funeral Mass in Kyiv. Ukrainian Knights, wearing baldrics, served as an honor guard. In 2005, during the Supreme Convention in Chicago, Cardinal Husar appealed for what he called a “transplanting” of the Knights of Columbus to Ukraine.

Photo by L’Osservatore Romano

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helped with logistics for the event and provided volunteers. In addition, the Supreme Council donated $50,000 to help support the ceremony. Council 6815 in Minnedosa, Manitoba, assisted the community of St. Mary’s Polish Church, located nearly 2,500 miles away in Nova Scotia. After St. Mary’s burned down, parishioners seeking to restore the church learned that two historic altars were in storage in Manitoba. Council 6815 raised funds to transport the altars and other religious items across country as well as to help with the restoration. The grand knight and his wife drove the altars to Nova Scotia in a cargo trailer. St. Mary’s is now fully rebuilt with the historic altars. Council 8378 in St. Catharines, Ontario, spent six weeks and more than 600 volunteer hours renovating St. Mary of the Assumption Church. Because of the council’s efforts, the parish saved more than $40,000. We have also continued our strong financial support for EWTN and its mission to provide news coverage from a Catholic perspective through EWTN News Nightly. In addition, we were happy to see the dedication of Salt + Light Television’s new headquarters in Toronto and the Father Michael McGivney Studio, made possible through our financial support. This year, the Knights of Columbus was deeply saddened by the death of a cherished friend. Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, former head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, passed away in May at the age of 84. Cardinal Husar was instrumental in bringing the Knights of Columbus to Ukraine. In 2005, at our Supreme Convention in Chicago, Cardinal Husar appealed for what he called a “transplanting” of our Order to Ukraine.11 Because of his vision and that of his successor, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, as well as the strong support of Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki of Lviv, the Knights of Columbus now helps to meet the pastoral needs of the Church in Ukraine. On this occasion, I am pleased to report on the Second All-Ukrainian Congress of the Knights of Columbus. At that event, Archbishop Shevchuk said this: “We know that Ukrainian knighthood is one of the highest ways to be a Christian, to testify to the courage, valor and perfection of the Christian life in Ukrainian culture. Today we warmly congratulate and pray for the knights who bear the name of the Knights of Columbus.”12 I would ask His Excellency Archbishop Mokrzycki — who is with us today — to take back to the brother Knights in Ukraine our solidarity and our gratitude as they continue their work of charity during this time of trial for their country. And we join them in praying for a peace in the region that respects the territorial sovereignty of their nation. The Order also remembers in a special way the death of Bishop Thomas V. Daily, the bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Brooklyn and our beloved supreme chaplain from 1987

Pope John Paul II greets then-Supreme Chaplain Bishop Thomas V. Daily of Brooklyn during the papal Mass celebrated at the Aqueduct in Queens in 1995. The Knights of Columbus co-sponsored the papal Mass with the Diocese of Brooklyn. to 2005. He passed away May 15 at the age of 89. Bishop Daily grew up in a Knights of Columbus family. His father was a state deputy of Maine, and later he represented the Supreme Council in New England and Eastern Canada. Bishop Daily once wrote, “Just as I was brought up in the Catholic faith, I was brought up in the Knights of Columbus. Both ‘educations’ have helped me as a priest and bishop, and also as a Catholic man.”13 No one could ask for a more dedicated Knight of Columbus, Catholic man or holy priest than Thomas Daily. He brought the light of the Gospel to millions as our supreme chaplain. May perpetual light shine upon him now! OCTOBER 2017



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Faithful Citizenship Since 1882, Knights have had to answer the following question: Can a good Catholic also be a good citizen? Now, as then, our answer is a resounding yes! In fact, far from hindering citizenship, our Catholic faith enriches it. Recall the words of President John Adams in 1798. He said this: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”14 As Knights of Columbus, we would say this to President Adams: We counter avarice with charity, ambition with unity, revenge with fraternity, and errant gallantry with authentic patriotism. For us, faithful citizens are those who are “so convinced of God’s love and power that [they are] not afraid to tackle evil with the weapons of love and truth” in the public square. For 135 years, we have used these weapons to stand against practices and policies that our Church and the natural law teach are intrinsically evil. And to stand against what Pope Francis has called a “polite persecution” — that is, the attempt to silence faithful Catholics on issues of national importance.15 In fact, Pope Francis has encouraged us to continue our public witness. In his first message to a supreme convention, Pope Francis asked “each Knight, and every council, to bear witness to the authentic nature of marriage and the family; the sanctity and inviolable dignity of human life; and the beauty and truth of human sexuality.”16 The next year, the pope’s message stated that he “is grateful for the active role played by the Knights to resist efforts to restrict religion to the purely personal sphere, to defend its proper place in the public square and to encourage the lay faithful in their mission to shape a society that reflects the truth of Christ and the values of his Kingdom.”17 This is the reason in the 1920s we stood against the persecution of Catholics in Mexico.18 This is the reason in the 1930s we spoke out for the Jews of Germany.19 This is the reason during the Cold War we worked for religious freedom behind the iron curtain.20 And this is the reason why we continue to speak out today on behalf of Christians being persecuted in the Middle East. We have stood against violations of our own religious 40



freedom for nearly a century. In the 1920s, we resisted attacks by the Ku Klux Klan to silence Catholic education. At that time, we funded the lawsuit brought by the Society of Sisters after Klan-induced legislation outlawed Catholic schools in Oregon. The case was successful before the U.S. Supreme Court, and it helped ensure constitutional protection for Catholic education. More recently, our financial support enabled the legal defense of the Little Sisters of the Poor as they took their case to the U.S. Supreme Court. They sought an exemption from federal regulations that would have forced them to provide contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drug coverage. We also filed an amicus curiae brief on their behalf. With our support, the Little Sisters were successful. Today, they still provide their incredible service to the sick and dying, and they do so without being forced by the government to compromise their beliefs. Last May, I was privileged to join the Little Sisters of the Poor, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and other religious leaders in a White House Rose Garden ceremony as the president signed an executive order on religious freedom during the National Day of Prayer. Congress established the National Day of Prayer, and President Harry Truman first proclaimed it in 1952. Years ago, Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton reminded us that “the family that prays together, stays together.”21 I think the same is true of nations. Six decades ago, the Knights of Columbus led the effort to add the words “under God” to America’s Pledge of Allegiance. Those words were, of course, taken from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. It was Lincoln who, in 1863, first proclaimed a day of prayer for the nation. While a national day of prayer has become an American tradition, during the past year, the Knights of Columbus has often turned to days of prayer for our nation. In the face of violence in American cities last year, we encouraged people to pray a Novena for National Healing. As the American presidential election neared, we urged Catholics to pray a novena for the welfare of our country. Following the election, we began a Novena for National Unity as we approached Inauguration Day. In March, we asked our fellow Catholics to join us in praying for those around the world who suffer for their faith. Christians who endure suffering and death for their faith in places like Iraq, Syria and Egypt show us how to confront

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Supreme Knight Anderson testifies before the U.S. Helsinki Commission on Capitol Hill at a hearing titled “Atrocities in Iraq and Syria: Relief for Survivors and Accountability for Perpetrators,” convened by commission co-chairman Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) Sept. 22, 2016. The supreme knight urged Congress to take swift action to protect Christian refugees and to ensure that U.S. government foreign aid goes directly to Christian and other minority communities. terrible evil with the weapons of love and truth. They are a brilliant witness to God’s love and power. And, in instance after instance, we see their neighbors praise them for their strength and forgiveness. Our support for these persecuted Christians has taken two forms. First, since 2014, with your help and that of the public, we’ve provided more than $13 million for Christian refugees. Second, we advocate on their behalf in the hope that someday they may live their faith in peace and live in their own communities not as second-class citizens but as free and equal citizens. In September 2016, in a hearing on Capitol Hill, I called on the U.S. government to deliver aid directly to Christian and other minority communities who are victims of genocide in Iraq and Syria. In the early 20th century, the U.S. government worked with Church groups and individuals — including the Knights of Columbus — to provide funding and deliver aid directly to communities victimized by the genocide against Christians at that time. And the U.S. government should do so again. Such aid can be an investment in a more peaceful future in the region, but this will happen only if the system of re-

ligious apartheid there ends. Christians and other religious minorities must have equal rights. Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) took these words to heart. With Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA), he authored H.R. 390, which mandates that the U.S. government provide aid in such a way that it reaches Christians and other minority groups targeted for genocide. In June, the House of Representatives unanimously passed this bill. Now that the House has acted, we urge the Senate to pass H.R. 390 as quickly as possible. The administration should take steps now to ensure that aid reaches these communities before it is too late. The survival of Christianity in the Middle East hangs in the balance. As part of our ongoing effort to aid persecuted Christians, especially in the Middle East, I am pleased to announce that the Knights of Columbus and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will sponsor a Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians on Nov. 26, followed by a Week of Awareness and Education. I ask every council to make sure that this effort receives the highest priority within your council and your parish. In October 2017, I had the honor to accept the Path to Peace Award from the Holy See’s Mission to the United Nations. e award was given in recognition of our work for OCTOBER 2017



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Christians and other persecuted minorities in the Middle East — and for our humanitarian work throughout the world. Let me repeat here what I said at that time: These Christian communities are a priceless treasure for our Church and for humanity. They have every right to live, and we are determined that they should survive. Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda of Erbil, Iraq, recently told us: “Without the help of the Knights of Columbus, the Christians of Iraq would have disappeared. Thank you for standing with us. And as much as you have done for our people, I must tell you that the next two months are critical. We need your support now as never before. Without substantial assistance, the few remaining Christians in Iraq may well disappear forever.” My brother Knights, our work has truly changed history. And while we raise awareness, we must also continue our financial support for these people who literally have no one else. So, I ask each of you to join us in supporting the survival of these innocent people, and to ensure that our Christian faith — present in this region since the time of the Apostles — does not disappear. I am pleased to announce today that the Knights of Columbus is taking a concrete step to save Christianity in Iraq. This weekend, your board of directors has authorized 42



a new effort to raise $2 million to save a Christian town on the Nineveh Plain. In doing so, we are matching the action of the government of Hungary, which recently donated $2 million to save another Christian town. The town the Knights of Columbus is saving is Karamles. It is a town in Iraq that until recently was controlled by ISIS. The terrorists desecrated churches and graves and looted and destroyed homes. Now we will ensure that hundreds of Christian families driven from their homes will return. We will give them and many others hope for the future. For $2,000, a council, a parish or an individual can move a family back home. The work will begin this week. During the darkest days of World War II, almost a year before America entered the war, Winston Churchill gave one of his most important speeches. In it, he appealed to the United States for help. He said, “Put your confidence in us. ... We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools and we will finish the job.”22 My brother Knights, in the days ahead, let us keep in mind these words of Sir Winston. Let us say to our brothers and sisters in the faith: “Put your confidence in us. We shall

Photo courtesy of the White House

Vice President Mike Pence meets with Supreme Knight Anderson at the White House to discuss the Knights of Columbus’ Christian refugee relief, charitable activities and work on behalf of the culture of life.

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LEFT: Photo by John Whitman

In Defense of Christians awards Supreme Knight Anderson and members of Congress its IDC Lifetime Achievement Award Sept. 8, 2016. He is pictured with (left to right) former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), IDC Founder and President Toufic Baaklini and U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA). • The Columbus Memorial, proposed by the Knights of Columbus to the U.S. Congress and dedicated in 1912, stands outside Union Station in Washington, D.C. Potomac Council 433 drafted the bill, which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907. Supreme Knight Edward L. Hearn served on the Columbus Memorial Commission, which oversaw the memorial’s placement, design and construction. More than 20,000 Knights marched in the parade that concluded with the dedication of the memorial, which commemorates the great explorer and discoverer of America who brought the Catholic faith to the New World. not fail or falter, we shall not weaken or tire. We will give you the tools and together we will finish the job.” Father McGivney chose Christopher Columbus as our namesake. He did so because Columbus was one of the few Catholics considered a hero of American history in 19thcentury America. Ten years after the founding of the Knights of Columbus, the 1892 Columbian Exposition in Chicago would attest to this fact. In 1907, Colorado became the first state to celebrate Columbus Day, and by 1937, Columbus Day had become a national holiday in the United States. Father McGivney’s idea was that Columbus would show that an American could be both a good citizen and a good Catholic. But the fact that Columbus was a Catholic didn’t sit well with some extremists. In the 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan tried to stop Columbus Day celebrations because Columbus was a Catholic. The Knights of Columbus successfully resisted these efforts. But today, Columbus is under attack again.

According to experts like Carol Delaney, a former professor at Stanford and Brown universities, Columbus is often blamed for things he did not do and for the actions of others who came after him. These problematic narratives have been promoted by extremely partisan historians, whose allies in many cases are again dusting off the mean-spirited, anti-Catholic tactics of a century ago. eir goal is not only to rewrite history and disparage Columbus, but also to suppress his holiday across the country. But we are again taking action. In the past year, we have successfully defended Columbus Day in Illinois, Colorado, Maine, Nevada, Montana and Baltimore. Speaking in Genoa this spring, Pope Francis said this about Columbus: “To be Christians who make a difference, young people must have the same qualities as Christopher Columbus.” In the days ahead, we will continue to defend the truth about Columbus and Columbus Day. OCTOBER 2017



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Culture of Life We will continue our efforts to build a true culture of life and a civilization of love. And we will work to end the legal regime that has resulted in more than 60 million abortions.

In this effort, we will take the words of Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium as our guide. He wrote this: “Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenseless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this. Frequently, as a way of ridiculing the Church’s effort to defend their lives, attempts are made to present her position as ideological.”23 And then, Pope Francis concluded, “Yet this defense of unborn life is closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right.” My brother Knights, to prioritize the rights of the unborn child is not partisan; it is not political. To the contrary, to insist that Catholics put aside their commitment to the child in the womb in order to vote for a political party that promotes abortion — that is the very height of partisanship. 44



It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Knights of Columbus is pro-life. To anyone who asks why this issue is our priority, we would quote Pope Francis, as I did a moment ago: “This defense of unborn life is closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right.” And the pope said something else as well. Writing on the environment in Laudato Si’, he noted that care for the world around us is nearly impossible without care and protection for the unborn. He asked, “How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo?”24 There is another reason why we prioritize combating this evil. It is this: If we are serious about building a culture of life, then we must be serious about stopping America’s number one cause of death. The number one cause of death in this country is not an illness and it is completely preventable. It is abortion. Of course, we face many problems in our country, and

Photo by Matthew Barrick

Supreme officers and their wives join Jeanne Mancini (center) in leading the 2017 March for Life in Washington, D.C.: (left to right) Supreme Advocate John Marrella; Amey Marrella; Deputy Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly, chairman of the board of the March for Life; Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life; Supreme Knight Anderson; Supreme Secretary Michael O’Connor; Patricia O’Connor; and Dorian Anderson.

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TOP: Photo by Jake Wright

Above: Supreme Director Graydon Nicholas of New Brunswick speaks at Parliament Hill prior to the Canadian National March for Life May 11. Joining Supreme Director Nicholas and his wife, Elizabeth, are Ontario State Officers (left to right) Alain E. Cayer, Marcel Lemmen and Daniel Heffernan. To the far right is Supreme Director Larry Kustra of Manitoba.  Nurse practitioner Darlene Belanger of A Woman’s Haven shows Supreme Knight Anderson the new ultrasound machine donated by St. Mark the Evangelist Council 7613 in San Antonio. Council 7613 partnered with four local councils to raise the necessary funds.

there are many worthy issues requiring action. But how can we, in good conscience, look the other way as a million lives a year are lost to abortion? Mother Teresa, whom I had the privilege of knowing, put it this way. Calling abortion “one of the greatest poverties,” she said, “A nation, people, family that allows that, that accepts that, they are the poorest of the poor.”25 For nearly a decade, the Knights of Columbus has partnered with the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, one of the country’s most respected polling firms, to release an annual report of American attitudes on abortion. What we have found is that Americans overwhelmingly support substantial restrictions. Although we are told that unrestricted abortion must be the law of the land, majorities of both political parties disagree.26

It is time for a new national conversation on abortion that begins with this national consensus in favor of restricting abortion — a consensus that American women and men have already reached. Pro-life is winning in America. It will continue to win as long as we remain determined, steadfast and compassionate in our efforts to build a culture of life. We will continue to advocate for pro-life laws and to support pro-life judicial nominations. And through our Ultrasound Initiative, we will also help mothers choose life. Since 2009, state and local councils have partnered with the Supreme Council to fund ultrasound machines for prolife pregnancy care centers. We know from experience that a woman who sees an ultrasound image of her child is highly likely to keep her baby. Last March, I attended the blessing of a mobile ultrasound unit that Texas Knights had donated to A Woman’s Haven, a pro-life pregnancy center in San Antonio. During the dedication, a nurse practitioner at the center told me that the first time the machine was used, it saved a life. e first pregnant woman to use the new machine had initially said her mind was already made up — she was going to have the abortion. But then, as she watched the ultrasound, her baby turned and seemed to wave to her. She looked up at the nurse and declared, “I’m going to keep my baby.” My brother Knights, as of today we have placed 829 ultrasound machines. These machines have already saved hundreds of thousands of lives. But we can still do more. Let us continue this great effort by reaching the goal of 1,000 machines as quickly as possible. If each machine saves the lives of just four unborn children each week, then with 1,000 machines, by the 10th anniversary of this initiative, we will have saved more than 1 million lives. So I ask you today: Will you join me in this great Knights of Columbus Campaign to Save 1 Million Children? We continue to peacefully march for life throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Philippines — especially this year. Knights from throughout Canada joined the 20th annual Canadian National March for Life in Ottawa, which this year coincided with the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation. Among those at the march were our three supreme directors from Canada: Graydon Nicholas of New Brunswick, Arthur Peters of Ontario and Larry Kustra of Manitoba. This summer, I was honored when Pope Francis renewed my appointment to the Pontifical Academy for Life. My involvement with the academy began in 1998, with my appointment by Pope John Paul II. As I have in the past, I look forward to working with the Holy Father and the academy in supporting an authentic human ecology and building a culture of life. OCTOBER 2017



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Living the Charter of the Beatitudes Last January, I took time to reflect upon the message of Pope Francis for the 50th World Day of Peace.




Supreme Knight Anderson walks with Jean Vanier in Trosly-Breuil, France, May 15, 2017. In 2005, the Knights of Columbus awarded Jean Vanier its Gaudium et Spes Award. witness. Ultimately, he was proven right. Today, faithful citizenship requires us to continue to defend religious liberty. We need to resist the effort to drive out of our national conversation all mention of God — to exclude the light of the Gospel from our public square and turn it into a dark, secular city. Today, we are active in many nations around the world — nations with different traditions regarding church and state. In each of these countries, we are committed to promoting the Church’s teaching on the dignity of conscience and the right of religious freedom. In doing this, we are guided by the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on Religious Freedom. In matters of public policy, we advocate for laws that conform to the natural law

Photo by Thomas Koszul

I was particularly struck by these words of Pope Benedict XVI, which Pope Francis quoted. He said: “For Christians, nonviolence is not merely tactical behavior but a person’s way of being — the attitude of one who is so convinced of God’s love and power that he or she is not afraid to tackle evil with the weapons of love and truth alone.”27 I decided then that these words would form this year’s convention theme. In his message, Pope Francis urged people everywhere to adopt “nonviolence as a style of politics” — a style based on the recognition, he said, “that the image and likeness of God in each person will enable us to acknowledge one another as sacred gifts endowed with immense dignity.” He then went on to quote St. John Paul II, saying, “May people learn to fight for justice without violence, renouncing class struggle in their internal disputes and war in international ones.”28 As the events of 2017 unfolded, the message of these popes showed itself to be truly prophetic. Violence and the rhetoric of violence have increased, culminating most recently in the attempted assassination of members of Congress on a baseball field outside of Washington, D.C. Violence and the rhetoric of violence have no place as a style of politics in America or any other country. Violence and the rhetoric of violence must end and must end now! Today, we make the words of Pope Francis our own: “May charity and nonviolence govern how we treat each other.” Pope Francis signed his message of peace on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Can it simply be a coincidence that the Immaculate Conception is named patroness of the United States? Today, I call upon all my brother Knights and their families to again seek the intercession of Mary, Queen of Peace. Let us ask her on Aug. 15, the feast of her assumption into heaven, for peace and reconciliation in each of our countries. In Deus Caritas Est, Pope Benedict XVI reminds us that each Christian is called to have “a heart which sees where love is needed and to act accordingly.”29 Today, we might say that this is the first principle of faithful Catholic citizenship. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of the “strength to love” as fundamental to the civil rights movement.30 He showed the nation and the world the power of Christian

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and therefore apply to all citizens. This is the case, for example, in our defense of the right to life. This is why we applaud the recent decision of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to establish a permanent Committee for Religious Liberty and why we look forward to working closely with it. Earlier this year, I had the opportunity and privilege to spend some hours with Jean Vanier. In 2005, the Knights of Columbus awarded Jean Vanier our Gaudium et Spes Award for his lifetime of work on behalf of people with intellectual disabilities. We spoke about what he has done since that time and how he used our gift of $100,000 to purchase a new home for his L’Arche community in Calcutta. We also spoke about the Christian responsibility to build communities based upon compassion and respect. Some years ago, he had written about the tendency of some Christians involved in politics to become fiercely partisan. He wrote: “I sometimes wonder if these fighting Christians wouldn’t do better to put their energies into creating communities which live as far as they can by the char-

ter of the Beatitudes. If they did this, they would be able to live by … values other than those of material success … and political struggle. … They would not change political structures at first. But they would change the hearts and spirits of the people around them.”31 My brother Knights, think of our councils and assemblies dedicated to the principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism as just such communities that seek to “live as far as they can by the charter of the Beatitudes.” Think how their work can change the hearts and spirits of those around them, helping them to see citizenship not as a political struggle but as an opportunity to create a civilization of love. St. John Paul II often spoke of our responsibility to build a civilization of love. This is a “civilization” from which no one should be excluded. To the contrary, it is a civilization that is open to all and for all. And the reason this is so was stated by St. John Paul II here in St. Louis in this very arena. He said, “Once we know the love that is in the Heart of Christ, we know that every individual, every family, every people on the face of the earth can place their trust in that Heart.”32

Conclusion My brother Knights, we have much to celebrate this year. We have set new records in charity. We have set new records in the protection of Catholic families. We have had the strength and ethical nature of our insurance program internationally recognized. We helped AIDS orphans in Uganda, homeless refugees in Ukraine, persecuted Christians in Egypt, Christian survivors of genocide in Iraq, child refugees from North Korea, typhoon survivors in the Philippines, flood victims in Mexico and the United States, and people with disabilities in Vietnam, Cuba and Haiti. We expanded our charitable and evangelization efforts. We built up the domestic church by strengthening the marriages and families of our members. And we continued our strong defense of persecuted Christians in the Middle East. We had — by any measure — our greatest year ever. Blessed Pope Paul VI once said that today “people prefer to listen to witnesses” because “they thirst for authenticity.”33 And it is precisely authenticity that shines so brilliantly throughout the year in the thousands of charitable works of our local councils. In his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis calls all Catholics to be “an evangelizing community … filled with joy,” a community that is “permanently in a state of mission” and a community that practices a “fraternal

communion.”34 He urges all Catholics to “live in fraternity” and to share “a fraternal love capable of seeing the sacred grandeur of our neighbor.” And he also says this: “I especially ask Christians in communities throughout the world to offer a radiant and attractive witness of fraternal communion. Let everyone admire how you care for one another, and how you encourage and accompany one another.” My brother Knights, in the days ahead, I ask you to reflect on these words. When you do, I know you will join me in seeing in them an even greater call to mission. This year, let us be in even greater ways who we are called to be as brother Knights. Let us strive to be that “radiant and attractive witness of fraternal communion” that our Church and our world so desperately need. Let us strive to be authentic witnesses of how to care for one another and how to encourage and accompany one another. We can and we will do these things as the spiritual sons of Father McGivney. We can and we will do these things because we are convinced of God’s love and power. Vivat Jesus!




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NOTES 1. Michael Heinlein. “St. Rose Philippine Duchesne: A Saint for a Deeper Prayer Life,” Our Sunday Visitor, July 2, 2016.

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2. Pope John Paul II. Homily at the Trans World Dome in St. Louis, Mo., January 27, 1999. 3. Pope Francis. Message for World Day of Peace, January 1, 2017. 4. Susan Ratcliffe. Oxford Treasury of Sayings and Quotations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 75.

LYNCH AND KELLY INC. Official council and Fourth Degree equipment and officer robes 1-888-548-3890 •

5. David L. Fleming, S.J. Modern Spiritual Exercises: A Contemporary Reading of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius (Garden City, NY: Doubleday Image Books, 1983). 6. Pat Williams. Vince Lombardi on Leadership: Life Lessons from a Five-time NFL Championship Coach (Charleston, S.C.: Advantage, 2015), 194.

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7. Emmett J. Scott. Scott’s Official History of the American Negro in the World War (Chicago: Homewood Press, 1919), 407. 8. (accessed July 21, 2017). 9. Pope Francis. Message During the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, December 7, 2014.




Please enroll me in the Father McGivney Guild: NAME

10. Pope John Paul II. Apostolic Letter Proclaiming St. Thomas More Patron of Statesmen and Politicians, October 31, 2000. 11. John Burger. “A Peaceful and Confident Voice,” Columbia, August 2017. 12. Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk. Homily During Divine Liturgy for the Second All-Ukrainian Meeting of the Knights of Columbus, June 18, 2017. 13. Bishop Thomas V. Daily. “Building a Better World,” Columbia, May 2005.


14. John Adams. Letter to Massachusetts Militia, October 11, 1798, Founders Online, National Archives. (accessed July 21, 2017).


15. Pope Francis. Morning Meditation in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, April 12, 2016.

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:

16. Pope Francis. Message to the Order of the Knights of Columbus on the Occasion of Its 131st Annual Supreme Convention, July 19, 2013. 17. Pope Francis. Message to the Order of the Knights of Columbus on the Occasion of Its 132nd Annual Supreme Convention, July 28, 2014. 18. William Kauffman. Faith and Fraternalism: The History of the Knights of Columbus, 18821982, 2nd edition (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992), 302-329.

OFFICIAL OCT. 1, 2017: To owners of Knights of Columbus insurance policies and persons responsible for payment of premiums on such policies: Notice is hereby given that in accordance with the provisions of Section 84 of the Laws of the Order, payment of insurance premiums is due on a monthly basis to the Knights of Columbus by check made payable to Knights of Columbus and mailed to same at PO Box 1492, NEW HAVEN, CT 06506-1492, before the expiration of the grace period set forth in the policy. In Canada: Knights of Columbus, Place d’Armes Station, P.O. Box 220, Montreal, QC H2Y 3G7 ALL MANUSCRIPTS, PHOTOS, ARTWORK, EDITORIAL MATTER, AND ADVERTISING INQUIRIES SHOULD BE MAILED TO: COLUMBIA, PO BOX 1670, NEW HAVEN, CT 06507-0901. REJECTED MATERIAL WILL BE RETURNED IF ACCOMPANIED BY A SELF-ADDRESSED ENVELOPE AND RETURN POSTAGE. PURCHASED MATERIAL WILL NOT BE RETURNED. OPINIONS BY WRITERS ARE THEIR OWN AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS. SUBSCRIPTION RATES — IN THE U.S.: 1 YEAR, $6; 2 YEARS, $11; 3 YEARS, $15. FOR OTHER COUNTRIES ADD $2 PER YEAR. EXCEPT FOR CANADIAN SUBSCRIPTIONS, PAYMENT IN U.S. CURRENCY ONLY. SEND ORDERS AND CHECKS TO: ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT, PO BOX 1670, NEW HAVEN, CT 06507-0901.

19. William Kauffman. Faith and Fraternalism: The History of the Knights of Columbus, 18821982, 2nd edition (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992), 375-389. 20. Patrick W. Carey. Catholics in America: A History (Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers, 2004), 91. 21. Father Patrick Peyton. “Chapter 3: Hollywood & Media,” (accessed July 21, 2017). 22. L.C.B. Seaman. Post-Victorian Britain 1902-1951 (New York, NY: Methuen & Co., 1982), 266. 23. Pope Francis. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, November 24, 2013. 24. Pope Francis. Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’, May 24, 2015. 25. John Harvard’s Journal. “A Saintly Woman,” July-August 1982. 26. Marist Poll. Americans’ Opinions on Abortion. Survey, Continental United States, December 12-19, 2016. 27. Pope Benedict XVI. Angelus Address, February 18, 2007.





28. Pope John Paul II. Apostolic Exhortation Centesimus Annus, May 1, 1991. 29. Pope Benedict XVI. Encyclical Letter Deus Caritas Est, December 25, 2005. 30. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A Gift of Love: Sermons from Strength to Love and Other Preachings, The King Legacy Series, vol. 7. (Boston: Beacon Press, 2012), 98. 31. Jean Vanier. Community and Growth (New York: Paulist Press, 1989), 308. 32. Pope John Paul II. Homily at the Trans World Dome in St. Louis, Mo., January 27, 1999. 33. Pope Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, December 8, 1975. 34. Pope Francis. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, November 24, 2013.

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Building a better world one council at a time

Photo by Rocky Kneten

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.




Douglas Bradley of Msgr. A.L. O’Connell Council 3700 in Pasadena, Texas, loads water for a family affected by Hurricane Harvey. With Hurricane Irma following quickly behind Harvey, local Knights throughout the affected regions have provided food, shelter and other immediate relief, as well as help with cleanup and recovery efforts. Knights across the country have held fundraisers and made contributions to assist hurricane victims. The Supreme Council has raised more than $2 million for disaster relief, with 100 percent of every donation going directly to helping those in need. Visit for more information on recovery efforts and how to help.

“K NIGHTS IN A CTION ” H AVEN , CT 06510-3326



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FATHER JACOB BODDICKER, S.J. Father Eugene Benda Council 11468 Tipton, Iowa

Photo by Geoff Johnson

Shortly before high school, a cousin told me out of the blue that I had the “right attitude to be a priest.” I laughed it off. But I soon felt a deep desire to live my life in service, integrity and a witness to a truth greater than myself. My romantic idealism and fascination with Arthurian legend led me to take my own oaths of chivalry and to live them, as best I could, in the modern world. In college, I came to embrace my Catholic faith and encountered the Knights of Columbus. The thought of becoming a Knight was a dream come true, yet I realized this wasn’t enough to satisfy my heart: I could do still more to serve my King. I began to pray the rosary and encountered a God who wanted me to serve him in the footsteps of St. Ignatius of Loyola — to take up the Cross and follow the King who died for me, to trade armor for vulnerability, a sword for a chalice and great deeds for humble service. That was over 12 years ago, and now, as of June, I am his priest forever.

Columbia October 2017  

Columbia October 2017

Columbia October 2017  

Columbia October 2017