Kelly then took aim at “one of the latest lies” which claims that pro-lifers don’t care about the well-being of children after their birth. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said, adding that the Knights have partnered with pro-life pregnancy centers to provide many resources, but that “now is the time to do even more.”
Doing more includes the Knights’ new initiative Aid and Support After Pregnancy, he said, in which the Supreme Council encourages local councils to increase donations to pro-life pregnancy centers. ASAP entails a 20% donation match from the Supreme Council.
Protecting families and religious freedom through faith
Kelly said that there are other challenges that need to be addressed in society. “We see it in the denial of human dignity. We see it in the blatant attempts to redefine the human person — and to push this radical agenda on our children,” he said. Kelly also said that religious freedom is at risk.
The Knights are called to trust in God and step into the breach to face these challenges head on, he said. Being a Knight “means drawing closer to the person of Jesus Christ, our King.”
Kelly said that the Knights have pledged $1 million to the U.S. bishops’ National Eucharistic Revival. Kelly added that evangelization is “one of my top priorities,” and there is a “special urgency” for it today.
Noting a crisis of faith in the Church, Kelly announced a discipleship and evangelization initiative that was piloted in Tennessee. Kelly told CNA Sunday that the initiative includes training for councils on how to evangelize, speak about the faith, and bring people in.
Outreach to a new demographic
Kelly said the Knights are taking strides to engage more Hispanics in the organization.
There are already many Hispanic Knights, he said, but he believes the Knights should have many more. The Knights are “intentionally cultivating” Latino leaders within the organization in order to achieve this goal, he said.
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Concluding his speech with the Knights’ efforts in Ukraine, Kelly said that the Knights have over 19,000 members within the Eastern European country.
He noted that “many of our brother knights are on the frontlines even now.”
At least two members of the Knights have died in battle: Petro Popovych of Council 15804 in Kolomiya, and Oleh Vorobiov of Council 17651 in Lviv.
“We pray for their families. We commend their souls to the Lord, “ Kelly said.
Kelly said that through the order’s Ukraine Solidarity Fund, it has raised almost $19 million in relief efforts. The Knights have also set up K of C Charity Convoys which ship humanitarian aid from Poland to Ukraine, he said.
Crediting the efforts of the Knights in Poland, the order has also set up K of C Mercy Centers which provide both material and spiritual support, Kelly said. Kelly visited Ukraine and said that “I will always remember what I saw. And I will never forget the courage I saw in Ukrainian Knights.”