States Dinner Highlights Fraternity
Faith, fun and fraternalism marked the States Dinner Tuesday evening, as delegates and their wives from all 72 jurisdictions of the Order gathered with flags from their states, provinces and countries.
As the band played each state song, representatives from the jurisdiction waved flags, sang along, while others waved their own flags in solidarity.
Cardinals, bishops and VIPs on the dais joined in, waving flags and clapping in support.
Supreme Knight Carl Anderson introduced Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the host archbishop of Quebec, who welcomed the Knights of Columbus to the city and underscored the importance of the Order in building up the Church and the Catholic faith.
He especially thanked Knights for their support for the recent International Eucharistic Congress, which made Quebec “a Eucharistic city.”
Cardinal John Foley, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, delivered the keynote address.
He praised the Order for its support of the Church worldwide, and its particular support of the Catholic community in the Holy Land.
He also cited the Venerable Servant of God Father Michael J. McGivney as an exemplary priest whose cause for canonization gives encouragement to all priests in the daily lives and ministry.
The convention theme, “Building a Civilization of Love Through Charity, Unity and Fraternity” perfectly describes the history and current character of the Knights of Columbus, he said, and the Order continues to support and inspire bishops, priests and religious within the Church, and has risen to new heights of leadership of the laity in carrying out their baptismal vocation of holiness and serve.
“Together we are striving to build a true community of love,” the cardinal said.
Cardinal Edward Egan of New York gave a report of the pastoral visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United States last April, remarking that the Holy Father’s brought new life to the faith in Washington, D.C., and New York, as well as throughout the nation.
Archbishop V. James Weisgerber, president of the Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops, thanked the Knights of Columbus for their longtime support of the bishops pro-life and family organization called COLF. He called COLF “a powerful tool to create a culture of life and a civilization of love.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper sent written greetings which were read by a member of his staff. Harper said that the Knights in Canada have built a vital charitable tradition and carried on the Catholic faith that was so important to the founding of the nation.