2,000, TV Audience Hear State of the Order Address

Membership Growth

More than 2,000 Knights and family members attended the Supreme Convention’s opening business  session to hear Supreme Knight Carl Anderson deliver his state of the order address. The past year saw record achievements in all areas of the Order’s operations. Among the highlights:

• Membership at an all-time high of 1,763,182.

• A total of 13,485 councils, including 244 new councils.

• Total insurance in force at more than $66 billion, with more than 1,651,151 life certificates in force.

•A surplus up 4.1 percent from 2007 to $1.75 billion.

“Unlike so many other companies,” Anderson said, “the Knights of Columbus is financially stronger than it was one year ago.”

The Order’s dominance in the Catholic fraternal arena allows it to press forward with several new initiatives, programs and insurance offerings. Among the new ventures announced by the supreme knight are:

• New insurance products including a new member annuity available Sept. 1.

Council Growth

• A Web site,www.fathersforgood. org, and publications to promote and enhance fatherhood.

• A new film biography of the Order’s founder, Father Michael J. McGivney.

• Collaborations with the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See on events marking the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and the Vatican.

Supreme Knight Anderson told Knights that “defending life and defending marriage constitute two of our most urgent tasks.” He called the defense of marriage an “issue of the greatest importance.”

Noting that 2008 is an election year in the United States,Anderson said that the Order would remain nonpartisan. However, he continued, it is time Catholics “stop creating excuses for voting for pro-abortion politicians.”

“We will never succeed in building a culture of life if we continue to vote for politicians who support a culture of death,” he said.

Membership

The great challenges that face the Order in the future are “great opportunities” which can be met with assistance from the Holy Spirit.

Anderson ended his annual report by asking Knights to pledge themselves to following Jesus Christ and his Gospel. “The love of Christ urges us on,” he said.“Let us begin now.”