State Deputy’s Message – August 7, 2020

My Brother Knights.

Supreme hosted the 138th Knights of Columbus Convention August 4-5th, 2020. As expected, the event was shared virtually. The masses were held in St Mary’s Parish and televised for all to participate. Our Worthy Supreme Knight, Carl Anderson, delivered a fantastic address. WSK Carl Anderson shared the theme for the convention: “Knights of Columbus, Knights of Fraternity”. While we all recognize that “Fraternity” may seem like a challenge to many right now; but by sharing through our acts of Charity, coordinated in Unity, Living in Fraternity with our Brothers, our Order continues to be a role model for others. As of August 4th, the Order had more than 2,000,300 members. We are all called to continue to invite all eligible men to join the Order. We were reminded: when we invite a man to join the Order, it isn’t just to do “something”, but to be “someone”. Our Brotherhood is to be a commitment of the Heart, Living in Fraternal communities.

The Supreme Knight reminds us of the Patriotic Degree. I must admit this topic can be considered “challenging”, our Supreme Knight shared how the Knights of Columbus have been on the forefront in the fight against racism & bigotry, standing for our Religious freedoms, and protecting Life. We need to remain mindful of the Militant Anti-Catholic Atheism groups challenging our Religious Liberties. We were reminded of the need to be aware of the facts and not fall victim to distortion through the many public-sharing of falsehoods.

Last year, the Order raised more than $187 million for Charities and had more than 77 million hours of Volunteer hours by its members and families. Our Insurance continues to remain at the highest rating by Standard & Poor (only 1 of 6). The Order is widening its support for Persecuted Christians around the world to include those in Africa.

While I would love to share more on the Supreme Knight’s address at this time, I would fail to give it the proper justice and respect it deserves in my deliverance.

On Saturday, October 31st, the special ceremony where the Venerable Fr Michael McGivney will become the “Blessed” Fr Michael McGivney will take place at St Mary’s church. Details will be shared with all once they are confirmed. Please consider planning a gathering for the special event.

During the awards ceremony, Saskatchewan was identified as the 3rd highest Membership Recruitment jurisdiction in the Order, behind Manitoba (#1) and Alberta #2. I would like to congratulate WSD Dan Sheperd from Manitoba for his efforts. It is quite an accomplishment when you realize he was in the last position on January 1st. It was identified as the “Come Back Kid” award. A job well done.

Saskatchewan was officially announced as the winners of the Canada Cup. Again, I wish to share my congratulations to PSD Chris Bencharski on his efforts. We all recognize it was done through the efforts of every person in the province. Anyone who assisted in recruiting even a single member is worthy of sharing in the cup. It’s also important to share, that whether you recruited one or 21, the margin between the top two jurisdictions (ALTA vs SK), it was so close that just ONE member more, either way, may have affected the outcome. So, again, thank you to all who contributed to the success of our jurisdiction. Once Supreme has the Cup engraved and returned, I will do my best to share it with all the Councils and its members across the province.

I would like to thank the Delegates for attending this meeting in North Battleford, sharing their time in Fraternity with us. In attendance was: IPSD Chris & Pat Bencharski, WSC Fr Ed Gibney, Bro James Nestmann, Bro Wayne & Linda Matt, Bro Cody Geiger, WDD Ron Koenig, Bro Yves & Nicole Descottes, Bro Curt Orth and myself (Joe & Tracy Riffel). Special Appearance by WSAC Bishop Bryan Bayda. Thank you all for sharing your time. While it wasn’t Washington DC, we got great seats with a great view for our supper with some wonderful local friends.

As we continue into the summer, please continue to promote the “Leave No Neighbor Behind” program. Reach out to every Council member. Do NOT ask for dues, but ask how are they doing. Do they need any assistance? Would they just like someone to come sit on the porch and have a drink and visit for a while? Can they help out a neighbor? I know many parishes are starting to open slowly and cautiously. Does Father have enough support to make sure the Parish is ready for each mass service? Will he need help to provide services to Parishioners unable to attend mass? Please reach out to all of the Brother Knights in your Council, either through emails, phone calls, texts, Zoom, or GoToMeetings, whatever it takes. Let’s make sure everyone stays safe through these crazy times.

As we continue to invite men to join us online, we need to offer them the ability to join us as 3rd-degree Council members. Supreme continues to have online Combined Exemplifications. Once a Council has vetted the O/L member, the O/L member can be sent a link so he can watch the Combined exemplification. The procedure will be shared on the State Webpage (and possibly with this message). Following the Degree, the Financial Secretary will need to do some paperwork to update the records.

I am hopeful we will be able to resume the live Combined Degree in September. I am hopeful the trend of controlled COVID #’s will continue as it has been, and we will be allowed to host the Degrees in our local Parishes soon (Bishops and Priests Blessings still required). But, now would be a good time to learn and practice the various roles so we can display them with the proper respect and delivery they deserve. City or District Teams can be established. Members could practice each part at home, then as skills are improved, practice degrees can be done via Zoom/GoToMeetings, etc…

Please stay safe out there. Watch out for your neighbors. And thank you for everything you do in the name of the Knights of Columbus.

Vivat Jesus!

Joseph Riffel

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

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