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Leaders for Life


Deputy Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly talks to college Knights on the virtues of leadership and Catholic formation

Deputy Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly talks to college Knights on the virtues of leadership and strong Catholic formation

“The decision you have made already to align yourself to the Knights of Columbus can set you on a trajectory of good choices. Our faith foundation and values are a recipe for a clear, conscionce and a good life,” Deputy Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly told the college Knights during his address on “Leaders for Life” at the annual College Conference’s opening business session.

The deputy supreme knight thanked the college Knights for stepping up and taking on the roles as leaders on their campuses and in their councils and offered them some thoughts on their continued growth as leaders:

  • Think of yourself as a leader, lead yourself first and then you can lead others.
  • We as Knights need to be the kind of men that other men want to be around.
  • Remember being a Catholic man and a Catholic leader in today’s culture takes heroism to engage in what is a spiritual battle.
  • Read Into the Breach and consider having a study group on it.
  • Good leaders are authentic. Live charity, unity and fraternity every day.
  • Look to the future in a humble way and always leave things better than you found them.
  • Learn from your failures, do not let them define you and use them to drive you to do better.
  • The people who never fail also never take a risk or take responsibility for taking action.
  • Read the book, Make Your Bed by Admiral William McRaven, as a good overview on winning leadership characteristics.

Along with addressing leadership, particularly in regards to the Knights of Columbus and campus life, Deputy Supreme Knight Kelly emphasized the importance of developing friendships during the Knights’ college years. “Your Knights of Columbus friends are men who share your values and you can appreciate the virtue in each other.”

He also emphasized the importance of the Knights of Columbus’ service programs such as the Christian Refugee Relief, Into the Breach and Coats for Kids. Those are examples of programs that will benefit those in need while also giving the council visibility and elevating the order's status on campus.

The deputy supreme knight added that college Knights —and all Knights — should commit to their chaplains. “Your chaplains are the best advisors you have. They know the Church and they know the campus,” he said. He added that councils should talk to their chaplains about setting up a men’s retreat or day of reflection, not only for members, but for all Catholic men.

“Your choice to align yourself with the values of the Knights is a defining moment for you. And I, and the Knights of Columbus, thank you for making that choice,” he said.

Following the opening session, the college Knights participated in workshops throughout the day before taking a tour of the Supreme Council headquarters and the Knights of Columbus Museum.