The results of the Order’s Survey of Fraternal Activity, announced by Supreme Knight Carl Anderson during the State Deputies Meeting in New Haven on June 9, show the Knights of Columbus to be one of the most efficient and effective organizations in the world for helping the poor and the most needy when and where they need it most.
Addressing the Order’s state deputies and state secretaries in a plenary session, the supreme knight remarked, “There is no more effective grass-roots organization that works in so many areas, with so many programs that help such an enormous number of people than the Knights of Columbus.”
Among the Order’s important charitable works in recent months have been quick responses to natural disasters in the United States, where tornadoes have hit parts of Alabama, North Carolina and Missouri. In addition to large amounts of relief funds, local Knights have provided invaluable one-to-one personal aid to victims and are helping to rebuild devastated neighborhoods, Anderson added.
He said that the Knights of Columbus hopes to develop more plans “to empower local councils to respond even better to local disasters.”
Founded in 1882, the worldwide Catholic fraternal organization has more than 1.8 million members in more than 14,000 local councils located in all 50 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, the Caribbean and Poland.
Anderson also outlined the role and responsibilities of the state deputy for those who are newly elected to the office. The state deputy acts the Order’s chief executive officer in his jurisdiction and is “one of the most important lay Catholic leaders in your state,” he noted. In this position, each state deputy should strive to maintain a good working relationship with local bishops and clergy so that the Knights of Columbus can continue to advance the mission of the Church, he explained.
Also addressing the assembly were other supreme officers: Deputy Supreme Knight Dennis Savoie, Supreme Treasurer Charles Maurer and Supreme Advocate John Marrella. They outlined the scope of the Order’s business, insurance, fraternal and Catholic evangelization programs, noting that 834 employees work at the New Haven headquarters, and that plans for building for the future include a new Corporate Business Improvement department and a Management Development Program that recruits college graduates each year who are trained in a number of departments within the corporate headquarters. “They will provide the leadership for the future,” said Savoie.
The Supreme Council is also moving more of its operations online, so that members and councils can do more business through the kofc.org website, which receives some 4.5 million visits each year.
The Thursday program concluded with Evening Prayer, led by Father Juan-Diego Brunetta, director of the Catholic Information Service, and Father John Grace, head of the Order’s chaplains program.
State deputies, state secretaries and their wives were treated in the evening to a reception and tour at the Knights of Columbus Museum, which is currently showing two exclusive exhibitions on Blessed John Paul II and Crowned Madonna paintings from the Vatican.