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B.C. Knights donate more than $110K for vocations

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Fraternal group announces Bishop Stephen Jensen of Prince George to take over as new state chaplain
By Josh Tng
RICHMOND
 
 
Photo caption: Knights hold their swords at the 106th annual state convention for the B.C. and Yukon Knight of Columbus, April 29 in Richmond. (Josh Tng / The B.C. Catholic)
 
The Knights of Columbus are donating a record amount of money to vocations in B.C. and Yukon this year.
 
At this year’s state convention in Richmond, the Knights handed a cheque for $113,743 to the B.C. and Yukon bishops to help with the training of seminarians.
 
The money was presented to bishops in attendance at the April 29 convention: Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, Bishop Ken Nowakowski of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of New Westminster, Bishop Stephen Jensen of the Prince George diocese, and Bishop Joseph Nguyen of the Kamloops diocese.
 
In the last year, “we have raised an impressive total of $104,447 for the Pennies from Heaven program,” said Arcie Lim, the state deputy knight of the B.C. and the Yukon. The program raises funds to support vocations in the local dioceses.
 
Before presenting the cheques, Lim announced a last-minute donation, raising the total earned to $113,743. “The amount is now $16,249 (to each bishop). If we wait a few more minutes, it might rise again!” he joked. “All we ask from the bishops is to dedicate this money for the support of priestly vocations, seminarians, or higher Catholic education.”
 
Archbishop Miller spoke after receiving his cheque, giving “a word of appreciation and tremendous thanks for the Knights’ generosity in supporting their bishops.” He promised the funds would help men prepare for the priesthood and insure “our communities and parishes remain sacramentally based in the future.”
 
Bishop Nowakowski noted the program’s aid had helped him during his time as a seminarian. “I was a recipient of assistance from the Knights of Columbus, both financially, morally, and prayerfully,” he said. “I thank all of you for your donation, which will help assist our little eparchy’s vocation program.” The bishop has been a member of the Knights since 1989.
 
Not only is the donated amount a record, so is the number of Knights it’s coming from.  Lim, who will be completing his term as state deputy June 30, announced the state Knights had reached a record number of members. “This year, the B.C. and Yukon Knights of Columbus reached a milestone by getting over the 12,000 mark in membership,” he said.
 
 “The bigger we are, the more we can do for our charitable works. The stronger we are, the louder our voice will be,” said Lim. “Together, we can shape our community, and together we can influence the course of history.”
Ming Lau of St. Francis Xavier Council 10500 in Vancouver was elected State Deputy-Elect and will become State Deputy on July 1.
 
The convention also saw Guy Precourt, the state executive for Western Canada, attend. After congratulating the local councils for their achievements, he shared with attendees the direction the Knights wanted to follow in the coming year.
 
“As our Supreme Knight (Carl Anderson) has said, the Knights of Columbus must grow and reach new heights,” said Precourt. “To accomplish this, our councils will have to become even more active in our parish life. This is the goal of our ongoing initiative: building the domestic Church while strengthening our parishes.”
 
He recommended Knights become “fully integrated into the sacramental life of the parishes” to “fortify and support Catholic families.”
 
“We are a Catholic brotherhood built on the Catholic Church,” Precourt said. “The closer the Knights come to parish life, the closer we work with our parish priests. The more we support Catholic families, the more we grow in members and charity.”
 
Bishop Nowakowski also announced his retirement as state chaplain and was recognized for his service. Bishop Jensen is taking over the position.
 
“It has been a great pleasure to be of service for these past three-and-a-half years,” the bishop said. “I feel like it has only been a few minutes. It’s been a pleasure to get to know all of you over these last years as your state chaplain, and I will continue to pray for you.”
 

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