Arizona State Council Knights of Columbus - Fraternal Year 2018-2019
November is time each year when we remember the deceased member of our families, our friends, and especially our fallen brother Knights. Liturgically, the "Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed", follows October 31, “All Hollows Eve.” This is followed by All Saints' Day on November 1, dedicated to all those in heaven. This day is then followed by All Souls Day on November 2, when we pray for all those who have died but have not yet reached heaven. The Mexican festival of “El Dia de los Muertos,” or the Day of the Dead, is considered part of the commemoration of All Souls Day. This is also a day when the Catholic Church requires us to attend Mass, as it is a Holy Day of Obligation. Please, take a moment this month to remember the accomplishments of all those Knights who have gone before us, all the lives they have touched with their charitable hands and acts. They are the very inspiration for us today so that we too may touch many lives by lending aid with kind acts of charity. We are all called to be saints.
This past month, we have admitted 45 new Knights into the order, placing them on the path to sainthood. As of October 29, 2018, 252 new members have received the Admissions Degree. Over the next eight months we will need to recruit 748 more; 83 new members each month. That means we need to double our efforts and aim for 90 new members each month until June 30. I know that you can attain this goal by recruiting one new member at a time.
This past month an exemplification of the Foundation and Knighthood Degrees was held at the new Council, Immaculate Heart of Mary in Somerton. It was an honor to bestow Knighthood upon 26 men that day, some even came from California. It was also a great honor to recognize District Deputy Albert G. Ustaszewski as the Class Honoree for the degree.
For the past couple of years, we have worked to establish a new Council in this part of the State. Willing to take on the responsibility of New Council Development, one of the district deputies in the area started working to help achieve this objective. He worked hard to get the job done, collaborating with the local pastor, his Brother Knights, Assigned State Officer, and the Insurance Agency. Because of his efforts the Immaculate Heart of Mary Council in Somerton was established. One young District Deputy in his fourth year serving the Southwest portion of the State led the charge.
In the first three months of this fraternal year alone, Albert G. Ustaszewski recruited 18 new members, some for the new Somerton Council and some for his home Council at Saint John Neumann #8305 in Yuma. Albert is recognized as being one of the order’s Top 25 Recruiters. He is also recognized by Supreme for guiding the councils in District 18 to recruiting 100% of the district’s membership quota in just three months and for that he is listed as one of the Top 25 District Deputies of the order.
Albert has accomplished much in a brief period. His accomplishments speak volumes for his leadership abilities and his dedication to the Knights of Columbus and the Arizona State Council. It is for these reasons Albert is recognized as the honoree for the 26 newly installed Knights known as the Albert G. Ustaszewski class of October 13, 2018.
This past month we held the annual fund-raising drive for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PWID). While not all the numbers are in, it is my understanding that this year’s drive was successful. My thanks to all who worked the weekend handing out Tootsie Rolls and accepting donations to help our brothers and sisters in need. My great thanks to Program Director Larry Powers for Charing this program in addition to his other State Council duties.
Over the weekend of October 20-21, we held the Arizona Rosary Celebration in Tucson, Phoenix, and Yuma. Over 7,000 of the faithful attended the event this year. Past State Deputy Larry Costanzo did a fantastic job directing this year’s celebration. He did this with the help from the local chairmen: Past Grand Knights Danny Haywood and Greg Mattingly in Phoenix and Al Tucker and Karen McEwen in Tucson. My sincere thanks to them and all the others who worked behind the scene to bring Mary’s powerful message of love, hope, and conversion to all.
Don’t forget that this year Arizona has been given four copies of the icon of Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians. Two will be available for Phoenix and Northern Arizona, and two will be available for Tucson and Southern Arizona. These are accessible to each Council or District to use in conducting a Holy Hour of Prayer with the icon. Let us all be mindful of the suffering of our Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East as they are openly persecuted for being Catholic or another Christian denomination; pray for their redemption. Please reach out to Past State Deputy and Worthy District Master Bryant Sayers to schedule a Holy Hour with one of the icons.
Please take note of several major events coming up in the Month of November. On November 3rd, Tucson will be holding its Catholic Men’s conference at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton parish, 8650 N Shannon Road, Tucson, AZ 85742. I encourage every Knight to attend this event. The theme for this year is Iron Sharpens Iron. Two phenomenal speakers will be on hand to help you hone your skills as a man, husband, father, and Knight. You can register at https://cabrinitucson.org/catholic-mens-conference-tucson-2018/. In Phoenix, the same date, the Diocese of Phoenix will ordain seven new deacons at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral, beginning at 10:00 a.m. On November 17, 2018, an Exemplification of the Fourth Degree will be held in Yuma. Details can be found on the District Master’s website: http://www.az4thdegree.org/. On the same day, there will also be a Formation and Knighthood degree exemplification in Sierra Vista. Details can be found on the State website calendar.
Finally, a reminder to all that the State Council mid-year meeting will be held over the weekend of November 30 to December 2, 2018, in Sierra Vista. This is a mandatory meeting for all District Deputies. It is also open to all brother Knights. More information is available on the state website at: https://kofc-az.org/az-state-mid-year-meeting. I look forward to seeing many of you then.
Finally, this past month, we said goodbye to one of our revered Past State Deputies, brother John W. Tobin. John passed away October 19, 2018, and was laid to rest on October 24. Not only was John a past Grand Knight, Past State Deputy, Former District Master, and Former Vice Supreme Master of the Fourth Degree, but he was also a husband to his wife Ronnie, father to his six children, a grandfather to 14, and a great-grandfather to four. John Tobin was the kind of man who lived to help others and would take on any task, no matter how large or small, with grace and conviction. We all owe John a tremendous debt of gratitude for all he did. He will be missed.
Let us all look toward the example of brother John Tobin. In all that we do, let us be humble, let us work to unify the actions of many to accomplish the task at hand, and let us glorify God in all that we do. This November, please remember all our departed brothers in your prayers. Let us all pray this month for the souls of the dearly departed and the souls our brother Knights who have gone before us seeking eternal salvation. May the soul of John Tobin and all others, rest in eternal peace.
Arizona State Knights of Columbus