Knights gather in Wildwood for annual convention

WILDWOOD — Some 2,000 Knights, family members and friends traveled to Wildwood for the New Jersey Council Knights of Columbus annual convention, May 13-14.

The convention began with a Mass celebrated at St. Ann Church on Friday morning by Bishop Joseph A. Galante. A dozen children, who recently received their first holy Communion, participated in a May crowning of the Blessed Mother ceremony at the Mass.

Herbert C. Meyer, State Deputy, called the delegates to order on Friday at noon in the Wildwood Convention Center. The delegates represent the nearly 65,000 members of the Knights in New Jersey. During the convention meetings, the Knights elected the slate of State Officers for the 2011-2012 Columbian Year:

— Daniel Rossi (Trenton) – State Deputy

— Andrew Lipenta (Camden) – State Secretary

— Bruce DeMolli (Paterson) – State Treasurer

— Anthony Moskal (Metuchen) – State Advocate

— Robert Hatler (Newark) – State Warden

The delegates also passed a number of resolutions, most notably ones addressing three crucial issues in which the Knights have provided leadership in New Jersey.

The first affirms their historic commitment to be unconditionally pro-life and to seek the restoration of full legal protection for the lives of the unborn, the sick, the disabled, the terminally ill, the elderly, the poor and all those affected by the current economic conditions. A related resolution calls on the state legislature to enact the “Full Disclosure Ultrasound Bill” (S-353/A-163) or a similar statute requiring physicians to provide patients the opportunity to undergo an ultrasound prior to an abortion.

The second issue involves protecting marriage. In one resolution the Knights reaffirmed their support for traditional marriage and called upon the governor and members of the state legislature to enact SCR11/ACR14 that proposes a constitutional amendment to provide that only the union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as marriage. In another resolution the delegates called upon the senators and congresspersons of New Jersey to support the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

The third issue relates to school choice and affirms their support for the “Opportunities Scholarship Act” (S-1872/A-2810). The resolution endorses opportunity scholarships as one component of an overall strategy to improve the quality of and access to education of the youth of New Jersey and urges passage and enactment of this legislation.

At the closing banquet on Saturday evening, the audience was entertained by the Harmony Show Choir from the Mainstage Center of the Arts located at Camden Community College. They also heard a presentation by Chris Godfrey, former starting right guard for the Super Bowl XXI Champion New York Giants and founder and president of Life Athletes, Inc.

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