The Catholic University of America

Nov. 26, 2013 

University and National Shrine to Award Patronal Medal to Supreme Knight

The Catholic University of America and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will award the Patronal Medal to Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, during a Mass at noon on Monday, Dec. 9, in the Great Upper Church of the Basilica.

The Patronal Medal is awarded jointly by the two institutions on an occasional basis around the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Patronal feast of Catholic University and the Basilica. Its recipient is someone who has rendered distinguished service in the advancement of Marian devotion, theology, or general appreciation of the place of Mary in the life of the Catholic Church.

Those who previously have been awarded the medal include Cardinal James Hickey, former archbishop of Washington; Mother M. Angelica, founder of the Eternal Word Television Network; and Dolores Hope, wife of entertainer Bob Hope.

Anderson has led the Knights of Columbus since 2000 and is a member of Catholic University’s Board of Trustees and the Basilica’s Board of Trustees and Executive Committee. Anderson is also the founding dean and current vice president of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at The Catholic University of America, which he was instrumental in bringing to Catholic University's campus.

“Carl Anderson has dedicated his life to serving the Church and our nation,” said Catholic University President John Garvey. “Under his leadership, the Knights of Columbus have touched the lives of countless people around the world. He embodies the qualities for which the Patronal Medal is awarded because his strong faith and devotion to Mary underpin all that he does. He has been a wonderful supporter of The Catholic University of America and we are blessed to have him as part of our own University community.”

“Having dedicated his tenure as Supreme Knight to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mr. Anderson exhibits filial devotion to Our Lady and promotes in his personal life and Order-wide the important place the Blessed Virgin Mary holds in the life of faith,” said Monsignor Walter R. Rossi, rector of the Basilica. “He and the Knights of Columbus have been stalwart supporters of the National Shrine for many years. Through the gracious cooperation of Mr. Anderson, the Knights of Columbus Usher Program continues to flourish, the Mass is brought from the National Shrine by television to those confined to their homes, and with the addition of the Knights of Columbus Incarnation Dome, the completion of the Shrine’s Great Upper Church moved closer to becoming a reality.”

Since Anderson became supreme knight, the Knights of Columbus and their family have donated more than 653 million hours of service and $1.4 billion to charity. Anderson led the establishment of the Heroes Fund, which provided assistance to the families of first responders who lost their lives on 9/11.

He and the Knights raised almost $10 million to help rebuild Catholic churches and schools in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, distributed more than 30,000 wheelchairs to those in need all over the world, gave out more than 70,000 winter coats to children in the U.S. and Canada, provided artificial limbs to almost 1,000 children in Haiti, and built schools and food distribution centers for AIDS orphans in Kenya and Uganda.

In 2011, the Knights of Columbus purchased the John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C., near the University’s campus, and established a shrine to Blessed John Paul II there.

MEDIA: For more information or to cover the event, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy Hines at 202-319-5600 or




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