“I could not believe that I was really going to get a wheelchair,” said 102 year old Isabel Hernandez. “I have waited for years to have my prayers answered, and now you are here, my angels.” With these words a Knights of Columbus group visiting Mexico City were reduced to tears. The hugs and tears of joy flowed from this little lady with so much to say, and so many blessings to give.
Since 2003 the largest Catholic men’s fraternal society in the world has been heavily involved with the mission of delivering wheelchairs. The Knights of Columbus are 1.7 million strong and represent some of the finest examples on earth of people helping others in their local communities and around the world.
Individual Knights, state and local councils have sponsored the delivery of thousands of wheelchairs around the world, and entire parish communities are embracing our mission by holding weekend long drives that are sending huge sea containers of life changing wheelchairs to brothers and sisters in need in numerous countries.
“Everybody is from somewhere,” said Fr. Gerard O’Brien the priest responsible for creating the “Wheelchair Sunday” parish drives, “and we have to reach our arms out across America and the world to get wheelchairs to where they are needed.”
The parish drives have sponsored wheelchairs to Mexico, Poland, The Philippines, and the U.S. so far, and there are many more in the coming months. During the summer of 2008 the first Texas parish drive was held in San Antonio and a container of 280 brand new wheelchairs in on the way to immobile children, teens and adults in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.
To date, Knights in 37 of our United States, every province of Canada and all regions of Mexico have participated in our global mission, and are spreading the word to brother Knights around the world.
“My vision,” said Monsignor Diego Monroy Ponce, rector of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, “is that we can all live as brothers by helping our neighbors in need.”