During Mass on Tuesday morning for the 128th Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus, Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, encouraged the members of the Catholic fraternity to be faithful followers of Christ.
Noting the centrality of Jesus in the life of the Church, Cardinal Rigali explained that it “is a question of being faithful to God’s word in the role of discipleship as it is offered this morning in the Gospel.”
The prelate then spoke in his homily of the Knights of Columbus founder, Father Michael J. McGivney, who “lived his priesthood in perfect continuity with the same great ideals of pastoral charity,” as those of St. John Vianney, “whose feast we celebrate today.”
“And it is because of this that the theme of our Convention is so meaningful: 'I am my brother’s keeper,'” the Cardinal explained. “From this theme, inspired by the tradition of the Church and by the particular legacy of Father McGivney, there emerges a great challenge for the Knights of Columbus and their families to express solidarity with every brother and sister in society.”
“For the Knights of Columbus,” he added, “it is a question of being numbered among the successors of the seventy-two disciples whom Jesus sent out to prepare His coming. And it is a question of being faithful witnesses by word and example to the truth of Christ’s Gospel and His Church.”
“To all of you the Church repeats these words: “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus ... proclaim the word; be persistent, whether it is convenient or inconvenient,” Cardinal Rigali stressed.
“Hence in this Eucharistic Sacrifice, the Knights of Columbus are invited once again to mobilize, in the charity and truth of Christ, to support His Church and to be of service to every brother and sister in need.”
In his concluding remarks, the Archbishop of Philadelphia urged those in attendance to “be assured that the Church needs you and blesses you,and urges you onward, in the name of Jesus.”