KC state convention coming to Dubuque

Events April 7-9 will draw hundreds of members

By Dan Russo

Witness Editor

DUBUQUE — The Iowa Knights of Columbus will be holding their 116th annual convention in Dubuque for the first time since 2001. The event April 7-9, will draw at least 300 Knights and their families to the city.

During the convention, held at the Grand River Center in Dubuque, several members of the clergy and laity from the Archdiocese of Dubuque will receive honors, including Father Gabriel Anderson, Deacon Bill Biver and Travis King.

“This year’s convention is really showcasing our ‘Building the Domestic Church’ initiative while supporting our parishes,” said Paul Lee, state warden for the Knights of Columbus and director of the 2017 convention.

There will be a variety of activities for families that attend. On April 7 in the afternoon, 15 seminars will be offered on different topics, many of them focusing on building up the family.

“Most of our sessions are open to the public,” said Lee of the Saturday afternoon seminars.

The Knights are focuing on the family because they feel it is a “moral imperative” to counter forces in society that are harming families through offering support to families and the church, according to Lee. The convention will feature a banquet with a keynote address by Archbishop Michael Jackels of Dubuque. The archbishop will also celebrate Mass during the weekend.

Another important part of the convention, according to Lee, will occur when over 100 Knights from the tri-state area enter into the “Fourth Degree.” This level of Knighthood focuses on patriotism. Lee said the Fourth Degree ceremonies will highlight the positive contributions that Catholics have made to the history of the United States.

Iowa’s Knights of Columbus state council selects individuals and programs for recognition based on “the merits of their service to the community and their local church,” states a press release from the Knights.

The following members of the clergy will be honored during the convention:

• 2017 Diocesan Chaplain of the Year- Dubuque: Father Gabriel Anderson, Dubuque

• 2017 Diocesan Chaplain of the Year- Davenport: Father Ross Epping, Bettendorf

• 2017 Diocesan Chaplain of the Year- Des Moines: Father Andrew Windschitl, Des Moines • 2017 Diocesan Chaplain of the Year- Sioux City: Father Terry Roder, Alton

• 2017 Deacon of the Year: Deacon Bill Biver, Dubuque

The following individuals will also be recognized for their dedication to the principles of the Knights of Columbus:

• 2017 Youth of the Year: Maggie Steinkamp, Wall Lake

• 2017 Youth of the Year: Bethany Jacoby, Grinnell

• 2017 Family of the Year: Ben and Amy Schafer, Cedar Falls

• 2017 Knight of the Year: Travis King, Dubuque

• 2017 Grand Knight of the Year: Joe Lickteig, Pella

Dubuque is the home to the first Knights of Columbus council in Iowa. Those who attend the convention will renew their commitment to the principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism, which are the founding principals of the international organization. Founded in 1882, the Knights of Columbus is the largest Catholic fraternal organization in the world with over 1.9 million members in 15 countries. The Iowa Knights of Columbus, with nearly 32,000members, continue to serve parishes and communities in the four dioceses of Iowa.

For more information on the awards or Knights’ state convention, visit http:// iowakofc.org/convention or call 319-231- 7304. Lee said there are still tickets available.

PHOTO: Members of the Knights of Columbus process during Mass Aug. 4 at their annual convention in Philadelphia. Approximately 2,000 knights from around the country and abroad gathered at the Pennsylvania Convention Center for the Catholic fraternal organization’s 133rd Supreme Convention. (CNS photo/Matthew Barrick, Knights of Columbus)

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