On May 21, 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized 25 martyrs of Mexico, including six members of the Knights of Columbus. Less than one year later, Carl A. Anderson was installed as the 13th supreme knight in Mexico City and dedicated the Order and his administration to Mary under her title Our Lady of Guadalupe.
After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Order delivered immediate assistance to the families of fallen first responders. When natural disasters struck, such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Knights similarly responded with immediate aid.
Finally, just as they responded to the forces of secularism and prejudice in the past, Knights have stood by their bishops and have witnessed to the importance of religion and religious liberty for society. As the cause for canonization of Blessed Michael McGivney moves forward, so too do his Knights, seeking to build a civilization of love.
2000 (left image): Pope John Paul II canonizes six Mexican priest-members of the Knights of Columbus who were martyred during the persecution of the Church there early in the 20th century. The following year, John Paul II beatifies Blessed Carlos Rodríguez, a layman from Puerto Rico and a member. Three additional members from Mexico have since been beatified, and one canonized.
2001: The Knights of Columbus Museum opens in New Haven. In addition to a permanent exhibit on the Order's history, the museum has featured numerous temporary exhibits and priceless works of art, such as Michelangelo's 16-foot wooden study model for the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.
2001: In response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, on Sept. 12 the Knights establishes its $1 million Heroes Fund. Checks for $3,000 are presented to the families of all full-time professional law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical personnel who lost their lives at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Forty-five Knights were killed on 9/11.
2003: 100,000 copies of a pocket-sized prayer book, Armed With the Faith, are printed by the Order and the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and sent to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with 10,000 rosaries.
2005: The Knights send 2,000 wheelchairs to land-mine victims and people with disabilities in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Through its partnership with the Global Wheelchair Mission, Knights have since distributed wheelchairs around the world.
2006: In its first international expansion in almost a century, the Order charters its first councils in Poland, beginning with John Paul II Council 14000 in Krakow.
2006: In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the U.S. Gulf, Knights donate more than $10 million and 100,000 volunteer hours to help rebuild Catholic churches and schools.
2007: The Knights of Columbus Incarnation Dome, a 3,780-square-foot mosaic depicting mysteries of Christ’s life, is constructed at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
2008: On March 16, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI approves a decree of heroic virtue for Father Michael J. McGivney, declaring him “Venerable.”
2008: The Order is present throughout Pope Benedict XVI’s pastoral visit to the United States. A K of C-commissioned plaque commemorates the pope’s Mass at Yankee Stadium. It accompanies two similar plaques, which commemorate Masses that Pope John Paul II and Pope Paul VI celebrated there.
2008: McGivney Hall, the new home of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at The Catholic University of America, is dedicated Sept. 8.
2009: The Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative launches Jan. 22, 2009. To date, more than 1000 ultrasound machines have been purchased for pro-life pregnancy centers using matching funds from the Order’s Culture of Life Fund, established in 2008.
2009: The Order hosts a “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” summit on volunteerism in New York and designates 2009 as the Year of the Volunteer. The Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids program launches; to date, the initiative has provided more than 500,000 winter coats to children throughout the United States and Canada.