State Deputies Meet for Leadership Training

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• Three New Initiatives

Supreme Knight outlines four areas of growth and outreach for 2008-09.

Growing the Knights of Columbus more broadly and forming members more completely as Catholic leaders will be the twin goals of the Order in 2008-09.

Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson outlined the objectives for the new fraternal year in remarks to 36 newly elected state deputies attending an orientation seminar at the Supreme Council office in New Haven June 5.

Re-elected state deputies from the Order’s other 34 jurisdictions will join them in an organizational meeting commencing June 6.

Supreme Knight Anderson told the state deputies that their service to the Order is a “privilege, not an entitlement.” Every K of C leader, he said, “must earn the right every day” to serve the membership. “It’s a privilege to lead this great organization. The Knights of Columbus is unique in our determination to build, organize and support the Church,” Anderson said.

Noting that the Catholic population continues to grow worldwide, the supreme knight said the Order must do better to keep pace with that growth. “Currently we are approximately 1 to 2 percent of the Catholic population; in some jurisdictions, we are closer to 8 percent. If every jurisdiction targeted 8 percent growth, the Order could grow to 7 million members,” Anderson said. “That is a fantastic potential and it is up to us this year to capitalize on it.”

Anderson told the state deputies that the Order would continue to measure its performance in four main areas: membership growth, fraternal protection (insurance), charitable service, and Catholic formation or members’ spiritual development.

The supreme knight concluded his remarks by recalling Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the United States in April and the Vatican’s declaration in March that K of C founder Father Michael J. McGivney had been declared “Venerable,” or singled out for his spiritual heroism. Pope Benedict also cited Father McGivney as an “exemplary priest” in his homily at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York April 19. He urged the state deputies to build on these events as they lead the Knights this year.