.- The four day Convention of the Knights of Columbus came to a close yesterday. The conference, which was highlighted by the presence of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s second-in-command, who honored the organization’s founder, applauded the organization’s service efforts, and presented a letter from the Holy Father.
In his message, the pope encouraged the Knights to respond to Christ with a courageous “yes,” as did their founder, Fr. McGivney. He also praised the members saying, “they will be the first front of the new humanity redeemed and saved by Jesus Christ.”
Along with delivering the Pope message to the Knights, the Cardinal addressed the Church in the US, the situation of the Church in China, faith and politics and also the sexual abuse scandals. He also commended the Knights for their strength, vigor, and service to the Church saying, “They are Catholic and they are with the Church.”
In the past year, the Knights of Columbus gave $143 million to charities (an increase of 4 million from the previous year), the logging of 68.2 million volunteer hours and reached a record-setting membership of 1.7 million men.
As for the Knights Life Insurance Company, a sister group that provides for the widowed and orphaned, their assets doubled since 2006 and they saw an increase of $6.5 billion in growth.
The Cardinal mentioned that he would give “an excellent report” of his first trip to the United States as Cardinal Secretary of State to Pope Benedict XVI.
The Knights also announced that the conference for 2009 will be in Phoenix, Arizona and will include a Marian Congress of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the first of its kind.