Greetings Your Excellencies, Reverend Fathers, my Brother Knights.
Happy New Year to everyone.
I hope everyone had a Safe & Merry Christmas.
As we began the Advent season, Covid Vaccines were announced, being approved and starting to circulate. I am guessing many prayers were answered. I also believe the timing was not a coincidence; something Divine. It created a feeling of hope and peace, something we all needed as we got closer to Christmas. And going into the Christmas season with the worldly issues, it was gratefully accepted by all. So, now we need to be patient and continue to be diligent in our routines until people can get their vaccinations, and to continue doing what we can to protect those still vulnerable and in high-risk situations. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
I am aware we are at the start of the new year. Yup, it is time to start collecting dues. But this time it should be easier. We have been encouraging all Councils to promote the “Leave No Neighbor Behind” program since July. We have been asking the Councils to reach out to ALL their Members and Priests and see how they are doing. (We have also asked for follow up calls, as we still encourage regular contact.) We know many people are feeling isolated and lonely, especially since the lockdown in December. So, this regular contact should help reduce some of the anxiety members are feeling; showing we care about our Brothers, showing compassion in our Charitable Fraternity.
Again, under the Leave No Neighbor Behind, I am hoping Councils have started to get creative on doing some programs, finding ways to keep members busy. We know the Parishes need to help with sanitizing between masses, being the role models in the parishes by following the SHA guidelines and publicly supporting the decisions of our Bishops and Priests. We know other activities can still happen: Working in food banks, distributing Coats for Kids, doing hockey pools or NFL pools, food drives for those in need. There are things we can do; we just need to get creative and respect the current rules we live under. It is what we need to do to survive another day.
In the last few weeks, there has been news released by Supreme on things happening in the Order. As all should know by now is the Council Meeting format has officially changed. The primary goal is to reduce the length of the general meeting to encourage more people wanting to attend. The “Planning meeting” (old Executive meeting) can be longer as that is where much of the “planning to work” should be done. The expected length of a General meeting should be 60-75 minutes MAX. Hopefully, we will see an increase in Council meeting attendance/support.
Released today (January 6th, 2021): Supreme announced it will be extending the free online membership until June 30th, 2021. This continues to be a blessing for those interested in joining the Order. Now is the best opportunity to show the men in our Parishes, the men 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; *And, I hope with the positive steps towards a covid-19 vaccine, we will have more opportunities soon to show these men (and invite to participate) what the Knights of Columbus are truly about: Faith In Action à Faith, Family, Life and Community & Leave No Neighbor Behind. We do continue to have programs. We do continue to help support our Bishops and Priests. We just need to show others how they can help by being a part of the Order. 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).
Membership Order-wide: Canada continues to lead the way in terms of recruiting. Western Canada did especially well last month at 322.6% of quota, the highest in the Order, (Eastern Canada was at 142.7%). Manitoba recruited almost 66% of their ANNUAL QUOTA in December, Alberta did ~28% and BC got ~19%. Saskatchewan didn’t fare as well (~2%), but we hope to change that sooner than later with the extension of the Free Membership Promo code. The point of this is, other jurisdictions are recruiting BETTER now during these Covid times than before. Yes, it is mainly due to the free membership opportunity, but they are promoting it to all, using the basic techniques we have been sharing. So, they know it works, we can see their results. We just need to advertise and share it with all, family and friends included. It can be done.
Supreme continues to offer training webinars. These are fantastic opportunities for members (not just executive members) to learn more about various topics Retention, Suspension, Council Engagement, You are Your Programs are just a few of the topics offered in January. I do encourage all to attend a session or two. They are offered in French and English; note days and times vary as many sessions are doubled each month. SO please review the sessions and join one. I guarantee you will learn something and even enjoy it. We are also planning some virtual sessions in Saskatchewan with WRTD Shawn Veters. Please look for the emails for further information. Click here for the January 2021 Training Schedule.
Final note, the 99th Annual State convention is still being planned for April. While we do not know yet how it will be done, I simply want to remind all Councils to consider submitting some resolutions, to consider being on a committee if you are asked, and to be patient with us as we continue to serve you through these trying times.
As we continue into the new year, I pray that the Blessed Michael McGivney protect you and your families to get through this Covid pandemic. And that those affected (directly or indirectly) get through this in good health (mentally and physically).
Until the next time, Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, and Thank You for all you do in the name of the Knights of Columbus.
Saskatchewan State Deputy
#Stay Safe, Stay Healthy
#Leave No Neighbor Behind