As I was preparing this and my Knights Call articles, I came across a verse from a hymn by John Halton (1710-1793) on the Memorial of Saints Cornelius and Cyprian. I believe the verse captures well who we are as Knights of Columbus and as fraternal leaders. “As shining lights before the world, and leaders of the Church of God, they lead the ranks of those who fight as soldiers in the course of right.” In addition to our charitable outreach, we are called to be the shining lights of all that is good and right in the world.
Membership in our Order is different than membership in any other organization. Charity, the first principle of the Order is the very foundational tenet of our faith. Charity, the call to love God and our neighbor, not just in what we say but through the good works that we do. In the last few days and weeks, we see the real reach and power of our organization’s commitment to God and neighbor. In just the last few days we’ve all watched the horror that darkness brings with the massacre in Las Vegas. Conversely, we also saw what the love and light of Christ looks like in the many stories we’ve read and heard about those who saved lives by risking and sacrificing their own. In the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and now Maria, the Knights of Columbus are on the ground providing for those in need. Those councils and Knights who are not on the ground are providing millions of dollars in charitable contributions so that our brothers can provide additional help to the victims of these devastating hurricanes. On a global scale, our Order continues to provide support to persecuted Christians in the Middle East of over $13 million so far. I am proud that our councils and Knights in our great state not only support all these global-wide initiatives; but also, directly serve those in need in our parishes and communities through our many local programs. Our Order and councils provide tremendous opportunities for men and their families to grow in their Catholic faith by growing in love of God and neighbor. Why, then, would we not extend the invitation to join?
As we enter into the second quarter of the year, I’m asking all fraternal leaders at the council level to look forward and make the adjustments necessary to attract, recruit and involve new members into our councils and the Order. How are your programs doing? Have we been able to recruit new members over the course of the last few months? If not why? If you are struggling a bit, your district deputy can assist. If your council and DD would like some help, the state council team: the officers, coordinators, directors and chairmen are available to provide whatever assistance you may need. Shoot us an email or give us a call.
CONTINUING CHALLENGE: I am challenging every Knight in every council, to ask one Catholic man in your parish to become a Knight this month and each month that follows. I’m just asking you to extend the invitation. If he agrees, of course ensure he receives his first degree within the week. If the man is not quite ready, so be it. My challenge to every Knight in every council is simply to ask one man to join. The state membership coordinator Mark Sorenson and his team stand ready to assist.
OCTOBER RECRUITMENT DRIVES: My expectation is that every council in every district host a membership drive in October/Early November. Please let your District Deputy know the dates, times and locations of your drive. If your council cannot accomplish a membership please provide an explanation as to why to your DD. This is the council’s prime opportunity to reach out to Catholic families and extend the gift of membership in the Knights of Columbus. More information on how to conduct a successful Church Recruitment Drive is available on the Supreme Council website at kofc.org/drive. State Membership Coordinator Mark Sorenson and his team stand ready to answer questions and provide support. Please contact Mark at 303-641-6127 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Most Humble Servant in Christ,
Jay J. Doherty
Colorado State Deputy