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2018 International Service Awards

International Service Awards

International Service Program awards recognize outstanding council programs in six key areas of outreach — Church, Community, Council, Culture of Life, Family and Youth — during the preceding fraternal year. Whether ongoing or one-time initiatives, these program embody the spirit of the Order and serve as an inspiration for all Knights of Columbus.

  • Church Activities

    St. Luke the Evangelist Council 12455
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Rebuilding Church after Arson

    As Knights we are committed to building the domestic church and helping our members, our families and all Catholics to grow in their faith. Often that help comes in the form of spiritual growth, but sometimes our councils are called to help with the more material needs of their parishes. After their church was destroyed by arson, the members of Council 12455 in Raleigh, North Carolina, came to the aid of their pastor and fellow parishioners. To start, a council member offered space in his business to hold Mass, while other Knights transported items from the damaged church to a temporary location. After the parish hall was made ready for Masses, the Knights organized parish dances — at the pastor’s request — to strengthen unity among the parishioners. The Knights also held a series of fundraisers for the building project and contributed $7,500 for a cross that is now mounted on the repaired church. When the rebuilding was done, the Knights finished their more than 22,200 volunteer hours by setting up a dedication ceremony with Bishop Luis Zarama of Raleigh and afterward assisting with the event’s cleanup.

  • Community Activities

    Father Roach Council 3217
    Dickinson, Texas
    Hurricane Harvey Recovery Effort

    Charity is our first principal and a critical part of the Knights of Columbus mission. The members and families of Council 3217 in Dickinson, Texas are testament to this, as can be seen by their commitment to their neighbors following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. In the immediate aftermath of the storm, council members used boats to help stranded individuals evacuate their homes, and they also helped evacuate a priest from the nearby Shrine of the True Cross. Later, because the shrine was badly damaged by flood waters, Council 3217 turned its hall into a makeshift church. When the Dickinson roads were reopened to traffic, the council members mobilized a group of Knights and other volunteers to help the people in the community, including more than 50 brother Knights, clean their homes. At night, the council members and their families loaded trucks full of supplies and delivered them to those who lost everything to the storm. Other council members remained at the council hall to serve an estimated 6,000 meals to families. The efforts of the council members and their families amounted to more than 9,500 hours of disaster relief volunteer service, which was contributed while they each dealt with personal losses caused by the storm. Council member Gene Kranz — American aerospace engineer, retired fighter pilot and NASA flight director — summed up the Knights’ efforts when later meeting with Supreme Knight Anderson: “I see the Knights of Columbus in action here. The Knights are everywhere and have provided inspiration to the locals. We’re in a disaster area right now. We don’t know how long it’s going to take to get this place clear, but we believe we will recover.”

  • Council Activities

    Holy Spirit Council 15196
    Memphis, Tennessee
    Knights Career Assistance Program

    Membership in the Knights allows us to stand shoulder to shoulder in our faith, in our families, in our defense of life and in our support of our brother Knights. The fraternity among members of Council 15196 in Memphis, Tennessee, showed its strength when the Knights opened their personal and professional employment networks by developing the Knights Career Assistance Program. The program aims to help young Knights start or continue a career, or to discern a religious vocation. Each candidate receives a personal assessment; customized resources; and coaching in resume development, interviewing skills, social media presentation and networking. After the preliminary work, the young Knight is then paired with a mentor from a pool of Knights based on his area of interest. In the past fraternal year, Council 15196 recruited three 18-year-olds and seven others under 25. Of that group, four are utilizing the Career Assistance Program. To further extend the reach of the program, the council is presenting the program to other councils in the district.

  • Family Activities

    Meadow Lake Council 5259
    Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan
    Hope for Hana

    In founding the Knights, Father McGivney worked to protect and strengthen the families of his parish. As Knights, we continue that mission. The Knights of Council 5259 in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, came to a family’s aid when they learned that one of their fellow council members experienced every parent’s worst nightmare: His daughter had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. The girl, Hana, needed a specific treatment that required a trip to Germany and $15,000 a month for medications. Along with prayers for the family, the Knights partnered with the Saskatchewan Charitable Foundation to hold a series of fundraisers that brought in $110,000. Those funds, along with $80,000 donated though the charity fund, were given to the family to help cover Hana’s cancer treatment. Later, the council worked with its local parish to organize a family Christmas concert — attended by Hana and her family — that raised an additional $5,000. After complications developed with her illness, Hana passed away last February. The council continued its service to her family by hosting a funeral lunch at the parish and remembering Hana and her family through their prayers.

  • Culture of Life Activities

    Blessed Trinity Council 15181
    Dawson Springs/Princeton, Kentucky
    Open New Pregnancy Center with Ultrasound

    As Knights and as followers of Christ, we are committed to the defense of life at all its stages. Members of Council 15181 in Dawson Springs/Princeton, Kentucky, answered the call to build a culture of life when they learned that a local pro-life pregnancy center wanted to reach more people by opening a satellite center in the small town of Eddyville. The Knights immediately pledged their support and, after a site was chosen, went to work renovating the new facility. Once the satellite office was operational, the council raised enough funds to enable the pregnancy center to purchase a 3D ultrasound machine, valued at $15,000. The funds were supplemented through the Supreme Council’s Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative, which has helped place more than 950 ultrasounds in clinics. After the machine was installed last spring, Bishop William Medley of Owensboro blessed the center and machine.

  • Youth Activities

    Our Lady of Częstochowa Queen of Poland Council 14004
    Radom, Poland
    Evangelizing Youth Trip

    Fostering the well-being ― both physical and spiritual ― of young people has been important to the Knights of Columbus since its beginnings. Recognizing this, Council 14004 in Radom, Poland, invited 20 youths from war-torn areas of Ukraine for a two-week visit to Poland. There, they would join local youth from the council’s parish at a religious summer camp. The program allowed the Knights to help strengthen the faith of the young and show them the unity that faith brings. The first week of camp included mountain trail hikes and visits to tourist and faith locations, including the Shrine of Divine Mercy. During the second week, the youths stayed in the homes of various Knights who agreed to host the students so that they might experience life in their town. The week also included a variety of social and spiritual events that culminated in a kayaking event for all participants.

  • The Civic Award is presented annually as a tribute to the spirit of patriotism and national pride exemplified in activities conducted by Fourth Degree assemblies. Assemblies conducting a minimum of four different patriotic programs during the fraternal year are eligible for the Civic Award.

    During the 2017-2018 fraternal year, 449 assemblies received the Civic Award.

  • “To Be a Patriot” Award

    Established in 1985, the “To Be A Patriot” Award annually recognizes the three best patriotic programs conducted by Fourth Degree assemblies each fraternal year. Entries are judged at the district, provincial and international levels.

    The 2017-2018 “To Be A Patriot” Award winners are:

    Saint Peter the Rock Assembly 3252
    Pagadian City, Mindanao, Philippines
    A Visit to Wounded Soldiers: A Salute to the Patriots Project

    Knights of Saint Peter the Rock Assembly from San Pedro Parish in Mindanao, Philippines, visited wounded soldiers that fought in the five-month siege of Marawi. It became the longest urban battle in the modern history of the Philippines. Knights spent time talking with the soldiers, cooking them a meal, and providing them with gifts for Christmas. The Knights also teamed up with the Catholic Women’s League to sing Christmas Carols to the wounded soldiers. The event was aired on CNN news.

    Bishop Joseph W. Estabrook Assembly 3348
    Yongsan Garrison, Seoul, South Korea
    UN Cemetery Memorial Day Tribute

    After attending Mass, members of Bishop Joseph W. Estabrook Assembly and their families made a 4.5 hour ride to the United Nations Cemetery in Pusan for a Memorial Day tribute to soldiers from 16 countries who fought in the Korean War. Following the ceremony, participants took a guided tour, then returned to their hotel where they spent the evening at a family barbeque. The following day the assembly explored Gamcheon Culture Village, where houses are built in staircase-fashion in the foothills of a coastal mountain, and where the alleys are decorated by residents with sculptures and colorful murals.

    Rev. George F. Moynihan Assembly 2431
    North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
    Adopt a Veteran

    Summit Place is a facility for veterans suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s. Rev. George F. Moynihan Assembly raised funds to provide care packages for the 21 veterans who have no families. The packages included clothing and six gift cards totaling $1,000 for use at local restaurants. On Christmas Day the Knights spent time with the veterans, sharing cake and coffee. Every other month the Knights meet the veterans at a local restaurant for lunch to talk and share stories with them. The assembly also installed two new benches at a local veteran’s memorial and on Veterans Day invited the veterans to a ceremony. At Summit Place, the assembly installed a new 18-foot-tall flagpole and the veterans joined them for the first flag raising ceremony.