By: Craig Larson, State Deputy
We are in the home stretch for this fraternal year; only 8 weeks to go. It’s now or never to get things done. There is still time for a strong finish for the year, but time is getting short. I remember as a kid, procrastinating with my homework on the weekends and scrambling to get it done on Sunday evening. Brother Knights, “It’s Sunday evening, and the assignment is due tomorrow!”
This year we have had good news and a bad news in membership. We have taken in far more members than we have suspended. This is great news. Some years we’ve had a hard time replacing the ones that we are forced to suspend. The bad news is that we have many members who have transferred to Fr. McGivney’s Council in heaven. I can only imagine the spirited discussions at that council meeting with saintly brother knights from all over. I can see a past grand knight from 1900 saying, “That’s not the way we did it!” while the new guys earn their wings as part of the council. I know that they are looking after us as we continue to fulfill the vision of Fr. McGivney by supporting our bishops and priests and protecting the families of our fallen brothers.
The really bad news is that, as of today, we have 411 less members than we did on July 1st. This is something that should concern each of us. As we have seen in the past few years, the Knights of Columbus is the “last line of defense” for many things that we once took for granted. Think of the brother knights from 20-30 years ago; could they have imag- ined that we would need to have prayer vigils, rallies, and marches to try to preserve marriage between one man and one woman? How about the brother knights from 60-70 years ago; could they have imagined the legal killing of unborn babies? The Knights of Columbus will continue to be the “Strong Right Arm of the Church,” but as our numbers decrease, so does our strength. We can’t continue to become smaller and still be that last line of defense for our Church, our bishops, and our priests. They are counting on us; let’s strive to be- come even stronger by adding to our numbers.
Last month, every Grand Knight received a letter from me ask- ing them to recruit One Member per Month for April, May, and June. If every council would do that, we would add over 750 members to our ranks in the next months. If we did this for 6 months, half of the year, we would add over 1500 members to help with the many projects and programs that benefit so many people. I ask every one of you to ask someone to join us.
This is my last column as State Deputy that many of you will see. In a few short weeks, my term will be over. I want to thank you for allowing me to serve as your State Deputy. It has been an interesting journey. I have often thought about Fr. Mike Foltz asking me to join the Knights of Columbus years ago. I don’t think he imagined that he had recruited a future State Deputy. We certainly don’t know what the future holds, and that’s a good thing. God is full of surprises! As I am nearing the end of my term, “Will you let me be your Servant.....til we’ve seen this journey through?”