Text Size:
  • A
  • A
  • A

Knights' Support for John Paul II - 2000s

Pope John Paul II is pictured
  • 2000, May 21: Pope John Paul II canonized 25 Mexican martyrs, victims of the religious persecution of the 1920s, of whom six were priests, who were members of the Knights of Columbus. The priests had been beatified on November 22, 1992.

  • 2000, February: Then Supreme Secretary Carl A. Anderson participated in Vatican events marking the fifth anniversary of Pope John Paul II's encyclical on life issues: Evangelium Vitae . He also delivered a paper on attempts to legalize physician-assisted suicide in the United States and Canada.

  • 2000, March: The Order funded the telecast of the Holy Father's visit to the Holy Land, and in particular to Nazareth.

  • 2000, October: Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson took part in the Third World Meeting of Families with the Holy Father in Rome. On Oct. 14, the Supreme Knight spoke to an audience of approximately 300,000 people in St. Peter's Square, focusing his talk on the need for governments to enact laws and uphold policies that promote respect for the family. The Order provided funding for the telecast worldwide of this Jubilee family event.

  • 2000: Pope John Paul II announced that the Church in Canada would sponsor the next World Youth Day, to be held in Toronto from July 18-28, 2002. The Knights of Columbus has had a long history of support and participation in World Youth Days, the Holy Father's own program for gathering youth throughout the world in celebration of the faith. In 1995 in Denver the Supreme Council sponsored a booth and distributed rosaries, prayer cards and other items to the pilgrims. In 1997 the Order coordinated a traveling cross program with the Philippines bishops' conference. The Order also underwrote the worldwide satellite telecast of Pope John Paul II's concluding Mass from Manila. In 1999 a delegation of College Knights represented the Order at World Youth Day in Paris. In Denver, Toronto and Manila Knights were among the largest groups of volunteers, helping to assure that the various logistics of handling large crowds and providing services to them would be taken care of.

  • 2000: The Order invested $400,000 in support of the documentary film based on "Witness to Hope," a much-praised biography of Pope John Paul II by George Weigel.

  • 2000: Among Vatican dicasteries helped during the Year 2000 were the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum," which coordinates the Church's worldwide relief and development efforts; the Congregation for Oriental Churches to support a Congress of some 100 ordinaries and leaders of Eastern Catholic churches in the Americas and Oceania held in Boston; the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C.; the Apostolic Vatican Library for the annual cost of maintaining its important reference sources, called The Index.

  • 2000, July: The Order participated in and subsidized telecasting of the events of World Youth Day held in Rome.

  • 2000: Papal Message to Knights

  • 2001, April 29: In St. Peter's Square, Pope John Paul II beatified Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, a member of the Knights of Columbus in Puerto Rico.

  • 2001, April: In Montreal, the Order participated through major funding and active involvement in the Third Continental Congress on Vocations, a meeting requested by Pope John Paul II.

  • 2001, May: The Holy Father marked the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. In 1988, the Order sponsored a North American Campus of the Institute, which today is located at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. The North American Campus has awarded more than 200 advanced degrees, such as doctorates and masters degrees.

  • 2001, June: The Holy Father made a gift to the Knights of Columbus of a mitre worn by him during the Jubilee Year, specifically at a Mass celebrated on March 21, 2000, in Amman, Jordan, during his visit to the Holy Land. The mitre is on display in the Papal Gallery at the Knights of Columbus Museum.

  • 2001: Beginning on Sept. 30, Supreme Knight Anderson participated as an auditor in the month-long Synod of Bishops, having been named to that post by Pope John Paul II, one of 22 auditors chosen by the Holy Father from throughout the world.

  • 2001: On Oct. 10, the Supreme Knight addressed the session of the Synod of Bishops, discussing the relationship between the family and the bishop in fulfilling its role in the new evangelization. The Supreme Knight also served as a reader at the opening Mass of the Synod on Sept. 30.

  • 2001: Papal Message to Knights

  • 2002, January: The Order authorized a grant of $1 million to fund "Duc in Altum" park, where the sacrament of reconciliation was available to young people attending World Youth Day in Toronto. Here again the Order was well represented among the volunteers, and also in providing assistance to the young people.

  • 2002, January: The Order once again provided funding for the worldwide satellite coverage of a papal event, namely the Jan. 24 peace summit, convened by the Holy Father in Assisi, which attracted more than 200 religious leaders from around the world.

  • 2002, February 25: The Holy Father appointed Supreme Knight Anderson as one of 25 new members of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. In that same month the Supreme Knight also took part in a meeting of the Pontifical Academy for Life, of which he is also a member.

  • 2002, March: As a sign of solidarity with the Holy Father, whose strongest desire is world peace, the Order established in March the $2 million Pacem in Terris Fund, the earnings of which will be used to promote peace initiatives in the Holy Land and to assist the Latin patriarchate in supporting the Christian community there.

  • 2002, April: Supreme Knight Anderson is granted a private audience by Pope John Paul II, at which time they discussed the Cause for Canonization of Father Michael J. McGivney. A sculptural representation of Father McGivney created by Donatella Gismondi is presented to the Holy Father, who expresses keen interest in Father McGivney's cause.

  • 2002: The Knights of Columbus receives the gift of a small oil lamp used by Pope John Paul II at the World Peace Summit he hosted in Assisi the previous January. The gift is being displayed in the Knights of Columbus Museum.

  • 2002: The Order collaborates once again with the Fabbrica di San Pietro to restore precious artworks in the grottoes of St. Peter's Basilica. These include centuries-old paintings and marble work in the Peribolo of Clement II; the Chapel of the Madonna of the Parturient; the Chapel of the Budding Madonna; and the Sepulchre of Pius XII.

  • 2002, Nov. 23: Supreme Knight Anderson is given a letter on peace personally handwritten by the Pope. The letter became the centerpiece of a display at the Knights of Columbus Museum: "John Paul II: A Passion for Peace." He also presented the Holy Father with a resolution from the Board of Directors, thanking him for his apostolic letter on the rosary, and the announcement on the new Luminous Mysteries.

  • 2002: For Christmas, the Order collaborated with the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in a streaming video production of a 24-hour television program celebrating the 25th Christmas of the Holy Father's Pontificate.

  • 2002: Papal Message to Knights

Supreme Knight presents gift to the Pope.
  • 2003, January: The Board of Directors votes to provide assistance to the Catholic Committee for Cultural Collaboration, a subsidiary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Funding also is provided for the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples to computerize the catalogue system at the Pontifical Library at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome.

  • 2003: In response to the call of the Holy Father for support for vocations, the Order undertakes a 2003 program centered on the 40th annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations, observed on May 11.

  • 2003: On May 11, the Knights of Columbus Museum opens an exhibit titled "John Paul II -- A Passion for Peace." Many of the items on display are on loan from the Vatican. Among items on display were a rosary crafted by a Polish political prisoner, a painting from the Pope's personal collection depicting prisoners exiled to Siberia, and a mosaic titled "The Hand of God" from the Vatican Museums. Two special oil lamps are also part of the exhibit. One, loaned by the Archbishop of Sarajevo, was used during a papal prayer service for peace during the pope's visit there in 1997. The second lamp was used by the Holy Father at the World Summit for Peace held in Assisi.

  • 2003, July: The Holy Father's Encyclical on the Eucharist, Ecclesia de Eucharistia was the topic of the second Knights of Columbus Eucharistic Congress held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., August 7-8.

Supreme Knight pictured with Pope
  • 2003: In October, the Order begins a year-long prayer program in honor of Pope John Paul II and priests through a "Divine Mercy Prayer Service" featuring the image of Divine Mercy, which will travel to Councils throughout the Order. The image being used by the Knights was blessed by the Holy Father earlier in 2003.

  • 2003, Oct. 9: The Holy Father receives the Board of Directors in audience, at which time Supreme Knight Anderson presents the pope with a gift of $2.5 million, including earnings on the Vicarius Christi Fund. This gift brought to more than $35 million the amount presented to the Holy Father in connection with the $20 million Vicarius Christi Fund first established in 1981 and increased in 1988.

  • 2003: In connection with the opening of the scholastic year 2003, the Supreme Council presents to some 4,000 seminarians gift copies of Pope John Paul II's volume: "Gift and Mystery." The book was a special edition with an introduction by Supreme Knight Anderson. The volume commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Holy Father's priesthood celebrated in 1996.

  • 2003, October: At an audience granted to the Board of Directors, Pope John Paul II encouraged the Knights as follows: "In fidelity to the vision of Father Michael J. McGivney, may you continue to seek new ways of being a leaven of the Gospel in the world, and a spiritual force for the renewal of the Church."

  • 2003, October: The Order begins its celebration of the 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's pontificate with a special issue of Columbia, highlighting his accomplishments and Knights of Columbus solidarity with him throughout these 25 years.

  • 2003, Nov. 24: The Holy Father named Supreme Knight Anderson as a consultant to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the only American among 10 new appointees.

  • 2003, December: More than 100 works of art and architecture from the Vatican go on exhibit at the Knights of Columbus Museum for the show "Creating St. Peter's -- Architectural Treasures of the Vatican." The show's centerpiece is a 16-foot-tall cutaway model of the dome of St. Peter's, designed by Michelangelo. The opening on Dec. 10 was highlighted by the presence of Cardinal Francesco Marchisano, archpriest of the Patriarchal Vatican Basilica.

  • 2003: Papal Message to Knights

Papal Concert of Reconciliation
  • 2004, Jan. 17: In the Pope Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican, Maestro Gilbert Levine leads the Pittsburgh Symphony and several international choral groups in a presentation of the "Concert of Faiths -- the Papal Concert for Reconciliation," in the presence of the Holy Father. Attending are representatives of the three Abrahamic religions: the Holy Father; the former Chief Rabbi of Rome; and the Iman of the Rome Mosque. The concert was funded by the Order. Other representatives of the Christian, Jewish and Moslem faiths also attended. The concert was cosponsored by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialog, and the respective Vatican commissions for religious relations with the Jews and with Muslims. A film of the concert was produced, and debuted at the Lincoln Center in March. In June it was screened at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The program has aired nearly 100 times on more than 80 public broadcasting stations throughout the United States, and a DVD has been released.
  • 2004: To assist the Holy Father, the Order provides financial assistance to several Vatican congregations and to other projects associated with the Holy See. Among them: continuation of the Satellite Uplink Program for the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and support for the Pontifical Academy for Life and the Pontifical Mission Library. The Order also contributes funding for an online tour of the Redemptoris Mater Chapel, the Holy Father's personal chapel, to capture the beauty of its mosaics designed by Father Marko Ivan Rupnik, who was also working on a redesign of the Holy Family Chapel in the Supreme Council office in New Haven.

  • 2004: In solidarity with the Holy Father and his proclamation that October 2004-2005 will be the Year of the Eucharist, the Knights of Columbus plans a third Knights of Columbus Eucharistic Congress. It will take place immediately following the Supreme Council Meeting in August 2005 in Chicago.

  • 2004: Papal Message to Knights