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A Tool for Our Growth

Mark McMullen. Senior Vice President for Fraternal Mission talks about membership growth.

Knights must embrace the Order’s online membership program, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said at the annual Membership Seminar on Monday.

“It’s a tremendous tool and it’s going to be the primary tool that helps grow the Knights of Columbus,” Anderson said.

Online membership allows men to join the order through www.knights.net. They get all the benefits of membership but do not necessarily join a council or take a degree. It’s designed to appeal to younger men who are more digitally oriented and who have competing demands on their time. The program is now live in all 50 states and Canada.

“This is your new Form 100,” said Theodore Stites Jr., as he held up his smart phone.

Stites acknowledged that as recently as last fall questioned whether the program would hurt local councils. Once men join online, they are given the option of joining a council in their area. He has since become a major supporter of the program after seeing how it could be used to boost membership.

“We have to meet Catholic men where they are,” Stites said.

One of those younger men is John P. Dehm, the 33-year-old state membership director of the Illinois State Council. He carries around wooden coins stained with the Knights of Columbus emblem. On the other side, the coin reads “Just ask him.” It’s a challenge to members to invite men to the Order.

Since the program’s national launch on July 1, 20 men from Illinois have joined through knights.net. Three-quarters of them are under the age of 40.

Young Catholic men are out there, he said. It’s up to Brother Knights to go find them.