Morning brothers- I wanted to give you my initial reaction to how the year's Supreme Convention went. By now, you can probably read and/or see most of the proceedings by visiting http://kofc.org/convention, or view pictures on our Facebook page (facebook.com/iaknights).
Before beginning, let me give my appreciation to our delegation: Steve Vonnahme (Altoona), John Zweibahmer (Ossian), Jamie McNaughton (Ankeny), Jeremy Jensen (Cherokee), Mike Reicks (Council Bluffs), John Staiert (Sioux City), Pablo Martinez (Ottumwa), and Bob Kass (Epworth, 19/20 Top GK). They were joined by IPSD/ Supreme Director Antonio Banuelos (Pleasant Hills), State Chaplain Fr. David Ambrosy (Belleview), and myself. These brothers and their wives and kids made for a wonderful week, and were a great representation of our state council.
Also, my son Noah, became a published journalist with the release of his reflection on the annual souvenir exchange event that traditionally occurs during the Supreme Convention. If you wish to read it, here is the link- http://kofc.org/en/news-room/knightline/special-edition/week-of-august-4/pin-exchange-one-of-the-best-parts.html
Ok, to the Convention.....
While disappointing that we weren't able to gather in Washington DC, this was a fun week. The Iowa delegation gathered in Dubuque. We were able to take in many sights throughout the county, including a tour of the Field of Dream movie site, with original ghost player Frank Dardis as our tour guide! A highlight was seeing the number of dads and sons playing catch on the field.
We then took a tour and celebrated Mass at the Basilica of St. Francis. This is the oldest basilica in the state, and it was a great time to reflect on the life of St. John Vianney, to pray for our priests across the state, and to appreciate the chance in June of 2019 to be in the physical presence of the relic heart of the Cure de Ars during his KofC-sponsored tour of the US with stops in both Des Moines and Cedar Rapids.
The two live-streamed Masses were from our Motherchurch, St. Mary's in New Haven. Archbishop Blair (Archbishop of Hartford, CT) presided at Mass on Tuesday with Archbishop Lori (Supreme Chaplain) presided on Wednesday.
The Report of the Supreme Knight continues to impress me with just simply how impactful and integral the Order is in the lives of our Church and of our secular society. With so many highlights, I will call out a few-
The Supreme Knight recounted in great detail our positive position on retaining the name of Columbus in regards to the name of the Order. There's some rumors circulating that we might be considering a name change- that doesn't seem to be likely. We are charged to respectfully present our story and respectfully call on others to give a honest and critical review of their history.
As an Order, we will continue to lead the call for religious liberty, whether it is of our own here in Iowa, it is of the Indegious People of the United States, Persecuted Christians and other religious minorities across the Middle East, or our new efforts to highlight the slaughtering of religious minorities in Africa.
Our new pilgrim icon program will be an image of St. Michael the Archangel, patron of many including police, our military personnel, doctors, and grocers. This will be a very timely celebration of prayer for those who are on the front lines domestically and internationally. I am excited for the ways that we as Knights in Iowa can pray for our law enforcement, military, and grocery personnel under the banner of St. Michael.
The Business Session included many adopted resolutions supporting our military personnel, the defense of Christopher Columbus, recognizing our long history of dealing with racial equality, and formally welcoming France as a territory within the Order. Click HERE to see the published approved resolutions. We also made some minor changes to the Laws and Rules, including allowing for payment of bills by means other than check and wire transfer, and cleaning up the language so that more than one degree can be conferred at the same time. As your State Deputy, I was selected to serve as a member of the Greetings to the Presidents of the national bishops conferences in the countries that we have a presence. In addition, I was selected to serve as Chair of the Committee on the Good of the Order. This means the delivery of my report was played during the business meeting. I'll record it again and share with you for my Sept SD video. We ended our time in Dubuque with the Memorial Mass, Awards Program, and our state dinner. Everyone made it home safely, filled with excitement of the future of the Order as Knights of Columbus: Knights of Fraternity.
If you made it to this point, thanks. I'm sure I will have more thoughts in the days and weeks ahead, but here is where we start. Thanks for your leadership, your commitment, and dedication to our beloved Order. Let us Lift Every Voice in service to our parishes and communities, giving the gift of membership as we Leave No Neighbor Behind putting our Faith in Action. Vivat Jesus!