This past month we held our State Council’s Mid-Year meeting in Casa Grande, courtesy of Fr. Patrick J. Murphy Council 3136 and St. Anthony of Padua Parish. Thank you, brothers, for hosting a great weekend. Our special thanks go out to the Ladies of the local Catholic Daughters of America who served us a couple of great meals. The meeting was well attended by District Deputies, District Wardens, Grand Knights, Financial Secretaries and council officers from every corner of the state.
This meeting is literally one for the history books. We held the first combined Charity, Unity, and Fraternity (CUF) degree exemplification. For the first time since the founding of our order, have we lifted the vail of secrecy from our initiation degrees. Now, under the new format, our new brothers with their family and friends observing the conferring of Knighthood, can share this wonderful experience with them. During this history-making event 12 brothers received the honors of all three degrees and 12 first degree brothers received their second and third degrees. My thanks to our worthy State Ceremonials Chairman and Conferring Officer Skip Hopler for overseeing this exemplification.
Since the Mid-Year meeting, eight more CUF exemplifications have been held. The first Spanish CUF degree was held a few days ago at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Tucson where three candidates received full Knighthood during the ceremony. To-date, 61 candidates have been exemplified, including 31 new knights and 30 first degree knights. This is a turning point for the order brothers. Now, we can recruit and have our candidates fully initiated into the order faster than ever before. One of many positive comments we received about the CUF degree from our District Deputies said that the degree was, “Surprisingly well put together. I was not sure what to expect, but it was something that I could see drawing more men to the Order.”
Going back to the Mid-Year in Casa Grande, the Knights present participated in the community’s March for Life. We joined a couple hundred of the local pro-life warriors in their peaceful march through the streets of Casa Grande. This was a great opportunity to witness our defense of the sanctity of life and our commitment to preserve life at all stages from conception to natural death. Knights of Columbus also participated in the pro-life marches held in Phoenix and Tucson where thousands of pro-life supporters gathered, marched, and celebrated life. In Tucson, Mass was celebrated at the Cathedral by
Bishop Weisenburger before the march to Holy Hope Cemetery. In Phoenix Bishop Olmsted addressed the assembled pro-lifers. We were happy to get to meet Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood center director turned avid pro-life leader. Her story has been featured in a book and in the movie Unplanned. I encourage all brother Knights to continue to support life every day and be a firm witness to the sanctity of life.
The State Officers surveyed the District Deputies in attendance on how well we did with this year’s meeting. The results were very pleasing to see. The Supreme Knight’s remarks received the highest average score of 9.7 points out of 10. This was followed closely by the new CUF degree that was rated an average of 9.4 points. Saturday night’s dinner rated 9.34 points. Rounding out the events of the four rated events of the meeting was the March for Life with 9.3 average points.
Brothers, it’s February. That means it’s time to make your preparations for the annual State Convention. Visit the convention website at azkofcstateconvention.org for registration and hotel reservations. This is the time that we issue a call for resolutions from our Councils for changes to State or Supreme by-laws or to show support for brothers interested in running for state office. Additionally, each council must choose its two delegates and submit their names to the State Council. Further communication will be released soon. If a council needs help, please do not delay in contacting the respective District Deputy or Assigned State Officer.
Congratulations on your efforts to-date in growing our numbers by 458 new brother Knights. We can’t stop now. Our membership growth is not what it should be. Currently our state is 24th in the order, at 48% of our goal. Is your Council proactively searching out men and asking them to join the order? I suggest you organize and conduct more membership drives or hold an Insurance Benefits night as a recruitment tool. Then, by using the CUF degree, we should be able to initiate hundreds of candidates by the end of June. I know we can do this.
Keep up the great work!
Files coming soon.