Arizona State Council Knights of Columbus - Fraternal Year 2020-2021
My dear Brothers,
Recently, there has been a surge of interest in finding out if there are any plans to return to our pre-pandemic ways of conducting business. It is good that you are hopeful. I certainly am. It has been observed that our Bishops are beginning to allow limited openings of parishes based on a designated safe allowable percentage of the building’s capacity and ability to maintain optimum safe physical distancing for Masses. This is a promising first step. Since March, when meetings and events in-person were disallowed, many councils adapted very nicely to the use of web-based video conferencing tools to hold meetings, installation of officers and prayer events such as Rosary recitals. Unfortunately, many other councils have not for one reason or another. We have councils that are currently stagnant, have not had any meetings, haven’t had election of officers and have not recruited. This situation is of major concern to me and I am studying the positive and negative impact of relaxing our current policy. Please watch for a memo that I intend to send out on this issue in the next week or two.
This year’s Supreme Convention was held virtually. This was sad for many who did not get to travel to our nation’s capital Washington, D.C. this year. But, as a side-effect of the pandemic, so many Brother Knights, who would not normally get to attend this or any Supreme Convention, were afforded opportunities to experience this great annual event virtually. Several watch parties of small groups (following physical distance guidelines) met for part of the convention activities. Many watched as Arizona received two Supreme Awards, one for New Council Development and one for entry into the Circle of Honor for exceeding our membership quota for last year. Thank you, brothers, for your hard work in recruiting new members into the order and retaining existing members. These are your awards. You earned them.
Congratulations to all the councils who received Supreme Awards such as the Columbian for programs, McGivney for membership quota, Founders’ for insurance quota, and Star for all three. We ended last year with 84 of our councils (more than 60% of all active councils) receiving an award. This is great! Of those councils getting awards, 33 received Star Council. I am so incredibly pleased to announce to you that two councils happen to be overachievers. In Phoenix, Pope John XXIII, Council 7159, is an Eight-Star Council and St. Philip Council 9995 in Payson is a Six-Star Council. Wow! We also had three Triple-star councils, and seven Double-star councils. On the district level, five of our districts received distinction as Star Districts. Congratulations to all for your efforts and achievements. Thank you.
The date has been set for the Beatification ceremony of Father McGivney. It will be held at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Hartford Connecticut on October 31, 2020. The exact time and program details have not been released but should be soon. I strongly encourage councils to plan an event to coincide with the Beatification, such as a special mass, Holy Hour, or other prayer function, in their parishes to commemorate this extremely memorable event. This is a great time to honor our founder, to publicize our Order, and to potentially recruit new members. More information will be posted on the state website and Facebook page as they become available.
On the subject of membership, it appears as if we will end the second month of this fraternal year with just over 110 new members. While this is a very good number, unfortunately this effort has come from a minority of councils and districts. Far too many councils have not yet recruited one new member, even with the free membership offer. Brothers, we need to step up our efforts. Yes, it has been a very hot summer and even with some parishes opening their doors to a limited number of Sunday Mass attendees, people just don’t stick around very long after the service. I understand. We don’t have coffee and doughnuts, or pancake breakfasts. I understand. Remember to wear your Council shirts and name badges. Be creative. Help with post-Mass sanitizing, or pre-Mass seating. Be visible. Be creative. Father and your parish need you. if you need help or recruiting ideas contact our State Membership Director Bobby Nielsen. Pick up the pace!
The Arizona Rosary Celebration is just seven weeks away. The pieces for the Arizona Rosary Celebration 2020 are falling into place. This is a new experience for all of us as we must adapt to different formats, different locations, and different media presentations. Before the pandemic struck, the Executive Committee, with guidance from the Bishops, selected the title under which we would honor Mary this year. Our Lady Undoer of Knots was chosen. Little did anyone know what we would face during the year to come. This is certainly a year of knots. We need to have confidence that Mary will undo the knots so that this event will take place. Even though the program will be conducted virtually, there are still exceptional costs that must be met. There will be a program book. It will be made available from the website and advertising space is being sold. Since it is not being printed, the book is in color this year. Every council should purchase advertising to help defray costs of the program. Advertising and donation forms can be found at www.azrosary.net.
In the Second Chapter of his First Letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul attempts to draw the divided members of the church in Corinth into a deeper self-examination of who they are as followers of Christ.
“Among human beings, who knows what pertains to a person except the spirit of the person that is within? Similarly, no one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the things freely given us by God. And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom, but with words taught by the Spirit, describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms. Now the natural person does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually. The spiritual person, however, can judge everything but is not subject to judgment by anyone. “who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to counsel him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:11-16
Saint Paul’s advice is just as important for us today as it was 2000 years ago for the early divided church in Corinth. Do not lose sight that it is the mind of Christ Jesus that we have put on. It is not through the words of human wisdom that we are taught, but through the Spirit that is from God. We do not follow Facebook, nor Twitter, nor Instagram, nor this news channel, nor the other. We follow God.