Knights of Columbus hold annual convention

Friday, May. 03, 2024
Knights of Columbus hold annual convention + Enlarge
Regional Growth Director Ray Lopez gave the keynote address at the annual Utah Knights of Columbus awards banquet.
By Linda Petersen
Intermountain Catholic

OGDEN — Knights of Columbus from councils across Utah gathered April 26-27 in the Ogden Comfort Suites Conference Center for the annual state convention.

Among the many accomplishments in the past year by the Utah Knights of Columbus councils was the contribution of $4,882 for the support of vocations and seminarians in the Diocese of Salt Lake City.  Their total charitable contributions exceeded $79,000.

“The bottom line is that Utah will meet or exceed Supreme Council expectations this year,” outgoing State Deputy Bill Kelly told the Knights at the Saturday evening awards banquet.  “I am very humbled and honored to have led such a fine group of Catholic gentlemen over the last two years.”

He then read excerpts from a letter by Bishop Oscar A. Solis, a 4th degree Knight himself, who was unable to attend because of a prior engagement.

“Thank you and your families for your many good works that enrich our diocese’s faith life. Your generosity and support are blessings for all of us,” Bishop Solis wrote. “As members of this fraternal order, we must grow in the knowledge and life of our Catholic faith. To be missionary disciples, it is imperative to live vibrant lives of faith in our home, parish, at work and in the community. Christ offers us in the Holy Eucharist the nourishment we need to carry out our mission. Devotion to the Holy Eucharist is a source of strength for us on the Christian journey. Let us be faithful to the Lord’s Day and support Eucharistic Adoration in your parishes.”

Prior to the announcement of award winners there were two special recognitions. Julie Hanten, wife of former State Deputy Jerry Hanten, presented the Knights with a sword in honor of her late husband, who passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 12.

Those gathered also honored longtime Knight and former State Deputy Andy Airriess and his wife Giselle with a replica of the Golden Spike and a plaque for their long service with the organization. Airriess recently retired and the couple plans to move to Canada later this year.

In his keynote address, Supreme Convention Representative Ray Lopez commended the Knights for their service and charitable deeds.

“In all my travels I’m always talking about the awesome work Utah does,” said Lopez, who is also a past State Deputy and is currently the regional growth director. “We in Utah have a strong tradition of service.”

Lopez went on to encourage his fellow Knights to become active in protecting the faith, saying, “As we move forward its important for us to cling together to build the Catholic community.”

In an increasingly secular world that has become more hostile to people of faith, it is important for Catholics to support their pastors and seminarians, he said. “Let’s leave tonight determined to grow the faith, support the community, make our world and our Church a little better than we found it.”

Several awards were presented at the April 27 Utah Knights of Columbus 2024 banquet; see the list below.

 2024 Knights of Columbus Awards

Patriotic Scholarship of the Fourth Degree: Anabel Carmona

Columbian Society Scholarship: Mia Aikin

Dan Higgins Memorial Scholarship: Mia Steiner

Utah State Council Scholarship: Isabella Carmona

To Be a Patriot Award: “Supporting Veterans and Their Families,” Father Dominguez Assembly 1144, western Salt Lake Valley

Faith Award: “Carmelite Car Raffle”, Father Escalante Council 1136, Orem

Family Award: “Night with the Knights”, Council 5214, Kearns

Community Award: “St. Francis Community Charity”, Council 5214, Kearns

Life Award: “Ultrasound Golf Initiative”, Council 14399, South Ogden

Father McGivney Award: Fr. Andrzej Skrzypiec, Council 5502, Bountiful

Family of the Year: Art and Pam Grant Family, Council 13297, Holladay

Knight of the Year: Joseph Nesi, Council 5502

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