Quebec City hosts 2,000 attendees and friends for annual gathering

  • August 6, 2008

{mosimage}QUEBEC CITY - On the heels of the 49th International Eucharistic Congress, Quebec City welcomed another Catholic gathering of about 2,000 attendees from the Knights of Columbus from all over the world. The Knights, their families and church leaders converged at the Quebec City Convention Centre, Aug. 5-7, for the 126th Supreme Convention.

“It seems to me that the Knights have grown a lot over the years, not only in prosperity but also in spiritual awakening, family commitment and social solidarity,” Cardinal Marc Ouellet said in his homily for the opening Mass.

He said the Knights were the most committed organization serving at the Eucharistic Congress in July, and added that their presence at the Supreme Convention was a “sort of epilogue of this world event.” “The Supreme Convention bears always witness to Christ by eucharistic adoration, fraternity and commitment of charity and service in many works of mercy and solidarity,” he said.

He encouraged the Knights to continue growing on a personal spiritual level and also to publicly promote family values — especially human life from the moment of conception to natural death.

“As an international Catholic fraternity, the Knights of Columbus have a special role to play in witnessing the love of Christ in today’s world under the wise leadership of Pope Benedict XVI,” Ouellet said. Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson commended Knights from Canada, the United States and Mexico for their efforts in the fight against abortion, and also asked them to persevere in their contributions.

“We must remember that real change means building a civilization of love, and that means truly transforming our politics,” Anderson said. “In this process of change, dealing with the abortion issue is fundamental.”

The Knights had not met in Quebec City for their annual convention since 1910. Despite this, Quebec, being the largest Knights of Columbus jurisdiction with half of Canada’s approximately 200,000 members, was also the largest fund raiser for charity in 2007, contributing $10,152,000 of the new record total of $144,911,781 raised worldwide. This was $2.3 million more than they raised the previous year.

Ontario came in second, with $8 million. And British Columbia was pegged as the jurisdiction that gave more per capita than any other province or state: $219.30 per member.

“But Knights of Columbus don’t just write a cheque, we put our hearts and especially our time into acts of charity,” Anderson said. “Last year, individual Knights donated well over 68 million hours of volunteer time to helping our churches, our neighbours and our communities.”

Anderson said their total number of Columbian Squires — the youth wing of the Knights — was also at a record high last year, as well as the number of assemblies around the world. The Supreme Convention drew about 90 priests, bishops, archbishops and cardinals from across North America and from countries around the world including Mexico, Poland, Cuba, the Philippines and Vatican City.

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