SUPREME KNIGHT CARL A. ANDERSON
ON THE OCCASION OF THE PRESENTATION OF CHARTERS
TO THE FIRST TWO KOREAN COUNCILS
Today we officially present the charter of St. Andrew Kim Daegon Council No. 16000 and St. Paul Chong Hasang Council No. 16178. These councils are the first in Korea – in the Archdiocese of Seoul – and they are the first on the mainland of Asia. This is an historic day.
One hundred and ten years ago, the Knights of Columbus established its first council in Asia – Manila Council 1000 – in Luzon, the Philippines. Today, there are more than 340,000 brother Knights in that country.
It is with similar expectations that we begin activities in Korea.
Pope Francis has called upon Catholics throughout the world to take up a new “missionary spirit” and to go out into the world with confidence. The Knights of Columbus welcomes his call and we continue our expansion which has taken us in the early days of our history to Canada, Mexico, the Philippines and Cuba; and in this century to Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania. And now to Korea.
With a “missionary spirit” we come to Korea. But Korea is already a land with a great tradition in the Catholic faith. And so this “missionary spirit” is different.
Pope Paul VI has said, “The Church is an evangelizer, but she begins by being evangelized herself.” Today’s “missionary spirit” works both ways and is, in reality, an exchange of gifts.
We hope to bring to Korea the benefits of our Catholic brotherhood and its principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism.
In return, we hope to receive the great gift of the faithful and courageous witness of the laity which is the proud legacy of the Catholic people of Korea.
We can learn from each other, we can help each other, we can truly be missionaries together, and in this way we can help make our universal Church a truly global church.
On Wednesday, I had the privilege of meeting with His Eminence Cardinal Yeom who most graciously has welcomed the Knights of Columbus to the Archdiocese of Seoul and to Korea.
His Eminence has said, “The path of the Church is unequivocal. In whatever circumstances she must take the path of love, because our Lord Jesus Christ walked that path.”
This is precisely the path of the Knights of Columbus. This is precisely the path of Charity, Unity and Fraternity. This is precisely the path of our Founder, the Venerable Father Michael McGivney.
And this is the path you and I must walk as we build the Catholic brotherhood of the Knights of Columbus in Korea.