State Deputy's Message

State Deputy’s Message for September 3, 2021

Greetings Your Excellencies, Reverend Fathers, my Brother Knights.

Once in a while, a person asks: “what do the Knights of Columbus do?”. They see us do pancake breakfasts or fish fries, or selling raffle tickets, or helping in the Church. But what else do we do? Well…

Recently I asked for and received from Supreme the totals of the Fraternal Surveys (#1728) that the Councils of Saskatchewan submitted to Supreme for the 2020 Calendar year. Here is what we reported (in Can $):

$773,876 in donations and 279,112 hours of Service to our Faith Activities (RSVP. Church, Vocations, etc…)

$202,153 and 38,670 hours to our Family Activities (Food for Families, Family week, etc…)

$373,581 and 101,612 hours to our Community Activities (Coats for kids, Wheelchairs, youth & athletics, Habitat for Humanity, Disasters, etc…)

$67,463 and 22,628 hours to our Life Activities (Special Olympics, March for Life, Refugees, etc…)

Total being: $1,417,073 in donations and 442,022 Hours of Service. (WOW!)

We held 2,097 meetings.

We made: 13,610 visits to the sick; 4,427 visits to the Bereaved; 1,409 Blood donations.

We held 1,387 Masses for our members and did 19,295 hours of Fraternal services for our sick/disabled members and their families.

This is what we do. We help raise funds and we offer support to a wide variety of programs: for our Church & Faith, for Our Communities, for our families and to help build a Culture of Life. Now, I consider these Charitable numbers very impressive for the ~10,300 members (and their families) in Saskatchewan.

Order-wide, following the same format, ~2 million members did this (in US $):

$42,972,998 in donations and 18,770,584 hours of Service to our Faith Activities.

$15,867,950 and 9,950,154 hours of Service to our Family Activities.

$37,802,160 and 13,983,536 hours of Service to our Community Activities.

$14,599,544 and 4,686,907 hours of Service to our Life Activities.

Supreme gave $38,801,140 to Charitable causes.

Order-wide Total: $150,043,792 Charitable disbursements and 47,391,181 in hours of service.

We held 281,353 meetings.

We made: 1,622,966 visits to the sick; 547,229 visits to the Bereaved; 308,976 Blood donations.

We held 289,016 Masses for our members and did 3,126,987 hours of Fraternal services for our sick/disabled members and their families.

This is what ~2 million men and their families did last year. You can see the impact on any community where the Knights of Columbus are present. Now, can you also imagine the loss to any community if all this was not happening? Many communities would suffer greatly. We Knights generally don’t recognize or celebrate our achievements in a public manner. But this is well worth a “Job well done!” to all members of the Knights, and their families. (We know without the support of our wives and families, much of this would not or could not happen). This is what we need to share with the Communities around us of what we are doing and have done. So, “Thank You” to everyone for your contributions to our Order, to our Parishes and our communities.

Now, when you meet a man in Church or on the street, who is not a member of the Knights, you can tell him what we do. If he has any interest, and he should after all of that, we can now invite him to join the Knights for FREE. Supreme has extended the offer of FREE ONLINE MEMBERSHIP until December 31st. Invite the man to go to either our State website for some local information: à click on the green “Prospective Members – Join Us!” button) or refer him to the Supreme website link at Share with him the free membership Promo code: MCGIVNEY2020. (Please remember to add your Council number to any posters, as well as the local proposer / Membership Director # so it is entered for easier follow up.) If you have any questions regarding the Online membership, please feel free to reach out to Bro Abel deSa (Online Chairman). As you talk with your prospective member about it, ask him to consider it a free one-year trial: No costs, no obligations. Then remember: It’s up to us to show him the real value of membership.

Programs. I know some Councils are staying cautious about doing too many programs with this Covid Pandemic entering the 4th wave. In recent months, Supreme introduced the Covid Recovery Program (If you go to the Supreme website and enter CRP in the search box, the system will take you to a site with lots of information; remember to click on the resource tabs too.) The main initiative of the CRP is to get the Councils working to support the needs of the Parish and the Priests. I would encourage all Executive members to sit down with their Parish Priest and ask how the Knights can help him.

I know people in all positions can use tips on the latest information, working with the latest “Hot off the Press” items. Please sign up to receive the information from the various sites (listed below). Simply completing the form 185 & 365 does not get you these emails; you need to sign up to receive the info. And feel free to share this information with all the Council members. Everyone can benefit from these training sessions.

These links below will take you to the sign-up links:

  • the Saskatchewan Knightline – link here
  • Weekly email updates from Sask State – link here
  • Supreme Fraternal Leader Advisory – link here
  • Knightline (a Supreme weekly news email) – link here

*Does your Council do the Family of the Month program? This program is designed to recognize a family in the parish for their contributions. And the winner does not need to be a member. (The Family of the Year winner must be a member of the Knights though.) Maybe this recognition may help encourage him and his family to want to become a member. Please reach out to our State Family Director Bro Jeff Krasowski for more details.

Have you or any members of your Council attended any of the “Canadian Training Menu” training sessions provided by the Canadian Territorial Growth Director and the Reginal Growth Directors and the Assistants? These sessions are regularly scheduled sessions, they are live and interactive, the topics are relevant to the time of the Columbian year schedule. Please consider attending one. The menu is on the State website for your review (plus previous emails).  Supreme also has 1-2 Webcasts each month.  I find these very informative and inspiring. Please sign up to receive the invitations at the links previously mentioned. And please invite all your Council members to attend any or all of these training sessions.

Some thoughts about recruitment.

*Having a regularly scheduled “Combined Exemplification”, (monthly in the cities and every other month in the country), helps motivate people to bring new members to the Order. It follows the “if you build it, they will come” philosophy. Have you scheduled any? Consider this, if you are still not allowed to have a ceremony in the Parish or Parish Hall, why not do it in the parking lot or the park or a backyard? These new Ceremonials are meant to be done in public. Maybe a person walking by may see what we are doing and enquire. If you have any questions about Ceremonials, please do not hesitate to reach out to Bro Paul Ponak, our State Ceremonials Director.

Padre Bikes for Wheels. I am hoping by now, all the Councils are aware of the fundraiser that took place over the summer (started in June). If you haven’t, google: I know many Councils did not make too many donations this past year, and some have very limited funds. But… If you or your Council is willing to donate in support of the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation, may I ask that you consider donating to this very worthy cause? All the details can be found on the Saskatchewan KofC Charitable Foundation website. The deadline is September 15th. Please consider this a project to support this year.

As we continue into the year, I continue to pray that Blessed Michael McGivney protects you and your families to get through this 4th wave of the Covid-19 pandemic (and its end).

We can also pray for the farmers, many of whom are out in the fields harvesting late into the evening. May they have good weather and the best crops possible.

We can pray for those Brother Knights and the families in the USA whose lives have been challenged by the recent hurricanes and destructive weather systems.

And we can pray for a Federal Election to provide Government representatives that respect our Catholic values, for people to promote a Culture of life and dignity for all, especially for the most vulnerable, and for some good strong leadership for all Canadians, no matter where they live.

Until the next time: Stay Safe, Stay Healthy.

Joseph Riffel

Vivat Jesus!
Joseph Riffel   
Saskatchewan State Deputy 
CAKC President

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