WASHINGTON - Knights of Columbus are called to evangelize, to be charitable and to serve as instruments of God's love, Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl said recently at a Mass opening the Catholic fraternal organization's 128th annual supreme convention.
"We are to be heralds of the Gospel of life - from conception to natural death; witnesses to the splendour of truth - that there is an objective right and wrong; ministers of the sacrament of charity," Wuerl said in his homily.
More than 4,000 Knights of Columbus and members of their families packed the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for the Mass.
"In quiet contradiction to all of the other lifestyles, options and opinions, we are to be champions of the new evangelization," Wuerl said.
Referring to Pope Benedict's recent creation of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, Wuerl asked the Knights to manifest Christ's love to the "highly secular culture in which we live, with its focus almost entirely limited on material things and overly and overtly individualistic."
"All around us are those who need to hear all over again - maybe for the first time with true appreciation - that Jesus is Lord, that the risen Lord is with us today, and that his Gospel is the path of both truth and life everlasting," he said.
Christopher Kernan, the general program director for the Florida state council of the Knights of Columbus, said Wuerl's call for the Knights to evangelize is something that he can relate to personally.
"I was out of the Church for 35 years. When I came back, I found in the Knights a group of men who had shared a common religion," Kernan said in an interview.
"If you become an active member of the Knights of Columbus, you can't help but become more active in the Church. And when you have a deeper faith, you naturally reach out to others."