Knights of Columbus to Hold International Convention in Washington, D.C.

More Than 2,000 Expected to Attend 121st Annual Meeting

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WASHINGTON, JULY 29, 2003 ( More than 2,000 are expected to attend the 121st international convention of the Knights of Columbus, to be held in Washington, D.C. Aug. 3-7, 2003.

The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic family fraternal service organization, with more than 1.6 million members in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, Central America, and the Caribbean. There are more than 30,000 Knights in dozens of local units in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and Maryland.

The event will take place at the Hilton Washington, August 3-7, 2003. All business sessions will take place in the hotel’s International Ballroom.

The event will open with a concelebrated Mass at 9:30 a.m. in the basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Tuesday, August 5. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington is scheduled to celebrate the Mass.

The annual States Dinner will take place on August 5 at 7:30 p.m. The featured speaker will be Bishop Wilton D. Gregory of Belleville, Illinois, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Archbishop John Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, will address the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus in Washington, D.C. on August 7. Later that same day he will give an address to the Knights of Columbus Eucharistic Congress at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington on the topic “What is the Purpose of a Eucharistic Congress?”

The Knights of Columbus was founded in 1882 in New Haven, Connecticut, by Father Michael J. McGivney, a 29-year old priest. The society was created to address the needs of his largely immigrant parish, many of whom were left destitute by the death of the breadwinner. His cause for sainthood is under investigation by the Vatican.

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