PARK CITY — Members of the Utah Knights of Columbus from councils throughout the state gathered in Park City for their annual convention May 5-6.
The keynote speaker for the awards banquet was Ray Lopez, Knights of Columbus Supreme Membership Program Consultant, who thanked the Knights and their wives and families for their work throughout the past year.
The international fraternal Catholic organization did “amazing work in 2017 – another record year: 75 million hours of service and $177 million of donations,” said Lopez, a former Utah State Deputy who has served in numerous state officer positions.
Utah Knights helped support persecuted Christians in the Middle East, pay for ultrasound equipment for pregnancy resource centers, and provide humanitarian aid to victims of hurricanes in Texas and Puerto Rico, among other national and international efforts, Lopez said.
Locally, “when there is work to be done, whether it be for an individual, in the parish or in the community, we are there,” he said.
Lopez urged his brother Knights to “continue to be the best examples of faith, service and be an extended family to your pastor, to your parish. Always work with your pastor. … Be the brother he needs.”
Another of the speakers at the awards banquet was Father Erik Richtsteig, speaking on behalf of Bishop Oscar A. Solis. Fr. Richtsteig urged those present to encourage young people to consider a call to a religious vocation. He requested that they ask young people, “‘What do you think God wants you to do? Pray about it. Listen to that call.’ Because there are many young men out there being called to the priesthood who are not hearing the call.”
He also asked that they pray for the diocesan seminarians and support them financially. “They need your prayers,” he said.
During the banquet, Utah State Deputy Andy Airriess reported that during the last year the Knights raised a total of $7,702.57 for scholarships and funds for the bishop to use to support vocations, the Culture of Life and other programs.
Each year, councils throughout Utah submit information on their programs for consideration for various awards. After the programs are judged, the awards are presented at the convention.
“Whatever the program, whether it is assistance to the disabled, elderly or youth, support for vocations, promotions of stronger family life or any of the hundreds of other activities conducted throughout the order, all contribute to the well-being of our individual councils and their communities,” Airriess said. “It is through this service – the program activities of the councils and their members – that we demonstrate that the order is indeed a Catholic, family, fraternal service organization.”
The winners of the 2018 Utah Knights of Columbus awards follow.
Utah State Scholarship – Joe Lopez, St. Francis of Assisi Parish, who will attend the University of Utah
Columbian Society Scholarship Winners – Kyle Abundo from Juan Diego Catholic High School, who will attend Occidental College; and Jasmine Tapia from Christ the King Parish, who will attend Southern Utah State University. These scholarships are awarded by the Columbian Society, which is associated with the Knights of Columbus Salt Lake Council 602 at the Cathedral of the Madeleine.
Church Activity Award – “Serving Near and Far,” Father Joseph Valine Council 11246, Christ the King Parish
Community Activity Award – Special Olympics Bowling, St. Olaf Council 5502, St. Olaf Parish
Council Activity Award – Dinner Bingo, St. Thomas More Council 11479, St. Thomas More Parish
Family Activity Award – “A Call for Help Answered,” St Martin de Porres Council 10304, St. Martin de Porres Parish
Youth Activity Award – “Easter Egg Hunt” St. Rose of Lima Council 6010, St. Rose of Lima Parish
Culture of Life Award – “Help for the Pregnancy Help Center,” Corpus Christi Council 6966, Blessed Sacrament Parish
Knights of Columbus Family of the Year – Mark, Mary, Erica and Eddie Solak from St. Thomas More Council 11479, St. Thomas More Parish
Knight of the Year – Art Grant, St. Vincent de Paul Council 13297, St. Vincent de Paul Parish