Arizona State Council Knights of Columbus - Fraternal Year 2023-2024
Arizona State Council Knights of Columbus - Fraternal Year 2023-2024
There are changes to the CUF Degree scheduling and reporting procedures
that will be in effect starting on July 1, 2022:
1. The responsibility for CUF Degrees will now rest solely with the Council or District. The State Council will no longer be scheduling the bi-monthly online degrees. These State-sponsored degrees were an interim measure that offered CUF Degrees with dedicated State teams until Councils and Districts could develop their own local teams. That phase is now ending.
2. After July 1st, the Form 450 “Degree Exemplification Report” will no longer be required. Councils are encouraged to keep good records on candidates completing their degree as well as ensuring that Supreme is notified in the usual manner (through the Fin Sec) of the change in the candidate’s status.
3. Each Council that schedules a recurring CUF Degree is asked to send that information (dates, times, place) to the Ceremonial Chairman (Skip Hopler) who will have it posted to the State website. However, Councils/Districts should also conduct a CUF whenever they have a need that can’t wait until the next scheduled degree in their area.
Most importantly, the CUF Degree script, methods of delivery and the reporting of candidates’ advancement to Supreme has not changed. If your Council has a team and is already performing CUF Degrees these other changes will be very minimal.
Download it at the Supreme website under red “For Members” action link > Ceremonials. (No log-in req’d) Link: For Members - General Members | Knights of Columbus (kofc.org)
Scroll down to download scripts, video, “Guidelines for Conducting Exemplifications”.
Here is the preferred order of precedence for exemplifying new or advancing candidates.
Present the degree live in the Church, hall or other appropriate gathering space.
2. The back-up method is to use the online video with current members in the audience to support the candidates.
3. “On Demand” – candidate signs in, registers, then views the video virtually (one-on-one) on the Supreme website. Available 24/7, no login req’d but invite is available for you to send to your candidate (English or Spanish). When the candidate finishes viewing the entire video, notification is sent to the gaining Council for processing.
This is the preferred method of exemplifying candidates. Candidates learn and feel welcome when accompanied by fellow Knights.
• Grand Knights form teams using good speakers/readers
• The degree is presented strictly in accordance with the rules and dress code in the Supreme script (coat/tie, sash).
• Reading the parts is acceptable. Practice as you would for being a Lector.
• No certification required. However, the Grand Knight is the team captain and is responsible for the quality of the degree presentation.
• GKs must take responsibility for putting on their own degrees whenever they need them.
• When other councils attend degrees outside their own council, the host council provides the Degree exemplification, but the registration and reporting of new members to Supreme is the responsibility of each Council who sponsors a candidate.
DDs can form teams from multiple councils and are encouraged to do this especially if their councils are having difficulty fielding a whole team. Some key points to remember:
• DDs are responsible for the quality and fidelity of all degrees in their district whether it is a combined team or a single-Council team. • For District teams, ensure that someone is designated to be the lead to take candidates’ attendance and report to the individual Councils.
Pick a degree option
So, what choices do I have for offering a CUF degree to someone I want to bring into my council? Here are some options for you:
• Get your Council or District team to put on a degree in your parish.
• Bring your candidate to another council that is putting on a live degree in your area.
• In your parish, set up a group screening of the Supreme website video (you can download it onto a “jump drive”) and present it on a big screen TV with candidates, members and observers in attendance.
• Sit down with a candidate one-on-one and watch the video together.
Report completion to the Fin Sec.
• Send an e-invitation to the candidate to register and watch the “On Demand” degree. Completion will be automatically reported by Supreme Ceremonials to the GK and Fin Sec.
Conduct the Degree
• Set up the venue early enough to receive candidates on time. You will want the candidates to arrive 15 – 30 minutes before the ceremony begins so they can be registered and sign the Constitutional Roll. • Welcome the Chaplain and be sure to show him where he will be positioned during the degree. Give him a copy of his prayer script.
• Ensure that the team is ready to go on time. The Warden plays an important role in getting the candidates ready and in their places.
• Identify ahead of time who will be presenting the rosaries and pins to the candidates. If the class is large enough you may want to have 2 or 3 presenters.
• Make sure that the candidates’ family and friends are welcomed and invited to sit in the designated area.
• When feasible, plan some social time for candidates, families and guests to gather after the ceremony.
• As part of the post-degree announcements you should have a Degree Honoree (need not be present) with a very short mention of what that person’s contributions are.
• Be sure to invite your Fraternal Benefits agent to any degree and introduce him to the candidates after the ceremony.
Once your candidate has completed his degree you must make sure that the follow up paperwork is submitted so that the State gets credit and the candidate is properly advanced on the Supreme rolls.
• The candidate’s status must be officially updated by the Fin Sec either through a Form 100 (new candidates) or by documenting in Membership Services (e-members and advancing members).
• Remember that many candidates are looking forward to the insurance benefits and that can’t happen until they are registered with Supreme. Do not hold up on reporting on any candidate.
Please remember that candidates deserve to be offered their CUF degree as soon as possible after they are recruited. Depending on the circumstances and urgency of the need, the above choices should provide this opportunity for every new candidate.
Although Third Degree members are entitled to all the rights and privileges of Knighthood, they are not fully vested in all the Degrees of the Order. The Fourth Degree is the culmination of a Catholic gentleman’s journey to full Knighthood.
The District Master (DM) is the leader of the Fourth Degree events and ceremonials, but Grand Knights and District Deputies can provide vital support to the DM in helping coordinate reasonable dates and venues for Fourth Degree Exemplifications. For example, it is very helpful if the CUF Degrees are scheduled to provide an opportunity for new candidates to become Third Degree members then very shortly thereafter take their Fourth Degree.
Business meetings are very important ceremonials in that they should be conducted formally and in accordance with proper rules of parliamentary procedure (e.g., Robert’s Rules) and should reflect the official business of the Council and its decisions. It is the official record of the Council’s business (financial and regulatory) as well as a source of its history. It also offers an appropriate forum for recognizing members for their service and for presenting lessons on our faith and the Order. It is fitting that this business be structured and repeatable so as to gain members’ respect and confidence. The main source of information on conducting business meetings is contained in Pamphlet #10318, “Guidelines for Meetings” which is available on the Supreme website under the link called Fraternal Operations at this address: https://www.kofc.org/en/for-members/resources/fraternal-operations.html This source contains all the information the Grand Knight needs to conduct the meetings from set-up through conducting the meeting and includes a recommended agenda.
Installations of Council Officers is the public recognition of the leadership role of each of the Council Officers and establishes the chain of command for the upcoming year. The installation ceremony also briefly reminds each officer of his duty in fulfilling his office. The culmination of the ceremony is the investiture of each officer by the district deputy with the jewel of office. This ceremonial should be a public event with all Council members, families and friends invited. Your pastor should be asked to preside as Chaplain (he also receives a jewel of office) and to impart his blessing on all for the coming year. Note, especially, that married members are joined by their wives as part ot the ceremony reinforcing the family aspect of the Knights of Columbus. You will find the Installation script at the same location as the CUF Degree under the Ceremonials page of the Supreme website. One other source of guidance is the ”Protocol Handbook”, #1612. This supplements the procedures found in the other resources and adds notes on proper etiquette in formal relationships.
One final note. Our Supreme Council leaders have emphasized that ceremonials are a formal recognition of the workings of the Order but they should be kept as efficiently short as possible so as to respect the time constraints of the members and families. Also, ceremonial events should, whenever possible, be accompanied by some social time for members, families and guests to mingle and enjoy each other’s companionship. The importance of the social aspect cannot be understated.
As usual, please reach out to me with any questions or concerns.
I am here to help your ceremonials be successful.
Skip E. “Skip” Hopler