expands to Ukraine and ; Lithuania
His Beatitude Sviatoslav via Video Addresses K.C. Convention
San Antonio—During the 131st Annual Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus, held here August 6-8, Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson announced that the Order has established two councils in
and a round table in Lithuania.
This is the Knights’ first international expansion since the Order established councils
“Our presence in
Lithuania and Ukraine,
along with our growing numbers in Poland,
gives us even deeper roots in Europe,” said
Supreme Knight Anderson.
The origins of the Order’s expansion to
Ukraine go back
to 2005, when Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, now the major archbishop emeritus of the
Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, attended the 123rd Supreme Convention in Chicago. Cardinal Husar
was invited to give the homily during a concelebrated Mass at the convention. A
video excerpt was screened during the Wednesday business session at this year’s
“I wish to thank you very much for the good example you are giving,” Cardinal Husar said. “I am happy to hear that our closest neighbor,
is already one step ahead of us and has invited the Knights of Columbus to be
instituted in their land. I hope that this will happen also for us.”
Nearly 100 men in
the Knights at a series of exemplification ceremonies in 2012 and 2013. Among
those who took their First and Second Degrees were Major Archbishop Sviatoslav
Shevchuk, who succeeded Cardinal Husar in 2011, and Archbishop Mieczysław
Mokrzycki of Lviv, who was a longtime under-secretary to Pope John Paul II and
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Metropolitan Archbishop Stefan Soroka, of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, was introduced at the States’ Dinner Tuesday evening, as the representative of His Beatitude, Sviatoslav Shevchuk.
During the business session Wednesday, after the video excerpt from the homily of Cardinal Husar during the 2005 Chicago Convention was shown, the convention viewed the following video message from His Beatitude Sviatoslav:
Glory be to Jesus Christ!
This marvelous medium allows me to personally express my gratitude on behalf of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, to the Supreme Knight, Sir Knight Carl Anderson, his Supreme Officers, and all of the Knights of Columbus of this valued and esteemed international order gathered for its annual Supreme Convention in San Antonio, Texas. We happily rejoice with the establishment of the Knights of
Columbus in Ukraine, a process begun with the personal
invitation extended by my predecessor, His Beatitude, Lubomyr Cardinal Husar at
the 123rd Supreme Convention in .
Much has been dutifully accomplished since then by many dedicated
Supreme Officers and delegates, and Knights of Chicago Columbus
from the USA and . We are grateful for the special efforts
extended by the Assistant Supreme Advocate and Supreme Director Sir Knight
Michael O’Connor, a Special Assistant to the Supreme Knight and Past State
Deputy Sir Knight Lawrence Sosnowich, and for the efforts of the specially
formed Ukrainian speaking degree teams from Manitoba, Canada. The combined and steadfast efforts of many
have led to the successful establishment of the Knights of Canada Columbus
in . Ukraine
Our Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has suffered severe persecution during the oppressive communist past. Churches were destroyed. Bishops, clergy, religious and tens of thousands of faithful suffered martyrdom for the faith. Their gift of great sacrifice calls forth our re-energized zeal in the celebration of our faith. We are rebuilding our basic structures and renewing our faith with God’s abundant grace. Our people thirst to know God and to grow in their faith. The challenges for evangelization are immense amidst our own faithful and for all residents of
We are strengthened and encouraged by the support offered to us by such esteemed Catholic institutions such as the international order of the Knights of
The cherished and practiced ideals of the Knights of Columbus, namely that of
charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism, resonate deeply with the soul of a
Church and a people experiencing a vivid resurrection in its spiritual and
moral life. We are confident that the
bond between the Knights of Columbus
and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church will enrich the journey of growth in
our faith and serve to evangelize the faithful. Columbus
Please be assured of my fervent prayers offered for the Supreme Knight, Carl Anderson, for his Supreme Officers and to all Knights of
and their family members participating in this 131st annual Supreme
Convention. May the famous Texan
hospitality and the intercession of St. Anthony, for whom your host city is
named, warm your hearts and your spirits.
We rejoice that now becoming part of this international Catholic family of the
Knights of Columbus ,
rejoicing in our fraternity as brothers and sisters in Christ. Columbus
Slava Isusu Khrystu! Glory be to Jesus Christ!
Archbishop Mokrzycki and Archbishop Gintaras Grušas of
delivered remarks during the Aug. 7 business session. Vilnius,
(This story includes material from Knightline August 8, 2013.)