Hundreds of college-aged Knights from nearly 100 councils throughout the Order will gather this weekend for the largest ever Knights of Columbus College Councils Conference. Ahead of the weekend, Conference Chairman Avery Murdock shared his experiences as a college Knight.
When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, Avery Murdock was grand knight of the council at Lamar University.
Working with many Knights in the area, the college council — which Murdock had helped found just the year before — provided food, housed first responders, and gutted houses.
It was already second nature for the college men to help.
“I can’t tell you how many houses we worked on,” he said. He shared that his brother Knights “just gave up whatever they had going on and went and helped out.”
It was Murdock’s older brother who first thought to bring the Knights of Columbus to Lamar University. Working with local Knights leaders, the brothers together formed Council 16464 on campus. As a current student, Murdock knows firsthand the difficulties college-aged men face.
“It’s a time where mom and dad aren’t there to bring you to church every Sunday. Mom and dad aren’t there to tell you to go to confession and go help in the community.”
But, by being in the Knights, men on campus help each other live as practicing Catholics. They hold each other accountable.
“I don’t have to put my faith aside. I don’t have to worry about that because I know I have this group of men that are going to hold me to it.”
Students find that attractive. When he asks prospective members why they want to join, he said 99 -percent of the time they wish to grow in faith.
“We hear that time and time again,” he said. “It just becomes more and more obvious that the need for faith formation in college is very crucial.”
Even students in RCIA at Lamar University are attracted by the faith and brotherhood in the council, expressing an interest in joining after they receive the sacraments.
“They see us and they say ‘when I become Catholic I want to do that. I want to join that,’” Murdock said.
The fruits of Council 16464’s labors are more than apparent. When they formed two years ago, they were the only pro-life group. Since then, other students formed a pro-life group that collaborates with the Knights.
Murdock will join hundreds of brother Knights this weekend as they gather for the 53rd College Councils Conference. The mission of the Knights of Columbus College Councils Program is to promote the moral, intellectual and spiritual development of the future leaders of civil society, the Order, and the Church through witness to the Gospel and dedication to the principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism.
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