Annual Report of the Supreme Knight
In his annual report delivered at the 133rd Supreme Convention in Philadelphia, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson noted the Order’s record levels of charity, with over $173 million in donations and over 71.5 million hours of volunteer service.
The supreme knight cited some of the major accomplishments of the Order: a new record in charitable giving, continued membership growth, and an increase in membership for the 43rd consecutive year to a total membership of 1,883,598 brother Knights.
At the opening of his report, the supreme knight officially announced the convention’s theme, “Endowed by Their Creator With Life and Liberty.”
“It (the theme) is appropriate since we are meeting in the city of Philadelphia, a city steeped in Catholic history,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson as he opened his report. “My brother Knights, this is the 15th time that I will fulfill my responsibility as supreme knight to report to you on the accomplishments of your Order during the past year. Today, I report to you that the Knights of Columbus has never been stronger and more relevant.”
The supreme knight spoke to an audience of nearly 95 archbishops and bishops, including 11 cardinals, scores of clergy and approximately 2,000 members of the Knights and their families from throughout North and Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Europe.
“Our parishes and neighborhoods are better places today because of the efforts of our nearly 1.9 million members,” Supreme Knight Anderson said in referring to the records of over $173 million in donations and over 71.5 million hours of volunteer service. “We are building a better world, one council at a time.”
He also announced that the Knights of Columbus has seen impressive membership growth including in new areas such as Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland and South Korea.
“Most brother Knights say they were asked to join the Knights of Columbus by a family member or friend,” Supreme Knight Anderson said. “Yet too many Knights today rarely ask someone to join us. All of us need to make an extra effort to extend the benefits of membership to more Catholic men, so today I ask every brother Knight to recruit at least three new members this year.”
Supreme Knight Anderson also highlighted the Knights of Columbus Christian Refugee Relief Fund that has already sent more than $3 million to assist Christians in Syria and Iraq.
“Our dollars provide housing and medical care,” he said. “But we can do more. Today I announce that the Knights of Columbus will redouble our efforts to bring aid to those victims. We will begin a new education campaign to expose the crimes against humanity that are being committed. It is time for a season of truth about what is happening to Christians.”
The supreme knight then asked the convention attendees to raise with him the Olive Wood Crosses that had been supplied to them as a show of solidarity with persecuted Christians.
Supreme Knight Anderson also announced that the Knights will be partnering with the group, charity: water, to build 20 new clean water wells in Africa. “As one African priest told us when he heard of our initiative, ‘Water is life, and I thank the Knights of Columbus for reaching out with this precious gift of life,’” the supreme knight said.
In discussing the Order’s insurance program, Supreme Knight Anderson said that insurance in force is at $99 billion, an amount that has more than doubled in the last 12 years, and also that the Order’s Insurance program has earned A.M. Best’s highest rating, A++ (Superior), for the 40th consecutive year.