At annual convention, Knights of Columbus urged to be force for unity, examples of Catholic love

Friday, May. 12, 2017
At annual convention, Knights of Columbus urged to be force for unity, examples of Catholic love + Enlarge
Ray Lopez, Knights of Columbus Supreme Membership Program Consultant, said that Catholics must stand up for their values and beliefs. See additional photos from the banquet on the Intermountain Catholic Facebook page.
By Marie Mischel
Intermountain Catholic
PARK CITY —  Hundreds of Knights of Columbus from throughout Utah gathered May 6-7 at the Park City Marriott for the 110th Utah State Convention.
During the May 6 banquet, Bishop Oscar A. Solis said he was pleased to join his fellow Knights and their families, and called on them to uphold the ideal of unity, which is one of the Catholic fraternal order’s principles.
American society and today’s world are polarized in many ways, not only by virtue of religious affiliations and political leanings, Bishop Solis said, adding that the Church is blessed by the Knights of Columbus, who promote the unity that Jesus prayed for in the Garden of Gethsemane: “ … that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you … “(Jn 17:21)
The Knights of Columbus organization is a “strong instrument of unification, of solidarity, of being one God’s family in our midst,” the bishop said, but noted that this unity can only be accomplished if it is rooted in the Eucharist.
The Eucharist, he added, is the only celebration “when we see each other not according to the color of our skin, not according to the language we speak, not according to the status of ourselves in society, but we see each other simply as brothers and sisters,” he said. “And that is why, as Knights of Columbus, I hope that we live up to the beautiful understanding and importance of the Eucharist as the foundation of our unity – unity with God, unity with one another, unity as brothers and sisters in the world we live in.”
He encouraged the Knights to have prayer as an essential component of every meeting, activity and endeavor as they build bonds not only within the fraternal order but also in parish communities and in society.
“When we achieve that sense of unity, we will know that we have achieved our noble mission as Knights of Columbus – becoming instruments of God’s grace that the world may be one as Jesus and the Father are one,” Bishop Solis said.
The keynote speaker for the banquet was Ray Lopez, the Supreme Membership Program Consultant for seven Western states.
Lopez, a past State Deputy of Utah, began his presentation by congratulating in advance the winners of the various awards that would be presented later in the evening.
“Those award winners are only a sample of the wonderful service and charity done here in the state of Utah,” he said.
All of the programs help save or change lives in some form or another, but they also bring the Catholic community together for service or evangelization, he said. For instance as a pancake breakfast allows the parish to come together in fellowship, while partnering with other organizations for events such as Shop With a Cop or Special Olympics “show the face of Catholic love … and this example is needed more than ever,” he said.
Another way the Knights serve as examples is by their emphasis on family, he said; for instance, the Knights’ Father’s Day Affirmation of Marriage Vows encourages families to attend Mass together, and the couples embody the ideal of Catholic marriage when they stand to be recognized.
Having the Affirmation of Marriage Vows on Father’s Day also emphasizes the importance of fathers, he said. “Secular society has worked hard to deny all of this, but we know that commitment to family and to God is important.”  
Catholics must be examples to the world, he said. “We must be the domestic Church. … Remember, you are all a drop of rain. When we come together united, it forms the ocean of charity. Together, united in faith, charity and service, we make the world a better place.”
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