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Communications and Technology

John Paul II

The Knights of Columbus has played a vital role in the technological development and world wide communications ability of the Vatican under John Paul II. When Pope John Paul II's installation to the papacy was broadcast around the world in 1978, it was the Knights who funded the telecast to mission countries. Shortly thereafter, it was the Knights who funded the creation of a film about the pope's visit to Mexico City and the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the first pilgrimage of John Paul II's papacy.

From those beginnings, the Knights involvement and collaboration with the Vatican in the areas of communications and technology grew greater and greater. When the pope visited the United States in 1979, it was the Knights who again funded the filming of his journey.

A few years later, in 1985, the Knights funded the Vatican Television Center's (CTV) purchase of a mobile television studio. Two new production vans, also funded by the Knights, were added in 1991 and 1993.

In addition, the Knights purchased a new transmitter for Radio Veritas in 1985, and collaborated with the Vatican or provided funding for a variety of satellite broadcasts of papal events including: The World Day of Peace in Assisi (1986), the Peace Summit in Assisi (2002), World Youth Day in Manila (1995), World Youth Day in Rome (2000), the Opening of the Holy Door at St. Peter's for the Millennial Jubilee (1999), the Holy Father's visit to Nazareth (2000), and several other events through the Knights' Satellite Uplink Program.

In addition to funding satellite uplinks and filming of papal events and Vatican television production capabilities, the Knights have funded several computerization projects for Pope John Paul II's Vatican including the computerization of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints (1992), the computerization of the catalogue system of the Pontifical Urban University in Rome (2002), and the production of an online tour of the pope's private Redemptoris Mater Chapel to capture the beauty of its mosaics designed by Father Marko Ivan Rupnik, who was working also on a redesign of the Holy Family Chapel in the Supreme Office headquarters.