Lead with Courage and Conviction

Posted on June 29, 2022 in: General News

Lead with Courage and Conviction

At annual meeting of state deputies, K of C jurisdiction leaders charged to be Knights of the Eucharist and to help build a culture of life

Knights of Columbus leaders from around the world convened in New Haven, Conn., from June 8-12 for the annual Organizational Meeting of State Deputies. Throughout the week, the state deputies and other K of C leaders participated in daily Mass, business sessions, fraternal events and an array of workshops focused on areas including leadership development and membership growth. In keynote remarks, Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly and Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore underscored the Order’s mission of faith and charity.

More than 70 state deputies from throughout the United States and other countries, including Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, the Dominican Republic, South Korea, and France, participated in the meeting. Newly elected state deputies were officially installed at the conclusion of Mass celebrated by Archbishop Lori at St. Mary’s Church on June 10.

Following the Mass, Supreme Knight Kelly delivered keynote remarks in the hall beneath St. Mary’s, noting that the state deputies were on a pilgrimage to the very place where Blessed Michael McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus 140 years ago.

“Think of the men who sat where you’re sitting,” the supreme knight said. “Think of what motivated them. Serving the widow, the orphan, and the most vulnerable. Defending the family and the faith. Building a brotherhood that gives men a path to greatness.”

He later added, “The decisions you make — and the actions you take — will have an enormous impact. So it is essential that you lead with courage and conviction.”

Supreme Knight Kelly also urged the state deputies to advance the cause of life this year, given the landmark Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case pending in the U.S. Supreme Court and potential overturning of Roe v. Wade.

“Repeal of Roe won’t be the end of abortion in America,” he said. “But it might be the beginning of the end.”

A rollback of Roe, the supreme knight explained, will require even more work at the state and local levels to promote a culture of life, including placing more ultrasound machines in pregnancy resource centers, growing state marches for life, and asking Knights councils to increase their support for local pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes.

Supreme Knight Kelly then announced a new $5 million campaign to assist this effort, called “Aid and Support After Pregnancy” (ASAP). Through the program, launching July 1, the Supreme Council will give an additional $100 for every $500 a council donates to a pregnancy resource center or a maternity home.

“In a post-Roe world,” he said, “We need to be there for mothers and children. They will need our help more than ever.”

The supreme knight also encouraged state deputies to turn to daily prayer for inspiration and wisdom. “You need the grace and the strength that comes from prayer,” he said. “It will give you energy and creativity. It will help you see your responsibilities clearly.”

In his homily at St. Mary’s Church, Archbishop Lori called the state deputies’ attention to Blessed Michael McGivney’s devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

“In the heart of Jesus, Father McGivney found an infinite love, not only for humanity in general, but for each person individually,” he said. “As you look to the year that lies ahead may you find wisdom and strength in the heart of Christ to build fraternity in your jurisdictions.”

In his keynote remarks later that afternoon, the supreme chaplain highlighted the importance of the National Eucharistic Revival, a three-year initiative of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that will launch June 19, the feast of Corpus Christi in the United States.

“As Knights of the Eucharist,” Archbishop Lori said, “we need to do everything in our power to encourage our brother Knights and their families to attend Holy Mass each and every Sunday without fail, to have the courage to speak with fellow Catholics who absent themselves from Sunday Mass.”

Archbishop Lori also thanked the supreme knight for launching the new ASAP program and praised the Order’s pro-life work, citing foundational support for the March for Life and placement of more than 1,500 life-saving ultrasound machines in pregnancy resource centers.

“It is hard to think of an organization that has done more for the cause of life than the Knights of Columbus,” he said. “But indeed, our work is not yet done. Far from it. In fact, we are entering a new and critical stage.”

View the full text of remarks by Supreme Knight Kellyview the full text of remarks by Archbishop Lori.