Our Supreme convention has special significance as we assemble during this Year of Faith, convoked by our former Holy Father, Pope Benedict, to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. It was that providential council that vigorously reasserted the charism of the lay faithful in the life of the Church. On behalf of my brother bishops of the United States of America, allow me to observe that, in our estimation, the Knights of Columbus radiantly exemplify the genuine vocation of the laity in the Body of Christ, His Church. You have been Protectors of God’s Gifts, especially in defending the sacredness of the gift of life in the womb; the vulnerable gift of life in mentally and physically handicapped children; the gift of marriage, family, and religious freedom; God’s gift of vocation, especially to the priesthood and consecrated life; and God’s gift of the Church, as you are so refreshingly proud of and loyal to your Catholic religion. Thanks for that, brother Knights — and, please keep protecting God’s gifts — because, they’re all under attack, you know.