The Knights of Columbus’ past fraternal year — which runs on a fiscal calendar from July through June — didn’t end as expected. Knights of Columbus councils around the world cancelled events and adapted their council life in order to adhere to health regulations. Zoom meetings became the norm. Socially distanced charity events began as lockdowns lifted.
With the pandemic still looming and the prospects of a second wave increasing, many councils have questions regarding what to expect for council life in the new fraternal year. What can Knights of Columbus councils do to leave no neighbor behind in the foreseeable future?
The answer: plenty.
What can our council do for programs during a pandemic?
Live-streaming events, drive-up distributions, drive-up prayer services, blood drives, assisting food banks are some of the activities K of C councils have been doing during the pandemic. Hosting any of these events require a bit of creativity as you have to make sure you meet local, civil and/or diocesan guidelines within your jurisdiction. If you have any questions, please reach out to your jurisdictional program director.
While in-person activities are a possibility, it’s important to keep six-feet apart while wearing masks and protective gear, or meet any other local and guidelines for such events.
What are some safe events our council can do?
Live-streamed prayer services are a perfect way not only to bring people together spiritually, but also to promote prayer during a time when it’s needed most. Consider hosting and livestreaming a Marian Event or Silver Rose event.
Unsure how to do this? Join us on July 29th at 8 p.m. ET for a livestreamed Virtual Silver Rose Prayer Service. Neat fact: The rose that will used in the service was blessed by Pope Francis in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the program, during a February 2020 meeting between the Holy Father, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson and Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori at the Vatican. We look forward to you joining in the event, and learning how you, too, might host a virtual event for your council.
Can we host outside events, like the Free Throw or Soccer Competitions?
Yes, if they are held outdoors and all local guidelines are followed, such as wearing masks and remaining six feet apart. Members of the council assisting in the event should wear masks and gloves to handle the ball.
Can I host a Coats for Kids event?
Yes, but not the same way as before. In order to adhere to social distancing, it may be best to host a coat drop off. If you are going to hold a distribution, you must abide by local, civil and diocesan guidelines.
Since major events are cancelled indefinitely, what about the March for Life?
Plans are still moving forward for the 2021 March for Life. Visit www.marchforlife.org for updates as the event gets closer.
Are Special Olympics events still taking place?
Special Olympics events are occurring on a case-by-case basis. Where events are taking place, they are typically limited to 50 participants (including athletes, spectators, coaches, etc.). Contact your area Special Olympics organization or visit www.specialolympics.org or updates.
Do councils receive credit towards the Columbian Award if they hold a program remotely?
Yes. Councils that hold their programs remotely will still receive Columbian Credit for the program, if they provide the Supreme Council headquarters the appropriate paperwork for that specific program.
Share your story of how your council is helping strengthen people’s faith and offering support during this time. Email email@example.com.
Originally published in a weekly edition of Knightline, a resource for K of C leaders and members. To access Knightline’s archives, click here.
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