For more than 50 years, the Knights of Columbus has been known as "the world's largest Catholic family fraternal organization." While membership in the Knights is limited to Catholic men 18 years of age or older, the total Knights experience should include our wives and children. As we travel in our Catholic Christian life journey, it is our duty and obligation to be an example to our families as we seek to be Christ in all we do. Being a Knight is more than time with our brother Knights, it is an opportunity to be involved as a family in a broad range of activities with other like-minded families. It is an essential part of our mission to help brother Knights build strong family life at home, so activities are developed that involve our wives and children.
Membership in the Knights of Columbus is designed to help Catholic men become better husbands, better fathers and better Catholics. Your family committee should keep these goals in mind when developing family activities for your council.
Over the past few years, the Supreme Council's Fathers for Good initiative has become a terrific resource for Knights striving to become the best fathers they can be. Whether it's making tough decisions about child rearing, dealing with common challenges of fatherhood, keeping your kids Catholic or dealing effectively with the pressures of the secular society all around us, Fathers for Good can be a valuable resource. Click on the link to find out more information from the Supreme website about this program and how you can benefit from it.
This fraternal year Supreme has launched a new initiative, Building the Domestic Church, the Family Fully Alive. The program is intended to help families more fully realize their mission to be an authentic domestic church through daily prayer, catechesis, and Scripture reading, as well as through monthly charitable and volunteer projects that can be done as a family. Click on the link to see both suggested council and individual family events and activities.
Last year Virginia Councils purchased 1188 new coats and donated them to children throughout the commonwealth under the Coats for Kids program. Councils can purchase a case of 12 coats for $220 and distribute them however they want; partnering with your parish, local schools, shelters, Catholic Charities, or other organizations that can get the coats to the children that are in need. Click on the link above for the order form that gives full details about the program.
Recognizing families in your parish or community can be done through the Family of the Month Award. Highlighting the participation of a brother Knight and his family for their involvement with the parish, council, and community is an excellent way to demonstrate the importance of family in the Knights experience. Remember, the family of the month does not have to be a Knights family, so your council can honor any family that demonstrates the values we Knights treasure. And don’t underestimate the public relations and recruiting value in selecting a non-Knight family occasionally.
Don’t forget that being a Knight is a family experience. Your children learn from your example, and what better example can they see than your involvement in parish, Knights, and community activities, attending Mass as a family, and charitable works motivated by faith. Do things as a family and host council events that encourage family participation; picnics, parish events, KOVAR drives, local professional sporting events, and miniature golf, just to name a few.
When you recruit a new member, make sure you get to know their wife and children and make them feel welcome. Remember that having wives talking to perspective families is a valuable recruiting tool. And finally, keep families involved, old and new, as strong family activities in the council greatly increases the odds that the brother Knight will remain in the Order for the long term.
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