Dear Brother Knights,
As I write this message in early September, I know you share with me the shock and concern for the million-plus people who have been affected by Hurricane Katrina. It was announced at a council meeting that the first organization to respond, apparently even prior to the federal government, was the Knights of Columbus. The council voted to send $500 to the continuing effort to help and I suspect we will be called upon to dig even deeper in the days ahead. The Knights of Columbus (Supreme) initially made $10,000 contributions to the Knights of Columbus state councils in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. We have 50,000 brother Knights and their families in those states, with about a third having K of C insurance. Supreme has announced the largest disaster relief effort in its history. The Order has pledged a minimum of $2.5 million in financial assistance and will match any funds beyond that donated to the Knights of Columbus Katrina Relief Fund over the next 60 days (starting Sept. 2). Those wanting to make private donations can write to the following:
Knights of Columbus
Charities USA, Inc.
Gift Processing Center
PO Box 9028
Pittsfield, MA 01202-9028
Attention: Hurricane KATRINA Relief
Please also remember the many victims in your prayers and Masses. The archdiocese is even looking for temporary lodging, and so if any members have rooms, apartments, or houses that are available, please contact your local pastor.
Turning to another subject, be active in recruitment, but also remember that the men we invite into our fraternity must be “practical” Catholics. This means participating at Sunday Mass, married in the Church or chaste as a single person, and not involved with immoral activities or membership in forbidden and secret societies. A nearby council, with the expulsion of a hard working man who was a Free Mason, learned the hard way about the damage caused when we are not scrutinizing enough. Good people can be hurt.
District Deputy Dale Trott reminded us at a recent meeting about how crucial the Parish Round Table is for our council. If state sees minimal activity and a lack of communication with certain parishes, they might seek to create councils in those parishes and further diminish our reach. I know there was some effort to get the Round Table started last fraternal year, but there really is no more time to waste. The names of the directors from the various parishes should be in the bulletin with their monthly reports. I would be willing to help coordinate the information and talk to pastors if there is some problem. Talking to the parish secretaries who have the church calendars and getting a weekly copy of the bulletins (some of which are online) is a large part of what directors would do. We can then more readily volunteer to help and participate, instead of just sending monetary contributions. It really should not be hard. I think part of the snag continues to be that our participating representation is largely outside our given jurisdiction and is rapidly aging.
Regardless of the many challenges that face us, know that a day does not go by that I do not thank the good Lord for your abiding presence and service in his name.
Have a good October and don’t let the trick-or-treaters bite.
Father Joseph Jenkins