Knights of Columbus Host their 140th Supreme Convention with Mass Celebrated by Cardinal Gregory and Election of 3 New Directors - Highlights

Knights of Columbus Hosts 140th Supreme Convention States Dinner Highlights include addresses by Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, and a special tribute to Past Supreme Knight Carl Anderson
Cardinal Timothy Dolan thanked the Knights of Columbus for its longstanding efforts to promote faithful citizenship and religious freedom in his keynote address at the States Dinner on Tuesday evening. 
The 140th Supreme Convention continued Wednesday morning with a votive Mass of the Most Holy Eucharist celebrated by Cardinal Wilton Gregory, archbishop of Washington. Bishop Andrew Cozzens of Crookston, Minn., was the homilist.
 The Community Program of the Year - Within days of the invasion of Ukraine, members of St. Wojciech Patron of Poland Council 15267 in Tomasz√≥w Lubelski, Poland, built a Mercy Center to assist Ukrainian refugees fleeing their homeland. Knights and other volunteers provided around-the-clock assistance, including food, childcare, first aid and transportation to reception points, to an estimated 300,000 people. Council 15267’s extraordinary work was recognized with the International Community Program of the Year Award on Monday night.
Three new Supreme Directors were elected to the Knights of Columbus Board of Directors during the convention’s Wednesday Business Session: Michael R. McCusker, immediate past state deputy of Tennessee; Alfredo Vela, immediate past state deputy of Texas; and Jamey Roth, immediate past state deputy of Kansas. 
Thursday morning of the 140th Supreme Convention began with a Memorial Mass, celebrated in memory of all deceased Knights of Columbus by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori. A procession of relics — including relics of Blessed Michael McGivney, the Mexican martyrs, St. John Paul II, St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Jean Marie Vianney and St. Kateri Tekakwitha — opened the Mass, and it concluded with a eucharistic procession. 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The annual States Dinner of the Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention took place at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn., Aug. 2 with hundreds of K of C delegates and their families, members of the clergy and special guests in attendance. The festive event celebrated the work and accomplishments of the Order and paid special tribute to Past Supreme Knight Carl Anderson.
“For 140 years — starting with Blessed Michael McGivney — each generation of Knights has stood in the breach,” said Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly during his opening address. “From our charitable giving to our financial protection, from placing ultrasound machines to standing with Ukraine, the Knights are there when the need is the greatest.”
Supreme Knight Kelly then reminded the delegates that though they’ve made historic strides during the past fraternal year, much remains to be done.
“We must redouble our efforts to support the family,” the supreme knight affirmed. “The pressures facing our families and especially our young people are extraordinary. Confronting these challenges will be difficult. But the difficult things are most worth doing.”
He continued, “There’s a reason we’ve long been called the ‘strong right arm of the Church.’ So let’s continue, and use that strength. For our families, for our faith, let’s stand up and step forward into the breach.”
During the dinner, Past Supreme Knight Carl Anderson was honored for his exemplary service and creative, farsighted initiatives over his tenure as the 13th supreme knight (2000-2021).
Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore spoke about his long friendship and collaboration with Mr. Anderson and highlighted his many accomplishments.
“In 2005, Carl asked me to serve as supreme chaplain — a privilege for which I shall always be deeply grateful,” Archbishop Lori said. “I mention this because it gave me a front row seat from which to witness Carl’s inspired leadership of the Knights of Columbus over the course of two
decades, leading it to unprecedented growth in membership, in the expanse of its charities and insurance and financial products, but most of all in the breadth of its vision.”
The supreme chaplain continued: “As the Knights reached new heights of charity under his leadership, so too its commitment to the unborn and to their mothers deepened, with the expansion of the Order’s ultrasound program, its support for the March for Life and a host of other initiatives designed to help mothers in need and to foster family life — initiatives to which Carl gave the necessary vision, leadership and impetus.”
Archbishop Lori also underscored Mr. Anderson’s swift and decisive action on behalf of persecuted Christians and other religious minorities as a genocidal campaign of violence broke out in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Syria.
“It was Carl who led the Order in working closely with bishops across the Middle East in coming to the aid of communities that suffered from war, injustice, deprivation and, most of all, the shedding of innocent blood,” the supreme chaplain said.
He concluded: “Carl, you are not only a man of many interests and skills, but a disciple of the Lord; a man of faith, wisdom, insight born of the Holy Spirit; a man with a capacious mind and even more capacious heart.”
Supreme Knight Kelly also reflected on Mr. Anderson’s legacy, noting, “In his two decades at the helm, we launched many of our most historic initiatives and set a new standard of charity, unity and fraternity. … He has worked heroically to build a society where the God-given dignity of every life is protected and valued — and where God’s plan for marriage and family is embraced. At this critical time in the life of our Church, Carl has modeled what it means to be a Catholic layman. And in so doing, he has become a true Catholic statesman. Carl Anderson surely is ‘A Knight for All Seasons.’”
Other achievements of Past Supreme Knight Anderson’s tenure include:
· Establishing the Heroes Fund to provide immediate assistance to the families of first responders who lost their lives on 9/11;
· Raising and donating close to $10 million to help rebuild Catholic churches and schools along the U.S. Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina;
· Giving the gift of mobility to more than 100,000 people in need of wheelchairs since 2009, when the Order partnered with the Global Wheelchair Mission;
· Establishing McGivney Hall, which serves as the home of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at The Catholic University of America;
· Launching the Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative in 2009 and subsequently placing more than 1,300 ultrasound machines in pregnancy resource centers;
· Giving more than 800,000 new winter coats to children in the United States and Canada since 2009 through the Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids program.
During the States Dinner, Supreme Knight Kelly also presented the organization’s St. Michael Award to Ukraine State Deputy Youriy Maletskiy, who has played a pivotal role in its humanitarian response to the war there. The award, named after St. Michael the Archangel, recognizes exemplary service to the Knights of Columbus.
“Youriy Maletskiy is one the busiest and bravest men in the entire Order,” said Supreme Knight Kelly. “In choosing to lead — and to lead well — Youriy has helped hundreds of thousands of men, women and children suffering in desperate circumstances. With the help of the Ukraine Solidarity Fund, he has opened channels of support from Knights in Poland, the United States and around the world. In short, he has been an instrument of hope to the Ukrainian people.” State Deputy Maletskiy offered words of thanks, on behalf of himself, Ukrainian Knights, and all his countrymen. “Thank you for your prayers, your sacrifices, your support and your work on behalf of a nation fighting for its existence and its freedom,” Maletskiy said to the gathering, which met him with uproarious applause.
To conclude the evening, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and a longtime Knight, delivered a moving keynote address that encouraged Knights to lead the effort to defend religious freedom.
“From the start, our Founder, Blessed Michael McGivney, believed in the American foundational principle that every person, of whatever faith, had the right to hold his head high in this Republic, to freely and confidently exercise his religion,” Cardinal Dolan said. “This led the sons of Michael McGivney to fight religious bigotry here in America; to rise to the defense of our neighbors to the south as the Mexican government persecuted the Church; to oppose the totalitarianism of the Nazis and fascists; to stand up for the Church oppressed by communists in central and eastern Europe.”
The cardinal concluded: “We gratefully recall that every uplifting and liberating moment in American social progress … has been sparked and sustained by people of faith, who saw, as did the Rev. Martin Luther King, that such public witness was only possible because religious liberty was assured.”
About the Knights of Columbus
In 1882, Blessed Michael McGivney, a young parish priest in New Haven, Conn., founded the Knights of Columbus to serve the needs of a largely immigrant Catholic community. What began as a small fraternal benefit society has since grown into one of the world’s leading international charitable organizations, with 2 million members in more than 16,000 local councils. From July 2021 to June 2022, Knights around the world donated nearly 48 million service hours and nearly $154 million for worthy causes in their communities. The Knights of Columbus also offers extensive life insurance products to members and their families. Knights of Columbus Insurance currently has more than $119 billion of life insurance policies in force and was named by Forbes as one of America’s Best Insurance Companies 2022. In addition, the Knights provides investment services in accord with Catholic social teaching through Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors, which holds total assets of more than $28 billion in assets under management. Based on the founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity, the Order remains committed to strengthening Catholic families and parishes and to practicing faith in action through service to all in need. To learn more or to join the Knights of Columbus, please visit