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Knights' Support for John Paul II - 1980s

  • 1981: At the Convention in Louisville, Ky., the Order establishes the Knights of Columbus Vicarius Christi Foundation, in the amount of $10 million, the earnings of which will be presented to the Holy Father in perpetuity for his charitable purposes.

  • 1981: The Order collaborates with the Fabica di San Pietro in the construction in the grottoes of St. Peter's Basilica, of a chapel dedicated to Saints Benedict, Cyril, and Methodius, co-patrons of Europe, and enlarge the existing Chapel of Our Lady of Czestochowa to one and one-half the former size.

  • 1981: In November, the Order provides funding for a colloquium of some 200 scholars in the Vatican on a subject dear to the heart of the Holy Father:"The Common Christian Roots of the European Nations." The Order also funds the printing and distribution of some 1,500 two-volume sets of the proceedings of this Conference.They were disseminated throughout Eastern Europe.

  • 1983: The Order provides financial assistance to the Holy Father to help offset the annual operating budget of the San Lorenzo International Youth Center in Rome.It is designed to provide a gathering place for young persons who travel to Rome, that they might pray together and become familiar with the Vatican and Rome in congenial surroundings.

  • 1984: At the request of Canadian Knights, the Supreme Council authorizes a special $1 per capita on Canadian members to assist the Canadian Conference of Bishops in defraying expenses coincident with the Holy Father's visit to Canada.The Board also votes $100,000 toward the Holy Father's visit to minority peoples in Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories, unfortunately canceled because of poor weather.(He did make the trip on a subsequent journey.)

  • 1985: The Order provides funding to enable the Vatican Television Center (CTV) to purchase a completely equipped television production studio housed in a van and trailer, which enables CTV to document the words and activities of the Holy Father for use by the world press, and to produce other programs on the Holy Father's journeys, activities and speeches.

  • 1985: The Order buys a new transmitter for Radio Veritas, which transmits news of the faith and of the Holy Father to the Far East from its studios in Manila.

  • 1985: At the wish of the Holy Father, expressed through the Fabica di San Pietro, the Order is presented with the opportunity to restore the entire façade of St. Peter's Basilica, which has not been touched for 350 years.The decision to fund this project was made by the Board of Directors. The work takes place over a period of months.

  • 1986: The Holy Father presents as a gift to the Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven, the copper cross held in the arms of the statue of the Savior on the very top of St. Peter's façade. It had stood there from 1614 until the presentation. This was in appreciation for the collaboration of the Knights of Columbus in restoring the façade of St. Peter's, the statues of St. Peter and St. Paul in the square, the reconfiguration of two rooms in the Basilica, known as The Rooms of the Architects, into six, and other related works.

  • 1986, October: The Order collaborates with the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in telecasting the World Day of Peace hosted by the Holy Father on Oct. 27, 1986 in Assisi.

  • 1987: During the September visit of the Holy Father to the United States, and in particular to the Southwest, the pope grants an audience to the Board of Directors in San Francisco.The Order provides $250,000 to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to help defray expenses of the pope's visit.

  • 1988: The Order gives funding to the Second International Congress on Moral Theology in Rome, marking the 20th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae. The pope thanks the Knights.

  • 1989: The Knights of Columbus provides funding for the publication of "The Pope Speaks to the American Church," a complete collection of the pope's addresses to Catholics in the United States 1979-88, in collaboration with the Camidge (Mass.) Center for Study of Faith and Culture.