A new Knights of Columbus Marian Prayer Program centered on the Immaculate Conception was inaugurated.
A new Knights of Columbus Marian Prayer Program was inaugurated during Mass on the second day of the 131st Supreme Convention on August 7. The Prayer Program features framed copies of an image of Mary as the Immaculate Conception that were carried in procession by each state deputy of the Order at the end of Mass during an inauguration ceremony. Presiding at the ceremony was Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori, who prayed for God’s blessing upon the state deputies as they prepared to “carry these images of Our Lady to councils and countries throughout the world.”
The Immaculate Conception image is a copy of the original painting that is housed in the Cathedral Basilica Notre-Dame de Quebec in Canada. The church and the Archdiocese of Quebec are celebrating their 350th anniversary. Also taking part in the ceremony was Archbishop Gerald Lacroix of Quebec, primate of Canada. He said that like Mary, Knights must “be open to the Holy Spirit” as they engage in the new evangelization in their own states, dioceses and parishes.
The principal celebrant of the Mass was Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. Delivering the homily was Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, who remarked on the theme of the convention, “Be Protectors of God’s Gifts,” taken from Pope Francis’ words at his inauguration Mass on March 19.
“The most important gift is the gift of God’s grace, which gives meaning to all the other gifts God bestows,” said Cardinal George. He added that other gifts include life itself, the Church, religious liberty, marriage and family. These must be protected on a personal level by prayer and avoidance of sin, which is a “distortion of human desire,” and on a societal level by public witness and practical action, he said.
He urged Knights to be leaders in protecting all that God has given them, to the Church and to the world.