State Deputy’s Message – July 3, 2020

Happy belated Canada Day by Brother Knights.

I would like to start my first State Deputy report by congratulating the Immediate Past State Deputy Chris Bencharski for not only achieving the Circle of Honour. But also, for attaining the #2 position in the Order. A job very well done; not to mention an exceedingly difficult accomplishment. As I write this report: Manitoba is #1, Saskatchewan #2, Alberta #3, British Columbia & Ontario all ~#10 & #12 in the Order, as well as all jurisdictions attained the Circle of Honor. This is the first time in modern history that all western Canada jurisdictions reached this goal together. While much of the credit for Saskatchewan reaching its goals goes to WSD Chris and his team, we do need to recognize retiring Supreme RGD Brother Guy Precourt. His devotion to the Order, his continued efforts to training, support, information sharing, etc… have proven to be invaluable tools that helped all of Western Canada reach their goals. Thank you very much Brother Guy for your example of a True Leader in the Order.

We are also starting the Columbian year with our Founder; the Venerable Fr Michael McGivney being accredited with a Miracle. We await him being bestowed with the title “Blessed” this fall. This brings him one step closer to Sainthood, and through his example, shows us the need to become better men as we work to support our Order, fulfilling his Goals.

So…. What is next? Being IPSD Chris set the bar very high, I am hoping to repeat this effort this year. We continue to assemble a team of Program Directors and Chairmen working hard to promote the various programs Supreme and the State promotes. Brother Dan Devers will lead the Membership team. Brother Eugene Achtemichuk will continue as our State General Program Director leading the Program’s team with the Faith in Action Programs devoted to Community, Faith, Family, and Life.  We continue to expand our teams with more men as Directors and Chairmen to help encourage Team development and knowledge depth & experience.

I had announced previously, Fr Ed Gibney (also PSD) will be our State Chaplain. Our Associate State Chaplain is Bishop Bryan Bayda. We are truly fortunate to have 2 very informed AND supportive Chaplains leading us in our Spiritual Development. Even before my term started, I have been reaching out to Fr Ed (and our Archbishops & Bishops) to start making plans for working together, informing each other of current events. As we begin our new Columbian year, I would encourage all the Grand Knights to reach out to their Parish Priests to do the same. Maybe have a coffee or meal together, and discuss these 2 things:

  • How can the Council and its members help the Parish and its Faith Community? Share with him the latest Faith IN Action material and ask him about the immediate needs of the Parish.
  • Ask Father to help develop the Council members with their Spiritual Development. While we recognize our Priests are busy, even taking 5-10 minutes at every other month’s meeting will be greatly appreciated in our men’s development towards Christ.

Looking at the world around us, I know we are living in some unique and challenging times.  The current COVID-19 pandemic has created some unique challenges. While we all need to promote “Physical distancing”, I continue to promote “Social contact” with our Clergy and our members. Supreme’s latest program: Leave No Neighbor Behind is a great program. It has been recognized by various governments to set an example of how we can conduct our lives safely and continue looking out for those who are vulnerable in society.

We have set the State Organizational meeting for Saturday, July 11th. Again, due to the COVID pandemic, it will be a virtual meeting. It was originally scheduled to be held in Swift Current. Even though we can’t hold it there, I do wish to share my appreciation to the Council and WDD Wayne Johnston for applying to host the event many months ago. The State Board, Program Directors & Chairmen, District Deputies, and some key Organizational people will attend this virtual event. Due to many current events happening around the world, a few things are changing in the Order, and this meeting is our first opportunity to share it with our State Leaders. Please be ready in the following weeks for a District Meeting to allow the District Deputies to share this important information with you.

After consulting with the Archbishops and Bishops from Saskatchewan, it was decided the Clergy Sports Days, originally scheduled for July 20th & 21st will be cancelled/postponed. As the guidelines are relaxed and provided the weather is still comfortable, the State Board will work with our Clergy to try to host an event or several smaller local events in the fall. We will continue to update you all as things develop.

To conclude, I do want to that everyone for allowing me the opportunity to serve you as your State Deputy. I aim to work hard to earn the title of “Worthy”. I want to thank all of the Brother Knights (and their wives) for answering the call to be a Director or Chairman or District Deputy to help me lead the Saskatchewan Team into the future.


Joseph Riffel

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

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