Carl Anderson Receives Prestigious TOTUS TUUS Award
Photo by Family News Service
Carl Albert Anderson, former Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, received the prestigious TOTUS TUUS award. The ceremony took place at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. This award is called the “Catholic Nobel” in Poland. It is awarded by the Foundation “Work of the New Millennium” of the Polish Episcopal Conference.
TOTUS TUUS awards are given to people and institutions who in a special way contribute to the promotion of the teachings of St. John Paul II or through their actions accomplish the Polish Pope’s call to defend human dignity.
A special award was given to Professor Carl Anderson “for the promotion of the person of St. John Paul II and credible international implementation of the values that he proclaimed.” The award was presented at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, as is traditionally done, on the eve of Pope’s Day, which was celebrated on October 10th this year.
“John Paul II changed the history of Poland and the United States. He changed the history of the world. He was a great advocate of human rights, solidarity, and freedom. He always defended the truth about the human person and his dignity. Modestly helping to fulfill his mission and carry on his legacy has been the greatest honor in my life,” said Anderson during the ceremony.
According to Anderson, the Polish Pope’s most important message was the encouragement to widely open the doors to Christ. Moreover, in an interview with Family News Service, the longtime Supreme Knight of Columbus emphasized the issues of mercy, forgiveness, and reconciliation that were clearly present in John Paul II’s teachings.
“The message of Pope John Paul II was mercy, reconciliation, forgiveness, recognition, and respect for the dignity of every human being,” Anderson recalled. “It wasn’t just an abstraction; it was something personal, and you could see that in the Pope. Now, I believe that this is what gave his teaching such power,” he added.
In response to the Polish Pope’s many merits, including for the United States, the Knights of Columbus years ago opened the St. John Paul II Shrine in Washington, D.C.
As Carl A. Anderson underscored, the decision to establish the Knights of Columbus in Poland a dozen or so years ago was in a sense an expression of gratitude for John Paul II and what he accomplished for the promotion of laypeople. “So many people have been kind and supportive to the Knights of Columbus, including the Holy Father John Paul II. So, we are very happy to be here in Poland,” Anderson noted.
The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest lay charitable organization. The Knights stand on the side of the weakest and excluded, especially unborn children. The organization was founded on 29 March 1882.
Carl A. Anderson served as Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus from 2000 to 2021. He initiated many new charitable and aide initiatives for local communities and the Church. Under Anderson’s leadership, the Order’s membership grew to nearly two million Knights.