Pope Francis sent a message to the Knights of Columbus to mark their 132nd International Convention in Orlando, Florida.
The message was sent to the Knights in a letter sent by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State. The Pope expressed his gratitude for their service in contributing "to the mission of the Church at every level” especially their work in charitable activities. The Knights of Columbus set a record in donations in the past year, donating more than $170 million to charities.
He also called on them to defend religion’s "proper place in the public square and to encourage the lay faithful in their mission of shaping a society which reflects the truth of Christ.”
The letter was read to over 2,000 members of the Knights of Columbus attending the conference.