Knights of Columbus to Hold State Convention in San Diego
SAN DIEGO — This month, the Diocese of San Diego welcomes Knights of Columbus from throughout California, who will be coming to America’s Finest City for their 111th annual state convention.
“We are happy to serve as the site of the Knights of Columbus’ state convention,” said Bishop Robert H. Brom. “The organization has a long history of faithfulness to the Church and of charitable service, both here and throughout the world, and I wholeheartedly welcome them to this diocese.”
The convention, which will include a full schedule of business meetings, liturgies and various social functions, will be held May 17-18 at the Town and Country Resort & Conference Center in Mission Valley. The event will include the election of a new slate of state officers, including a State Deputy, State Secretary, State Treasurer, State Advocate and State Warden.
“Although this is primarily a business meeting,” State Deputy Raymond F. Warriner wrote in a letter inviting his brother Knights and their families to the convention, “there will be plenty of time for relaxation, socializing and fraternity with brothers from other councils, districts and chapters throughout the state.”
The convention will be preceded on May 16 by a golf tournament at Riverwalk Golf Club and a welcome party for Knights and their families. On May 17, convention participants will be able to enjoy an Old Town Trolley Tour, a Sycuan Casino Bus and a second evening of musical entertainment.
As befitting a Catholic organization, the convention itself will open and close with a liturgy. The opening Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Brom. The closing Mass will be followed by a banquet that is expected to draw more than 1,200 people. A Blessed Sacrament chapel will be open on both days of the convention.
Because Armed Forces Day (May 18) falls on the last day of the convention, this year’s theme will be “Celebrating Patriotism, Through God & Country!”
The welcome party on May 16 is intended to evoke a modern-day version of the “Knights of Columbus Huts” that the organization operated throughout the United States and Europe during World War I to provide religious services, supplies and recreation to servicemen. The motto of the Knights Huts, which served as a precursor to the USO, was “Everybody Welcome, Everything Free.”
“The military theme continues throughout the weekend,” Warriner wrote in his letter, adding that the Knights and their families should “come with a patriotic spirit and expect to have a great time.”
A special Ladies Luncheon for spouses and other female relatives of the Knights will be held on May 18.
Established in 1882, the Knights of Columbus is the largest lay Catholic fraternal service organization in the world. The organization currently has more than 1.8 million members in more than 13,000 councils throughout the world, and offers top-rated insurance to its members and their families.
Annually, Knights average more than 5 million visits to the sick and bereaved, give more than 300,000 donations of blood, contribute more than 50 million volunteer hours of community service and offer more than 5 million hours of labor for sick and disabled members. Over the past decade, the Knights have donated more than $1.28 billion to numerous charitable causes and volunteered more than 612 million man-hours of service.
In California, the Knights have raised about $70,000 over the past two years to help support the education of seminarians preparing to become Catholic military chaplains, and their support for the scholarship program will continue for the next three years. The California State Council also recently delivered four freight cars worth of wheelchairs to both Mexico and the Philippines.
The Knights of Columbus have been in San Diego since June 28, 1908, when the first local council, Council 1349, was founded. In the diocese, the Knights of Columbus have continued to support the Local Church in many ways and are involved with several charitable causes. In addition to organizing annual fish fry dinners at parishes and the annual Tootsie Roll Drive to benefit those with mental disabilities, Knights actively support the pro-life cause and recently partnered with USO San Diego and Feeding America to provide food for lower-grade enlisted personnel and their families. Since February, the San Diego chapter of the Knights of Columbus has provided 10,000 pounds of food and served more than 1,000 military families.
For more information about the Knights of Columbus, contact John Giltner at (858) 673-7397 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Southern Cross