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    RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

    WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed everyday life, necessitating the closure of businesses, churches, governments, and social services while dramatically changing the way we interact with family and friends; and

    WHEREAS, these changes caused drastic increases in unemployment, difficulty responding to the needs of the homeless and impoverished, and unprecedented strain on the global healthcare infrastructure; and

    WHEREAS, Pope Francis imparted an extraordinary Urbi et Orbi blessing in the early days of the pandemic, reminding the whole world that the Lord “invites us to reawaken and put into practice that solidarity and hope capable of giving strength, support, and meaning to these hours when everything seems to be floundering”; and

    WHEREAS, the Knights of Columbus answered the call of Pope Francis and responded to the challenges of the pandemic by launching the Leave No Neighbor Behind initiative, encouraging brother Knights to assist one another, our parishes, our communities, and the hungry during the pandemic; and

    WHEREAS, the Knights of Columbus committed more than $1 million to facilitate the donation and distribution of food through community food banks in more than 20 cities across the United States and Canada; and

    WHEREAS, projects at both the local and Supreme Council level provided more than $337,000 of food to the Acoma, Navajo, and Zuni nations as well as native Hawaiian communities and remote First Nations villages in Canada; and

    WHEREAS, the Supreme Council answered the humanitarian need of communities in South America that faced a shortage of oxygen by donating $215,000 in life-saving supplies to the Amazon region and an additional $146,000 to build oxygen plants in Peru; and

    WHEREAS, the Order has also addressed needs abroad by providing support to the Vatican’s Bambino Gesù Hospital, the Maryamana Hospital in Iraq, healthcare facilities in Lebanon, and various projects throughout the Philippines; and

    WHEREAS, the Knights of Columbus set aside $100 million for loans to support the financial needs of Catholic dioceses to ensure that they can continue their important spiritual and evangelical missions; and

    WHEREAS, the Knights of Columbus also responded spiritually to the pandemic by organizing a novena, the Prayer for Protection in Time of Pandemic, invoking our Blessed Mother under her title “Health of Sick” from March 15-23, 2020, as well as a Divine Mercy novena in preparation for Divine Mercy Sunday, when Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori offered Mass and joined the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in leading the Divine Mercy Chaplet from Baltimore’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which was broadcast online to allow for the remote participation of members; and

    WHEREAS, in response to the invitation of Pope Francis for families to “rediscover the beauty of praying the rosary at home in the month of May,” the Saint John Paul II National Shrine broadcast online the recitation of the rosary before an image of Salus Populi Romani daily during the month of May 2020, concluding with the special prayers proposed by the Holy Father; and

    WHEREAS, under the banner of Leave No Neighbor Behind, the Knights of Columbus has contributed $7.7 million to community and parish projects while donating 1.2 million pounds of food, and 227,585 pints of blood; and

    WHEREAS, with vaccines now being distributed, members and councils have responded by providing technical and logistical support for those in their communities seeking a vaccination; and

    WHEREAS, in anticipation of relaxed pandemic restrictions, the Knights of Columbus launched the COVID Recovery Program, which focuses on resuming council operations in a way that inspires members and parishioners to become reinvolved with church and community activities and to provide a guide for assisting pastors with the re-engagement of parish communities.

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Knights of Columbus will exemplify our first principle of charity and continue responding to the global crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic; and

    FURTHER RESOLVED, where advised or required, we will continue to observe important health and safety regulations when implementing our programs to ensure that our members, and those we serve, are protected from infection; and

    FURTHER RESOLVED, that we commit ourselves to supporting the efforts of our bishops and priests to welcome the faithful back to Mass and re-engage parish communities; and

    FURTHER RESOLVED, that we continue to pray for an end to the pandemic, for those who are in distress because of its effects, for those who are suffering from COVID-19, and for the repose of the souls of our brother Knights and the more than 4 million people who have perished; and

    FURTHER RESOLVED, that we offer our sincere appreciation for those who face the threat of infection while continuing to provide essential healthcare, retail, and public safety services.

    Resolutions

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