State Deputy's Message

State Deputy’s Message – April 9, 2021

Greetings Your Excellencies, Reverend Fathers, my Brother Knights.

            I hope everyone had a Blessed Easter. Maybe you were able to spend some time with your family.

The 99th Annual State Convention is next weekend. Slowly, information is coming in from Supreme and various sources and I am now better prepared to share more information with you. I hope this is clear to all. If not, please do not hesitate to get anything clarified. And please read all the information before doing any actions.

For the best participation in this Virtual State Convention, I recommend using a Desktop or Laptop Computer (with camera and microphone) for viewing the event and allowing some dialogue when appropriate. I also recommend having a SMART CELL PHONE or SMART TABLET for use by the voting Delegates. This will allow you to watch the event without the need to keep switching apps on a single device. Reset your router an hour before the event starts and consider a hardline instead of Wi-Fi for your computer.

Friday, April 16th, 2021. The Friday evening session will be done using the ZOOM platform. We will share the Zoom code with anyone who wants to attend. I simply ask that anyone who wants to attend please inform our State Executive Secretary by Thursday, April 15th, so we can make certain the Zoom license has the correct capacity. (Currently, we are allowed up to 500 participants, but the more the merrier! 😊).

On Friday evening, we will open registration at ~5:30 pm to ensure people list their names in a certain way so that we can easily identify them. We have an opening Mass starting at 6:30 pm. Our Associate State Chaplain Bishop Bryan will lead us in the Eastern Rite mass, which will be concelebrated with our Worthy State Chaplain Fr Ed Gibney. Following Mass, we will have the Dignitary speeches and presentations. Please note: I have invited all the Bishops from across the province to address the delegates, so please come listen to what they have to say. Following the various addresses, we will announce all the State program winners as well as the State Deputy recognition Awards. The opening session should be done by 9:30/10 pm.

Saturday, April 17th, will be more of the regular business session. This session SHALL REQUIRE YOU TO REGISTER to receive the GoToWebinar code link. Signing in should start around 10 am (again to ensure people listed names properly), with the business session starting at 11 am sharp. We may have some Bishops in attendance (if they could not attend Friday evening) to address the delegates. We will conduct the required business as required by our State Bylaws and Supreme’s Laws & Rules, but following guidelines as provided by the Supreme Board of Directors during these Covid-19 times. We will be using a second system just for voting, ElectionBuddy. Only registered delegates will be able to vote.  Registered delegates shall receive an email with instructions to register.

If all goes to plan, our Official business session shall be completed by 2 pm. The Saskatchewan Charitable Foundation AGM shall begin at 2:10 (same platform, no changes, video stream stays running) and concludes at 3:20 pm.

At 3:30 pm, we will close the State Convention with our traditional Memorial Mass. The Mass will be Celebrated by our Worthy State Chaplin Fr Ed Gibney and concelebrated with our Worthy Associate State Chaplain Bishop Bryan. A few Brother Knights are working hard to provide you with a presentation to allow us to Honour those Members we have lost this past year.

Council Delegate CREDENTIALS Report is DUE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. The absolute deadline is Tuesday, April 13th. Reasons: You will notice the form was changed a bit this year. This is due to technology, the way we will need to reach out to Delegates, and the systems the delegates will be using to vote, we need to ensure we are collecting all relevant information to help speed up the registration process for us & Supreme and for you to use the various platforms. On our Credentials report, we need Delegate(s) Name, email address, cell number AND the last 5 digits of the delegate’s membership number. All this information is required to be submitted to Supreme Wednesday so they have adequate time to enter the information and to send out registration links for the State Convention via GoToWebinar as well as the ElectionBuddy link for voting BY DELEGATES ONLY (last 5 digits of Membership number will be needed to register for the ElectionBuddy system). Yes, we can/do invite members in good standing to attend our State Convention, but please realize that only official delegates will receive the link to vote on State Council Business via the ElectionBuddy system. Please note, after this deadline, it may be too late to receive a link to vote. You will be able to watch, but you will not be able to vote on any matter.

I am hoping that all the Councils and various Members have received a copy of the Saskatchewan State Convention booklet, the SCF Booklet and our State Convention Pin. Our theme will be: “In the footsteps of the Father”. May we all follow in His footsteps. When we do for God, we can do no wrong. To better prepare yourself for the State Convention, please read the Convention books BEFORE the event. It will have the minutes from last year’s Convention, all the Resolutions presented to be voted on, a detailed Financial overview with the proposed budget, and many reports from men very educated and informed about their portfolios. AND do not forget to share these books with the rest of your Council so they too can be informed on past, current and future events/programs.

Gatherings. I know this is a touchy subject depending on where you live and your physical well-being. If you choose to gather with others to watch this event, please make sure you are following ALL the Saskatchewan Health Authority guidelines. Please have Masks in place, lots of Hand Sanitizer, and other safeguards in place.

We will share more information as it becomes available (EX: Delegate Nominations reports and others). Just keep an eye out for emails from the State Office, our Worthy RGD Ryan DeHaan or other Officers helping with this event.

While lately, my focus has been on preparing for the State convention, many things continue to happen.  We have opportunities to conduct some programs in some communities, but I recognize that not every community can traditionally do things.  Recently, I participated in the In Support of Life fundraiser which was done online. It was a great event; it had a variety of speakers (including His Excellency Bishop Mark Hagemoen from Saskatoon). And there have been other events too (Men’s Spiritual Enrichment Day, a Defending the Faith Lecture Series, etc…)

The Canadian Team of Growth Directors continues to host a variety of training sessions online. I do strongly believe that all councils would benefit tremendously from this training. I do encourage all to attend a session or two every month. And consider inviting other Executive members to do the same. 

Free online membership until June 30th, 2021. This continues to be a blessing for those interested in joining the Order. Now is always the best opportunity to show the men in our Parishes, in our Faith Communities and neighbourhoods, what we are about. We just need to let them know of this opportunity. We need to share these simple benefits with them: *They can try us out for no cost, no commitment. It’s free for one year; *They will receive all the benefits of being a member (Monthly magazine; educational emails about the Order and our recently Beatified Founder the Blessed Michael McGivney; our Insurance & Financial opportunities…); *Share the “Fraternal Benefits” flyer #2773 with them too. PLEASE share the PROMO CODE: MCGIVNEY2020 with any eligible man and his family. (Note: also share your Council # and the proposer’s membership number with him to be recognized for our newest Incentives).  A couple of things to clarify: the “free to join” offer ends June 30th, but the membership is free for 1 year from the day the member signs up. AND We do not need to wait until June 29th to invite me to join the Order. Today is always a good day to invite a man (and his family) to join us, to help show support for our Faith and our Order, to show support for our Priests & Parishes (which we all know need our support more now than ever). Please see the latest Membership Incentives. They are in effect for April and May. Our State Goal of attaining the Circle of Honour for this year is fading to black. But I am hoping we can get back on track before the end of this Columbian Year to carry into next year. My new GOAL is simply to ask every Council to recruit just one member by the end of May. Yup, just shooting for ~125 new Brother Knights to be invited to join the Order for FREE before the end of May. I am hoping that a Council executive can go through their cell phone contact lists to pick ONE man (and his family) and get him to join ONLINE. But we need every council to do this.

As we continue into the year, I continue to pray that the Blessed Michael McGivney protect you and your families to get through this Covid-19 pandemic.

 Until the next time, Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, and Thank You for all you do in the name of the Knights of Columbus.

Joseph Riffel

Vivat Jesus.
Joseph Riffel
Saskatchewan State Deputy
#Stay Safe, Stay Healthy
#Leave No Neighbor Behind