SK Patrick Ambrogio
SK Patrick Ambrogio is a senior in the Elliott School of International Affairs.
Here in the nation’s capital, perhaps more so than anywhere else in the country, it is common to hear proclamations about “the common good.” But what exactly does this mean? Cynics in a city such as this might dismiss it as a meaningless platitude or consider it to be banal political jargon. But as Catholics, we recognize that the common good is a very real ideal, and striving toward it is a central component in the exercise of our Faith. We can begin to understand what this means for us by considering a Latin phrase that is significant for Catholics and, in a special way, for Knights: Caritas in Veritate.
Caritas in Veritate, or “Charity in Truth”, is the name of Pope Benedict XVI’s final encyclical. It is also the motto of the Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus, Archbishop William Lori. In his encyclical, the Pope addresses pressing social and economic issues. At the core of these concerns is a consideration for the common good, which the Pope says must be advanced through charity that is linked with truth. After all, the cause of charity is central to the Church’s social doctrine and propels us on our mission as Knights.
We, the Knights of GWU Council 13242, are in a particularly unique position. Located on a decidedly secular college campus, I have nonetheless watched with pride as our council has steadily grown and become more active in the local community over the past few years. On this campus, I perceive that we carry an added, but certainly not unwelcome or burdensome, responsibility that distinguishes us from our Brothers at Catholic universities. While much of the dominant secular culture would have students accept what Pope Benedict calls “the dictatorship of relativism”, a God-given desire for Truth remains within the hearts of all people. We then, as Knights of The George Washington University, are called to be men of conviction and serve as examples to other students who might otherwise resign themselves to relativism and pessimism.
We lift up the poor, cheer the sorrowful, and welcome the stranger, ever mindful of those early years of our Order, when Catholics were a despised minority. We comfort the widow and the orphan, growing in greater devotion to the Holy Family. In addition to continuing our service at the Community of Sant’Egidio, I look forward to further putting our Faith into action, whether that might be in service to Coats for Kids, the Special Olympics, or any other number of charitable causes.
It is an honor to have been elected by my Brother Knights to serve this council as Grand Knight and I look forward to all that we will accomplish this year. May the Lord grant that we grow in faith and fraternity and may He watch over our council as it enters its sixteenth year. In charity’s sweet name, let us go forth with joy and confidence as we strive to advance all that is good and holy in our community.