Membership growth and charitable outreach are two keys to a successful fraternal year, said Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson on the opening day of the annual gathering of state deputies in New Haven, Conn.
State deputies are the chief executive officers of their jurisdictions and thus are responsible for growing the Order and extending the reach of charitable programs that Knights of Columbus perform for the most needy, he noted.
“You are now the leaders of our great Catholic organization,” he said.
In order to further the charitable works of the Order, the supreme knight also highlighted a central theme of the gathering –“The Power of One,” which underlies the Order’s membership goal of “One member, per council, per month.”
The five-day state deputies’ meeting at the downtown Omni Hotel will feature sessions on charitable programs, spiritual formation and membership recruitment and retention. One of the highlights will come on Friday morning when Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori will offer Mass in St. Mary’s Church for the first time since his installation as archbishop of Baltimore, the nation’s premier See.
The Order was founded in the basement of St. Mary’s by Father Michael J. McGivney and a handful of laymen from the parish in 1882. Father McGivney, whose cause for canonization is under consideration by the Vatican, holds the title of Venerable.
The supreme knight told the state deputies that given their key role in guiding the good the Order does, the goal of the gathering is “to make this the best year in your life as a Knight of Columbus.” To accomplish this goal will require hard work and teamwork, he noted.