Knights will establish shrine to Blessed John Paul II
DENVER (CNS) — Supreme Knight Carl Anderson announced Aug. 2 that the Knights of Columbus will purchase the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington. The announcement came during the business session of the Knights’ 129th annual convention Aug. 2-4.
Anderson, delivering his annual report, said that over the next year, the fraternal organization will build a shrine to Blessed John Paul and put up related exhibits on the property.
“True to Pope John Paul II’s vision, and using the story of his life as inspiration, the shrine will be an opportunity to evangelize and spread the good news of the Gospel through a new evangelization,” he said.
The center, which went up for sale about 18 months ago, sits on 12 acres just steps from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and The Catholic University of America. It cost $75 million to build and the property has been valued at $37.7 million. The Knights bought the property for $22.7 million, according to a letter from Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron to priests and laypeople of the archdiocese.
The letter, which is posted on the archdiocesan website, also said the sale should be finalized in 60 days.
The center opened in 2001 with financial backing from the Detroit archdiocese. Under the terms of the sale, the archdiocese will receive about $20 million, and Catholic University, which has a secured interest in the land, will receive $2.7 million.
“Because of his tireless evangelization efforts, an entire generation of Catholics has become known as the ‘John Paul generation,’ and certainly we are honored to continue to spread his profound and powerful message of hope for our country, our continent and our world,” Anderson said in his remarks.