A strong delegation of more than 20 Knights and their families attended the 128th Annual International Convention of the Knights of Columbus held this year in Washington, D.C. The Granite State Delegation was lead by the State Deputy of New Hampshire Edward McCann of Merrimack. Also attending as elected delegates representing the more that 7, 500 Knights in New Hampshire were Immediate Past State Deputy Greg Taillon (Plaistow), State Warden Wayne Griffin (Windham), State Advocate Jordan Ulery (Hudson) and Past State Deputy Normand Lemierse (Manchester). These men and their families joined with nearly 4,000 Knights and their families from around the world.
Representing the Diocese of Manchester were State Chaplin Father Jean (St. John Neumann – Merrimack) and Father Kelly (St. Patrick – Nashua) joining these priests was Fr. Smalley of the Ukrainian parish of St. Mary in Manchester. Several hundred other priests from around the world were present at the conference and these Priests took advantage of the opportunity to discuss issues affecting local parish life worldwide.
During the four day conference in Washington, DC the New Hampshire men met other Knights from Poland, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Canada, Mexico, Philippines, Caribbean Islands and every state in the United States. Nearly 200 members of the Catholic hierarchy were present including Cardinal Jamie Ortega of Cuba who was awarded the Gaudium et Spes honor for his support of religious liberty in the socialist-communist state of Cuba. At that awards ceremony New Hampshire was joined by many other states in singing our new State Song, the refrain of “Live Free or Die” was especially loudly pronounced.
The Order learned that the Knights have pledged to provide a wheelchair to any person injured in the recent Haiti earthquake and have pledged to provide prosthetic devices to all in need in that devastated land. The close knit fraternity had the opportunity before and after the several masses to meet and speak individually with these bishops, archbishops and cardinals. Jordan Ulery and his wife had an informal breakfast with Jamie Cardinal Ortega (Cuba) and Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales (Philippines). Other Masses included a beautiful formal Mass at the Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception near the Catholic University of America. This mass was attended by over 4000, and was televised on EWTN and Salt & Light networks.
The Knights of Columbus supports the Shrine daily with personnel from the Washington area. The Order also contributed to the construction of the Basilica carillon tower and entry dome. The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic, family fraternal, service organization of now more than 1,800,000 members worldwide. For more information on the Order please visit http://www.nhknights.org.