Minnesota Knights of Columbus host 137th annual Supreme Convention

| August 7, 2019 | 0 Comments
Archbishop Bernard Hebda prepares to preside at the opening Mass of the 137th annual Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention

Archbishop Bernard Hebda prepares to preside at the opening Mass of the 137th annual Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention Aug. 6 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Several thousand Knights and dozens of bishops from across the country came for the three-day event. At far right is Phil Harter, grand knight of Anoka 2018 Council and convention co-chair. DAVE HRBACEK | THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT

When Marc Peters of St. Joseph of the Lakes in Lino Lakes became the state deputy of the Knights of Columbus two years ago, he had no idea part of his job would entail standing on the pitcher’s mound at Target Field in Minneapolis poised to make the first pitch in an August game between the Minnesota Twins and the Kansas City Royals.

The pitch itself was not memorable — a “one hopper,” he said — but on Aug. 6 he focused on the pitch the Knights of Minnesota are making at the 137th annual Supreme Convention in his home state. Three years ago, the national board of directors made it official that Minneapolis would be the site of this year’s convention. It marks the fourth time the convention has been held in Minnesota. The last time was in 1999, also in Minneapolis.

As Peters reflected on three years’ worth of preparations during an interview after the convention’s opening Mass, he said local Knights came through in their efforts to welcome and host more than 2,200 members from across the U.S., Canada and several other countries around the world.

“It is a great privilege for us to be given an opportunity to put this on… and to give us the opportunity to show what Minnesota can do,” Peters said. “And, I think we nailed it. We’re very proud of what we’ve done. All we’ve heard is just great compliments from the Supreme Council.”

One of the goals for the Aug. 6-8 gathering, Peters said, was to make this year’s convention “Minnesota Nice,” and Archbishop Bernard Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis carried that theme forward as he celebrated the opening Mass. He began his homily with some geographical humor about the state’s flat terrain.

“Even though we locals boast that (Olympic gold medalist and Minnesota native) Lindsay Vonn is the most decorated female downhill skier in history, I can assure you that no one comes to the Twin Cities for our mountains,” he joked. “The highest point in this county — Hennepin County — is only 1,100 feet above sea level. That’s barely a hill, let alone a mountain.”

Yet, he said, the Knights of Columbus have a calling from Christ to climb a mountain — a reference to that day’s Gospel reading about the Transfiguration — and be a source of inspiration and service to the Church. And Archbishop Hebda, himself a Knight, praised Knights from all 50 states and 14 countries for the work they are doing.

“I am so grateful for the Knights of Columbus and for the encouragement you so consistently offer to one another to make the climb with Christ,” he said. “I love how the men of this order challenge one another to spend time with Christ; how you hold each other accountable for making the commitment to growth in the spiritual life; how you remind one another that it’s possible to lead a life of virtue as long as we are journeying with the Lord and responding to his invitation.”

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