March 13, 2009

Indiana Knights / Robert Hartenstein

It’s convention time again in Indiana

Each year, members of the Indiana Knights of Columbus converge in Indianapolis to perform state business. This year is no different with a theme of “Action to Vision.”

Delegates and alternates attending the convention are generally Council grand knights, deputy grand knights, past grand knights or financial secretaries. State officers, directors and chairmen will also be in attendance. This year marks the 108th annual meeting that will convene at the Marriott Center East hotel complex on April 24-26.

It is an exciting time for Indiana Knights to gather as fraternal brothers to exchange ideas and renew old friendships. It is also a time of prayerful consideration for those issues that most affect the Catholic family throughout the world, not the least of which is the defense of life, whether the unborn or the elderly, sick or infirmed.

The lineup of nationally known speakers who will address this year’s convention attendees include author Matthew Kelly; David Bereit, national director of the “40 Days for Life” campaign; and Chris Godfrey, a former NFL player and head of Life Athletes.

Council officers will have the opportunity to attend motivational and training breakout sessions that have been designed to fine-tune their leadership skills as well as provide new ideas to share with their councils when they return home.

Councils will also be bringing fundraising checks to present to representatives of Gibault Inc., a home for troubled boys and girls located in Terre Haute. Founded by the Knights of Columbus in 1921, more than 8,000 children and their families have been helped by Gibault.

In addition, members of the Indiana Squires will be present at the convention. The Squires are young Catholic men between the ages of 10 and 18 whose motto is “Be Worthy.”

During each convention, Squires help sort and collect thousands of pop-tabs from aluminum cans as well as hundreds of thousands of pennies donated from various councils around the state. All of the proceeds will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis.

Not to be left out, the ladies of Knights and their families will have many opportunities to renew or make new friendships during the convention weekend starting with a tour of the Ronald McDonald House, luncheons and a ladies breakfast.

During the Sunday breakfast, Eileen Hartman, director of the Gabriel Project of Indiana, will present a brief program about the pro-life organization, which is an ever-growing, Christian-based network of Church volunteers standing together in their commitment to offer assistance to women and families facing crisis pregnancies.

The convention weekend will be a time of prayer, fraternity, unity and charity, organizers said. It will be a weekend of learning and sharing. Those attending will go home with a renewed spirit to make a difference in the lives of others.

The Knights of Columbus is the largest Catholic, family, charitable, fraternal organization in the world with more than 1.7 million members. The Squires organization boasts more than 25,000 members.

Any practicing Catholic gentleman over the age of 18 can join the Knights of Columbus. Contact your parish priest for more information about the Knights or log on to to read more about the Knights and for additional contact information.

(Robert Hartenstein is state communications director for the Knights of Columbus. He is a member of St. Joseph Hessen Cassel Parish in Fort Wayne, Ind.)

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