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Cardinal Gagnon's Address to the 2004 Supreme Convention


Address of His Eminence Cardinal Edouard Gagnon, P.S.S., to the 2004 Supreme Council Convention in Dallas.

Cardinal Gagnon with Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson and then-Deputy Supreme Knight Jean B. Migneault

Cardinal Gagnon receives the applause of the delegates to the 2004 Supreme Convention as Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson and then-Deputy Supreme Knight Jean B. Migneault look on.

It gives me a great spiritual boost every year to see how you come and share your enthusiasm and faith in the service of the Church and our countries.

When I read in Columbia magazine what I know are just a few examples, samples, of what your councils accomplish to meet the needs of institutions and individuals, I feel a sense of admiration and thank the Holy Spirit for inspiring you in a thousand ways.

But when I come here, all the articles I have read and the pictures I have seen come alive and it reassures me about the vitality of our Church, when so many would like to think it irrelevant or condemned to extinction.
Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical for the third millennium admonishes us and tells us we must not be prophets of doom but prophets of hope.  Prophets of hope is what you should be and you are.

The millions of hours given at the service of your neighbors, the huge sums of dollars given in charity, are motives of hope and are precious in the eyes of God.

But I beg you allow an old man to share with you a couple of ideas for making your acts of generosity more valuable yet and to make them a clearer expression of what is now expected of you at this hour as faithful baptized laity.

Willing or not, when you are 86, you have to face the fact that the moment for giving a final account of your life is getting closer, the moment of God’s mercy and the reward he graciously has promised to give you.  I spend much time reflecting on my life and what the Good Lord has allowed me, has asked me, to do.

And I have to confess that my activities could have had more value if I had been attentive to certain conditions.  Two of them.  The first one would have been never to forget to offer to God every day what I was supposed to do for him and not for myself.  The second would have been to define more clearly the power of evangelization in what I did, by showing and saying that it was for Christ that I worked, for him that I suffered the pains inherent to a true Christian life.
You who are younger, give value to the great things and the precious small things you do, by offering them every day through the intercession of Mary.  At least one Our Father and one Hail Mary will do the job.  Tell your fellow Knights to do it also.

 Second, become an evangelizer, that is, a herald of Christ, by saying without human respect that it is because of Christ’s demands, it is for him that you take courageous initiatives, that you can conquer difficulties, fatigue or simple laziness, that you do great things so vividly depicted in our Supreme Knight’s Report.
This is what we mean when we say: Vivat Jesus!