Francis Mohr of Baker City has held the state deputy post for two years.
Francis Mohr of Baker City has held the state deputy post for two years.
LEBANON — Ron Boyce of the Knights of Columbus council in Tigard was elected state deputy during the 111th annual Oregon Knights of Columbus convention held April 26-28 at the Boulder Falls Events Center here.

More than 160 Knights from councils representing every corner of the state were present, along with many spouses. Oregon Knights are being urged to develop programs that enhance faith, community and family.

This year’s theme was “Come Home Spirit.”

Joseph Jones, Grand Knight in Tigard, nominated Boyce, saying he “has faithfully served his church, community and order” and the state council — where he has served as state secretary for the past two years.

On July 1, Boyce will succeed Francis Mohr of Baker City, who has held the state deputy post for two years.

Boyce outlined an aggressive agenda for himself and his fellow Knights for the coming year.

He challenged the Knights to live by the Scripture passage “Be not afraid,” and to have a “loud voice” in their parishes and their communities in doing good things and welcoming others to do the same by becoming Knights or by partnering with other local civic groups on special projects.

“My goal is for us to develop at least two new councils, to contribute at least $1 million to charitable causes and to devote at least 1 million volunteer hours,” Boyce said. “We do so many wonderful things. We must learn to share these opportunities with all Catholic men.”

Boyce wants to see two more ultrasound machines donated to pregnancy care centers so women can choose life and adoption over abortion.

He also wants councils to become more involved with programs such as Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity and to further support seminarians.

Mohr said this year’s convention theme was especially appropriate during the Easter season. He reminded the Knights of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.

“We can have no better friend on our shoulder than the Holy Spirit,” Mohr said.

Mohr encouraged the Knights to welcome others actively into their councils, especially the growing Hispanic population in the state.

Mohr said Oregon has a large population that does not attend any church, so “Knights are really missionaries” in the state.

Also elected as state officers were: Michael Rooke, secretary, Father Robert Patrick O’Hara Council 3197, Sherwood; Steven Steele, treasurer, Father Luke O’Donnell Council 6266, Beaverton; Thomas Radel, Oregon state advocate, Albany Council 1577; Kenneth Anderson, state warden, Holy Rosary Council 15605, Beaverton.

Knights approved a resolution that October will be celebrated as Catholic History Month and reduced the minimum age of membership from 18 to 16.

By video, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said that last year, Knights around the world donated more than $185 million to charity and contributed more than 76 million hours of service.

“We change lives through charity, unity and fraternity,” Anderson said.

Abbot Jeremy Driscoll of Mount Angel Abbey talked about the power of the Holy Spirit. He noted that the Gospels at each Mass remind all Catholics about where Jesus was at a specific time of his life, leading up to his death and our salvation.

The abbot said that through the Eucharist, the Holy Spirit comes to each of us and we, like the apostles, must use not only words, but also our actions to share the good news with all nations.

Msgr. Joseph Betschart, president-rector of Mount Angel Seminary, thanked the Knights for their continued support of seminarians through the Pennies from Heaven program. Councils donated more than $20,000 that was used to remodel a lounge for the seminarians, support their monthly stipend and host events such as a pie night and a barbecue. Funds also helped send 36 seminarians to the Walk for Life and transported the seminary basketball team to Chicago for a tournament.

The convention was not all work and no play. Friday evening included a dance. On Saturday, spouses spent the day touring historic Brownsville and other parts of Linn County. A silent auction raised funds for the Father Taaffe Homes for unwed mothers.

A special guest of the convention was Archbishop Alexander Sample, who celebrated a Friday opening Mass assisted by Father Theodore Lange, state chaplain, and Father Todd Unger, auxiliary state chaplain.

The 2020 convention will be held May 1-3 at the Best Western Agate Beach Inn in Newport.