States Dinner Invocation
Invocation of His Eminence Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.
Archbishop of Chicago
President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
128th Supreme Convention
August 3, 2010
The convention’s theme, I Am My Brother’s Keeper underscores succinctly the founding principles at the heart of the voluntary and charitable endeavors of the Knights of Columbus. Focusing on charity, unity, and fraternity, you demonstrate the critical importance of giving in imitation of Christ’s self-giving and so make present the truth, power and promise of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As Pope Benedict XVI emphasized in his encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, “The more we strive to secure a common good corresponding to the real needs of our neighbors, the more effectively we love them. Every Christian is called to practice this charity.” Sustained by your faith, may you continue to grow in holiness, strengthen your family life, enhance your parish and communities, and transform our world. In these difficult times, it is reassuring to know the entire Church can continue to count on the devout faith, generous charity, deep patriotism, and unstinting dedication of the Knights of Columbus. In prayer, let us thank God for the great work begun by Father Michael McGivney 125 years ago and carried on so effectively by the Order today:
Lord God, Creator of heaven and earth and of each precious human life, we gather this evening in friendship and fraternity.
We thank you for the blessings bestowed upon us through the charity, service and good works of the Knights of Columbus.
By seeking to foster a culture of life and build of civilization of love, Knights strengthen the Body of Christ and shape communities open to the Gospel throughout the world.
We thank you, too, for the life, service and pastoral leadership of His Eminence Jaime Cardinal Ortega, as we honor him tonight with the Gaudium et spes Award, for his leadership, fortitude and concern for his people. Bless him with good health, discernment and strength as he leads the Church in Cuba.
Bless all those gathered for this convention. May the time we spend together and all we hold in common be a source of renewal and inspiration.
Attune our hearts and minds to your Holy Spirit,
aware in Him that you are ever with us, guiding and strengthening our resolve to share the Gospel and bring your healing love to our hurting world.
We pray in a special way for those whose lives and livelihoods have been devastated
by the oil spill in the Gulf,
by the economic crisis,
by the violence which ravages communities throughout our nation.
May our efforts assist them to persevere, bring hope amidst their suffering and embrace them with your compassionate love.
We pray also for the men and women who serve in our country in the armed forces. Protect them and bring them home safely to our shores and their loved ones. May their courageous service and generous commitment inspire us all to promote respect for human dignity and the common good.
We pray with new insistence for our Holy Father, Pope Benedict; and we pray as well for the local Churches in this country. Sanctify our priests and people, preserve us in unity and confound our enemies.
Finally, O Lord, bless the food we are about to eat, those who prepared it and those who will serve it. All this we ask through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, and the source of all life, goodness and blessing, now and forever.