Columbia KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS
Creative Courage 139th Supreme Convention New Haven, Conn.
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The Supreme Officers stand together at the Blessed Michael McGivney Pilgrimage Center after the 139th Supreme Convention’s business session Aug. 4. Left to right: Supreme Treasurer Ronald Schwarz, Deputy Supreme Knight Paul O’Sullivan, Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly, Past Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, Supreme Secretary Patrick Mason and Supreme Advocate John Marrella.
139th Supreme Convention
TOP: Photo by Jeffrey Bruno — ON THE COVER: Photo by Graphe Studio
Aug. 3-4, 2021
A Commitment to Build Up
Called to Creative Courage
14 Knights of Columbus News K of C Asset Advisors Launches Investment Advisor Program • Order Assists Victims of Natural Disasters • Supreme Assembly Remembers 9/11 • New Board Members Elected • Past Supreme Knight Honored by Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church • Order Celebrates Blessed Michael McGivney’s Inaugural Feast Day ON THE COVER
St. Joseph holds Jesus in an icon by artist Élisabeth Bergeron, based on a drawing by Alexandre Sobolev.
Greetings from Pope Francis sent to Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly and the Supreme Convention by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin. At the 139th Supreme Convention, Knights are urged to follow the example of St. Joseph and Blessed Michael McGivney.
Annual Report of the Supreme Knight
Supreme Knight Patrick E. Kelly’s annual report was broadcast worldwide Aug. 3, following the Supreme Convention’s opening Mass in New Haven, Conn.
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.
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PA PA L G R E E T I N G S
A Commitment to Build Up
Dear Mr. Kelly, His Holiness Pope Francis has asked me to convey his warm greetings and the assurance of his closeness in prayer to all taking part in the 139th Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus, to be held virtually from 3 to 4 August next. The theme of this year’s Convention — Called to Creative Courage — takes up a challenge presented by the Holy Father in his recent Apostolic Letter Patris Corde on the figure of Saint Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church. Saint Joseph’s example of “creative courage” in the fulfilment of his vocation as father of the Holy Family makes 2
him a particularly good model for all those men who, in these times of uncertainty and unrest, seek to persevere in fidelity to our Lord and his Church, entrusting their lives and the lives of their families to his providential guidance and care. Indeed, it was creative courage that characterized the life and ministry of Blessed Michael McGivney, who in 1882, with a small group of Catholic men, laid the foundations of the Knights of Columbus in response to the pressing spiritual and material needs of working men and their families. From seeds planted in a small but vibrant local parish, your Order
expanded throughout the world in subsequent years, enriching the lives of countless men and contributing in signal fashion to the development of the modern lay apostolate in service to the Church’s universal mission. The joyful event of Father McGivney’s beatification, celebrated this past year in Hartford, marked a significant milestone in this distinguished history and represents a summons to renewed fidelity to the founding principles of faith, fraternity and charitable assistance to those in need. It is appropriate, then, in this Year of Saint Joseph, that the Knights of Columbus look to the Guardian of the
CNS photo/Vatican Media
Greetings from Pope Francis sent to Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly and the Supreme Convention by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin
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Redeemer as a model of that parrhesía or apostolic courage (cf. Acts 4:29-31) which, as the Holy Father has often insisted, flows from the prophetic mission entrusted to each of us at our baptism. In an age of epochal change, our societies need the courageous witness of men of faith and integrity, who can serve as a leaven of Christ’s kingdom of justice and peace, holiness and truth. Men committed to building up rather than tearing down, promoting healing and reconciliation in place of hatred and recrimination, and inviting all to undertake the “journey of fraternity” that can lead to a world ever more in accord with God’s saving plan for our human family (cf. Fratelli Tutti, 278). The Knights of Columbus, as a premier Catholic organization of men and fathers, has chosen to celebrate this Year of Saint Joseph with an emphasis on his role as “Guardian of the Family.” Throughout its history, your Order has distinguished itself, not only by its efforts to support and assist families in their God-given role as the primary educators of their children in the faith, but also by its principled public defense of the nature of marriage and the family, the inviolable dignity of human life, and the right to religious freedom. That witness remains today more precious than ever. As Saint John Paul II frequently reminded us, the future of our world depends on the family (cf. Familiaris Consortio, 86), and families need the strong presence and example of men who, “with a father’s heart,” take responsibility for the lives entrusted to them, teach the dignity of work and the importance of self-sacrifice, and thus quietly contribute to the good of their local communities and of society as a whole. The Holy Father once more thanks the Knights of Columbus for their manifold charitable activities, especially those carried out in this past year, when the global health crisis aggravated the needs of so many of our brothers and sisters throughout the world. He greatly values this witness of universal fraternity, born of our spiritual
In an age of epochal change, our societies need the courageous witness of men of faith and integrity, who can serve as a leaven of Christ’s kingdom of justice and peace, holiness and truth.
Columbia PUBLISHER Knights of Columbus SUPREME OFFICERS Patrick E. Kelly Supreme Knight Most Rev. William E. Lori, S.T.D. Supreme Chaplain Paul G. O’Sullivan Deputy Supreme Knight Patrick T. Mason Supreme Secretary Ronald F. Schwarz Supreme Treasurer John A. Marrella Supreme Advocate EDITORIAL Alton J. Pelowski Editor
communion in the Body of Christ. His Holiness is likewise mindful of your Order’s tradition of unfailing devotion to the Successor of Peter and generous cooperation in the fulfilment of his apostolic ministry. As always, Pope Francis is profoundly grateful to the Knights for their unfailing support of our Christian brothers and sisters experiencing persecution for the sake of the Gospel. With these sentiments, His Holiness sends prayerful good wishes for your new responsibilities as Supreme Knight, and to the members of the Supreme Council. Commending the deliberations of the forthcoming Convention to the intercession of Mary Immaculate and Saint Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, he cordially imparts to the Knights and their families his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of joy and peace in the Lord.
Andrew J. Matt Managing Editor
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Cecilia Hadley Senior Editor Margaret B. Kelly Associate Editor
Blessed Michael McGivney (1852-90) – Apostle to the Young, Protector of Christian Family Life and Founder of the Knights of Columbus, Intercede for Us. HOW TO REACH US COLUMBIA 1 Columbus Plaza New Haven, CT 06510-3326 firstname.lastname@example.org kofc.org/columbia
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Creative Courage At the 139th Supreme Convention, Knights are urged to follow the example of St. Joseph and Blessed Michael McGivney
Photo by Aaron Joseph
t least one thing is certain in these uncertain times, Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly told delegates to the 139th Supreme Convention: the need for men of faith to act. “God is calling us to fulfill a great task,” the supreme knight said in his first annual report. “This is a time of challenge, but as every Knight knows, strength rejoices in challenge.” For the second time in the Order’s history, most delegates participated in the convention from their home jurisdictions, as the annual meeting was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Convention proceedings and liturgies took place Aug. 3-4 in New Haven, Conn., and were livestreamed to Knights of Columbus around the world. The Supreme Officers were joined by delegates from Connecticut while those in many other jurisdictions gathered together locally (see page 10). The theme of this year’s convention — Called to Creative Courage — was inspired by the Dec. 8, 2020, apostolic letter of Pope Francis, announcing the Year of St. Joseph. “God acts through events and people,” the pope wrote. “To guide the beginnings of the history of redemption,” he added, “God acted by trusting in Joseph’s creative courage” (Patris Corde, 5). In his annual report (see page 18), Supreme Knight Kelly urged his brother Knights to emulate St. Joseph and Blessed Michael McGivney by finding creative solutions to the challenges of the pandemic and other challenges facing Catholics today. “Charity is our highest calling, and it demands our renewed focus,” the supreme knight said. “Where there’s pain, let us heal. Where there’s grief, let us comfort. Where there’s need, let us meet it, in new and creative ways.” The following pages feature photos, news and excerpts from the convention’s proceedings, as well as the full text of the supreme knight’s report. For more coverage, visit kofc.org/convention. B Following the Aug. 4 Memorial Mass celebrated by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, Supreme Officers and members of the board of directors stand with Archbishop Leonard Blair of Hartford, concelebrating priests and Connecticut Knights outside St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Conn. OCTOBER 2021 B C O L U M B I A
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Clockwise, from top: A banner of San Salvador Council 1 and a Fourth Degree honor guard lead the entrance procession of the opening Mass, Aug. 3. • Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori reads the papal greeting to the 139th Supreme Convention. • A Sister of Life prays at the sarcophagus of Blessed Michael McGivney following the Mass. • Archbishop Leonard Blair of Hartford incenses the altar at the beginning of the Mass as concelebrants look on. 6
LOWER LEFT: Photo by Aaron Joseph/Archdiocese of Hartford — OTHER: Photos by Jeffrey Bruno
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A portrait of Blessed Michael McGivney adorns the sanctuary as Archbishop Blair leads the congregation in prayer.
Charity in Truth
Photo by Jeffrey Bruno
WHAT KIND OF MAN, what kind of priest, is Blessed Mi-
chael McGivney? … There is always a temptation — never more so than today — to separate the two defining aspects of his life: on the one hand, his firm conviction about the truth of the Catholic faith, and on the other, the kindness and empathy that led him to charity in action. Today, a growing number of people say “yes” to charity but “no” to religion, “yes” to social justice but “no” to absolute truths about God, the human person or the world. Reflecting on this situation our former pope Benedict once wrote this: “Truth is the light that gives meaning and value to charity. … Without truth charity degenerates into sentimentality. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way. … It falls prey to contingent subjective emotions and opinions, the word ‘love’ is abused and distorted, to the point where it comes to mean the opposite” (Caritas in veritate, 3). This affirmation really characterizes Blessed Michael’s life and the mission of the Knights he founded: charity motivated by truth; truth lived in charity. As a man of faith and as a priest, our blessed founder confronted in his day the problems, anxieties and prejudices that we human beings experience and that we inflict on one another, all of which threaten humanity with what Pope Francis describes as “spiritual, moral and material destitution.” It’s only when all
three forms of destitution are addressed in truth and love, as Father McGivney understood so well, that human beings can live in justice and peace. This remains a fundamental lesson for us today, one that the Knights of Columbus strives to put into practice: namely, that if a society fails to address its spiritual and moral destitution, then it cannot provide a just material way of life either. The social problems that arose in Father McGivney’s time are remarkably like our own. His biographers describe them as “the loneliness that ran through displaced populations; the reassessment of the role of the family in the face of technological advances; the pressure to judge self-worth purely on a monetary basis; the availability of low-cost inebriants; and the undermining of an adult sense of responsibility due to the simple and acceptable option of moving far away from inconvenient obligations.” These were the challenges facing society when the Knights of Columbus was founded, and in many respects these same challenges still confront us today. Whereas Blessed Michael once offered inspiration, action and guidance on earth, now he does so from his place in eternity. He is close to his brother Knights and their families still; close to the brother priests who have followed him as chaplains; close to all the faithful who invoke his name and intercession in their need. — Archbishop Leonard P. Blair of Hartford, Homily, Votive Mass of Blessed Michael McGivney, Aug. 3 OCTOBER 2021 B C O L U M B I A
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From top: Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly stands at the podium in the Council Chamber of the Blessed Michael McGivney Pilgrimage Center, addressing delegates around the world during the Aug. 4 business session. • Supreme Advocate John Marrella delivers the Report of the Committee on Laws and Resolutions. • Supreme Master Dennis Stoddard, Supreme Director Jack Kennedy and Supreme Director Anthony Minopoli, with delegates of the Connecticut State Council, give a standing ovation. • Supreme Secretary Patrick Mason presents the proceedings from the 138th annual Supreme Convention for approval. • Supreme Knight Kelly thanks Past Supreme Knight Carl Anderson for his message to the convention. 8
MIDDLE RIGHT: Photo by Spirit Juice Studios — OTHER: Photos by Jeffrey Bruno
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‘The Harvest Is Abundant’ IN SPITE OF the opposition of the Phari-
Photo by Aaron Joseph
sees, Jesus went about towns and villages teaching the crowds, proclaiming the kingdom of God and healing the afflicted. As he encountered the misery of the crowds, their physical and spiritual disorders, Matthew tells us that he was “moved with pity”; he felt their suffering viscerally. Feeling their suffering in the depth of his heart, Jesus loved them as only God can, and desired only to enlighten them with faith, brighten them with hope and allow them to taste at least something of his Father’s boundless love. The Good Shepherd’s love filled the heart of St. John Vianney and Blessed Michael McGivney. Good priests that they were, they were living extensions of Christ’s ministry. Like Jesus, they experienced the sufferings of their people in the depth of their hearts,
and acting in the person of Christ, offered to them his healing touch. As they proclaimed the word of God, they turned minds and hearts from sin and error. As they extended their hands in sacramental absolution, they healed souls of sin. As they offered holy Mass, they nourished starving souls with the body of Christ. … In the Lord’s name and in his person, they gathered the harvest — not a harvest of wheat or barley but rather a harvest of charity, a harvest of good and loving deeds accomplished in the grace of the Holy Spirit. A harvest of charity: This is what the Lord wishes to reap from each one of us. … In the Gospel, Jesus said, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few” (Mt 9:37). Founded by a holy priest, the Knights ardently promotes priestly vocations and helps our priests to be faithful and generous in living their vocation. On this feast of St. John Vianney, let us pray for an increase in priestly vocations: priests
of goodness, virtue and pastoral love, after the mind and heart of our Savior. This is also a good moment for us as Knights to recognize that the Lord is calling us to help gather his harvest of charity and love by practicing what St. John Paul II called “a charity that evangelizes” — a charity that flows from prayer, a charity that is so rooted in the person of Christ that it leads many into the heart of the Gospel — wins them over — whether they are practicing Catholics, Catholics who have left, or simply those searching for truth and meaning in their lives. Just as the Knights, as a lay organization, has always worked closely with the clergy, so let us be good partners with our bishops and priests in the new evangelization, confident that we are supported by the prayers of Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Joseph, St. John Vianney and Blessed Michael McGivney. — Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, Homily, Memorial Mass, Feast of St. John Vianney, Aug. 4
Archbishop Lori, joined by Archbishop Blair and the Supreme Officers, leads the congregation in praying the Litany of Blessed Michael McGivney. OCTOBER 2021 B C O L U M B I A
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MANY KNIGHTS of Columbus jurisdictions were able to host meetings during the 139th Supreme Convention, gathering locally where limitations and restrictions related to the pandemic allowed. In addition to following the proceedings in New Haven and participating virtually in the convention, delegates attended Mass, shared meals and conducted business — a welcome opportunity to join together in fraternity.
FROM TOP: Callen Lehman and Amro Maghrabi — Elizabeth Roethlisberger — Jason Hines — Jeff Fitlow — Courtesy image
V I R T U A L PA R T I C I PAT I O N
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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Sebastian Izdebski — Brad Burckel — George Hosek — Courtesy image — Florian Roger — Sehee Kim — Tim Porter
OKLAHOMA ILLINOIS ONTARIO
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S U P R E M E K N I G H T ’ S AWA R D S E S S I O N
Honoring Exemplary Service THE ANNUAL Supreme Knight’s Award
Session, streamed online Aug. 4, honored achievements related to charity and fraternal leadership. Below are details about the five international program award winners and select honors for insurance sales and membership growth.
FAMILY When pandemic restrictions closed their parish church, the Knights of Our Lady of Fatima Council 9636 in Las Piñas, Luzon South, developed a plan to maintain community and foster the faith of families. Beginning in July 2020, the Knights invited parishioners to gather virtually every Saturday night to pray together, particularly for the sick and those who had died. Over 250 people participated in more than 40 virtual Family Prayer Nights, and the weekly event has been a source of unity and consolation over the past year. COMMUNITY The Knights of St. Cecilia’s Council 7395 in Claremore, Okla., exemplified the Helping Hands program by providing more than 3,000 hours of service to the Benedictine monks at nearby Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey. The council organized 30 members and provided funds to rebuild a 120-foot-long suspension 12
Monks at Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey in Hulbert, Okla., cross the suspension bridge built on abbey grounds by members of St. Cecilia’s Council 7395 in Claremont.
bridge on the property, build a gravel sifter to maintain the abbey roads and complete other projects. They also worked with the monks to make the abbey a distribution point for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers to Families program and helped to give out more than 1,200 food boxes to the surrounding community. LIFE When the 2020 March for Life in Chicago was unable to proceed as normal because of the pandemic, the Knights of Divine Word Council 7331 in Techny, Ill., did not give up. Council members, who serve as route marshals for the event each year, worked with the Archdiocese of Chicago and a prolife student organization to organize a “Drive for Life” car procession and rally. About 4,000 people in more than 1,100 vehicles participated in the event, which also brought in more than 70,000 diapers for a Chicago-area pregnancy resource center. LEAVE NO NEIGHBOR BEHIND Lockdowns and restrictions have been extremely tight across Canada during the pandemic. The Knights of St. Bonaventure Council 7432 in Calgary, Alberta, helped St. Bonaventure Parish adapt to regulations by organizing
more than 200 Knights and other parishioners to bring Communion to the parish community, register people for Mass and clean the church. The council maintained its fraternal life with virtual meetings and prayer nights and continued its charitable work while following safety guidelines. Collectively, the members of Council 7432 contributed more than 4,000 volunteer hours and raised nearly CA$7,000 for local charities over 18 months. Leading general agents: Kevin Pierce of Oklahoma/Kansas (192% of quota) and Tony Rangel of Texas (167% of quota). Leading field agents: Joseph Carlin of the Carlin Agency in Texas (664% of quota) and Shane Duplantis from the Cabirac Agency in Louisiana (385% of quota). Top recruiters: Past State Deputy Walter Streit of Father Bonner Council 7599 in Edmonton, Alberta, was recognized as the top recruiter for 20202021 for the Order’s insurance territories, signing up 715 members. Noel Lacanilao of Manila (Luzon South) Council 1000 was recognized as the top recruiter for the Order’s non-insurance territories for signing up 863 members.
Photo by Thomas Shannon
FAITH The Knights of Monroe (Mich.) Council 1266 took a K of C fundraising staple — the pancake breakfast — and turned it into a vehicle to forge bonds of faith and fraternity. The council’s prayer breakfast program began in 2019 with five men and has grown to more than 50 participants, 18 of whom have since joined the Order. The men, who call themselves the “Regular Joes,” meet twice a week at 5:45 a.m. Even during the pandemic, they gathered in person or via Zoom to eat, pray and build each other up as husbands, fathers and followers of Christ.
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‘We Wanted to Love’ Knights of Columbus International Family of the Year recognized for their pro-life witness and service
Photo by Maciej Maziarka
MICHAŁ AND ANGELIKA STECIAK of Rembieszyce,
Poland, first met in 2006, during an event commemorating the anniversary of St. John Paul II’s death, and they have had a special devotion to him ever since. In fact, they were married Oct. 22, 2011, John Paul II’s first feast day after his beatification. Only a few months after the wedding, Angelika was taken to the hospital with severe pain. The doctors found a cyst near an ovary, and both had to be removed. “It made me enter premature menopause,” she said. “Over the next few years, it turned out that I would not be able to have children.” Nevertheless, Michał and Angelika still felt a profound call to share their love with others. They founded an organization — the Angels’ Village Foundation — that helps elderly people and disabled children. They became involved in parish groups, including the Knights of Columbus. And they decided to try to adopt children. “We prayed a lot through the intercession of St. John Paul II for help in choosing the path of our life,” said Michał, a member of St. John Bosco Council 16266 in Rembieszyce. “Once we had made the decision to adopt, various miracles and signs led us to our child.” At the beginning of 2020, they attended a pro-life event at the Divine Mercy Shrine in Kraków. The speaker’s words
deeply touched them: “If we care about life and everyone who has conceived, why don’t we adopt disabled children?” Two days later, Michał and Angelika received a call from an adoption center asking if they would consider adopting a child with a genetic defect. The couple later found out that nine families before them hadn’t even wanted to meet the child, an infant boy named Piotr. “We thought that it cannot be a coincidence. He was just waiting for us,” Michał said. “We wanted to love, and we wanted to give Piotr our love. Thank God for our son!” In addition to their pro-life witness and activities, Michał and Angelika are actively involved in their parish, Sts. Peter and Paul, leading Bible studies and running a children’s choir. Michał said that the Knights of Columbus has given him opportunities to serve the parish and local community while helping him strive for holiness alongside other Catholic men. “It shows the true strength of men,” he said. “The work of the Knights of Columbus brings you closer to God.” The Steciak family grew earlier this year with the adoption of a little girl. Marysia is now nearly a year old, and Piotr is 19 months. “During evening prayers with our children, we make intentions through the intercession of St. John Paul II, whose image hangs in our bedroom,” Michał said. “We say, ‘St. John Paul II, pray for us.’ And they understand it.” B OCTOBER 2021 B C O L U M B I A
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KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS NEWS
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS Asset Advisors recently launched a program to offer its faithbased investment approach to more individual investors. KoCAA, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Knights of Columbus, currently manages more than $29 billion for institutional investors and high-net-worth investors. Its new investment advisor representative program, announced Sept. 14, is open to individuals — K of C members and nonmembers, Catholics and non-Catholics — with more than $10,000 to invest. Clients will have access to KoCAA’s exclusive fund lineup, totaling nine mutual funds and more than 85 model portfolios. “We believe that investors do not need to sacrifice their values for performance,” said Tony Minopoli, KoCAA’s president and chief investment officer. “With the launch of the program, we are extending the opportunity set to individual investors who can access both a full-service wealth management platform and the ability to invest in accordance with their faith so they can be secure in the knowledge that their investments firmly support what they believe in.” KoCAA aligns its products and services with guidelines for investing set by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops based on Catholic doctrine and social teaching. The guidelines include protecting human life, promoting human dignity and encouraging corporate responsibility. As of Sept. 14, KoCAA has more than 100 advisors across 33 states overseeing more than $30 million in assets. Visit kofcassetadvisors.org for more information. B 14
Order Assists Victims of Natural Disasters THIS SUMMER, a series of devastating natural disasters struck the Carib-
bean and the United States — a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti, torrential flooding in Tennessee, Hurricane Ida on the Gulf Coast, and the Dixie Fire in northern California, the second-largest wildfire in state history. With each crisis, Knights on the local, state and Supreme Council level have acted swiftly to bring relief to victims. All donations to the Knights of Columbus Disaster Relief Fund directly support the ongoing relief efforts. For more information, visit kofc.org/disaster. B
A member of St. Margaret Council 10178 in Hammond, La., serves hot food to a family outside St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland Church. Knights cooked hundreds of meals for their communities in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, in addition to delivering emergency supplies and assisting with recovery efforts.
Supreme Assembly Remembers 9/11 Dominican Father John Paul Walker, pastor of St. Mary’s Church and chaplain of San Salvador Council 1, celebrates a Memorial Mass on the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. The Mass took place during the Order’s 111th Annual Meeting of the Supreme Assembly. The names of the Knights killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — each represented by a candle in front of the main altar — were read by Supreme Master Dennis Stoddard.
ABOVE RIGHT: Photo by Martin Jernberg — BELOW RIGHT: Photo by Mike Ross
K of C Asset Advisors Launches Investment Advisor Program
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New Board Members Elected DURING THE Aug. 4 business session, delegates to the 139th Supreme Convention elected five new members to the Knights of Columbus Board of Directors. Supreme Director Scott O’Connor, immediate past state deputy of Florida, was elected to serve the unexpired term that ends Aug. 31, 2022, previously held by Former Supreme Secretary Michael O’Connor, who retired earlier this year. The others were elected to serve threeyear terms beginning Sept. 1.
Supreme Director Scott A. O’Connor, 64, is the immediate past state deputy of Florida. After a 40-year engineering career, he retired in 2020 as executive vice president of an international firm. He joined the Order in 2003 and is a member of St. Bonaventure Council 12240 in Davie, Fla. He has two children and two grandchildren. Supreme Director Michael A. Benson, 69, is past state deputy of Rhode Island (2016-2018). He served in the U.S. Navy before working more than four decades in sales, including 17 years as director of sales for Samsonite Travel. A Knight since 1998, he is a member of St. Francis Council 2011 in North Kingstown, R.I., where and his wife, Lee Ann, are parishioners of St. Bernard Church. Supreme Director Stephen J. Kehoe, 51, served as state deputy of Virginia from 20172018. His career has spanned the telecommunications and government contracting industries. He has been a Knight for more than 33 years and is a member of Father Francis J. Diamond Council 6292 in Fairfax, Va. He and his wife, Wendy, have four children.
BOTTOM RIGHT: Courtesy of Archeparchy of Philadelphia
Supreme Director Antonio F. Pascua, 57, is the immediate past state deputy of Nevada. He has worked for decades in hospitality management. A Knight since 2005, he is a member of St. Francis of Assisi Council 13456 in Henderson. He and his wife, Mercedita, have three children. Supreme Director John J. Kennedy, 65, joined Supreme Council staff in 2017 as executive vice president and chief financial officer. A Knight since 1975, he is a member of San Salvador Council 1 in New Haven, Conn. For 29 years he worked at the Chubb Corporation, including eight years as chief accounting officer. He and his wife, Helene, have three children and one grandchild. B
Past Supreme Knight Honored by Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church THE UKRAINIAN Greek Catholic Church bestowed its highest honor on Past Supreme Knight Carl Anderson on Aug. 15, inducting him as the seventh member of the Order of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky. The honor, named for one of the most influential Ukrainian churchmen of the 20th century, recognizes the past supreme knight for his service to the Church, particularly his pro-life work and the establishment of the Knights of Columbus in Ukraine in 2013. Archbishop Borys Gudziak, head of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, presented the medal of the order on behalf of Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kyiv-Halyč and other bishops during the archeparchy’s annual Dormition pilgrimage to Sloatsburg, N.Y. The honor came only a month after Mr. Anderson’s book Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love, written in 2009 with Msgr. Eduardo Chávez, was published in Ukraine. Translated into Ukrainian by Dr. Iryna Ivankovych, the book was released July 8 with a livestreamed event in Lviv. Among the speakers were Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki of Lviv, state chaplain of the Knights of Columbus in Ukraine; Bishop Mykhaylo Bubniy of Odessa; and State Deputy Youriy Maletskiy. “Msgr. Eduardo Chávez and I wrote of Our Lady of Guadalupe as Mother of the Civilization of Love in order to emphasize the contemporary relevance of her message of charity, unity, reconciliation and hope for people during times of cultural upheaval and global conflict,” Mr. Anderson wrote in a letter read to the gathering. “It is my sincere hope that its publication in Ukraine will lead to a greater communion and solidarity among Catholics and bring us all further on our journey toward a society worthy of the dignity of every person.” B
Ukrainian Greek Catholic Archbishop Borys Gudziak of Philadelphia speaks with Past Supreme Knight Carl Anderson after inducting him into the Order of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Aug. 15. OCTOBER 2021 B C O L U M B I A
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KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS NEWS
Order Celebrates Blessed Michael McGivney’s Inaugural Feast Day WHEN FATHER MICHAEL McGivney was beatified Oct. 31,
From top: Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone of Charleston consecrates the Eucharist during a votive Mass at Our Lady of the Hills in Columbia, S.C., Aug. 13. The Mass drew Knights from across the state. • Father Jim Sullivan and other priests from the Archdiocese of Hartford concelebrate Mass on top of a hill overlooking Father McGivney’s hometown of Waterbury, Conn., on Aug. 14. 16
ABOVE: Photo by Spirit Juice Studios — BELOW: Photo by Aaron Joseph
2020, he received not just a new title but also a feast day: Aug. 13 — the day between his birth (Aug. 12, 1852) and his death (Aug. 14, 1890). Though Blessed Michael McGivney’s feast is inscribed as a memorial on the liturgical calendar only in the Archdiocese of Hartford, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has noted that “it will be possible for gatherings of Knights to celebrate a votive Mass in honor of Father McGivney with the permission of the local ordinary.” Accordingly, on Aug. 13, Knights and their families in jurisdictions around the world marked the K of C founder’s first feast day with liturgical celebrations, novenas and other special events. Moreover, Knights of Columbus chaplains everywhere, as well as priests at parishes with active councils, have been encouraged to offer a votive Mass, with permission, on days other than Aug. 13, when not precluded by a liturgical observance of higher rank. For resources, visit kofc.org/mcgivney. B
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FROM TOP: Maciej Maziarka — Courtesy of Johannes Mercado — Cristian Salvatierra — Spirit Juice Studios
From top: Knights in Poland venerate a relic of Blessed Michael McGivney after Mass celebrated by Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz (center), archbishop emeritus of Kraków, at the Shrine of the Divine Mercy. • Members of San Miguel de Marilao Council 8581 in Bulacan, Luzon North, gather after a feast day Mass on Aug. 13 at San Miguel Arcangel Church. • Francisco Sáenz, director of fraternal mission in Mexico, and Msgr. Eduardo Chávez hold an image and a relic of Blessed Michael McGivney after a feast day Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. • Daniel and Michelle Schachle, whose son Mikey was healed in utero through the intercession of Blessed Michael McGivney, speak at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Conn., on the vigil of his first feast day.
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2021 Annual Report of the Supreme Knight
s I present my first annual report as supreme knight, I am filled with gratitude. It is a privilege to serve my brother Knights and the entire Order of the Knights of Columbus. I am only here because of those who came before me. I am a third-generation Knight. My grandfather joined in 1915 before he left for World War I. My father, a naval officer, was a faithful member of our parish’s council. It was their example of fidelity and service that inspired me to become a college Knight in 1983. After years of military and public service, I became increasingly involved at the local and state council level. I was inspired by my brother Knights in the District of Columbia and was honored 18
to serve as their state deputy. On the day I was elected supreme knight, I said that for the sake of the Order, I have given my all, and for the future of the Order, I will give still more. Like you, I draw on my love for Jesus Christ, his Church and the Knights of Columbus — and I am honored to serve with you. Today, I will highlight our recent achievements in charity, unity and fraternity. And I will offer a vision of our continued rise, in courage and faith. I wish we could meet in person, but for the second year in a row, we must gather virtually. Initially, we had hoped to hold this convention in Denver, but Colorado was still shut down when we had to finalize our plans. And while
we cannot be together, the Knights of Columbus is already on the move. From the United States to Ukraine; from the Philippines to France; from Canada to South Korea; from Mexico to Poland, the Knights of Columbus is marching forward. We are leading the way with service and sacrifice. We are showing the way through faith in action. Make no mistake: Now is a time for Knights. The past 18 months have amplified old challenges and given rise to new ones. They face our families, our faith and our culture as a whole. My brother Knights, we are coming through one crisis, only to find that we face still more hurdles. Our mission is to meet them head-on — and overcome them — together.
Photos by Tamino Petelinšek
New Haven, Conn. | Aug. 3, 2021
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St. Joseph ONCE AGAIN, the time has come for
Knights of Columbus to put our faith into action. We must ask ourselves: What is the best way to do this? I believe we can find our answer by looking at the lives of two men. The first is St. Joseph. Last Dec. 8 marked the 150th anniversary of Joseph being named patron of the universal Church. To mark this occasion, Pope Francis declared a “Year of St. Joseph.” The Holy Father is calling our attention to the foster father of our Lord, for good reason. The world is in desperate need of men in the mold, and with the heart, of St. Joseph. At the start of the year, the pope praised St. Joseph’s “creative courage” and called upon every Catholic to adopt this virtue. He said, “In the face of difficulty, we can either give up and walk away, or somehow engage with it.” He continued, “At times, difficulties bring out resources we did not even think we had” (Patris Corde, 5). St. Joseph is the proof. My brother Knights, these words are meant for us. You and I are called to creative courage. Our duty, in these difficult times, is to be bold in faith, to be men of obedience and men of action — like St. Joseph before us. The day I was installed as supreme knight, my first act was to consecrate my administration to St. Joseph. Then, standing in St. Mary’s Church, the place of our founding, I said that St. Joseph shows us how to “witness to the world.” He did this in two ways. First, St. Joseph embraced his role as “Guardian of the Family.” He protected our Blessed Mother, Mary, and our Savior, Jesus Christ. He guided them through danger and kept them from harm’s way. We, too, must be guardians of the family — because Catholic families need defenders. In this time when the family faces many challenges and a hostile culture, we must do our part to
Above: Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly consecrates his administration to St. Joseph after his installation June 11 in St. Mary’s Church. • Left: St. Joseph is depicted in a detail of a mosaic at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C.
help men build strong marriages and raise faithful children. Second, St. Joseph served as “Guardian of the Truth.” The truth that Joseph protected had a name: Jesus Christ,
who is the truth incarnate. We, too, must defend this truth. We live in a time of bigotry and intolerance. Key truths — about life, marriage, the nature of the family and the meaning of freedom — are increasingly denied and even vilified. Yet, this makes our commitment to truth all the more important. Now is the time to inspire our fellow Catholics to stand for what’s right. St. Joseph is our guide. Let us pray for his intercession. And let us make his creative courage our own, for the sake of the family, and the truth.
Key truths — about life, marriage, the nature of the family and the meaning of freedom — are increasingly denied and even vilified. Yet, this makes our commitment to truth all the more important. OCTOBER 2021 B C O L U M B I A
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Blessed Michael McGivney
An image of Blessed Michael McGivney hangs from the baldachin at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, Conn., during the Mass of Beatification, Oct. 31, 2020.
was just as much a call to action. By elevating our Founder, the Lord has called us to greater depths of courage and faith, and greater heights of charity, unity and fraternity. In the beatification of Blessed Michael McGivney, the Lord has not only confirmed where the Knights have been, in the past. He is showing us where we must go, in the future. We go forward confident that the intercession of our Founder is guiding us. And we go forward with renewed hope for his canonization. This is the first Supreme Convention where we call him Blessed. May the day soon
come when we call him Saint. Father McGivney would be proud of the Order and proud of us. What he began, we continue. What he gave us, we pass on. The credit goes to all Knights, near and far. But one man deserves special mention for his heroic efforts. He is our past supreme knight, Carl Anderson. Under his leadership, the Order grew dramatically in every measurable way. Our charitable donations soared by more than 60%. Insurance in force nearly tripled. Membership rose by nearly 400,000 and surpassed 2 million. And the Order expanded internationally for
Photo by Dan Kwon/Spirit Juice Studios
THE OTHER MAN to whom we should look is Blessed Michael Joseph McGivney — our Founder. This is our first convention since his beatification. Where St. Joseph shows us what to do, Father McGivney shows us how to do it. Like us, Blessed Michael McGivney lived in a time of families in crisis. He saw a hostile culture and a hurting Church. Yet, he did not shrink from these challenges. In the mold of St. Joseph, he stepped into the breach, with creative courage. Father McGivney listened to the Lord, fought for the family and the faith, and devoted himself to our Blessed Mother. Ultimately, our Founder rallied the men of his parish to lead lives of charity, unity and fraternity. That was Father McGivney’s answer. And it is still our answer today. Charity, unity and fraternity are the solutions to the most serious problems of our time. Last October, the leaders of the Order gathered in Hartford’s Cathedral of St. Joseph for the historic beatification Mass. There, we were graced by the presence of the boy whose healing was attributed to our Founder’s intercession and officially declared a miracle. His name is Mikey Schachle, the son of a brother Knight — our general agent in Tennessee. Who could forget that moment when Mikey presented the relic of Father McGivney? Pope Francis issued a special decree of beatification. He praised our Founder’s “zeal for the proclamation of the Gospel” which “made him an outstanding witness of Christian solidarity and fraternal assistance.” These words are a powerful validation of our Founder’s vision and of our own work. They remind us that Father McGivney’s life is an inspiration to the Church and to the world. The beatification Mass was a great celebration. But it was not only that. It C O L U M B I A B OCTOBER 2021
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the first time in a century, to Europe and mainland Asia. Our past supreme knight has also been a faithful steward of our Founder’s cause. During his tenure, Father McGivney was declared both Venerable and Blessed. Few brother Knights have done more for our Founder. Few have done more for our Order.
We strive to be the family’s first line of defense, encouraging men to embrace their vocation to heroic generosity and self-sacrifice.
The Knights of Columbus owes Past Supreme Knight Anderson a profound debt of gratitude. We will honor his contributions in person at next year’s convention. But for now, on behalf of the millions of lives he touched, I thank our Worthy Past Supreme Knight Carl Anderson for his 20 years of faithful leadership.
LEFT: Photo by Tamino Petelinšek — RIGHT: Photo by Alton Pelowski
What It Means To Be a Knight I AM OFTEN asked what it means to be a Knight of Columbus. My answer is simple. A Knight lives by faith and leads by creative courage. Faith and courage compel us to be men of charity. It is often said, “Where there’s a need, there’s a Knight.” And we prove it every day. We feed hungry families, give coats to kids, protect the vulnerable from catastrophe and defend the unborn.
We rebuild churches in the Middle East and build homes for the homeless in our communities. But we are not merely volunteers. We are servants of Christ who see his face in those we serve. Ours is a charity that evangelizes. Ours is a charity that brings people to faith, even as it springs from our own. Faith and courage inspire us to be men of unity. The Knights are known as the
“strong right arm of the Catholic Church.” We have always been firmly united with the pope, the vicar of Christ. We stand with our bishops, support our priests and aid in the formation of seminarians and religious. We strengthen the family — the domestic church — helping men build strong marriages and raise faithful children. We strive to be the family’s first line of defense, encouraging men to embrace their vocation to heroic OCTOBER 2021 B C O L U M B I A
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generosity and self-sacrifice. We are called to protect the truth from those who deny it, and bring the truth to those who need it. Our fidelity to Christ is the source of our unity; we are proud to proclaim it, far and wide. Finally, faith and courage bind us together in fraternity. A Knight of Columbus is never
alone. Each one of us stands side-byside with brothers — in our parish and around the world. At a time when men are increasingly isolated, we offer solidarity. At a time when men are searching, we offer meaning and mission. Fraternity amplifies all we do. It broadens our charity and deepens our unity. Alone, a man can do good
works. Alongside his brother Knights, he can rise to greatness. So, what does it mean to be a Knight? It means a life of faith in action, a life of boldness in brotherhood, a life worth living. Catholic men are looking for nothing less. In the Knights of Columbus, they will find it.
Leave No Neighbor Behind THERE IS NO BETTER proof of the
A young man in Huancané, Peru, helps to unload oxygen tanks donated by the Supreme Council. The Order committed $400,000 to aid the largely Indigenous populations of southeastern Peru and the Amazonas region of Brazil after COVID-19 cases overwhelmed local health care systems in early 2021.
stories of Knights serving neighbors. In Colorado, Council 16052 helped run a mobile food bank in the Rocky Mountains. Our brothers braved the worst winter weather to bring food to hungry families. Month after month, they showed up, putting the needs of others ahead of themselves. In Ontario, Council 1387 assisted international college students who couldn’t get home because of travel restrictions. Every week, like clockwork, Knights showed up with boxes of food and other supplies for neighbors they’d never met. Across North America, the Knights rallied alongside the Little Sisters of the Poor. The Supreme Council and more than 20 jurisdictions provided food, water and medical supplies to help the sisters serve the elderly. As Bob Novak, grand knight of Council 4977, said, “We’re big brothers of the Little Sisters.”
Knights supported thousands of Indigenous families across the continent. We brought truckloads of food worth more than $335,000 to the Acoma, Navajo and Zuni nations in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. We did the same for native Hawaiian communities and remote First Nation villages in Canada. Indigenous communities in fardistant locations were some of the hardest hit. The Supreme Council sent $215,000 in lifesaving oxygen supplies to the Amazon region, and another $146,000 to build oxygen plants in Peru. Pope Francis has urged all Catholics to go to the peripheries. And the Knights of Columbus does just that. Leave No Neighbor Behind will be seen as a proud chapter in our history. It is a case study in creative courage. The pandemic was a time of unprecedented need. The Knights of Columbus proved equal to the task.
Photo by ACI Prensa/Diego Lopez Marina
Knights’ witness of faith in action than the past 18 months. The COVID-19 pandemic was an unexpected crisis. Yet we rose to meet it, in extraordinary ways. This was not our first pandemic. Father McGivney died during a pandemic less than a decade after our founding. A century ago, the Knights of Columbus confronted the Spanish flu and emerged even stronger. This pandemic will be no different. Our duty was clear from the start. When loss and suffering struck our parishes and communities, the Knights responded, with service and sacrifice. We quickly rallied around a new initiative: Leave No Neighbor Behind. It focused our energy on the most urgent needs, such as feeding the hungry and caring for the vulnerable. As Knights, we know our neighbors are found far and wide. Wherever they are, we are there, too. All told, under the banner of Leave No Neighbor Behind, Knights donated nearly $7.7 million to community and parish projects, as well as 1.2 million pounds of food, and almost a quarter million pints of blood. We supported nearly 300,000 struggling parishioners and brother Knights. Behind these numbers are stories — C O L U M B I A B OCTOBER 2021
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COVID Recovery Program
Photo by Jeffrey Bruno
WE LED WITH SERVICE and charity
through the worst of the crisis. And we will continue to do so through our COVID Recovery Program. This effort has the same urgency as Leave No Neighbor Behind. The pandemic caused parishes to close or severely limit Mass attendance. Many of our councils put their activities on hold. Through the COVID Recovery Program, we will re-energize our parishes and restore our councils. The past 18 months gave us a new appreciation for our bonds of brotherhood. We must resume our work to strengthen families, ensure financial security and serve the least fortunate among us. This work is inherently tied to council life. Knights must also assist in the renewal of our parishes. The pandemic made clear how much we need the Mass. As the crisis pressed on, many were cut off from the Eucharist. Now, as we slowly recover, we must invite
the faithful back. Our councils must work hand-inhand with our pastors. We aren’t just the strong right arm of the Church; we are also the strong right arm of our parish priests. I am grateful for all the councils implementing the COVID Recovery Program. Around the world, brother Knights are knocking on doors, making phone calls and welcoming parishioners back to Mass. We are also restoring many of our larger initiatives. The Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C.,
Grand Knight Joe Pargola (left) and other members of Father Joseph D. Gallagher Council 3673 welcome parishioners back to Sunday Mass at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Morrisville, Pa., on May 9.
reopened to the public in June. Pilgrims can once again visit the shrine and experience its spiritual riches. Grand Knight Armando Mena of Council 3162 in Oceanside, Calif., summed up our duty. He said: “There is something for every man to do,” for as “Christ told St. Francis, ‘Go, rebuild my Church.’” I echo these wise words. The Knights of Columbus must be leaders in the recovery, and all of us have a role to play. I’m confident we’ll step up, with courage. And we will emerge stronger — as an Order and a Church.
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Charity charitable work is rising. And it is doing so amid a trying time. Much of the suffering caused by the pandemic is still with us. Many struggles that existed before have worsened. In this time of great need, we must redouble our commitment to our Faith in Action programs. Understandably, many of our traditional charitable activities took a backseat to more immediate needs. Some were simply not possible because of shutdowns and restrictions. Despite these headwinds, Knights still set a high standard for charitable service. Last year, we stepped up with more than $150 million in donations. And we stepped forward with more than 47 million hours of hands-on volunteer service. From Asia to the Americas to Europe, we served countless worthy 24
Knights from Holy Cross Council 10355 in Atlanta and family members make sandwiches for a local soup kitchen as part of an ongoing council project.
causes — with innovation and creative courage. It is an achievement we can be proud of — especially during a pandemic. I was personally inspired by our support for the homeless in Waterbury, Conn. Last month, I joined brother Knights as they put together bags of supplies. They’re known as “Brian Bags,” and they’re named after a local homeless man who died in 2017 because he lacked support. Connecticut Knights refuse to let that happen to other homeless, and it is our privilege to serve our neighbors in this special way. I have also been inspired by the Order’s continued commitment to our long-standing initiatives. We donated more than 100,000 coats to kids. From Washington, D.C., to the Constance
Lake First Nation in Canada, we gave the gift of warmth in the coldest months. Over the past 12 years, we have now given coats to more than 800,000 children. Over and above our pandemic response, we provided nearly $1.5 million in disaster relief. Our response came in the wake of wildfires, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and tornadoes. We helped the victims and even saved others from becoming victims. When fires ripped through California and Oregon, Knights were on the ground, building shelters and fighting the inferno. And we continue our support for Special Olympics. While the pandemic prevented many competitions from happening, we still donated more than
Photo by Audra Melton
AS THE RECOVERY continues, our
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On every front, the end of the pandemic is an invitation to action. Charity is our highest calling, and it demands our renewed focus. Where there’s pain, let us heal. Where there’s grief, let us comfort. Where there’s need, let us meet it, in new and creative ways. $3.5 million and nearly half a million volunteer hours. Our efforts have helped Special Olympics bounce back from the crisis. Finally, we reached a new milestone in partnership with the Global Wheelchair Mission. We have now donated more than 100,000 wheelchairs around the world. It took us nearly 20 years to reach this point — starting with a gift of 2,000 wheelchairs to landmine victims in Afghanistan in 2003. But we’re not done. We’ve now set our sights on donating 100,000 more wheelchairs. The Knights will continue to give the gift of mobility. On every front, the end of the pandemic is an invitation to action. Charity is our highest calling, and it demands our renewed focus. Where there’s pain, let us heal. Where there’s grief, let us comfort. Where there’s need, let us meet it, in new and creative ways. One ongoing need is support of the priesthood. Solidarity with our priests has always been a hallmark of the Knights of Columbus. Early next year, the Vatican will hold an important symposium on the priesthood, and I’m pleased to announce that the Knights of Columbus will be a major sponsor. We have committed $200,000 to the event, which will be hosted by our brother Knight from Canada, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who now serves as the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. At the same time, we will continue to provide scholarships to seminarians. Last year, we provided more than $1.2 million to this worthy cause. And we will grow that number in the years to come.
As we serve our communities, countries and Church, we cannot forget our fellow Christians in the Middle East, who continue to face great hardship. Their plight is still dire, as Pope Francis recently reminded us during his historic visit to Iraq. The Knights of Columbus was honored to sponsor the papal Mass in Erbil, which was attended by some 10,000 Iraqis. In that war-torn region, the Holy Father declared that “fraternity is more durable than fratricide” and “hope is more powerful than hatred.” Our fraternity helps provide that hope. In the past year alone, we devoted $4.4 million to help the region’s persecuted religious minorities. We financially supported a new effort to clear landmines, restore farmland and allow refugees to return. Our total Middle East relief now stands at more than $30 million. Thanks to the Knights of Columbus, our fellow Christians are rebuilding their homes and reclaiming their future. We will continue to aid them, because persecuted Christians can count on the Knights of Columbus. Beyond the Middle East, we are also focused on the plight of Christians in Nigeria, Africa’s largest country. Tens of thousands of innocent Nigerians have been killed for their faith in recent decades. Last year, we announced a new initiative to report on this perilous situation. Our partners have already conducted extensive interviews with Nigerian Christian families. Brother Knights will be on the ground there beginning this month. We’re confident their efforts will lead to much greater
Pope Francis prays for victims of war in Mosul, Iraq, on March 7. He stands in front of a cross fashioned from the charred pews of St. Addai Church in Karamles, which was desecrated and burned by Islamic State militants in 2014.
attention to the crisis faced by Nigeria’s Christians. Closer to home, we continue to support our fellow Catholics in Native American and First Nation communities. In New Mexico, a shrine in honor of St. Kateri Tekakwitha is being built with our support. And last month, Knights in South Dakota led a pilgrimage to the burial site of Nicholas Black Elk, a revered Lakota man who has been declared a Servant of God. Also this year, the Supreme Council released a new documentary film about the Catholic faith of Indigenous communities in North America. It is a powerful testament to the contributions they have made to our Church and culture. The film is titled Enduring Faith, and it began airing on ABC affiliates in May. OCTOBER 2021 B C O L U M B I A
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OUR CHARITABLE WORK helps millions of the most vulnerable. We never seek their gratitude, and some cannot give it — because they are not yet born. We are fighting for their right to life. The Knights have a distinguished legacy of defending life. We’ve played a leading role in national and state marches for life since they began. While the pandemic disrupted most marches over the past year, Knights found creative ways to continue their witness. In Canada, Knights led a smaller National March for Life. Virginia Knights served as marshals for a scaled-backed March for Life in Washington, D.C. Both marches also featured virtual rallies with hundreds of thousands participating. These marches for life are a vital witness, and I look forward to the day when together we march to victory! Last year marked the 60th anniversary of the Silver Rose Program. Beginning in 1960, Knights from 26
A group of pro-life leaders, including Knights of Columbus, marches to the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington after the March for Life virtual rally Jan. 29, 2021.
Canada, Mexico and the United States have carried silver roses across North America’s borders, signifying our unity and shared commitment to building a culture of life. Sixty years ago, the program began by crossing the International Bridge in Laredo, Texas. For the anniversary celebration, Knights crossed that same bridge. Guided by Our Lady of Guadalupe, we look forward to 60 more years of the Silver Rose Program. Certainly, our most notable pro-life program is the Ultrasound Initiative. It continues to grow and save countless unborn lives. Since 2009, the Order has placed more than 1,400 lifesaving machines in pregnancy resource centers. Two state councils have now donated more than 100 machines each. Florida dedicated its 100th machine last October, and California followed in April. Archbishop José Gómez of Los Angeles personally blessed California’s 100th device.
The Ultrasound Initiative has now reached Asia. Under the leadership of our territorial deputy, Gen. Shin Kyoung-soo, we placed our first machine in South Korea in April, and more are on the way. The fight for life has many fronts. They all require our creative courage, and the coming year will be pivotal. In the United States, the Hyde Amendment is under attack. This federal policy bans the use of taxpayer funding for abortion and has saved more than 2.4 million lives since it was first enacted in 1976. It’s named for its chief sponsor, the late Congressman Henry Hyde — a proud brother Knight. He was a champion for the unborn in his more than three decades in Congress. But now a slim majority wants to repeal his lifesaving work. The Knights will stand in the gap to defend it. Nearly 60% of Americans want to keep this common-sense policy. For the sake of the unborn, we will fight to preserve the Hyde Amendment.
Photo by Jeffrey Bruno
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Auxiliary Bishop Linus Lee Seong-hyo of Suwon, president of the Committee for Family and Life of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea, blesses the first ultrasound machine placed in South Korea on April 23.
Also this year, the Supreme Court will hear its most important abortion case in decades. For the first time, the court could allow states to ban abortion before
the age of viability. It would be a major victory for all who cherish life, resulting in a wave of new pro-life laws across America. Our annual Marist polling consistently shows that 3 out of 4 Americans favor substantial restrictions on abortion. Let us pray that the court will stand for life. And let us hope that when we gather at next year’s convention, we will celebrate the most pro-life Supreme Court decision in American history.
Insurance & Investing
ABOVE: Photo by Seung Kyug, Baek — BELOW: Photo by Eric Kayne Photography
THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS stands
for life, from conception to natural death. Just as we protect the unborn, we offer insurance to protect the families of brother Knights when the worst comes to pass. Insurance has been synonymous with the Order since 1882. It is a cornerstone of our charity, which begins at home. The past year and a half reminded us of the importance of our insurance program. Amid the pandemic, Catholic families looked to us for financial peace of mind. Sadly, COVID has claimed the lives of many brother Knights and their loved ones. Last year, we paid more than $524 million in death benefits, of which approximately $35 million was related to COVID. As always, we were there for families in their hour of grief. While the pandemic posed many challenges to our field force, it brought out the best of their determination and innovation. Agents quickly moved to a virtual business model. Instead of meeting across the kitchen table, they met on the kitchen table, through laptops and cell phones. New virtual Fraternal Benefits Nights became a popular way for families to discover all that we offer.
Henry Rangel, assistant general agent for Knights of Columbus councils in and around Houston, meets with a Knight and his wife.
Despite a difficult year, insurance sales were strong. All told, our agents sold $7.4 billion in new insurance. We now have more than $116 billion of insurance in force protecting Catholic families. And we continue to earn superior ratings from A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. I commend our field force for their hard work through a tough time. Our agents embodied creative courage. And they made a remarkable difference for Catholic families. Beyond insurance, we continue to offer a wide variety of financial products. All of them allow Catholics to invest and donate in ways that align with our Catholic faith and advance our core beliefs. In 2019, we launched a donor-advised
fund that can help supercharge your own charity. We call it the Knights of Columbus Charitable Fund. It helps individuals, families and councils set aside money to benefit charities aligned with Catholic teaching. Through the Knights of Columbus Charitable Fund, you can make contributions that can grow over time and recommend grants to the organizations that matter most to you and your family. The Charitable Fund is already off to a strong start. After just 18 months, we already have $14 million in assets, and we anticipate robust growth in the coming months. Last year, the Charitable Fund enabled donors to grant more than $1.9 million to charities around the world. And the Knights of Columbus Charitable Fund is poised to make OCTOBER 2021 B C O L U M B I A
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a major impact in the years ahead. We are also taking new steps to strengthen Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors. This program allows us to manage faith-driven investments for hundreds of councils, dioceses and religious orders. It offers the broadest Catholic lineup of investment strategies in the world. Now, for the first time, we are
making those strategies available to everyone, not just Knights. They’re called Knights of Columbus Mutual Funds, and they’re a game changer. Licensed field agents can now offer our mutual funds to anyone who wants them. You can be sure your investments uphold Catholic teaching without exception. These investment products also complement our insurance
products: Catholics can now look to us both for financial protection and financial planning. With Knights of Columbus Mutual Funds, we are poised to become the go-to financial resource for Catholic families. Father McGivney created the Order to protect those families. And we are advancing that mission into exciting new territory.
Membership IN ALL WE DO, the Knights inspire.
When Catholic men see us protecting families and serving the least fortunate, they will want to join us. Men want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want a life of meaning, a life of mission. They find it in our brotherhood. We help them grow, and their families thrive. That’s why more than 2 million men currently stand among our ranks. Growth was a challenge during the pandemic, but we still made progress. Online membership was a major onramp for new members. It accounted
for 40% of our growth last year. We expect that number to continue growing even as COVID fades. The new Exemplification of Charity, Unity and Fraternity has also proved popular. Early in the pandemic, we adapted the exemplification for online use. Nearly 26,000 Knights benefited from this innovation, including new members and existing members who advanced to the Third Degree. They now have a better sense of our purpose and principles. We will soon launch an initiative to re-engage existing members. The
Affiliate Member Program will free up local councils to focus on what matters most: serving the parish and those in need. The program will begin on a pilot basis this fall, and I’m confident it will be a success. Every Knight has a duty to expand our brotherhood. We are all ambassadors for the Order, and so today, I issue a challenge to every brother Knight. Between now and next year’s convention, invite at least two Catholic men to join us. Just two men — perhaps they’re in your parish; perhaps they’re longtime friends or neighbors. All they need to do is visit kofc.org/joinus. If each one of us does this, we will set the stage for a new era of growth — growth in good men and good works. We all want to make a bigger difference. By accepting this challenge, you will ensure that happens. One of the most effective ways to grow the Order is to highlight our charitable work. It is also important to grow the Fourth Degree. In the past year, more than 15,000 Knights pledged themselves to lives of patriotism. Total membership in the Fourth Degree now stands at more than 370,000. I encourage every Knight who is not yet a member of the Fourth Degree to join. What starts with charity, unity and fraternity doesn’t stop there. Our principles point to love of country. Patriotism is an essential part of who we are.
Photo by Spirit Juice Studios
New members are invested with the rosary at an Exemplification of Charity, Unity and Fraternity in Franklin, Tenn.
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A perfect example of our patriotism is on full display in the Philippines. This year marks the 500th anniversary of Catholicism there. The Catholic faith has long been a source of Filipino pride and progress. Our more than 470,000 members in the Philippines are taking a leading role in the celebrations. I thank God for their witness and pray that this anniversary provides not only an opportunity for celebration, but also for renewal. As patriots, we support the best traditions of our countries. For that reason, we stand opposed to the dangerous rise of so-called “cancel culture.” From North America to Europe and beyond, there is a coordinated campaign to rewrite history and intimidate anyone who stands in the way. Cancel culture focuses exclusively on injustice and overlooks the march toward justice. Ultimately, this campaign is divisive, and it threatens to tear our societies apart. The Knights of Columbus believes in a better way. Where “cancel culture” blames, we work for reconciliation and
The renowned statue of the Santo Niño (Holy Child) — the oldest Catholic icon in the Philippines — is carried through Cebu City during a jubilee procession April 4. Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu (right) participates in the event, one of many across the country celebrating the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity to its shores.
reform. Where it divides, we unite — promoting the equal brotherhood of all. Knights have always advocated for faithful citizenship, religious liberty and equal justice. We play a vital role
Photo by Sammy Navaja/Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
IN ALL WE DO, our success depends
on our commitment to charity, unity and fraternity. Our principles are a powerful synthesis of the Gospel. They enable us to lead the extraordinary lives to which Christ has called us. By embracing our principles and doing good works, we will spread the faith. This can be difficult, but our baptism demands no less. Ultimately, we have the responsibility to evangelize our culture. We have little choice, because if we don’t evangelize our culture, our culture will evangelize us. In many ways, the cultural current is trending against us. It tells us that what we hold to be right is wrong, and what we hold to be true is false.
It is no wonder the Catholic family is struggling. Consider the facts. Nearly a third of Catholic marriages end in divorce. Eight of 10 Catholic children leave the Church by their early 20s. The median age at which they begin to fall away is just 13 years old. My brother Knights, these challenges are unprecedented. Our commitment to address them must also be unprecedented. It falls to us to strengthen the Catholic family. The Knights of Columbus is well suited to the task. For generations, we have helped Catholics become better husbands, better fathers and better men in every respect. That’s exactly what the world needs right now.
in building societies where all can live in peace and harmony. We have done so from our founding to this very day. And we will continue do so in the future, to an even greater degree.
I have long admired the Order’s impact on men. As a Navy JAG officer for many years, I saw young men who had the courage to serve their country but who nonetheless made poor decisions and got into trouble. My job was to represent them at courts-martial. Many lacked strong families or strong father figures. And too few had a living and real faith. This made a lasting impression on me, and I came to appreciate that one of the best things about the Knights is that we can help fill this void. As supreme knight, I will prioritize new initiatives to strengthen the faith of men and the faith of our families. I firmly believe that, more and more, our success as an Order will be judged by this standard. Our growth depends on empowering men to be the husbands and fathers that God wants us to be. It is harder than ever, and for that reason, we must push forward as never before. It will require creative courage. OCTOBER 2021 B C O L U M B I A
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Fortunately, we are building on a strong foundation. Following the success of our Faith in Action program model, last year we launched a new video series called Into the Breach. Its 12 episodes focus on the topics that matter most to men — from fatherhood to masculinity to spiritual warfare. Into the Breach has proven immensely popular. To date, it has been viewed more than 750,000 times. Its accessible format and content make Into the Breach a template for future projects. This spring, we launched a new monthly webcast, known as KnightCast. Available on our website, via email and through social media, KnightCast is designed to strengthen men in our faith. Each episode includes inspiring stories, interviews with Catholic leaders and the supreme chaplain’s monthly challenge. It has been well received and we are taking steps to make it even better. It will relaunch this fall, and I encourage every Knight to subscribe. New projects are coming soon. One of the most important is a new video series on family and fatherhood. The Knights must be a beacon of hope on these critical issues. We have an
opportunity, and an obligation, to help Catholics fulfill their calling as husbands and fathers and, above all, as men. This new series will do just that. You can also look forward to the third season of Everyday Heroes. The next round of videos will introduce a new group of inspiring Knights. They come from different backgrounds, but they share one key attribute: Their uncommon faith is a common feature. Their example of courage and action deserves our attention. One of the principal tools to reach and form Knights and their families is Columbia. This month marks a century of Columbia as the Order’s flagship publication. The magazine was redesigned this past fall, coinciding with Father McGivney’s beatification, and we are currently developing new content and a digital strategy to further the Order’s mission and expand its audience. Finally, this fall, we will debut a new documentary on St. Joseph. It will explore why St. Joseph is the ideal model for Catholic men. It will also examine why devotion to him has been important through the ages — and why it matters now more than ever. This film will air on network television across America.
Knights of the Eucharist THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS does
many things. But they all come down to one thing. We get the man right. We empower him to embrace his faith and lead a life of charity, unity and fraternity. And by getting the man right, we start a chain reaction. We can get the marriage right, the family right, the parish right. We can even get the culture right. A Knight makes a difference far beyond himself. We should witness to our faith in all we do. And all who see us should see the light of Christ shining through us. But a Knight of Columbus only sows the seeds that
Christ first plants in us. On the day I was installed as supreme knight, I spoke about our calling as “Knights of the Eucharist.” No words better describe our mission. The Church teaches us that the Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christian life.” It is just as much the source and summit in the life of a Knight. Christ in the Eucharist is the source of true charity. Christ in the Eucharist is the author of true unity. Christ in the Eucharist is the builder of perfect fraternity.
In the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord, we find our strength. The more we devote ourselves to the Eucharist, the more we will understand what it means to be a Knight. We know what, and Who, the Eucharist is. But many of our fellow Catholics do not. As many as two-thirds of Catholics no longer believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. This is deeply troubling. Restoring belief in the Eucharist is essential. The future of our Church depends on it. To that end, I am pleased to announce that the Knights of Columbus will be a major sponsor of the upcoming
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Photo by Sarah Przybysz
Grand Knight Nicholas Zaso (front right) and other members of St. John Henry Newman Council 11323 at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., lead a eucharistic procession and rosary on campus. Carrying the monstrance is Father David Sherland, council chaplain, who asked the Knights to help organize the event for the intention of national unity.
National Eucharistic Revival in the United States. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is organizing this effort. The bishops will release more details in the months ahead. But for now, our task is to deepen our own devotion to the Eucharist. We can do this through personal prayer, attendance at Mass and eucharistic adoration.
The Knights are honored to support the National Eucharistic Revival, even before it begins next year. Working with our bishops and priests, we will strive to renew belief in the Eucharist and build up the Church. We are a force for unity, and we will prove it by pointing to the source of unity. As Knights of the Eucharist, we proudly proclaim this truth.
IT IS TRULY AN HONOR to lead the Knights of Columbus in this exciting time. And it is a privilege to do so alongside so many dedicated brother Knights. I was installed as supreme knight just two months ago, together with the new supreme officers and directors, and many of our state deputies. It was a humbling and awesome experience, made all the more so by the sacred setting — St. Mary’s Church, where our Blessed Founder established the Order. I cannot think of a more fitting place to have begun our united work. God is calling us to fulfill a great task. This is a time of challenge, but as every Knight knows, strength rejoices in challenge. Our Lord has given us a powerful sign of what he wants us to do and where he wants us to go. In the designs of Providence, it is no coincidence that this Year of St. Joseph comes on the heels of Father McGivney’s beatification. These two men are models for every Knight. In St. Joseph, we see our mission and mandate. Guard the family. Guard the truth. He led through service and creative courage. So must we. It is the only way to overcome the hurdles facing our families, the Church and our culture. Father McGivney, too, was a man of courage. Like us, he lived in a time of great need. He rose to meet that need, in new and powerful ways. Where he led first, we follow and must lead still. As his heirs, we take his vision to new places and people. There is nowhere else we’d rather be and nothing else we’d rather do. As we recall the lives of these two men, we should ask how we can become more like them. So too should we ask how we can meet the moment that we are in. The answer lies before us. Father McGivney’s feast day is only 10 days away, on Aug. 13. It will be OCTOBER 2021 B C O L U M B I A
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Join the Father McGivney Guild Please enroll me in the Father Michael J. McGivney Guild:
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his first liturgical memorial since his beatification, and it is a day when all Knights, wherever they are, should deepen their devotion to our Founder. I urge every Knight to pray for his intercession, especially on Aug. 13. I also urge every Knight to turn to St. Joseph. During my installation, I knelt before a beautiful icon of our Lord’s foster father. It is from St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, and that image will be the centerpiece of our next pilgrim icon program. It will travel in every jurisdiction for the next two years. Seek it out. Ask for St. Joseph’s inspiration and intercession — for you, for your family and for the Order. Finally, let us turn to Our Lady of Guadalupe — the patroness of the Order. We are now just 10 years away from the 500th anniversary of her apparitions to St. Juan Diego. We are 32
already preparing for this great celebration. The following year will mark 150 years since the founding of the Order. As those joyful milestones approach, let us recommit to the highest traditions of our past. And we will advance our timeless mission into the future. That future beckons. Let us rise to meet it, confident that Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Joseph and Blessed Michael McGivney will guide us. Let us summon the creative courage to fulfill the calling that our Lord has placed on our hearts. And let us take comfort in the knowledge that the work of the Order is far from over. The work of the Knights of Columbus is only beginning — and we are the ones who will carry it forward. Vivat Jesus!
OFFICIAL OCTOBER 1, 2021: 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 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 06507-9982. 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 06507-9982. COLUMBIA (ISSN 0010-1869/USPS #123-740) IS PUBLISHED 11 TIMES A YEAR BY THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS, 1 COLUMBUS PLAZA, NEW HAVEN, CT 06510-3326. PHONE: 203-752-4000, kofc.org. PRODUCED IN USA. COPYRIGHT © 2021 BY KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART WITHOUT PERMISSION IS PROHIBITED. PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID AT NEW HAVEN, CT AND ADDITIONAL MAILING OFFICES. POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO COLUMBIA, MEMBERSHIP DEPARTMENT, P.O. BOX 554, ELMSFORD, NY 10523. CANADIAN POSTMASTER — PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 1473549. RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO: KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS, 50 MACINTOSH BOULEVARD, CONCORD, ONTARIO L4K 4P3. PHILIPPINES — FOR PHILIPPINES SECOND-CLASS MAIL AT THE MANILA CENTRAL POST OFFICE. SEND RETURN COPIES TO KCFAPI, FRATERNAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT, PO BOX 1511, MANILA.
Photo by Mike Ross
Supreme Knight Kelly, his wife, Vanessa, and their daughters, (left to right) Caroline, Teresa and Meg, are pictured after receiving a blessing from Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori following the supreme knight’s installation June 11.
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KNIGHTS OF CHARITY
Photo by Nancy Wiechec
Knights of Charity Every day, Knights all over the world are given opportunities to make a difference — whether through community service, raising money or prayer. We celebrate each and every Knight for his strength, his compassion and his dedication to building a better world.
A crew of Arizona Knights reroofs a cabin at St. Joseph’s Youth Camp in Mormon Lake, an overnight summer camp founded by the Arizona State Council in 1949. Knights complete building projects and repairs at the camp several times a year, and local councils donate funds for camper scholarships and other programs.
To be featured here, send your council’s “Knights in Action” photo as well as its description to: Columbia, 1 Columbus Plaza, New Haven, CT 06510-3326 or e-mail: email@example.com COLUMBIA OCT 21 ENG COVERS 9_16 FINAL r3.indd 3
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PLEASE, DO ALL YOU CAN TO ENCOURAGE PRIESTLY AND RELIGIOUS VOCATIONS. YOUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
‘Strive to imitate Christ in all you do.’ My call to religious life began with a construction project at my college dorm. As jackhammers rang outside, I sought refuge in the chapel and at campus ministry events. My faith began to flourish, and during those years I providentially met a De La Salle Christian brother who opened up new opportunities for community and service. My Catholic education, throughout which numerous teachers instilled in me a passion for learning, played a significant role in my discernment. I similarly attribute my vocation in large part to my family, who have always encouraged me to be faithful to God and a disciple of Christ. Though they hoped I would one day have a family of my own, they have come to respect the idea of religious life after meeting the brothers and seeing my joy in the community. My advice to anyone discerning is to remain true to yourself and God. Dedicate yourself to growing in faith, service, justice, hope and love. Strive to imitate Christ in all you do, and the rest will come with time.
Photo by John Zich
Brother Kyle Mena Brothers of the Christian Schools Pittsburgh
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