August 25, 2014
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
As an international fraternal organization, the Knights of Columbus is well-positioned to follow Pope Francis' witness of "love for the sick, the suffering and the poor," said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson.
That "extraordinary witness" and the pope's admonition to all to cast aside indifference have "captured the imagination of the world," he said Aug. 5 at the opening business session of the Knights' 132nd supreme convention in Orlando, Fla.
"As Knights of Columbus, we are well-positioned to respond," said Anderson.
The Aug. 5-7 convention celebrated a year in which the organization reported an all-time record for charitable giving: more than US$170 million and more than 70.5 million hours of service to charitable causes.
Response to unexpected tragedies played a large role in members' activities last year, according to Anderson.
Knights were part of relief efforts following two natural disasters in the Philippines; floods in Alberta; tornadoes in Moore, Okla.; the factory explosion in West, Texas; and the Boston Marathon bombing.
"Charity has been at the heart of the Knights' mission for the past 132 years," said Anderson.
Anderson also noted:
Quebec led all Knights of Columbus jurisdictions with charitable donations of more than $11 million.
Record membership overall.
Growth of membership and volunteer hours in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central Europe and Asia.
A new family program in advance of next year's World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.
Cardinal Orlando Quevedo
Nearly 90 archbishops and bishops – including 11 cardinals -joined approximately 2,000 Knights and family members for the convention.
A cardinal from the Philippines thanked the Knights for the organization's financial support following last year's devastating Typhoon Haiyan.
"The Knights worldwide sent more than $750,000 for thousands upon thousands of Filipinos whose lives and properties were destroyed by the strongest typhoon ever recorded to reach landfall," said Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato, Philippines, who spoke at the annual States Dinner Aug. 5.
Knights throughout the Philippines immediately mobilized their councils to provide food, shelter, clothes, cooking utensils, water and medicines following the typhoon, the cardinal said.
He added, "This is global and local mobilization of fraternity at its best."
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