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Welcoming Pope Francis | Resolutions of the 133rd Supreme Convention

Resolution No. 355


      WHEREAS, Pope Francis will travel to the United States from September 23rd to September 27th to attend the 8th World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and

      WHEREAS, the Holy Father will begin his journey to the United States in Washington, D.C. where he will meet with the President of the United States, address a joint session of the United States Congress, and celebrate Mass on the grounds of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and The Catholic University of America, during which he will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra; and

      WHEREAS, Pope Francis will also visit New York City where he will address the General Assembly of the United Nations; and

      WHEREAS, the World Meeting of Families was created by Saint John Paul II in 1994 to explore the critical role the family plays in society and to provide families with the opportunity to come together to discuss the challenges they face; and

      WHEREAS, the theme of this year’s World Meeting of Families is: “Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive;” and

      WHEREAS, in his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis stated that the weakening of family is “particularly serious because the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences; it is also the place where parents pass on the Faith to their children;” and

      WHEREAS, in his recent encyclical, Laudato Si, Pope Francis reminds us that it is within the family that we first learn how to show love and respect for life and to care for all creatures and the whole of God’s creation; and

      WHEREAS, the Knights of Columbus has always worked to strengthen family life and has recently launched the Building the Domestic Church initiative to encourage our members and their families to fully realize their vital mission in the Church through daily prayer, catechesis and Scripture reading, as well as through family charitable and volunteer projects; and

      WHEREAS,in honor of the World Meeting of Families, the Order has begun the Holy Family Prayer Program encouraging all councils to host prayer services and liturgical celebrations with the pilgrim image of the Holy Family; and

      WHEREAS, the Knights of Columbus is celebrating the historic journey of Pope Francis to the United States by asking that all First Degree ceremonies held during this fraternal year be offered in honor of Pope Francis.

      NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that we call upon the entire Order to express our solidarity with the Holy Father through a commitment to prayer, fasting and acts of charity for the intention that God may protect him during his visit to the United States and grant him the courage and wisdom to guide the Church at this time; and

      FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Knights of Columbus offers its deep appreciation to Pope Francis for his witness and for his encyclical Laudato Si which reminds us that the protection of God’s creation is inextricably linked to healthy family life; and

      FUTHER RESOLVED, that we renew our commitment to building the domestic church through programs that seek to strengthen the bonds of prayerful family life; and

      FURTHER RESOLVED, that we offer our prayerful support for the success of the 8th World Meeting of Families and ask the intercession of the meeting’s patrons, Saint John Paul II and Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, so that the meeting will bring the Church together for fruitful discussion of the role of the family in our time; and

      FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Knights of Columbus will remain steadfast in its support of our Holy Father and assist him in his pastoral mission to encourage and strengthen Catholic family life.