After a three-year hiatus, the Knights of Columbus annual convention, held in Nashville, was back in person. For the first time in person, they were addressed by the 14th elected Supreme Knight, Patrick Kelly. He opened his address reflecting on being a part of a family legacy that is now embedded in him as he leads the order. He credited both his grandfather and father for what it means to be a knight.
Reflecting on their examples, Supreme Knight Kelly summed up what it means to be a knight in the Catholic brotherhood.
“A knight is a leader who stands in the breach,” Kelly emphasized. “We defend the faith. We protect the family. And when a need arises, we meet it with charity, unity, and fraternity."
Correlating his message to the recent overturn of the Roe v Wade decision, he stresses the need to “win the fight for life.”
“Abortion was never in the constitution and by its overturning, the Supreme Court has right the worst injustice in American history.”
Roe is overturned, but “we have much work to do.” While it is a crucial milestone, it is not the end. He saw it as a sign of hope and knights must continue to double down on the defense of human life.
Since 1974, the Knights of Columbus were instrumental in the growth of the annual March for Life in Washington, DC. In addition to Washington, D.C., they have sponsored marches in Canada, the Philippines, Poland, and all 50 states in the United States.
He continued to highlight the ultrasound machine initiative, which first began in 2009 and has made it possible to have 1566 machines in pregnancy centers in all 50 states and other parts of the world. The ultrasound has been a proven vessel in the fight to show the humanity of the unborn child.
They also have been the pioneers in a program that assists mothers who look to help at pregnancy resource centers by offering an initiative to donate to these essential places to help a scared mother choose life while matching the amount from any council.
These men called knights are what we need to fight against abortion. They are what the Catholic Church needs. Indeed, men can have a say in the abortion debate when they are willing to help society nurture and protect life from womb to tomb. Like the knight who helps the damsel who is in distress, the knights must come to the aid of our mother church now more than ever.
For men who want to become a Knight of Columbus, visit kofc.org/join.