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    A Sign of Unity

    In the footsteps of our forebears, we are called to defend the family, the truth and the holy Eucharist

    By Supreme Knight Patrick E. Kelly 7/1/2021

    ON JUNE 11, I had the tremendous honor of being formally installed in office — along with state deputies, other supreme officers and supreme directors — in the birthplace of the Knights of Columbus, St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Conn. There we began our united work of service to the Order, building on the foundations so excellently set by those who have come before us.

    The installation took place in the context of our Organizational Meeting of State Deputies. This gathering allowed us to pray together and to discuss key issues and opportunities facing the Order — particularly our need to continue helping parishes and councils to emerge from the pandemic. Over the course of four days, we dedicated ourselves anew to the causes of charity, unity and fraternity. It was remarkably refreshing to be together again, in person.

    It was the first major gathering since the beatification of Blessed Michael McGivney, our founder, who is both a model of the charity and holiness to which we are called and a powerful intercessor to guide us in our mission.

    Immediately after being installed as supreme knight, I consecrated my administration to another model and guide, St. Joseph, and asked those present to join me in praying for his intercession. In remarks following Mass, celebrated by our supreme chaplain, I also spoke about how Knights of Columbus are called to imitate St. Joseph and to be guardians of the family and guardians of the truth.

    In our day, Catholic families are struggling to live out their faith and raise their children amid a culture that is increasingly hostile to our beliefs. Catholic husbands and fathers, especially fathers of young children, need the encouragement and support of the Knights of Columbus. We can inspire them with the creative courage needed to keep their families strong in the faith.

    ‘By standing for truth, we as an Order will continue to be a sign of unity — the lasting and true unity that comes from a commitment to Christ above all other things.’

    As was the case for Blessed Michael McGivney, we live in a time of bigotry and intolerance. Key truths — truths about marriage, about life in the womb, about the nature of the family and the meaning of freedom — are often denied and even vilified. Yet this makes our commitment to the truth all the more important.

    By standing for truth, we as an Order will continue to be a sign of unity — the lasting and true unity that comes from a commitment to Christ above all other things. This unity in truth is grounded in the truth of the Eucharist, what the Second Vatican Council called “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Lumen Gentium, 11).

    The example of St. Joseph teaches us how to be Knights of the Eucharist. He was the guardian of the first tabernacle — beginning with Mary herself when she bore Christ in her womb, and then in the home where he and Mary lived with Jesus. As Knights, we too are called to have a special reverence for Christ’s real presence — body, blood, soul and divinity — in the Blessed Sacrament. The more we devote ourselves to Christ in the Eucharist, the more we will be a sign of unity in an age of division and disbelief.

    The Knights of Columbus can and should be a sign of unity in this age and a source of light and courage for the men and families living in these challenging times. It is a high calling and, like previous generations of Knights, the time has come for us to answer the call, out of love for Christ and his Church.

    United in the Eucharist, and calling upon the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Order, of St. Joseph, and of Blessed Michael McGivney, may each of us, in the words of St. Paul, “live in a manner worthy of the call we have received” (Eph 4:1).

    Vivat Jesus!

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