Knights from around the world heading to Nashville 

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The Knights of Columbus Tennessee State Council held its annual state convention April 29-30 at the Marriott Cool Springs in Franklin. It was the first in-person state convention in three years. Bishop J. Mark Spalding of Nashville celebrated the Memorial Mass. Past State Deputies Mike Wills, left, of Knoxville and Steve Comm of Nashville tally votes for delegates to the Knights Supreme Convention to be held in Nashville in August. Photo by Andy Telli

The Knights of Columbus’ 140th Supreme Convention, scheduled for August in Nashville, is fast approaching and the Tennessee Knights are busy preparing to host brother Knights from around the world. 

“We’re now in the final stretch,” said Michael McCusker, the Tennessee Immediate Past State Deputy and the chairman of Tennessee’s preparations for the Supreme Convention. “The biggest thing is the need for volunteers.” 

Among the activities volunteers are needed to help with include tours for delegates and their families, welcoming cardinals and bishops when they arrive at the airport and transporting them to their hotels, hospitality support, information technology, the Ladies Luncheon, registration support, and a Fourth Degree honor guard at the Adoration Chapel. 

Volunteers can be Knights, their wives, their children and their friends, McCusker said. Volunteers can register on the Tennessee Knights’ website, 

The Supreme Convention, which will be held Aug. 2-4 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, will be attended by about 1,500 delegates and about 3,000 people in total, McCusker said. People will start arriving several days before and activities will begin on July 29. 

Instead of the typical Welcome Party, this year’s convention will take advantage of visiting Music City to have a Welcome Concert for the delegates and their families, featuring Country Music star Craig Morgan, a Catholic. 

About 100 cardinals and bishops are expected to attend the convention, McCusker said, including Nashville Bishop J. Mark Spalding and Knoxville Bishop Richard Stika. “It’s very impressive to see the opening Mass,” when a long line of the hierarchy and priests are in the opening procession, he added. 

The Knights of Columbus were founded in 1882 by Blessed Father Michael McGivney in New Haven, Connecticut, to help Catholic men strengthen their faith and protect their families through the Knights’ life insurance program. Today, it is one of the largest organizations for lay Catholics in the Church with 1.9 million members around the world.  

The Supreme Convention will draw Knights from South Korea, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, Canada and every state in the United States. 

“We’re hopeful that our brothers from the Ukraine will be able to make it,” McCusker said. 

“It’s putting Nashville on the world stage with so many Catholics coming from around the world,” said McCusker, who lives in the Memphis suburb of Germantown. 

Nashville last hosted a Supreme Convention in 2007. This year’s convention is unique for several reasons, McCusker said. 

It will be the first in-person convention since 2019, and it will be the first Supreme Convention for Supreme Deputy Patrick Kelly, who took office in March 2021. 

Also, the convention will be held in Middle Tennessee, the home of Michael Schachle, the boy whose cure was declared by Pope Francis to be a miracle due to the intercession of Knights’ founder Father McGivney. The miracle cleared the way for the beatification of Blessed McGivney. 

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