The Maine Knights of Columbus State Convention was held May 22 at the Senator Inn in Augusta. Front from left are Lois Bourgoin, wife of Immediate Past State Deputy Mark Bourgoin; Nicole Bisson, wife of State Advocate-Elect Normand Bisson; Barbara Giroux, wife of State Treasurer Michael Giroux; Patricia Harvey, wife of State Secretary Jon Harvey; and Joanna Deetjen, wife of State Deputy John Deetjen, Jr. Back from left are State Warden-Elect Gilman Berube, Mark Bourgoin, Normand Bisson, Michael Giroux, Bishop Robert Deeley, State Chaplain Father Aaron Damboise, Jon Harvey and John Deetjen Jr. Monsignor Marc Caron is in the back. Contributed photo

AUGUSTA — Bishop Robert Deeley stopped at the Maine Knights of Columbus State Convention on Saturday, May 22, at the Senator Inn to offer his personal thanks, and share the gratitude of so many Mainers, for their incredible efforts.

The convention, which featured a large number of in-person attendees as well as Knights around the state participating via livestream, was held over the course of the weekend and featured a Mass, celebrated by Deeley, on Saturday evening prior to the annual Faith in Action awards ceremony honoring excellence and achievement in Maine councils.

Bishop Robert Deeley stopped by the Maine Knights of Columbus State Convention on May 22 in Augusta. Contributed photo

“I am happy that we can be here together for this convention,” said the bishop during the Mass, according to a news release from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland. “It was a much smaller group that gathered last year for convention. It is good to be together today with a larger number. It is a sign that we are moving forward. The vaccines have made the difference. They are the reason for the forward movement. We can be grateful for the difference they have made. I have already been informed that next year’s convention will return to its usual format. That is welcome news.”

During his homily, Deeley told the assembled Knights, family members, and others that he was greatly moved by the pivotal role played by the Knights of Columbus from the moment the pandemic’s impact reached Maine.

“The men who make up this fraternity with the support of their wives and their families have been in the forefront of assisting in the measures needing to be taken during this pandemic,” said the bishop. “In some cases, it was a fundraiser to help with the work of the parish or the school that was being run by the Knights. In others, it was the presence of Knights doing the extra work of setting up or cleaning the church and making sure the protocols were being followed. Because of the reduced numbers it was, for the most part, impossible to have an honor guard at Mass through this time. Yet, I never had to wonder where the men were who would normally be doing that. They, or other Knights from the parish, were always visible in doing the work of service which is at the heart of the Knights’ dedication to charity.”

Though the challenges were great and the safety measures at times burdensome, the Knights answered the call to serve, collaborate, and cooperate at every turn.

“We followed what was asked of us, and we can be grateful that together, with God’s grace guiding us, we kept people safe,” said the bishop. “Thank you for all for the help you have been in making that possible. The Knights, with their dedication to the parish communities of Maine, are a powerful force for good in our church. I am so happy to know your recruitment of new members was strong this year. It is a wonderful sign of growth in this beautiful fraternity which strengthens families and the church.”