Manila archbishop urges knights: Be one with the poor

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MANILA, August 10, 2012?Addressing the thousands of Knights of Columbus gathered for their annual convention, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle called for a more committed and loving service to the poor “through a dialogue of life and love with them.”

He said the “abandoned and neglected” of society will only realize that “the Church is indeed the family of God” if we are able to treat each one as brother and sister deserving of our love and service.

“This demands a formation centered on Jesus, His teaching, His humility, His docility to God’s will and His heroic service to all,” he said.

The archbishop stressed that unless a Knight is rooted in Jesus he can’t be a “true brother to others and a defender of the poor.”

“So I also stand before you in the name of the lonely, lost, weary and wounded people of the world. Let us be brothers to them. Let us be Jesus’ love to them,” he said.

At least two thousand members of the Knights of Columbus worldwide are gathered in Anaheim, California from August 7 to 9 for their 130th Annual Supreme Convention.

Pope Benedict XVI, in a message sent through the Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, encouraged the Knights to continue bear daily witness of their faith in Christ, of their love of the Church and their commitment to spread the Kingdom of God in the world.

The three-day event which was also attended by at least 70 state and local council chaplains across the world, focused on the theme “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land.”

The first time to attend a KC supreme convention, Tagle whose father was a former Grand Knight, recalled how belonging to the group has shaped his upbringing and later his vocation in life.

“My belonging to the group brought me closer to the Church and to the call to mission,” he said.

Tagle was president of Columbian Squires in his home parish during his teen-age years and became a Fr. George Willmann, SJ scholar of the Knights of Columbus when he entered the seminary after high school.

“So I stand before you as one who has been formed, guided and inspired by the ideals and spirit of the Knights of Columbus,” the archbishop said.

Founded in 1882, the Knights of Columbus has around 1.8 million members worldwide. The organization is active in supporting various charitable activities and advocacies of the Church, particularly the promotion of life.  (CBCPNews)

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