Our live coverage with hosts David Naglieri, Kevin Nelson and Peter Sonski began with mass in the morning followed by an exclusive interview with Chris Lewis (son of comedian Jerry Lewis) who is currently the president of Wheelchair Mission. I was privileged during that time to interview Mike Kingman, past state deputy and current district master for the state of Arizona who is now in charge of coordinating the distribution of wheelchairs to veteran groups throughout the state, namely the Paralyzed Veterans of America represented by John Tuzzolino, the Vietnam Veterans of America represented by Sue Wudy, and the Military Order of the Purple Heart represented by Bob Puskar. Mr Kingman symbolically presented 110 wheelchairs to these groups who will proceed to distribute them to veterans in need throughout the state. I was so moved to learn more about this charitable initiative on behalf of the Knights of Columbus and to hear as well that Ontario and Saskatchewan have also jumped on board and are now distributing thousands of wheelchairs throughout Mexico’s poorest regions. It was beautiful to hear the testimonies of some of these Knights who do not simply content themselves with writing a check but are in fact looking for every opportunity to get involved and to serve their neighbours at a grass roots level and allow themselves to be transformed by the experience.
Following the wheelchair initiative, our hosts received two special guests on the set: Bishop Olmsted, host of this year’s 127th Supreme Knights Convention and Cardinal Francis George of the Archdiocese of Chicago who both shared their thoughts on the day’s events and spoke of the unparalleled support of the Knights of Columbus for the Church in America.
Shortly after the afternoon’s business session, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson came to our studio to discuss the inspiration behind his new book Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of the Civilization of Love and his hopes for the upcoming Marian Congress.
The next event in line was of course the much-anticipated States Dinner at which point Fr Thomas Rosica CSB was able to join our three hosts with his thoughts and reflections on the week’s events. It was truly an honour for us producers to be invited to this marvelous black tie affair where all the Knights, Ladies, Cardinals, Bishops and Clergy celebrate the year’s successes in a true spirit of joy. With state, provincial and country flags waving about in every direction, it was certainly hard to resist joining in song!
Before singing off, I would like to take this opportunity to salute our core team of technical directors and support staff without whom none of the day’s broadcasts would have been possible: Javier Cappella, Charles Green, Stephen Sasso, Wally Tello, James Lucas and David LeRoss. Thank you gentlemen! Arizona Margaritas all around…