Sign In For Members Join Sign In
  • Donate

  • For Members

  • Who We Are

  • Our Mission Our Faith Our History Supreme Officers About Membership Video Library
  • What We Do

  • Charity Insurance Invest Donor-Advised Funds Programs Scholarships Churchloan
  • Get Involved

  • Join Donate Find a Council Store College Councils
  • News Hub

  • Latest News Columbia Knightline Faith Response Social Media Hub
  • Contact Us

  • Safe Environment Program

  • Careers

  • Who We Are

    What We Do

    Get Involved

    News Hub

    ‘Go On!’

    Pope Francis commends the Order’s refugee relief efforts as Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly joins Knights in Poland and Ukraine for Holy Week

    Pope Francis receives an Easter basket presented to him by Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly and his family at the Vatican on April 11. The basket, which the pope blessed, represented the thousands of Easter care packages prepared by Polish Knights.
    (Vatican Media)
    Video: Supreme Knight Visits Poland and Ukraine
    View Photos

    Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly traveled to Poland and Ukraine during Holy Week to meet with Knights and witness and encourage their ongoing humanitarian efforts in response to the war in Ukraine.

    During his visit, the supreme knight was able to convey the support and gratitude of Pope Francis as well as his own. The Holy Father received Supreme Knight Kelly in a private audience at the Vatican on Monday, April 11, before the supreme knight and his family continued to Poland. During the audience, the pope blessed an Easter basket with food representing the 10,000 K of C care packages that Knights in Poland were preparing to send to Ukraine. The boxes, which contained food such as meat, flour, pasta and chocolates, in addition to an Easter candle and a letter from the supreme knight, were made possible by financial support from councils Orderwide.

    Seeing photos of Polish Knights assembling the boxes, Pope Francis enthusiastically said, “Bravo! Bravo!” He later added, “Go on! Go on!” — making a gesture with his hands to express a heart bursting with love for others.

    Supreme Knight Kelly joined Polish Knights the next day at a warehouse in Łańcut, helping to load some of the Easter care packages into a “Charity Convoy” — a handful of 18-wheelers bound for Lviv, Ukraine.

    After stopping at the Order’s Mercy Center on the border in Hrebenne, Poland, he continued to the town Rava-Ruska, in western Ukraine. With Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki of Lviv and Ukraine State Deputy Youriy Maletskiy, the supreme knight personally delivered some of the care packages to displaced families who, thanks to financial support from the Order, have taken refuge at a 14th-century monastery in the Archdiocese of Lviv.

    At the monastery, Supreme Knight Kelly met with Ukrainian Knights who had come from throughout their war-torn country and shared with them the pope’s commendation of their service.

    “He was deeply moved and wanted me to extend his thanks to you,” the supreme knight said. “What you are doing here really exemplifies the kind of courage that Father McGivney had when he founded the Knights in order to serve his parishioners who needed help.”

    The supreme knight then officially installed State Deputy Maletskiy, who is overseeing the Order’s humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. At a time when the principal of patriotism is especially meaningful for Ukrainians, Maletskiy also received authority to welcome Knights into the Fourth Degree.

    The following day, the supreme knight visited Our Lady of Częstochowa Parish in Radom, Poland, where Knights and other volunteers had assembled 5,000 of the Easter care packages. After learning more about the myriad efforts of the local Knights, including prayer initiatives and a parish-based Mercy Center to assist refugees and welcome them into the community, the supreme knight helped to load some of the boxes, which were bound for Kyiv.

    On Holy Thursday, he and his family visited a Caritas-run retreat center outside Częstochowa, which is now serving as an orphanage for about 100 Ukrainian refugee children, with support from the Knights’ Ukraine Solidarity Fund.

    The supreme knight concluded his visit at St. Wojciech Parish in Częstochowa, home to another parish-based Mercy Center, where he was received by Ukrainian refugees before meeting with members of the Poland State Council.

    “It’s hard to express how much I have learned the past few days about the spirit and the faith of the Polish Knights,” he said. “You demonstrate both faith and action — and the powerful thing is that you put them together as men of faith in action.”

    Learn more about the Order’s efforts and support the Ukraine Solidarity Fund.



    Logos & Emblems

    Photo Library

    Press Releases

    Recent News

    Supreme Convention

    Video Library


    Chaplain's Report


    Fraternal Leader Advisory


    Knights in Action

    Share your Knights in Action News


    Please contact the
    Knights of Columbus News Bureau, 475-255-0097

    Knights of Columbus 1 Columbus Plaza New Haven, CT 06510 203-752-4000

    Connect With #KOFC

    Who We Are

    Our Mission Our Faith Our History Supreme Officers About Membership Video Library

    What We Do

    Charity Insurance Invest Programs Scholarships Churchloan

    Get Involved

    Join Donate Find a Council Store College Councils

    Member Resources

    Sign In For Members Safe Environment Program Brand Assets Benefits
    This website uses cookies, including third-party cookies, to optimize the functionality of the website and for website analysis and statistics. To find out more about cookies and how to change your cookie settings, please go to our Cookie Policy. Click Allow if you agree to the use of cookies.