MESSAGE FROM STATE DEPUTY

 

“The work in my father’s vineyards is much but the laborers are few.” What you all think?? Could this be the theme or the promoting banner of your Fall Season Membership Drive?


One hundred thirty years ago a priest met with a small group of men in the basement of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in New Haven, CT. It was a time in U.S. history when immigrants from Ireland and other European countries, which were the majority of his parish, were discriminated against in the work force. They were only able to acquire low paying, more hazardous jobs. Several fatalities occurred and families were left without a father, a husband. Women were also discriminated against in finding good paying jobs in the work force. It was very difficult to keep their home and provide for the children. Many of these single parent families were separated, with the State assigning a foster parents/care-taker for the children. Catholics were also discriminated against during that time and area.


“Will you help me?” Will you help the widow and children? Will you help the poor in the parish. Will you be strong Catholic role model in our community?
Thus was the basis for the formation of the Knights of Columbus. Since then a small gathering of Catholic men formed a benefitting fraternity that is now over 2.3 million strong in the US, Canada, Mexico, The Philippines and portions of Europe. We are slightly over 9000 members in Oregon. I encourage you to emphasize the basics that formed the Knights of Columbus: Charity, Family and a stronger male Profession of our Faith.


Following in the same footsteps, the Supreme Office issued a new title for our programs, entitled: “Faith in Action:” The four major Programs: Faith, Family, Community and Life. Please go through this issue of the Columbian and note information relating to these program from our General Program Director and the four program directors. I think you will notice that the activities related to these four major program areas are activities you are doing or have initiated in the past. If you have questions, please contact the General Program, Membership, Faith, Family, Community or Life Directors.


Brothers: we need to be serious why we joined the Order. We need to pass it on. Questions that Fr. McGivney asked 130 years ago are just as appropriate today. You have the messages and questions you can use in your recruitment this fall season. Yes, there is a ‘recruitment package you can order from Supreme—I understand it is free. But if you don’t already have or it hasn’t arrived in time to start your recruitment in the next two-three weeks --- you have no excuse to not start!

 

As Jose Imenez, who was guest at our State Convention in Salem a few years back said “You inherited a 130 year old treasure, don’t let it die.” This is our time to “Grow our Order” and pass on the visions of Fr. Michael McGivney. There are Catholic men in your congregation, probably with you this weekend at Mass Liturgy who also want to perform the visions of Fr. McGivney, but for some reason they haven’t openly expressed that inner calling. You need to be one of those who reaches out and befriends him as a fellow-parishioner. Whether that’s this Sunday or the next one---you need to ask if he would be interested in helping with one of the Council future activities. This is not the time for ‘hard sales.’ This still may not be the time to have a Form 100 ready; but have one on hand! His interest and wanting to be part of your group will come later.
As you plan your Council activities and budge for this Fraternal Year, give emphasis toward activities that can involve the whole family, and attract parishioners from the Parish. They don’t have to be a Knight to attend and participate as one of the helpers. There is no better way to gain a new friend and possible member than to sweat, toil, and relax later with a cool one with someone!!


When we think of activities, we need to also think of reaching out and co-sponsoring with other groups of the parish or the community. For the parish, it can build and strengthen parish community. For the civic community, it evangelizes what the Knights of Columbus do and stand for as a group.


My Brothers!! There is a great new Faith in Action Model in front of us. What activities can you do to revitalize your Council? What activities can you promote with other groups in your parish or with your Pastor and revitalize the community atmosphere of your Parish? What can your Council do to be the “Right Arm of the Church”? What are you waiting for? What activities can be done to invite other Catholic men to help be “Laborers for our Father’s Vineyards?”


Vivat Jesus
Francis Mohr, State Deputy
francis_mohr@msn.com

 

 

 
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