Supreme Knight Carl Anderson delivered his report during the 138th Supreme Convention, the first virtual convention in the Order’s history. He highlighted past achievements and new initiatives, stressing the importance of the Knights’ commitment to Christian brotherhood.
Knights of fraternity
Fraternity was part of the “genius” of the soon-to-be Blessed Father Michael J. McGivney, Supreme Knight Anderson stated, as Catholic men had no fraternal community to help them grow in holiness. That is, until the founding of the Knights of Columbus.
“It is our fraternal approach to charity and our fraternal approach to unity that makes us so different from other charitable organizations.”
Families, parishes and communities around the world have benefited from the charity of the brotherhood of Knights, which numbers more than 2 million men around the world.
K of C founder to be beatified
In May, the Vatican recognized a miracle for Father McGivney, putting him one step closer to sainthood. The K of C founder is recognized as having miraculously interceded on behalf of Mickey Schachle, the son of Michelle and Dan Schachle, a K of C insurance general agent in Tennessee. Before Mickey was born, he was diagnosed with Down syndrome, as well as a rare condition that doctors said would “take his life shortly after birth.”
Four days after his parents began praying through Father McGivney’s intercession, Mickey was cured. He is now 5 years old.
Supreme Knight Anderson announced that Father McGivney’s beatification Mass will be held Oct. 31 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, Conn., as well as plans for the Mass to broadcast live internationally. He also announced that the Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven, Conn., will become the Blessed Michael McGivney Pilgrimage Center.
(Read more of the Vatican’s announcement of Father McGivney’s approved miracle)
An end to racial injustice, asks Knights to lead way
With civil unrest following the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and George Floyd in Minneapolis, Supreme Knight Anderson called on Knights everywhere to pray the Novena for National Unity & End to Racism.
“Many of our fellow citizens are still treated differently because of the color of their skin. Whenever and wherever this happens, it is wrong. And it must be righted.”
He encouraged Knights to “step forward” and be “more present in our communities” in order to promote unity and build fraternity where “racism festers.”
Condemns tearing down statues and anti-Catholic action
Supreme Knight Anderson spoke with remorse about the tearing down and desecration of statues, questioning where the line will end. Therefore, he urged Knights to step forward with a “renewed sense of patriotism.”
“Against the violence of those who tear down statues of our saints and desecrate our places of worship, we must be resolute and make clear that their violence will not prevail. We will not be intimidated. We will defend our right to practice our faith. And we will continue to work closely with our bishops to defend religious liberty.”
Our Lady of Guadalupe’s intercession
Twenty years ago, Supreme Knight Anderson dedicated the Order to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Today, he sees Our Lady as the answer to strengthen Christianity during a time of anti-Catholic bigotry.
“Today, I ask every Knights of Columbus council, and I encourage every parish community, to implore the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe to heal our people. Our nations once again need to hear her message of love, hope and reconciliation. Under her banner, let us step forward with a renewed confidence.”
Knights Defend Christopher Columbus
Supreme Knight Anderson addressed the “vicious vandalism” and “one-sided narrative” against the Order’s namesake, Christopher Columbus, as a “disservice to the truth.”
“My brother Knights, now a radical, one-sided narrative asserts that Columbus — the same man who severely punished those under his authority when they mistreated indigenous peoples — that he represents all that is evil in the American experience. This is a disservice to the truth. We must all strive to honestly examine and faithfully remember our history. We must all give credit to what was done well in the past, and we must be mindful of what should have been done differently.”
Supreme Knight Anderson continued to cite that Columbus was not present throughout U.S. history and city, state or the federal governments’ treatment of native peoples, and never called for their “extermination.”
“We urge every city, state and province to undertake a public and careful review of its own treatment of the native peoples, both past and present, of their regions. That review will find no trace of Columbus.”
(Read more about Columbus and the false attacks on his legacy here)
Knights and Native American Groups
Last year, Supreme Knight Anderson announced the commencement of an Order-wide Native American outreach initiative. This year, he shared that the Knights has continued their support of a national shrine dedicated to St. Kateri Tekakwitha in Gallup, New Mexico, as well as sponsoring Coats for Kids events on Native American reservations.
During the March for Life in 2019, the supreme knight also welcomed a pro-life Native American group, Life is Sacred. And as part of Leave No Neighbor Behind, Knights in Gallup partnered with the Southwest Indian Foundation to bring a two-week supply of food to 140 families on the Pueblo of Acoma. And in Hawaii, Knights from three councils provided two-week food packages for 5,000 people.
“Native peoples have a right to have their story told with accuracy and integrity. … The Knights of Columbus is prepared to walk that path with them.”
New initiative to report on Christian persecution in Nigeria
Tens of thousands of Christians have been killed in Nigeria, and the European Union and Catholic bishops of Europe condemned this violence. The Knights of Columbus will be a voice for raising awareness by launching a “new initiative to report on the situation” just like it had for the genocide in Iraq.
Additionally, over the past year, the Knights committed a further $3.2 million in relief to help persecuted Christians in the Middle East, adding to the nearly $25 million total to help the area recover and rebuild since 2014.
Last fall, the first families moved into the McGivney House — a 140-unit apartment complex for uprooted Christian families, funded by the Knights.
(Learn more about the McGivney House here)
New spiritual initiative to St. Michael the Archangel
The pilgrim icon program devoted to St. Michael the Archangel will “encourage greater devotion” throughout the Order. The supreme knight’s hope is that Catholics in law enforcement will be inspired to personally consecrate themselves to St. Michael — the patron saint of police.
Robust giving in 2019
Knights donated more than $187 million and volunteered more than 77 million hours, valued at more than $1.9 billion.
Knights launch ‘Leave No Neighbor Behind’
The Knights launched Leave No Neighbor Behind in order to support Knights, parishes, communities, the hungry and others during the coronavirus pandemic.
Some of the initiatives included:
(Check out some of our Leave No Neighbor Behind content on our YouTube channel)
Knights continue to lead in pro-life movement
The Knights of Columbus has played a pivotal role in the pro-life movement for the past 50 years. Again this past year, Knights across the U.S., Canada and Mexico spearheaded pro-life marches and events, including the March for Life in Washington, D.C.
Supreme Knight Anderson reported that Knights donated more than 1,200 ultrasound machines to crisis pregnancy centers over the previous decade.
Knights have also supported the pro-life cause legislatively and politically, including commissioning a poll that found that 3 out of 4 Americans want significant restrictions on abortion.
Supreme Knight Anderson called recent Supreme Court decisions that upheld Roe v. Wade a “falsehood,” adding that the Knights remain determined to continue pro-life advocacy until “that day when our nation embraces a new culture of life.”
Insurance force withstands pandemic, grows
Even though the economy took a downturn due to the coronavirus, the Knights of Columbus has continued strong. The Order currently has a record number of more than $113 billion of insurance in force. Sales over the past 12 months totaled $8.4 billion. And with nearly $27 billion in assets under management, the Order is meeting not only its financial obligations, but its charitable aspirations as well.
Supreme Knight Anderson reported that the Knights rank in the Fortune 1000, and is also 1 of 6 companies to receive the highest rating from Standard and Poor.
The supreme knight praised the work of the agents for adapting to a virtual business model and meeting the rising demand for Knights insurance.
Asset Advisors and the Charitable Fund celebrate anniversary
The Knights continued to grow our Asset Advisors program, which is now in its sixth year. Nearly 400 clients — including 24 dioceses, 15 religious orders and more than 100 councils — use this program to invest in accordance with Catholic values.
Similarly, the Knights of Columbus Charitable Fund now offers a safe, secure and confidential platform to maximize philanthropic impact on organizations that align with Catholic values.
To learn more about the Knights of Columbus, click here.
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