Approximately 2,000 participants to include Knights, family members and nearly 90 prelates
The Knights of Columbus will open its 132nd annual international convention on Tuesday, Aug. 5, at the Orlando World Center Marriott.
The convention will take place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 5-7, and will be the fifth international gathering of the Knights to be held in Florida, including a 2006 meeting in Orlando.
Founded in 1882 by Father Michael J. McGivney, a parish priest in New Haven, Conn., the Knights of Columbus has grown to 1.8 million members with charity as the organization’s primary mission. During the past year, Knights donated more than $170 million and more than 70.5 million hours of service to charitable causes.
“Florida is a fitting place for us to remember the great Catholic contribution to our hemisphere,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, who will give his annual report to delegates on Tuesday afternoon. “Before the colonies of Jamestown and Plymouth, the first permanent European settlement was here in Florida, and it was Catholic. The legacy of charity and evangelization left by the early Catholic missionaries continues to bear fruit today in our own work for those in spiritual or temporal need.”
The convention is the largest annual gathering of Catholic bishops in America outside of the annual meetings of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Nearly 90 archbishops and bishops — including 11 cardinals — and scores of clergy will join approximately 2,000 Knights and family members for the convention. The bishops will come from throughout North and Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Europe.
The meeting’s theme will be “You Will All Be Brothers: Our Vocation to Fraternity,” and will include a mixture of business, fellowship, prayer and recognition of Knights who have distinguished themselves over the past year.
The fraternal theme of this year’s meeting comes from the message of Pope Francis for the World Day of Peace, in which he observed, “Without fraternity it is impossible to build a just society,” and that Catholics share a “vocation to fraternity.”
“The Knights of Columbus, the Church’s largest fraternal organization is uniquely positioned to answer this call,” said Anderson. “We carry out works of charity in a spirit of fraternal brotherhood, and are pleased to be able to answer Pope Francis’ call to all Catholics to care for our brothers and sisters in need.”
The gathering opens Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. with a concelebrated Mass in the Palms Ballroom, led by Orlando Bishop John G. Noonan. In addition to the delivery of the annual report by the supreme knight that afternoon, a keynote address will be delivered later that day by Cardinal Gérald Lacroix, the archbishop of Québec, at a formal dinner.
More than 500 delegates will participate in business sessions Wednesday and Thursday morning, and many service and achievement awards will be presented Wednesday afternoon.
Tuesday’s events — Mass, opening session and a dinner address — will be broadcast live by Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), CatholicTV, Canada’s Salt and Light Television and EWTN Radio.
Concelebrated Masses will also be broadcast live at 8 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. Sirius/XM’s The Catholic Channel will broadcast its popular Busted Halo program from the convention site on Monday, Aug. 4, a day before the start of the convention, and again on Tuesday, Aug 5.
Follow #KofCFL14 on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ for live coverage of the Knights’ 132nd International Convention.