The kids head back to school this month. I know many councils offer various programs that target the Catholic schools. While our membership is spread throughout Southern Maryland and even further, I think we could do more to make our presence felt among local kids.
The business of squires aside, it seems that we can hardly move forward with that while there are so many other lost opportunities. There are a number of parochial schools and McNamara High School within our jurisdiction. The parishes also have CCD and their own youth programs.
I would recommend a youth director who would communicate the various contests and opportunities open to our youth, like the free throw contests. Flyers need to go out to the schools and blurbs need to be placed in parish bulletins. Here is where church directors and a youth director can work in sync.
Many councils offer essay contests at holiday time, based on the theme of Keeping Christ in Christmas. I have fond memories of this at St. Mary’s Council in Upper Marlboro, MD. Given the many ethnic groups that make up our area, we could also be creative about essays, poster contests, and other activities. Some places have written on themes like, “Famous Catholic African Americans” and what it means to be “A Hispanic Catholic in America Today”.
Some councils base their scholarships on essays and others upon academic excellence. When I was chaplain at St. Thomas More Council in DC, the grand knight would attend the school awards assembly and present the K of C scholarship ($500) to a worthy Catholic student preparing to attend a Catholic high school. Our squires group there was able to field a pretty good basketball team, too. How many kids have we even entered each year in the sports events sponsored by the K of C?
When I was chaplain of the Dr. Griffin Council in Waldorf, MD, we presented certificates to the altar servers in the various parishes. I guess what I am trying to say is that there are all sorts of possibilities and we need to renew our efforts in this regard. Providing activities for families and honors for children is a wonderful way to publicize the K of C and to recruit the kind of men we want in our order. This also sets the foundation for a squires circle, and if the Queens are willing, for a junior women’s auxiliary.
Changing subjects, I have this to share from the Maryland Catholic Conference: “The only way we’re going to win any pro-life battles in the Maryland General Assembly is if the membership of the General Assembly changes in our favor. We need pro-lifers to run for office and win!” The Conference is scheduling workshops to help Catholics to consider such public service. For more information, contact Gina Maclean at 410-269-1155 or 301-261-1979. The program is totally non-partisan.
As we get rolling, I look forward to a fruitful and exciting fraternal year.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Joseph Jenkins