December 1, 2023 | Local News
Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

Grand Knights and other Knights of Columbus representatives smile for a photo with Bishop William F. Medley during a Nov. 5 gathering hosted at Christ the King Parish in Madisonville. COURTESY OF LEONARD WALTHER 

Together on mission

Knights of Columbus look forward to diocesan collaboration while serving the people of western Kentucky


On a beautiful autumn afternoon, Bishop William F. Medley met with about 30 Knights of Columbus leaders from councils across the Diocese of Owensboro. Hosted by Council #11132 at Christ the King in Madisonville, the meeting began with lunch following the parish’s 10:30 Mass on Sunday, Nov. 5. Also present was Dr. Jeff Andrini, director of the diocese’s Office of Evangelization and Discipleship.

In his address to the Knights, Bishop Medley thanked them for their service to the people of western Kentucky and the example they set by putting their faith in action.

“When I think of the Knights of Columbus, I think of your faithful witness,” said Bishop Medley. “I think of social things like fish fries, but I also think of charitable works. There’s no better example in my mind than when the tornado hit many of your council areas in December (of 2021). It’s safe to say most, if not all, of your councils stepped up to make donations to tornado victims and help in other ways.”

Bishop William F. Medley addresses the Grand Knights and other Knights of Columbus representatives from around the diocese during a Nov. 5 gathering hosted at Christ the King Parish in Madisonville. COURTESY OF LEONARD WALTHER

Grand Knights and other representatives then shared brief reports of some of the good works the councils in our diocese have done in the past year. One notable report was the 10th anniversary of the Bluegrass on (Lake) Beshear fundraiser that raises money for crisis pregnancy centers. At that annual event, eight councils collaborate to help organize and fund the festival, with funds then going to three local crisis pregnancy centers.

Several councils reported raising money to install Safe Haven Baby Boxes in their communities, which provide a safe, legal, and anonymous way for a parent to surrender a newborn baby to eventually be adopted. Other councils reported on mission trips to Appalachia, working with school family resource centers to provide underprivileged students with brand new shoes and/or Christmas presents, providing scholarships to Gasper River Catholic Youth Camp and Retreat Center, supporting seminarians, sending donations to flood victims, and other projects.

The Knights then brainstormed ways they, the parishes, and the diocese as a whole could collaborate more in the future to be “together on mission” in western Kentucky. Their feedback was taken back to the McRaith Catholic Center (the central office for the diocese) for further discussion, to be shared with all Grand Knights.

Leonard Walther, who belongs to Council #1315 in Bowling Green, and is also the Knights of Columbus insurance field agent for the eastern half of the Diocese of Owensboro, said he appreciated the meeting.

“It was great to have the bishop meet with the Knights of Columbus leadership from his diocese,” said Walther, who attends St. Joseph Parish in Bowling Green. “I am looking forward to seeing programs like Cor flourish with the help of the diocese. I believe that, together on a mission, we can achieve great thing for Catholic men that will have a very positive impact on their families.”

The meeting closed with an overview of the upcoming “Cor” initiative – which is a small group gathering of men in parishes – spearheaded from the Knights of Columbus’s national office. According to, the mission of Cor is “to refocus Catholic men on Jesus Christ and to form and strengthen them in faith and virtue through a brotherhood committed to prayer, formation, and fraternity.”

Bishop William F. Medley presides at Mass at Christ the King Parish on Nov. 5, 2023, prior to attending a gathering with the Grand Knights and other Knights of Columbus representatives from around the diocese. COURTESY OF LEONARD WALTHER

Originally printed in the December 2023 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.

Current Issue

Publisher |  Bishop William F. Medley
Editor |  Elizabeth Wong Barnstead
Contributors |  Riley Greif, Rachel Hall
Layout |  Rachel Hall
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