WCR FILE PHOTO | RAMON GONZALEZ
The Knights of Columbus are intending to have a higher profile at this year's March for Life in Edmonton on May 17.
All of the Knights of Columbus' good works are informed by four core principles: charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism. Based on those principles, they focus on six service areas: community, council, Church, family, youth and pro-life.
As advocated by Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, the Knights are spotlighting the pro-life component more than ever. Consequently, Knights from across Alberta will assume a more significant role in this year's March for Life.
Since the first Alberta March for Life in 2008, this is a focus that has also been promoted by the previous state deputies during that time – Wally Streit, Neil Gannon and now Gary Johnson. Johnson will speak at this year's event on Thursday, May 17.
"There's no doubt that the number of knights contributes significantly to the overall population that participate in the March for Life," said Gregory Amerongen, a district deputy.
He continued, "The Knights provide a number of functions to coordinate and support the March for Life.
"They provide marshals, a number of councils make financial donations, and the entire event is insured by the Knights of Columbus under our general insurance."
The mission of the Alberta March for Life Association is to promulgate the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death as well as the dignity of people with disabilities. Through an annual peaceful outdoor march, invited guests speak about pro-life issues, share information on the subject and raise public awareness.
"We had a pro-life directors meeting about (a month) ago, and there we strongly tried to impress upon the directors that this is a worthy cause and it needs to be advertised more throughout the Knights of Columbus," said Amerongen.
For the sake of the innocents whose lives are in jeopardy, the Knights are asking people to make their participation at this year's event a priority.
The supreme office has paid for thousands of brochures and posters to promote the annual event.
Since 2008, every year's March for Life has had a different theme. This year's theme is "End Abortion . . . Save a Life!"
The rally opens at 12:15 p.m. on the Legislative Grounds with music and prayer. Afterwards, participants will be given instructions on the march. State Chaplain Father Henry Rosenbaum will lead a prayer. Pro-life advocates will speak at both the Legislature and Churchill Square.
The march begins at 1:30 p.m. from the front steps of the Legislature to Sir Winston Churchill Square, and then returns to the Legislature. At 4 p.m. is a closing prayer.
Unlike the Legion of Mary and St. Vincent de Paul – two organizations with active participation among its members – Amerongen said the Knights need a lot of coaxing from their leaders to motivate people into action. The same minority of members tend to do the majority of the work.
"You have to engage them directly, personally and persistently," said Amerongen.
However, unlike some other duties, Amerongen said knights from most councils are eager to participate in the March for Life.