ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
Hall of Popes
It is with great pleasure that I greet you, Supreme Knight Virgil Dechant and the Executive Board of the Knights of Columbus, and welcome you to the Vatican. In a sense, today’s meeting renews the joy of our celebration of Mass in Brooklyn just a few weeks ago. The presence of so many Knights from throughout the United States was an eloquent sign of your long-standing devotion to the Successor of Peter and your firm commitment to support him in his ministry to the universal Church. In recent years, this commitment has found a particular expression in the Vicarius Christi Fund; I thank you most heartily for this concrete manifestation of your desire to share in my pastoral concern for the needs of God’s people throughout the world.
The wide variety of good works undertaken by the Knights of Columbus in service to Christ and his Church demonstrates your Order’s spiritual vitality as it strives to carry on the vision of its Founder, Father Michael McGivney. It is my hope that the Knights will always be in the forefront of the Church’s efforts to prepare for the coming Third Christian Millennium by bringing the light of faith to bear upon the urgent social issues and problems of our time. Whether in small towns or great cities, the Knights have a vital role to play in building a new and "vibrant culture of life" (cf. John Paul II, Homily at the Aqueduct Racecourse in Brooklyn, New York, 8 [Oct. 6, 1995]), in which every person is cherished as a child of God and invited to share fully in the life of society.
Dear friends, I encourage you to join your good works to constant prayer for the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom in our world. I invoke upon you the joy and peace of Christ our Savior and cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing, which I gladly extend to all the Knights and their families.
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