Each month, councils around the world recognize parish families that model Christian values every day through the Faith in Action. Knight Joe McCarty of St. John the Baptist Council 10232 in Madison, Ala., shares the program’s importance at his parish.
When Joe McCarty recalls his first Knights of Columbus meeting, he remembers hearing the announcement of a Knights of Columbus Family of the Month. The announcement honored a local family for their respective contributions to the parish, community and council.
Today, McCarty is grand knight of St. John the Baptist Council 10232 in Madison, Ala., and now it’s his job to help select the families to be recognized.
The selection process can be difficult, he said, since his parish has more than 60 active ministries, and countless families contribute behind the scenes. The council members work together
to ensure that no one’s contribution is overlooked, he added.
“Our selection process relies on advice and consent. A suitable family nominated by a member will generally be chosen; otherwise I make the selection. I then submit the name to council trustees, financial secretary and deputy grand knight for their concurrence,” McCarty said.
The nomination is important, according to McCarty, because recognizing the family of the month is “a force multiplier for other ministries.” In other words, recognizing the families who are the
backbones of the parish “reinforces community and unifies the parish family.”
As an example, McCarty points to Kim and Billy who established a cancer support ministry in the parish. Kim herself was a cancer survivor.
“As a ‘thank you, God!’ gesture, she convinced our pastor to let her establish and run such a [cancer support] program. Several of our council brothers, me included, have benefited from her services,
financed completely by her and her husband,” McCarty said.
The council couldn’t let her work go unnoticed, and so they named Kim and her husband, Billy, the council’s Family of the Month in December 2018.
“She told me later that ten years of ministry was bringing on discouragement. Our recognition of her work re-energized her,” McCarty said.
She afterward emailed the 36 members of the ministry, saying:
“Last night Billy and I received the attached award from the Knights of Columbus. … The Knights are such a wonderful group of men that do tremendous services for our Church and community. It was great to tell everyone all about the cancer ministry … There were a lot of questions and interest concerning the ministry. Praise God for sending his Holy Spirit to guide and direct us for the whole ten years of our ministries services!”
For details on running a family of the month program in your parish, visit kofc.org/familyofthemonth.
Article originally published in Knightline, a monthly resource for K of C leaders and members. To access Knightline archives, click here.
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