“These days of challenge require us to be creative and to be faithful,” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said to Knights of Columbus in March, as the novel coronavirus, and the restrictions that accompanied it, spread throughout the world.
In the weeks and months since, Knights have shown their creativity — finding new ways, with the help of modern technology, to carry out the Order’s charitable mission. With inperson meetings suspended, videoconferencing, webinars and telephone calls have become the new tools of unity and fraternity as well.
Local and state councils have shifted to conducting business meetings remotely with guidance from the Order’s Fraternal Mission department, which has offered weekly webinars since March. Field agents have also maintained business continuity by communicating with clients via digital videoconferencing platforms.
The first online exemplification was held April 13, drawing participants from nearly every jurisdiction in the United States and Canada. Ceremonies have been conducted about once a week since then. Thousands of men have been able to join the Order and many thousands more have advanced to the Third Degree.
With the public celebration of Mass widely suspended, many state and local councils have helped parishes facilitate liturgical broadcasts. The Supreme Council has also sponsored the broadcast of a number of events, including the Divine Mercy Sunday Mass celebrated by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore.
The Saint John Paul II National Shrine, which the Order established in Washington, D.C., has likewise offered a steady stream of spiritual enrichment online, including daily Mass and rosary and a series of webinars.
For the first time, all state conventions in the United States, Canada and Europe were held virtually. Supreme Knight Anderson and other Supreme Officers remotely addressed the state leaders.
“With all in-person Knights of Columbus meetings and events canceled for the foreseeable future, we are finding new ways to bring our brother Knights together,” the supreme knight said. “And the Supreme Council will continue to provide guidance and support.”
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