Iowa Knights hold convention

By Anne Marie Cox

Special to The Witness

Photo:Pete Moreno, of Queen of Peace Parish in Waterloo, delivers a reading in Spanish during the Iowa Knights of Columbus convention Mass on Saturday morning April 16 in Des Moines. (Photo by Anne Marie Cox/Office of Communications, Diocese of Des Moines)

DES MOINES — The Iowa Knights of Columbus are making progress on their Culture of Life initiative, announced last year, to reduce the number of abortions in Iowa.

During the 115th state convention, held April 15-17 in Des Moines, the progress was announced. The Knights’ initiative had been turned over to a committee of 18, which contacted each of the 85-90 pro-life crisis pregnancy centers in the state to identify their needs, whether they have ultrasound machines or would consider adding ultrasound machines, said state convention director Paul Lee.

As part of creating an inventory list of crisis pregnancy centers, the Knights asked if there was any interest in having a statewide meeting, and there was, he said.

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The Knights are now looking at facilitating such a meeting in the central area of the state. Initial discussions are for the one-day meeting in the fall to feature a speaker and breakout sessions, Lee said.

Also during the convention, which drew about 500 Iowa Knights of Columbus, it was announced that collectively, the state Knights volunteered more than one million hours and contributed more than $2.2 million to various charitable causes throughout Iowa last year.

In addition, the Knights honored military personnel by having on display the exhibit “Remembering Our Fallen,” a memorial to the Iowans who were killed during military service in Iraq and Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2011.

During a ceremony, 62 Knights moved to the fourth degree, also known as the patriotic degree. This is the highest of the four levels of membership in the Knights of Columbus. Elevations to the other degrees occur on a local level, Lee said.