Welcome from Msgr. Walter R. Rossi

Welcoming Remarks of
Msgr. Walter R. Rossi 
Rector
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Opening Mass
128th Supreme Convention
Aug. 3, 2010

Msgr. Walter R. Rossi

Msgr. Walter R. Rossi

It is my privilege as rector to welcome you to this Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for the Opening Mass of the 128th Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus.

In a very special way we are happy to have more than 2000 Knights and their families with us as well as the Supreme Knight, Mr. Carl Anderson and his wife, Dorian; Past Supreme Knight Virgil Dechant and his wife, Ann; all the Supreme Officers as well as  Delegates to the Convention

Together with the Supreme Knight, I am thankful to the Archbishop of Washington and Chairman of the National Shrine Board of Trustees, Archbishop Donald Wuerl, for being the celebrant and homilist for today’s Mass.

We are honored by the presence of their Eminences: Cardinal William Baum, the Major Penitentiary Emeritus and Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, Cardinal Edmund Szoka, the President Emeritus of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and Archbishop Emeritus of Detroit, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, the Archbishop of Havana, Cuba, Cardinal Francis George, the Archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the Archbishop emeritus of Washington, Cardinal Justin Rigali, the Archbishop of Philadelphia, Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, the Archbishop of Manila, Philippines, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the Archbishop of Boston.

We are delighted to have their Excellencies the archbishops and bishops as well as so many priests with us….all brother Knights and all faithful supporters of the work of the Knights of Columbus.

It is often said that the Knights of Columbus are the “right arm of the Church.” For this National Shrine, the Knights of Columbus have been the right arm of Mary’s Shrine since the laying of the cornerstone in 1920.

With every project we have undertaken, the Knights of Columbus have been our staunch supporters and part of the mortar which keeps the Shrine together. 

The most visible sign of the Knights presence is the majestic Knights Tower.  Soaring 329 feet into the air, the Knights Tower can be seen from all over Washington and raises our eyes to the heavens and the Knights Carillon, summons us to prayer.

In 2007 the Knights of Columbus assisted in bringing additional beauty to this Great Upper Church with the addition of the Incarnation Dome, which is the south most dome, closest to the narthex.

After the conclusion of Mass today Archbishop Wuerl will bless the plaque in the narthex describing both Incarnation and Redemption Domes. This plaque will serve as a perpetual reminder of the magnificent bond between the Knights of Columbus and the National Shrine and clearly remind all who visit Mary’s House and gaze upon the images portrayed in these mosaic domes, of God’s presence among us, most especially in the Word become flesh.

May Mary Immaculate guide your deliberations during this 128th Supreme Convention and each day draws your closer to her Son.

Vivat Jesus!