Lead With Charity
When you — as a young Catholic on a college campus and as a member of the Knights of Columbus — lead with charity, you will show others that Catholics are different and that Catholics have much to offer. This is the message that Supreme Knight Carl Anderson shared with attendees of the 50th anniversary College Conferences Awards Banquet in New Haven.
“There are two items that I hope you take away from tonight,” Supreme Knight Anderson said in his keynote address. “First, that you are the brand of the Knights of Columbus on your college campus. And second, to lead with charity.”
He told the attending college students that although many people will tell them that they are the future of the Catholic Church, in reality they are the “now” of the Catholic Church, that the decisions they make at this point in their lives will potentially be more important than those they make later in their lives. Because they represent the Knights of Columbus on their campus, how they act is a reflection on the Order and on Catholicism.
“That’s a shared responsibility that we all as lay leaders have,” he added.
In regards to the recent visit by Pope Francis to the United States, the supreme knight said that Catholicism in the United States is now different than it was two weeks ago. As Catholic lay leaders, college Knights need to ascertain what that means to them on a personal level and on a leadership level.
He ended his remarks by encouraging the young Knights to become engaged in the Knights of Columbus Christians at Risk relief efforts for persecuted Catholics in the Middle East; to plan (if possible) a council pilgrimage to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C.; and to show the film “A Man for All Seasons” (a DVD that was distributed to all attendees) in their council and on their campus and have a discussion on St. Thomas More.
“If you begin with charity, authenticity and joy of being a Christian, people will see the difference in how you act, and many will want to become a part of that,” he said.
Prior to the banquet, the conference attendees toured the Supreme Council office and then joined the Supreme Officers for the celebration of Mass at St. Mary’s Church, the Order’s birthplace
Dominican Father John Paul Walker was the main celebrant and homilist for the event.
In his homily he said he believed that if Father Michael McGivney were here today he would send the Knights to reach out to those who have lost their faith or have no joy in the faith. “Let them see in you a life transformed by Christ’s faith,” Father Walker said.
“Go forth boldly and have the courage to live a transformed life,” he continued. “And look for the need and the outcast in your life, and reach out to them.”
Following Mass, the Knights gathered at Father McGivney’s tomb in the back of the church, to pray for his canonization.
After the Supreme Knight’s remarks at the Awards Banquet following Mass, honors were presented to councils for achievements in membership, insurance promotion and programming.