As we enter into the second half of this fraternal year I would like to share with you a couple of thoughts.
Membership in our Order is important not only to us as a viable organization but to the Catholic Church as a whole. More important than any one of us individually, membership in our Order is evangelical in that it engages many of our members to do more in their communities, churches, and often their own families. Simultaneously, our evangelical charity also provides a living example of Catholic men in action living their faith through prayer and works of mercy, which in itself evangelizes lukewarm Catholics and often men from other denominations to strive to be like us.
In my time as State Deputy, I am finding that our men are hungry for a positive outlook on membership and a reason to ask other men to join us. We have always believed that every Catholic man should be offered an opportunity to join us, but what reason have we given him to join? Do we have solid programs at the council level that he can get involved in? Are our councils accomplishing good works formed in faith? Do we have a spiritual based council that supports parish life or are we the social committee for the parish or community? What is the image of our local K of C councils? The Supreme Knight has stated that our councils should be the lead organization within the parish for charitable outreach. Providing this outreach is where you will find fertile grounds for recruitment.
I believe that we should be asking men to join the Order in an attempt to engage them in their faith. We are a unique organization in that we are bound in Unity through the Eucharist. I am convinced that our patron, the Venerable Fr. Michael J. McGivney, watches over and prays for us daily. More and more men are attending diocesan men’s retreats, our college men are better formed, seminary enrollment has been on the rise, and our teenagers are looking for spiritual outreach. The opportunity for the Order to grow has never been greater than now.
I have often used the Supreme Knight’s words which hold very special meaning for me: “IF NOT US THEN WHO?” This statement applies to us across the board. If we do not stand up for those who cannot defend themselves (babies, handicapped, intellectually challenged, aged) then who will. When the Church and our priests come under attack, who is there to defend them? In order to accomplish this, we must stand up for ourselves and grow.