Address of Michael Alonso
Chairman of the College Council Advisory Board
Council 10624 at Texas A&M University
Brother Knights have traveled from all over the continent to New Haven, where over 130 years ago, Father Michael McGivney established the model of fraternity that would unite Catholic men in their faith and bind them together to provide for the families of their parish and the most vulnerable in their society. That first group of men gathering in the basement of St. Mary's marked the beginning of our fraternal experiment, the Knights of Columbus. Our principles are Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism, and over the past year we have all fulfilled these duties in varied and unique ways at our respective universities and councils. So tonight we gather at our Order's birthplace to celebrate the past year’s best accomplishments, and to draw inspiration as we move forward with a new fraternal year.
As college Knights we are called to step up and create positive change on our campuses. We seek to promote the moral, intellectual and spiritual development of each of our members. Through our shared experiences we seek to be prepared to be the future leaders of society, the Order, and the Church, through an attractive witness to the Gospel on our campuses. This is not an easy task and must not be taken lightly. There are many challenges that we as college Knights face on a daily basis. Temptations and social pressures pull at all of us during this busy and formative time in our lives. Whatever the difficulties we face on our campuses and in our councils — the balance of work and school life, various social obligations, new leadership challenges, frequent changes and unknown futures — our fraternity has the ability to transform each of us into the leaders our campuses and communities need now. It is through prayer, persistence and our collaborative efforts that we are able to overcome those challenges. Membership in our Order during your college years forms you as a Catholic gentleman committed to a lifetime of leadership in the Church and for the world. We will be prepared to do great things after graduation because we've first done great things at our universities with our brothers.