Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
Speaking to more than 120 college Knights from over 60 campuses across North America, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson thanked them for “the service that [they] have done for the Knights and the Church,” and challenged them to give a “sincere gift of self” as the Good Samaritan did.
Speaking of Pope Francis, the Supreme Knight said that the Holy Father has provided us with a powerful witness of this self-sacrifice.
“Don’t let anybody ever minimize the contribution you can make,” he told them. “You are not the future of the Church, you are the Church now.” “If you give God permission to enter into your life and make a difference, you will not be disappointed.”
Also addressing the gathering was New York Times columnist and bestselling author of Bad Religion, Ross Douthat, who spoke on the current state of religion in America. The challenge, he told the Knights, is to show that the Christian faith can be “compelling, fresh, new, and even revolutionary.”
In a modern culture where many are spiritual “but don’t find Christian answers plausible,” he challenged those gathered to show that Christianity “isn’t just true in an intellectual sense” but that it can be lived and lead to human flourishing.
The banquet was the first event of the three-day conference held in New Haven, Conn. from Sept. 27 – 29. Throughout the weekend, college Knights will share stories, learn best practices, and challenge each other to become Catholic gentlemen and leaders of charity and service in their campus communities.
Following the addresses, Supreme Knight Anderson and several other Supreme Officers and Supreme Council representatives conferred awards on the college Knights for the exemplary service and achievement.
The evening’s marquee award, the Outstanding College Conference Award was given to Texas Tech University Council 14426 in Lubbock, Texas. The council members put in hundreds of hours in service to others and offered public witness to their faith in a variety of projects, including the following: gathering together to publically pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet at noon on Fridays; hosting a weekly youth group which they also lead on overnight retreats and camping trips; organizing a campus-wide day of service; running a fish fry on Fridays during Lent; sponsoring six dances the proceeds of which benefited a local pregnancy care center; participating in two 40 Days of Life campaigns and attending the Texas Rally for Life; and organizing parking, tailgating and concessions for sports fans during football games at the university’s stadium, which allowed them to raise tens of thousands of dollars for charitable causes.
In the area of membership, the award for highest net gain in membership went to St. Francis University Council 8222 in Loretto, Pa., with a net gain of 50 new members; and the award for highest percent gain in membership (42.2 percent) went to Northern Arizona University Council 7513 in Flagstaff, Ariz. The award for highest net gain in insurance members – 14 new insurance members – went to University of Illinois Council 2782 in Urbana-Champaign. Southeast Missouri State University Council 15294 in Cape Girardeau, Mo., received the award for in insurance members with a 8.1 percent gain in insurance membership.
The college council service awards were presented next. Awards went to The Catholic University of America Council 9542 in Washington, D.C. (Church Activity); Louisiana State University Council 15064 in Baton Rouge, La. (Community Activity); Georgetown University Council 6375 in Washington, D.C. (Council Activity); Texas A&M University Council 10624 in College Station, Texas (Family Activity); University of North Texas Council 14789 at the in Denton, Texas (Youth Activity); and University of Illinois Council 2782 in Urbana-Champaign (Culture of Life Activity).
For more information about the 2013 College Conference, visit kofc.org/college