In an address to the Knights of Columbus’ state deputies, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said that the number and scope of the Order’s charitable works are closely tied to vibrant membership growth. Pointing to the large Catholic populations in the countries where the Order is established, Anderson said that the potential for growth is great, and therefore the Knights of Columbus has an obligation to expand its charitable service by drawing more men and their families into its ranks.
The Supreme Knight noted that inviting men to grow in their faith with - and participate in the charitable work of - the Knights of Columbus also has a certain charitable dimension.
Anderson, head of the international organization, made his comments Thursday, June 6, at the annual State Deputies Meeting in New Haven, Conn., site of the Supreme Council headquarters.
His address focused on the theme “10 Keys to Success as State Deputy,” which stress the need for setting realistic goals, maintaining positive attitudes, overseeing membership and insurance growth, fostering open communications, conducting training sessions and reaching out to local parishes and communities to establish programs of support and charity.
The supreme knight noted that state deputies represent the Order in their respective jurisdictions and are responsible for carrying on the vision and the mission bequeathed to them by earlier generations of leaders. Venerable Michael McGivney founded the Order in 1882 with a group of Catholic men from New Haven to provide financial protection to widows and families and to prepare Catholic men to know and live out their faith within a society that was not always friendly to the Church.
Other presenters included Louis Barbour, vice president for membership growth, who spoke about the Order’s initiative calling for “One Member, Per Council, Per Month.” Thomas Smith, chief insurance officer, outlined the highly-rated Knights of Columbus Insurance program that offers financial security to members and their families and provides the funds for the Order’s impressive list of charitable programs. George Hanna, Supreme Warden and senior vice president of Fraternal Services, outlined the Order’s wide-ranging charitable works and how they bring immediate assistance to those most in need in parishes and communities throughout the world. Among the most popular and effective are three that help provide food, clothing and shelter to needy persons and families: Food for Families, Coats for Kids and the Order’s collaboration with Habitat for Humanity.
The event continues through Sunday, June 9.