Since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in the United States in 1973, the Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to protecting the sanctity of human life.
For their outstanding service and dedication to building a culture of life, this year’s Culture of Life Activity Award went to Patrick Cardinal O'Boyle Council 11302.
Since its founding, Council 11302 has participated in the local preparations for the national March for Life which is held every January on or around the anniversary of the handing down of the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v Wade. Not only does the Council assist with planning and execution of hospitality events on Capitol Hill for pilgrims from around the country, the Council also holds regular diaper and bottle drives, and assists with clean-up efforts at the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center. Further, the Council annualy provides volunteers for the DC Special Olympics and various youth programs - promoting the sanctity of life, particularly those who are most vulnerable.
Members of the Afghanistan Roundtable, sponsored by Patrick Cardinal O'Boyle Council #11302, continue their Charitable work in the name of the Order at Camp RS and in their surrounding community. Continuing their ministry for Knights and the Catholic community on base, the Roundtable has been collecting donated clothes, toys, food, toiletries, backpacks and school supplies which were donated to religious sisters of Saint Mother Theresa's Missionaries of Charity for their local mission.
May saw the departure of Sir Knight Jerry Farkas of Council at the end of his tour of duty. Jerry was the Roundtable's most active volunteer, organizing and driving our donations to the various nuns in Kabul, the Afghan Scouts, our shredded paper bricks for heating the homes of the poorest, our exemplifications, and our altar servers and readers. Fortunately, Jerry has named and trained five other volunteers to take up each of his key activities.
Grand Knight Jack Heretik expressed a dream in the basement of St Vincent de Paul in May 2017. He envisioned the council obtaining an ultrasound for Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center via the Ultrasound Initiative. The Ultrasound Initiative is a program by Supreme in which the council only would have to raise half the funds as Supreme would cover the other half.
Success was not guaranteed, though. Some were fearful that O'Boyle Council could not do the project or it would take years to get done. However, thanks to the warm approval of the State Deputy, Amado Alverez, and endorsement from the Archdiocese, the council was able to begin fundraising in October 2017. Ninety days later we achieved 100% of our fundraising goal. The paperwork was submitted and the $28,500 4D ultrasound was purchased and delivered. In June 2018 the ultrasound was dedicated and it is now saving lives.
O'Boyle's ultrasound was obtained because of the support of other councils, the State Charity Fund, and the hard fundraising efforts of O'Boyle Council. It showed what great things can be done if we all work together in unity.
While serving his fifth combat tour, U.S. Army Captain Luis Avila was hit with an explosive device. After five years of challenges, Captain Avila continues his recovery at his new smart home, which he received from the K of C partnership with the Gary Sinise Foundation. Captain Avila is a member of Washington Council 224 and James Cardinal Hickey Assembly #2534 in the District of Columbia.
Military personnel like Captain Avila need our continued help. More importantly, they need our prayers and spiritual encouragement.
Please help us provide this encouragement by supporting the 2017 Warriors to Lourdes Pilgrimage, co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and the Archdiocese for the Military Services, U.S.A. The pilgrimage offers soldiers like Captain Avila — who is a two-time participant in the Warriors to Lourdes Pilgrimage — an opportunity for renewal and healing.
To donate, click here.
"Today, the Knights of Columbus is providentially positioned to play a key role in the new alliance between the Church and the family called for by Pope Francis … What is necessary now is our greater involvement in the renewal of parish and family life."
-Supreme Knight Carl Anderson