Event also coincides with 50th anniversary of the 56 bell carillon in the 'Knights Tower' at Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
WASHINGTON, Sept. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 2,000 Knights of Columbus and their family members from along the East Coast are expected to converge on Washington Sunday for a Mass and pilgrimage to observe the Year of Faith.
The Mass will be held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Catholic Church in North America, and will be led by Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, the Knights' Supreme Chaplain. The event begins at noon and will be broadcast by the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), CatholicTV and Canada's Salt and Light TV.
The Knights of Columbus has a longstanding relationship with the Basilica, and the event also marks the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the church's 56-bell carillon, which took place Sept. 8, 1963. The K of C donated the bells as well as the campanile in which they are housed, referred to as the Knights Tower.The Year of Faith, inaugurated Oct. 11, 2012, by Pope Benedict XVI, is intended to foster a deeper practice and witness of faith among Catholics. Pope Francis has embraced the Year of Faith and issued an encyclical, Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith), calling Catholics to be renewed in faith. The Year of Faith coincided with the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Church's Second Vatican Council (1962) under Pope John XXIII and the 20th anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992) under Pope John Paul II. The pilgrimage Mass will include a homily by Archbishop Lori, a meditation by Archbishop Gerald Lacroix of Quebec, and remarks by Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. "The Year of Faith is an invitation for Catholics, and Knights of Columbus in particular, to celebrate the role that their Catholic Faith plays in their lives and to be inspired in new ways to further charitable outreach, prayer, and evangelization," said Anderson. "This pilgrimage is also an opportunity to celebrate and continue our solidarity with the Church -- both universally and here in the United States." With more than 1.8 million members worldwide, the K of C is the world's largest Catholic fraternal organization and one of the nation's most active charitable organizations. Last year, Knights donated more than $167 million and 70 million hours to charitable causes.