Sunday evening I had the honor of joining with over two hundred brother Knights of the Knights of Columbus with their wives and honored guests at the Columbus Day Dinner at Ferrante's Lakeview facility in Greensburg. This annual gathering
of the Knights from the Greensburg and Pittsburgh Dioceses of Western Pennsylvania was hosted by the Greensburg Diocesan Chapter whose President is Donald Granata and Chaplain Father Paul Lisik. The Greensburg Chapter is comprised of twenty-five Councils, including the Saint Jude Council 9019 of which I am Chaplain.
This event, held on or near Columbus Day, is a celebration of Faith and of our wonderful Catholic Fraternal Organization known as the Knights of Columbus. Our evening was enjoyable, with a delicious dinner, good company and the meeting of new friends, an excellent talk by Bishop Edward Malesic, and the recognition of some outstanding Brothers. At our table we had Father Robert Washko of our Diocese along with three of his parishioners from Seward and three new friends from Canonsburg in the Pittsburgh Diocese. A number of the State Officers were in attendance at the event.
The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic Fraternal Benefit Society and Order within the Catholic Church which was established in 1882 in New Haven by a parish priest there named Father Michael J. McGivney. The principles that underlie the Order are Charity, Unity and Fraternity set within the context of Patriotism. Worldwide, the Knights have spread to 17 countries with 15,100 Councils (local groups) and a membership of nearly 1.9 million members. In the annual report given this year, the Knights have donated $173 million dollars to charitable works and most impressively have donated 71.5 million hours in service to the Church and those in need. Check out the K of C website for more info.
Our evening was capped off with remarks from Bishop Malesic, specifically addressing the issues of religious freedom and immigration. He shared his recent experience at a gathering of new bishops for orientation in Rome of meeting bishops from areas of the world where the need of immigration is great, and their request for prayers for their people. I am very grateful for my association with the Knights of Columbus since the mid-seventies when I entered the Order, and for the opportunity to share in this event. My thanks to the Greensburg Chapter for a wonderful evening.