Supreme Knight Addresses College Knights During the 2012 Conference
The path of today’s Church is a direct result of the work of the Second Vatican Council. The Council was the response to the bloody first half of the 20th Century during which totalitarian regimes formed a veritable “church of the men who would be God,” and set themselves in opposition to “the Church of the God who became man.” This was the message Supreme Knight Carl Anderson gave to college Knights, home office staff and other guests at the 2012 College Council Conference and Awards Banquet.
The banquet was held on the first day of the conference held in New Haven, Conn., Sept. 28-30.
“The response formed by the Second Vatican Council that set the path for the Church, was to become the Church of the Good Samaritan. That is the Church that has evolved during the last 50 years,” the supreme knight said.
Earlier on Friday, the members of the conference advisory board — David Burkey of the University of Maryland Council 13295 in College Park; James Holt of John Paul II Council 14188 at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.; and Allen Kirchner of Southeast Missouri State University Council 15294 in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Also on the board are, Stephen Hart of St. Meinrad Seminary Council 5599 in St. Meinrad, Ind.; Stephen Levy of Georgetown University Council 6375 in Washington, D.C.; Brett Garland of The Catholic University of America Council 9542 in Washington, D.C.; and Joshua Tarini of Loyola University Council 15000 in Baltimore — met to discuss the final touches to the weekend’s agenda. The advisory board has worked throughout the year to plan the conference.
After their meeting, the advisory board members joined the supreme officers for lunch at the Supreme Council office. Following lunch, board members met with Supreme Knight Carl Anderson to discuss the weekend’s events as well as the unique challenges and strengths facing college councils.
As the advisory committee met with the supreme officers and Supreme Knight Anderson, conference attendees arrived at the nearby conference hotel to register for the event and receive their meeting materials. The conference gathered more than 149 college Knights representing 71 councils from the United States, Canada and the Dominican Republic.
Later that evening, the attendees gathered for the conference’s banquet and awards ceremony. Once introductions by advisory board member Brett Garland of Council 9542 were completed, Father Hugh Vincent Dyer, O.P., chaplain of Quinnipiac University Council 14277 in Hamden, Conn., offered the banquet’s invocation.
Following dinner, Supreme Knight Anderson offered remarks to the attendees.
“Today we are blessed with a pope who is one of the great theologians of the Church, whose predecessor was one of the great philosophers of the 20th Century,” he said. He went on to point out the role that the college Knights play in the Church of the Good Samaritan. “Each of you has already moved forward as Catholic leaders, in your council, in your college and in your community. What we do makes a difference. What you do at your campus and how you do it, makes a difference. We have to be that Church of the Good Samaritan … with Catholic fraternity and Knights of Columbus fraternity.
“We need to grow, we need to make a difference, we need to do it in a way that makes people say ‘those guys really have something. I want to be a part of that,’” he continued.
In his remarks Supreme Knight Anderson also urged the attendees to consider the sacrifice made by Father Michael McGivney in becoming a priest – the sacrifice of a short life expectancy as a priest, the sacrifice to his family – and to use his courage in the face of that suffering in their own experiences as they faces the challenge of providing an authentic Catholic witness on their campuses and in their communities.
Following the supreme knight’s address, the college council award winners were recognized. In the area of membership, the award for highest net gain in membership went to The Catholic University of America Council 9542 in Washington, D.C., for a net gain of 57 new members; and the award for highest percent gain in membership (50 percent) went to St. Joseph College Seminary and Loyola University Council 15278 in Chicago. There was a two-way tie for highest net gain in insurance members — 11 each — between The Catholic University of America Council 9542, and the Unites States Air Force Academy Council 8200 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Southeast Missouri State University Council 15294 in Cape Girardeau, Mo., won the award for highest percent gain in insurance members with a 13.3 percent gain in insurance membership.
The college council service awards were distributed next. Awards went to the University of Maryland Council 13295 in College Park, Md. (Church); Louisiana State University Council 15064 in Baton Rouge, La. (Community); Harvard University Council 14188 in Cambridge, Mass. (Council Activity); University of Northern Iowa Council 14987 in Cedar Falls, Iowa (Family); University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Council 2782 in Champaign, Ill. (Youth); and University of Notre Dame Council 1477 in South Bend, Ind.(Culture of Life).
The Outstanding College Council of 2012 was Texas A&M University Council 10624 in College Station, Texas. The council members put in hours of volunteer service through a variety of programs, including the following: their efforts in rebuilding the local parish rectory’s garage; transforming a run-down rental property into a home for a single mother and her children to shield them from her abusive ex-husband; providing hundreds of holy cards, religious medals, rosaries, scapulars and copies to the Catechism of the Catholic Church to military personnel deployed in Afghanistan; hosting a number of social events and a youth retreat; standing vigil during a local “40 Days for Life” campaign; helping to organize the “Run for Their Lives” 5K fundraiser that brought in $2,000 for scholarships to help pregnant and parenting students on campus; and held a “Go Roman Week” campaign to recruit new members in the fall semester.
“While many college councils demonstrated impressive achievements this year, to be named an Outstanding College Council is an exceptional distinction and it requires exemplary achievement across the spectrum of program categories,” Supreme Knight Anderson said during the presentation. “After putting their blood, sweat and tears into service projects for their local community, these Knights give new meaning to the phrase ‘building a civilization of love.’”