MESSAGE FROM STATE DEPUTY

 

My Brother Knights,

October, that time in the year to prepare for the winter season ahead. Whether coincidental or not, it is also that time in the KC calendar to evaluate if the Order is prepared not just for the season ahead but the year(s) ahead. I trust you may be aware of the letter and the attached report sent to all Grand Knights, Financial Secretaries and our District Deputies a couple weeks ago. Although the Oregon KofC Jurisdiction has achieved some high honors for growth of the Order, in the past five or six years, it is very obvious that not all Brothers or their Councils are actively participating in those achievements. Twenty-four of our Councils with no additional members in the past three years and another seventeen that only averaged one new member during the three year period causes grave concerns!
In Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudiu, he calls Catholics to be “an evangelizing community” that is “filled with joy,” a community that is “permanently in a state of mission.” He further writes: “I especially ask Christians ….. to offer a radiant and attractive witness of fraternal communion. Let everyone know how you care for one another and how you encourage and accompany one another.” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson further added: “We should ask ourselves just how our Councils offer a radiant and attractive witness of fraternal communion?” My Brothers, I sincerely feel if we followed the challenges presented by Our Pope and Supreme Knight, our three year Membership Intake Record would improve considerably. What do you think?
I personally challenge every Council to look over the list of “Membership Drive Variations” that was recently sent to you by our Membership Director. Certainly there are one or two from this list that you can at least try? Let’s reach out and do something! I’m also not unaware that you may hear such comments as: “We have tried recruitment in the past, it doesn’t work.” “We don’t have any more men in the parish who are interested.” “We’ll schedule an initiation when we get a candidate.” My Brothers, these are phrases we need to get out of our vocabulary! We need to encourage members to “think outside their box.” We “need not be afraid and go to the outer periphery” said Pope Francis. Recruitment drives also help “plant the Knight of Columbus footprint” as the Supreme Knight told us during our State Deputy Installation.
If you haven’t heard it yet from your District Deputies, you will! We (the State Officers) want a schedule of which recruitment option(s) you are planning to do this Fall Season - hopefully in October - and the date you are scheduling a First Degree Initiation. This isn’t just to satisfy some report. The State Officers, Program Directors, and anyone who feels strongly about growing the Order, are planning to be there for either your recruitment drive or 1st Degree Initiation or both. We are a Fraternal Group!

There certainly has been the opportunity to practice Unity and Fraternity this past month with hurricanes that have inflicted hardship and property loss to citizens and our Brothers in Texas, Puerto Rico, the Southeast and Caribbean Region. The Knights of Columbus have responded by either joining as a Council or by personal donation. Donations can be made through the Knights of Columbus Charities at the website (https://www.kofc.org/un/en/charities/articles/disaster-relief.html) or through the respective Knights of Columbus Disaster Funds that have been established by these individual areas.
As a sign of our Unity and Fraternity, the Grand Knight of Council 15773 in Florence has volunteered to tally the amount that has been contributed by the Knights in Oregon. In order to have a true picture of “Knights in Action” include personal donations (if approved as well as Council or Assembly contributions. He will finalize the total as a special article entitled “Assistance Response” article in a future Columbian issue. Please e-mail tomograms@yahoo.com. He is also willing to take this information via phone: 541-997-1123. For personally coming forward with this suggestion, I want to personally thank Grand Knight Thomas Zahara for helping to evangelize the good works of the Oregon Knights.
Here in Oregon, the need for Unity and to stand-up for our Catholic Morals is now!! Last May, an initial drive was conducted to gather signatures to have the Initiative to Stop State Funding of Abortions on the 2018 Election Ballot. Currently it is about 40,000 signatures short of the 117,000 required to have it on the ballot. Another major drive is planned for October. Both Archbishop Sample and Bishop Cary have sent a letter to their Priests, directing them to strongly emphasize this drive and to work with the local Knights of Columbus Councils to gather signatures during one or two of these weekends in October.
Council Officers, you need to gear-up and be ready to go with this next signature campaign. Just a few days ago, our KofC State Coordinator, with the Oregon Life United, State Secretary Ron Boyce sent an additional letter with the suggested steps you can implement there at your parish, along with the supporting letters from the two Bishops. I encourage you to contact your pastor and coordinate the procedure he and your Council will implement with the October Signature Drive. Information is on his letter of who/where to contact for additional signature sheets and announcement flyers. We need this Initiative on the 2018 Ballot!
Oregon had a good start “out of the gate” July 1st with thirty four Catholic Men saying I want to be a “Laborer in My Father’s vineyards.” But our August and September membership intake was only 2/3 of the monthly goals. As we finish the first quarter of this Fraternal Year, we are just under 20% of our goal.
“In My Fathers vineyards there is much work to be done, but the laborers are few.” We need to get serious and reach out.! Let’s do a MAJOR promotional campaign in October or November. Together, my Worthy Brothers, we are the men sitting at that table with Father McGivney in the basement of St. Mary’s Church when he asked “Will you men help me?” Will you help the widow, the children, the poor of our Parish and community?” Would you have said “yes?”

Vivat Jesus!

"In His Love"

Francis Mohr
Oregon State Deputy

 
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