Leave no Knight or neighbor behind. It was critical before the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s imperative now, as Supreme Knight Carl Anderson noted in his message to Knights about COVID-19.
“During times of need from the 19th century to the present, the Knights of Columbus has been there in communities around the country to support one another, the Church and the evolving needs of their communities,” Supreme Knight Anderson said. “From world wars, to influenza pandemics more than a century ago, to hurricanes and earthquakes, the Knights of Columbus have helped made the difference for many individuals and communities, and we will do so again during this present situation.”
The Knights — with approximately 1.25 million American members organized into more than 10,000 local councils across the country — are being called upon to continue assisting their communities in this time of crisis through the new “Leave No Neighbor Behind.” There are five types of service activities as part of the new program: support your brother Knights; support your parish; support your community; feed the hungry; and participate in blood drives.
And it’s not just American Knights. Knights from around the world have risen to the challenge, from across the United States to Poland, ranging from shopping for groceries to helping the community to leading prayer groups and more.
Knights from Matki Bozej Czestochowskiej Krolowej Polski Council 14004 in Radom, Poland, put out a call to the community stating they would assist the lonely and elderly in “shopping or other basic activities” as well as “in the spiritual realm” supporting “the ministry of sacramental priests.”
Meanwhile, Knights from St. John Paul II Council 17142 in Thornton, Colo., put out a similar call to help those “shut-in from this virus.” They’ve not only shoveled driveways during a snowstorm that swept through the town, but also have made some grocery shopping runs.
Mark Judis, a member of St. John Paul II Council 17142, has been coordinating the council’s charitable COVID-19 outreach. He said that “there are still things that we can do,” adding that the Knights are “here to help the community and the parish or whoever we can.”
The Knights of Columbus did call on its members to enact safety precautions, such as canceling meetings and in-person activities. But they gave a particular invitation to prayer, including the “Novena for Protection in Time of Pandemic.”
Other councils have launched their own virtual prayer groups, including Cardinal Hayes Council 3995 in Yonkers, NY. The council is conducting a nightly novena to answer the spiritual needs of Knights, their family and friends as well as a prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Order, and for the canonization of the Order’s founder, the Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney.
Frank Giacoio, a member of Cardinal Hayes Council 3995, sees not only the charitable outreach, but the spiritual outreach as vitally important, especially as churches have canceled Masses.
“It is important to meet the spiritual needs of those that may be anxious about the current pandemic or are concerned about the direct or indirect consequences of it,” Giacoio said. “Caring for the spiritual needs of others is very much in line with the mission of charity that Father McGivney set for us.”
Share your story of how your council is helping strengthen people’s faith and offering support during this time. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published in a special bi-weekly edition of Knightline, a resource for K of C leaders and members. Access Knightline’s monthly archives.
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