Greetings Brother Knights,
I have learned that fear limits our vision and us. It serves as blinders to what may be just a few steps down the road for us. To have a journey is valuable, but believing in our talents, our abilities, and our self-worth can empower us to walk down an ever-brighter path.
Being a Knight, I transform my fear into freedom. My goal as Chairman of the Cultural Diversity is to reach the Ethnic Catholic immigrants here in Saskatchewan and thanks to our Worthy State Deputy Chris Bencharski for giving me an opportunity to go around in some places in our jurisdiction to talk and meet different people.
Finding new members is the number one responsibility of our Order. However, where are they? The answer is too easy it is in the Church and in the community, the only questions is how to interact with them properly, how to get their interest so we can invite them to join in any councils here in Saskatchewan.
Doing Pulpit announcements in the Church drives is still a very effective way of approaching people; we just need to speak in front of them of what we are doing and why we are doing this. “If you can tell a story well, you can move people to do something.” In addition, after the announcement never be afraid to approach them and start a conversation. Never be afraid to admit about how we the Knights and the Church start losing so many of our young people especially when they go to college. Be honest and let them understand the significance of this loss for the Church; because a loss for the Church is also a loss for them.
In the future, I propose to create a simple gathering or an event to be hosted by any council willing to be involved to have a concept of intentional spiritual conversation with the parishioners of their parish. Will invite them for at least two hours (the most) having a conversation with them over a cup of coffee. The council with the help of the Parish Priest or Chaplain will invite maybe at least 10 families or 10 couples in a spiritual session. Most of us know that young generations even they are born and raised as Catholic are now no longer practicing their faith as Catholic. All of them have a common question, “What did I do wrong?” This is not a rhetorical question but we have an answer for this. “It’s not a matter of what we did wrong, but of what we Catholics, by and large, haven’t yet learned to do. This program of intentional spiritual conversation might not sound simple, while all of us understand the idea of conversation, we might be uncertain about what it would mean to them or how to go about initiating them. Nevertheless, if we succeed in doing this, a relationship between us will be born and trust and respect will follow.
In one of my articles, we need to do the culture encounter reaching different people as Pope Francis said, “Christ is constantly reaching out to us, but an encounter only happens when the invitation is acknowledged and responded to. By encountering Christ, we can encounter others. This means reaching out, building friendship beyond our circle and meeting people on the peripheries, the poorest and vulnerable, migrants and refugees.”
We need a relationship; we need a bridge to reach them. I believe being a Knight we need to spend more time with other people as this will elevate our integrity and will boost our outlook. It will help to reach our goals; encouragement from us will boost their willpower for us to increase our chance of success. Having active communication with them always will help reduce the isolation that is a major contributing factor to depression. Remember having a relationship is a two-way street and the “give” side of the give-and-take contributes to your own self-worth. Being there for them makes you feel needed and adds purpose to our life. The values and the benefits of having a relationship will make our Order strong. When there is a relationship, any idea will make sense, but when there is no relationship it will only become a world of debate.
Let us continue to build a relationship to any stranger and bring it to our Order. We need an encounter with them, people that are already part of our community sometimes being ignored and never approached.
As of now, we have lots of new brothers belonging to Ethnic Catholic Immigrant like people from the Hispanic community, East Indian from Sylo-Malabar, Brothers from Ghana, Kenyans, Chinese, Filipinos, Chaldeans, Indonesian, and Vietnamese, etc. These ethnic Catholics bring an intrinsic quality of Catholicism and in addition to them are people from Irish, German, Polish, Ukrainian and French and others. These are composed of Catholic ethnicity or maybe now having mixed ethnicity. But we are the Church whatever race we came from.
The basis for all of this is that we the Church believes about the moral dimensions of economic life is its vision of the transcendent worth – the sacredness – of human beings. The dignity of the human person, realized in community with others, is the criterion against which all aspects of economic life must be measured.
“Are you capable of risking your life for someone? Do it for Christ.” Pope John Paul II
SW Marte Clemente Nogot
State Cultural Diversity Chairman