'Be the Example'
‘There is No One to Take Your Place’
At the annual Awards Banquet held Sept. 29, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson challenged more than 200 college Knights to help heal a divided nation.
The key, he told those gathered for the annual College Council Conference in New Haven, Connecticut, is to live the values set forth by Knights of Columbus founder, Father Michael J. McGivney.
"The Knights of Columbus, and especially you as leaders of the Knights of Columbus, need to be an example to a country that is divided by hatred," Supreme Knight Anderson said. "We have a civil responsibility to demonstrate the strength of character and principles that bind us together and that can bring the country together."
Nearly 220 college Knights gathered for the annual conference of leadership development, Sept. 29-Oct. 1. Coming from 87 campuses across North America, the attendees discuss membership and recruitment strategies, share ideas for charitable activities, learn best practices in council management and explore what it means to be Catholic gentlemen. They were accompanied by 25 chaplains who serve the spiritual needs of college councils.
In his remarks, Supreme Knight Anderson pointed out that Father Michael McGivney was only 14 years old when President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. At that time, Lincoln’s second inaugural address – which had been unpopular when first delivered – became a plan by which to unify the country after the devastating Civil War. Father McGivney took brotherhood, charity and unity as the principles that would hold the newly formed Knights of Columbus together. In a similar way, nearly a hundred years later, Dr. Martin Luther King, in his many writings on nonviolence, would look to the fraternal brotherhood of those who answered that call to hold them together in times of adversity, the supreme knight said.
He encouraged the college Knights to continue in their roles as Knights of Columbus leaders throughout their academic careers and beyond. “There is no one to take our place – to take your place – in support of the Church, in support of our priests, in support of a culture of life, in support of our parishes and communities. If you’re not doing it, then who will take your place? The Church needs you. Your community needs you. Your fellow Catholics need you. And your country needs you.”
“There are many spiritual challenges in today’s society and on college campuses, and what will sustain you through these challenges is your Catholic character and determination,” he added.
“You know that the Knights of Columbus has an important social dimension on your campus, and that’s a good thing. You also know that your councils have an important charitable dimension on your campuses, and that’s a good thing too. What we really also need to do is to help in the Christian formation of our brother Knights and other Catholic men by promoting initiatives like our Into the Breach program” the supreme knight said.
Following his remarks, Supreme Knight Anderson and other supreme officers conferred awards to college councils for exemplary service and achievement.