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Record-breaking streak reaches twelfth consecutive year by Thomas P. Smith Jr., Chief Insurance Officer

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The Knights of Columbus is truly a remarkable, one-of-a-kind organization, and our insurance program continues to show its strength and stability in spite of economic turmoil. In fact, 2012 marked the twelfth consecutive year of growth in many categories, chief among them the volume of coverage issued. This accomplishment illustrates the faith our members have in the products and services we offer to protect their families.

Allow me to share a few of the Order’s 2012 achievements with you.

• During 2012, the Order issued more life insurance than ever before in our history: $8.1 billion.

• Our total insurance in force surpassed $88 billion. To put this remarkable number in perspective, consider that at the end of 2001 we stood at $42.9 billion.

• The Order introduced a Graded Premium Whole Life plan, which makes whole life coverage more “budget-friendly” than ever before. We also made improvements to the Systematic Withdrawal Options on our annuity products. Ask your agent how these additions to our portfolio can benefit you and your family.

• We finished the year with more field agents serving our members than ever before. Still, as our membership continues to grow, new agent candidates are always in demand across the U.S. and Canada. The ultimate goal is to have all of our members served by a dedicated, full-time agent.  If you know someone who may be interested in becoming an agent, please contact me.

• During 2012, we celebrated four exceptional months that were in the “best ever” category. Records were set in February, May, August and November.

• More than 13,000 new retirement annuities were issued to our members and their families in 2012, and members continued to fund their current annuities in record numbers.

• Our A++ (Superior) rating from A.M. Best was reaffirmed and there continues to be no more highly rated life insurer in North America.

• Members purchased more long-term care policies from the Knights of Columbus than in the past five years. As other companies discontinued this vitally important product, the value and strength of our long-term care coverage remains solid.

• In the first full year since its introduction in the spring of 2011, our Income Armor disability income insurance has already been embraced by many members who needed to protect their income. If you have a job and you haven’t spoken to your agent about this product, you should have that conversation soon.

• Associate members continued to become insured members, extending our shield of protection to themselves and their families. This trend is especially important to every agent, manager and member of the staff in New Haven. After all, this is the founding goal of Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, and with each associate-to-insured conversion we take a step toward fulfilling his mission.

My purpose in sharing these statistics with you is twofold. First, take pride in the success your organization is having in fulfilling the vision of Father McGivney by caring for the financial security of our members and their families. Second, I want to remind you that today is a great day to meet with your professional agent to discuss coverage or review your current policies. If you don’t know who he is, please visit You’ll be glad you did.

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Culture of Life Column: If It’s To Do . . . It’s Up To You!

Friday, February 01, 2013

January 2013 starts the 2nd half of our Columbian Year 2012. This needs to be a time to look towards completing previously started Culture of Life activities but also initiating new ones to “make a difference” in “saving lives – changing lives” through the June 30th end of our 2012 Columbian Year.

With this month’s marking the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Brother Knights are encouraged to build on the greater awareness among a majority our fellow citizens and Catholics have in our society today that the over 1 million unborn babies still being aborted every year in our country are real people who don’t deserve to die.

Putting this another way, the 20 (average age 6 year old) innocent children who were gunned down in December at Newtown, Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School, were just 18 trimesters past being classified as legally abortable fetuses. (Think about that). Their mothers, fathers, and families also deserve to be saved from experiencing the pain, scarring, and lifelong suffering that comes from someone making a wrong “choice” in life. A direct link to the San Francisco Walk for Life on Saturday, January 26, 2013 is Contact also, Culture of Life State Committeeman, Steve Hagarty at or Tel (925) 595-3391.

Thanks again, to all who purchased our 2013 “Saved by Ultrasound – Life Before Birth” Pro-Life Calendars. Their publisher, Heritage House, is sold out of the 2013 Edition. We will have a list next month of councils, etc. who did use them to help raise funds for pregnancy resource centers, etc. The 2014 Edition is expected to be available as early as June. Those who may have missed an opportunity to raise funds through these wonderful witnesses to the truth that life begins at conception, can still implement opportunities to “spread the word” during the months remaining by surveying ideas of recommended pro-life activities found in the Culture of Life Section of the “Introduction to the Grand Knight’s Handbook”.

Brothers have “To Do” opportunities to serve the Culture of Life in 2013 starting with participation in observing of the 40th anniversary of “Roe” which is more and more seen as the basis for so many of our society’s moral, social, economic, and family problems today.

In addition to the San Francisco Walk, there are now numerous other “Walks for Life” taking place around the state this month, helping life saving counseling services, post abortion healing, and even the acquiring of Ultrasound machines that change the minds of abortion tempted parents by up to 90% of the time. And as you know, Supreme’s Ultrasound Initiative Program can match half the cost when local Knights lead in raising the 1st half of the cost of an Ultrasound machine. Information on the Supreme Ultrasound matching funds program is available at Supreme Headquarters through Bill O’Brian, or Tel (203) 752-4000. SK Stephen Beuerle and SK Greg Anthony are working with their Light & Life drive to deliver two more Mobile Ultrasounds into their area early this year. Any Brothers with other such good news to report, please contact or Tel (619) 987-6677.

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Power of One Video

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Power of One video ..

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Christopher Fund by Tim Carvalho, State Secretary

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

On December 3, 2012, the State Secretary, Timothy Carvalho, and State Programs Director, Ed Bystran, presented to the Monterey Diocese, two checks totaling $6,315.47 from the Christopher Fund held at Supreme for the Dioceses of California. This fund provides funds from its interest to be used by the Diocese for whatever it wants. In this case, the Monterey Diocese will use this amount to fund for the coming year a seminarian studying in the Philippines for the Diocese. This amount will cover his total costs including airfare to the Diocese for the summer for internship in a parish. It will also have some left over to use for those seminarians in other schools. This was a great thrill for the State Secretary to see where the money will be used.

As we discussed the seminarians that the Diocese had we noted they have two in the Philippines as well as three in Oregon and others in many outside the state locations. We have noted this is true in many Dioceses, as Sacramento has 20 in Oregon. We need to get these seminarians supported by Councils through the RSVP Program. So please contact your Dioceses' Vocations Director to find them and start working to increase our priests and later Chaplains. For information, please contact me at

Read this and much more in the January Knightletter on the State Council website.

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AMERICAN WHEELCHAIR MISSION By J. Michael Forman, CA State Chairman

Monday, January 28, 2013

As we enter 2013, on behalf of the American Wheelchair Mission President Chris Lewis, Director of Public Education, Dan Moberg, and me as State Chairman, we wish all California Knights and their families and friends a joyous and prosperous New Year. 2012 appears to be a very successful year in terms of delivering mobility into the lives of people with physical disabilities who have no means to acquire a wheelchair. Through the efforts of California Knights, over $250,000 has been contributed to the American Wheelchair Mission (AWM) since the May 1st beginning of our fiscal year, which ends at the end of April 2013, through a series of Council and Chapter Wheelchair Events and Parish-wide Wheelchair Sundays.

I would like to recognize several significant events which have been conducted during 2012 and played a significant role in helping the State to achieve what may be a record year in terms of contributions:

The first event, which started during the fall of 2011 and concluded at the end of September this year, was “Project Mobility for the Philippines”. With the significant support of Past State Deputy, Charles Clark, current State Deputy, Dr. Ray Warriner and his Lady Purita, over $90,000 was raised to provide two large containers of wheelchairs totaling 560 wheelchairs, along with crutches, canes, and walkers, to be distributed to some of the poorest of the poor residents of Mindanao, Manila, and Naga City, Philippines as part of the Knights of Columbus National Convention being held in late April 2013. The State Office is working with the AWM to arrange a tour from California to the Philippines in mid-to-late April to participate in the distribution of these wheelchairs along with their brother Knights from the Philippines.

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