Arizona State Council Knights of Columbus - Fraternal Year 2018-2019
It is my great pleasure to announce the appointment of the new Worthy Associate State Chaplain, Reverend Gary Regula. Fr. Gary is the Pastor of St. Jerome Catholic Church in Phoenix. Father will work closely with the Worthy State Chaplain, Reverend Patrick Crino, to provide the State Council with spiritual guidance and support. You will find the press release about his appointment elsewhere in this edition of the KOCOA. My thanks to Fr. Regula for saying yes to Our Lord to become a priest, for saying yes to the Knights of Columbus, and for saying yes to me to be our Associate State Chaplain.
In my message to you last month we were just beginning our Advent Journey. A month has gone by and we have just witnessed the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There are several supporting themes that are found in the Christmas season. First and foremost is the birth of Christ. But before Jesus could be born, Mary had to say YES and accept a gift from the Holy Spirit so that God could become man. While Jesus was still in Mary’s womb her sister Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist who would go before Christ and baptize in His name.
Our society likes to think of Christmas as the Season for giving. No, I do not speak of the commercialization of Christmas that tells society that they must buy stuff so they can feel good about giving things away to friends and family. That’s nice and it partially right, but not totally. First, Mary gave freely of Herself as a gift to God. God, in turn, gave her a gift, a son who was destined to save humanity. Joseph said yes to God so that Jesus would have a proper family. God gave to Mary’s sister Elizabeth a son so that he could prepare the way for the coming of the Christ. God gave us his only son Jesus to take on the pain and suffering of all of our collective sin through his life, teachings, miracles, betrayal, crucifixion, and death. Finally, Christ said yes to God and through his suffering, death, and resurrection gave us the gift of eternal salvation. Yes, Christmas is a time for giving.
Yes, brothers, there is a lot of gift giving going on. God was teaching by example. He says, this is all I want, for you to love each other unconditionally. Give freely of yourself to those in need. Forgive those who have harmed you. Be humble, but rich in spirit. Do not demand to be serve, but rather serve others first before you. Is this not the principal commandment, to Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself?
The Knights of Columbus was founded on the principles of: Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism. The Venerable Fr. Michael J. McGivney, our founder, said yes to God and gave himself freely to the Church. Without that gift there would not be a Knights of Columbus with nearly 2 Million members worldwide, with members who donated $185.6 million and 75.6 million hours of service worldwide. Our organization takes to heart that overriding commandment to love without hesitation, without limit, without string, and to give to others who are in need.
At our recent mid-year training session in Sierra Vista we touched on many of these same points. Without good solid programs we cannot attract new members and without new members we cannot expand programs that help those in need, nor to protect life.
There are three things we need to do in order to continue our good works: support the Altar, provide Programs and grow Membership. This is the essence of the AMP Philosophy: Altar Support + Solid Programs = Membership Growth. Supporting our priests and parishes is the first and vital step in the growth of our ranks. By wholeheartedly supporting the Domestic Church we gain the support and assistance of the pastor. Next, we must have good quality programs that support our faith, families, the community, and protect life at all stages. When we follow the AMP philosophy we will attract more men to our ranks.
At the mid-year meeting we distributed tickets and posters so that you can promote the State Charitable Raffle. Through the sale of raffle tickets, you raise funds for the State and local councils to support everything from Special Olympics to vocations. This is one of the most important programs that deserves your generous support.
Once we help men to join the Order we must keep them. Our goal is to retain members, not lose them. Yes, follow the membership dues protocol, but also work with each member to identify what they need to stay a Knight. Some of the tools that can be used to grow membership include: increased communication such as the State website www.kofc-az.org, the KOCOA, @KofCMembership at Twitter, State Directory, Facebook, and of course, increased DD participation. I highly recommend that each District should build a membership team. Promote e-Membership.
Let’s look at the Supreme Council’s goals for Arizona and where we are currently: goal of 950 new members, we have 391; goal of 26 Star Councils, we have 1 Qualifier (#17036 at 325% Membership & 100% Insurance); goal of 2 new councils, we have 2; goal of 3 reactivations, we have 1. All these goals are easily attainable. All we need is you. Why are there are over 60 councils not having recorded any membership growth so far? All we ask is that is you Always Be Recruiting-ABR.
There are programs and subjects that also need your immediate attention. First is the Arizona Rosary Celebration. This program needs financial support NOW for next year’s program to succeed. Councils, Assemblies, and parishes need to purchase ads today. Next Year, Our Lady of Guadalupe will be honored October 19-20 in Tucson and Phoenix.
Of high importance is compliance with Supreme and Diocesan Youth Protection guidelines. Every Council officer and member who is in a position involving contact with youth must comply with the Supreme Guidelines or will be relieved of their responsibility until they comply. Additionally, every Knight should comply with their diocesan safe environment or call to protect guidelines and training requirements. These are not options, but mandatory to keep our children safe.
Finally, the Knights of Columbus must comply with the respective IRS revenue laws for registering and receiving a Tax Identification Number or Employer Identification Number and submitting the appropriate IRS Form 990.
At our Formation and Knighthood Degree this past month in Carefree, I was pleased to name our Worthy State Executive Secretary, SK Rick Garrison, as the Class Honoree for the exemplification of these degrees. Without Rick, the State Council could not function. My thanks to Rick for all his help and patience. You can read more farther on in this newsletter.
My prayers and wishes to each of you and your families for a blessed and healthy New Year!