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Knights Called to Lead 'Asian Century' of Faith


Concluding Message to the Philippines
9th National Convention
Supreme Knight Carl Anderson
Philippines 9th National Convention
Manilla, Philippines April 29, 2012

In his closing address to the 9th Philippine National Convention on Saturday afternoon, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson praised Philippine Knights for their energy, enthusiasm and commitment to the Catholic faith, which can bring about unprecedented growth of the Church in Asia. It is a long way from the Order’s headquarters in New Haven to Manila, but the trip is always well worth it, he said, noting that this was his third trip to the Asian nation.

“I go back to America energized because of the inspiring example of the Knights in the Philippines,” the Supreme Knight said.

The spirituality of the Knights of Columbus is rooted in the Eucharist, in which Jesus gives us his true body and blood, he said. “I encourage every Knights of Columbus council to focus more on the Eucharist, to hold more corporate Communions and to conduct eucharistic adoration on a regular basis,” he said. “If we do this, the Order will grow stronger and stronger because we will have the source of all strength at the center of our lives as Knights.”

The Supreme Knight also reiterated his challenge to Filipino Knights to make defeat of the Reproductive Health Bill their top priority.

“The Knights of Columbus must be first for life, first for marriage, first for family,” he said.

He exhorted Philippine Knights to continue their outstanding charitable works in areas where such charity can mean the difference between life and death, or a decent meal or hunger for children and families. In the United States, he observed, government programs often provide relief to the needy and those struck by natural disasters. But since the Philippine government does not always provide a workable safety net, “the Knights of Columbus continues to be on the front line of relief efforts,” the Supreme Knight said.

Expressing his heartfelt gratitude for all that the Knights do in the Philippines, he said, “You are a marvelous, marvelous, marvelous example to your brother Knights in other countries.”

Economists often say that the 21st century will develop into “the Asian century” because of the growing economic strength of China and other Far East nations, he explained. Yet more importantly, it must also be a century during which the Catholic Church grows in Asia at an unprecedented rate, he continued. “The country to lead that growth, to bring that historic Catholic witness, I believe is the Philippines,” said the Supreme Knight. “I also believe that the Knights of Columbus can be in the front row of that world-changing witness and evangelization. This can be a marvelous time of growth and achievement and accomplishment for the Knights here in the Philippines.”