Knight of Columbus councils throughout the Order are called to work as “the strong right arm of the Church” and to continue the legacy started 135 years ago by the Venerable Father Michael McGivney. While many college councils demonstrated impressive achievements this year, to be named Outstanding College Council is an exceptional distinction; to attain this award requires exemplary achievement across the spectrum of program categories.
This council’s success begins with its membership growth and outreach to new members. Each new Brother Knight receives a “Because You’re New” letter explaining ongoing council events and programs. This monthly letter allows new members to feel a part of the council and know what’s going on.
The council has also developed a strong devotion to Mary, our patroness. After their campus announced the construction of a new Marian grotto, the council started a daily rosary at the future grotto’s site. Each day, at least two Brother Knights would brave the elements to pray for their campus. This practice has continued as the grotto opened earlier this fall. The council also developed a Marian visitation program in which council members host a statue of Our Lady in their dorm rooms for a week. The council member commits to cleaning their room to make a special place for their guest and commits to prayer in front of the statue each day. They also commit to invite others to pray with them during the week.
This year’s outstanding council has taken its faith beyond campus. In the northern part of their jurisdiction there are many mission parishes that serve indigenous peoples on the Standing Rock Indiana Reservation. Initially, the council volunteered to paint one of these Churches, but soon realized the Church needed much more than paint. In addition to applying a fresh coat of paint, the council reinforced and repaired walls, cleaned the interior and exterior and provided other general maintenance to the parish. The council plans to assist another mission church on the reservation this year.
Only in its second year, this council has already developed a strong reputation on campus and their signature events have been well supported by students. The council’s softball tournament and cookout drew 100 competitors and many more fans for a day long tournament, home run derby and cookout. The event allowed the council to partner with other campus organizations for a day of fun and competition.
The council also demonstrated its commitment to the unborn as 42 council members, over half of the council, spent over 40 hours on a bus to travel to the National March for Life in Washington, D.C. Several of the council members served in large leadership roles as over 600 total students from campus attended the march.
These programs only briefly account for the numerous activates the council completed during the past fraternal year. In recognition of their exemplary accomplishments and service, this year’s Outstanding College Council Award went to Council 16402 at the University of Mary.