By Alva Mulbah Wolokolie, From Columbus,Ohio, USA
Thousands of brothers and sisters of the Nobel Order of the Knights and Ladies Auxiliary of St. John International have been encouraged to remain strong and intensify their faith by showing, by example, what and who the Knights are.
The Knights of St. John International is a Catholic fraternal organization, which is made up of Knights, Ladies Auxiliaries, Cadets and Junior Auxiliaries located throughout the world.
The creation of the Knights of St. John International owes itself to the inspiration of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. In 1886, some American Roman Catholics in New York City met and decided that a living tribute should be created to commemorate the gallant Knights who had so courageously defended the Church in the medieval era. They founded an Order in the tradition of the Hospitallers by forming the “Roman Catholic Union of St. John”. On May 6, 1886, the Ancient and Noble Order of the Knights of St. John was established in the United States.
Its aims and purposes are as follows: to create and foster a feeling of fraternity and fellowship among the various Commanderies, to improve their moral, mental and social condition, to aid, assist and support members and their families in case of want, sickness and death and to promote a more generous and filial respect for the spiritual authority of the Roman Catholic Church.
In his report, at the 79th International, 53rd Biennial Supreme 2014 Convention and Ladies Auxiliary 58th International Convention held in downtown Columbus, Ohio, USA, the Supreme President of Knights of St. John International, Gen. Dale Gossiaux welcomed brother Knights, Ladies, Cadets, Juniors and friends to the heartland of America, Columbus, Ohio for a successful turnout of the international convention.
Gen. Dale Gossiaux reminded brothers and sisters that while at the meeting, they should keep in mind the foremost that they are doing God’s work through the “Fraternal Order”. “We are all on the same team and we all have the same goal to serve God and his Church here on earth,” the General said.
With the theme: “With God, All Things are Possible”, the Supreme President noted that if members and servants of the organization pray to God, work with God, all things are truly going to be possible.
While in Columbus, Gen. Gossiaux told brothers and sisters to work hard in their various meetings, relax at social gathering and fervently pray while the Eucharist is celebrated.
Gen. Gossiaux noticed, even within his own Commandery, when Knights and Ladies become enthusiastic about membership, it can and does infect others to be inspired as well. That helps to plant the seed, he noted, however, Gen. Gossiaux added that just planting that seed is not enough; it will need further nurturing to take root and grow. All it takes in many instances, Gen. Gossiaux said is one person to be that strong and driving force and enlisting others in the Commandery to continue the efforts. One great way of nurturing, he said, is to become more involved with our parishes (churches) telling others the function of the Knights.
In a written speech to Knights and Ladies at the 2014 Convention, both the Mayor of Columbus, Michael B. Coleman and the Governor of Ohio, John R. Kasich commended the organization for its dedication to religious action, education, charitable benevolence, and fraternalism. On behalf of all Ohioans, the two US officials offered best wishes to everyone for a successful convention.
Also in a special welcome remark, the Bishop of Columbus, Most Rev. Frederick F. Campbell, prayed that while in Columbus, the peace of Christ and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit will remain with brother Knights and Ladies. “Your presence at this conference is a vital sign showing others how to help build the Kingdom of God in our world. It is my prayer that you will be inspired and energized for the great work that lays ahead for all who serve in the name of God,” Bishop Campbell said.
Knights of St. John International Supreme Commandery is composed of the Supreme Board of Directors with the authority to manage all affairs of the Knights of St. John International. The Supreme Board of Directors is elected into office during the Bi-Annual International Convention. Delegates from all the Local Commanderies encompasses within the Grand Commanderies, Supreme Subordinate Commanderies and Unattached Overseas Commanderies attend the convention to elect the Supreme Board of Directors, vote on proposed constitutional amendments and present topics concerning the “Good of the Order”.