Based on the feedback I received both during and following the meeting, we had a very productive organizational meeting. I appreciate the many District Deputies, Grand Knights, Financial Secretaries, Advocates, Membership and Program directors that attended. I also appreciate your energy and your renewed sense of mission and a commitment, as fraternal leaders, to grow the membership and charitable outreach efforts of our districts, councils, state and Order. Moreover, I appreciate your commitment, as missionary disciples, to continue to promote and defend our faith at the peripheries of our families, parishes and communities.
Our Supreme Knight, Carl Anderson, both at the State Deputies Organizational Meeting in June and most recently at the Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America, July 1-4 in Orlando Florida, recounted a conversation he had with a missionary priest and Knight of Columbus while visiting South Korea. He asked the priest why he spends so much of his life traveling and living under such dangerous and harsh conditions. The Supreme Knight stated that the priest’s answer was simple, “Where there is great suffering, Jesus is there and where Jesus is we must be also.” This is our mission, not only as Knights but as Catholics, to be where Jesus is, at the peripheries. Our Supreme Knight highlighted how our Order is reaching out to the peripheries by providing help to AIDS orphans in Uganda; assistance to homeless refugees in Ukraine; persecuted Christians in Egypt and Christian survivors of genocide in Iraq just to name a few. He also stated that our call as Knights and missionary disciples may mean that reaching out to the peripheries, for most of us, may not mean reaching any further than those in need in our parishes and communities. Our challenge is to review our programs to insure we are meeting the needs of those at the peripheries we are called to serve and to recruit other Catholic men and their families into our councils to help as well.
At the organizational meeting we spoke about revitalizing our councils, ensuring that we take a hard look at our council programs and membership efforts. Our objective is to ensure our councils continue to be the place where we grow in faith as men, husbands, fathers, grandfathers, coworkers and citizens; where we are able to grow and strengthen our families and parishes and where we, through our good works, are able to give back to our parishes and communities.
Remember our goal is to attract, recruit, involve and retain Knights and their families, making them Knights for life. To achieve this goal I encourage you to be visible in your parishes and communities through programs that involve not only Knights and their families but members of the parish and their families as well. This will make it easier to recruit Catholic men and their families into your councils.
Keep your councils active during the summer months; execute programs; recruit at least one new member into your councils in July, August and September and, of course, host at least one Admissions degree in your each of the summer months.
I end with the following verse from Romans 14, “The kingdom of God…is of justice, peace and the joy that is given by the Holy Spirit. Whoever serves Christ in this way pleases God and wins the esteem of men. Let us then, make it our aim to work for peace and to strengthen one another.” This is our call and duty as Catholics and especially as Knights.
Your Most Humble Servant in Christ,
Jay J. Doherty
Jay J. Doherty