We are down to our final two months of the fraternal year at this point. Our Annual State Convention is right around the corner and final preparations are being made by our State Convention Committee to ensure that you have a positive memorable experience at this event. Since we are a few percentage points behind where we should be at this time of the Columbian Year as far as membership goes, I would like to share some additional ideas with you on why membership growth is so important, along with some methods that we are rolling out that you may not have thought about, all in an effort to help each and every Council that is striving to achieve the coveted Star Council Award this Columbian Year, to reach that pinnacle of achievement.
First of all, shouldn’t we be the spiritual leaders of our families? Shouldn’t we be the ones to lead our families to Church and to confession? I would hope that our wives would attest to the fact that we as members of the Knights of Columbus have become better Catholics, better husbands, and better fathers. If that is the case, then here is our opportunity to share that experience, instead of keeping that to ourselves, with other eligible Catholic men who are not yet a part of our Order. Not only would we be touching another life in a positive way by helping that prospective member to join the Order and enhance his own spiritual life, but it could also lead to enhancing the spiritual life of his family as well. Isn’t that what God would want us to do, essentially evangelizing to others to invite them to join the Knights of Columbus? Just think of the blessings and the satisfaction that you would receive knowing that you made a difference in that man’s spiritual life and in the spiritual life of his family as the result of him becoming a member of the Knights of Columbus.
As mentioned in the previous issue of the Golden State Knightletter, we have put together a team to track the potential Star Council achievers. If you recall, we asked each District Deputy to identify two Councils that they feel had the best chance of achieving Star Council this year. This information was provided at the District Deputies Mid-Year Meeting held in early January. Contact your District Deputy if you are curious as to whether he included your Council as one of those he felt could achieve Star Council this year. We have compiled that listing and the team is tracking those Councils and will be in a position to provide assistance and guidance as needed to help those Councils achieve Star Council. With each of the 151 District Deputies providing at least two Councils to track, that in essence is a pool of 300 Councils to work with to ultimately achieve our California State Council goal of 200 Star Councils for this Columbian Year, roughly one third of the 600 active Councils in the State.
I mentioned in the last issue that I would identify some additional resources that could prove helpful with membership growth. One is the F.O.I. Listing. This listing contains former members who may be receptive to rejoining their local Council. Timing is everything. Circumstances change, whether it be work-related or even family-related with the kids being older now. This listing also includes out of area members which are essentially those members who have moved away from their home council area and have maintained their membership. They may be receptive to joining your local Council and providing additional manpower for the various events. They will not count as additional members toward your membership quota but could sure help with the workload. Potentially, the most valuable part of the F.O.I. Listing is the Inactive Insurance Members that are included in this report. They are the ones who have an insurance policy with the Knights of Columbus but have let their membership lapse. When you invite them to come back to the Council that member counts as a new member and a new insurance member as well, essentially double counting. Ask your District Deputy for a copy of this listing that can be sorted by zip code to identify those who are in your local area.
Now for a reminder on a method that we are rolling out where each Council can help itself to achieve the membership goal for the year. By using the existing phone tree, or by simply dividing up the roster amongst a handful of active members in the Council, attempt to call each member of the Council and ask them the following question: “Who do you know that would make a good Knight of Columbus?” The member simply needs to provide the name and phone number of the prospect, so that the team of recruiters for the Council that are comfortable in making those calls to prospects to invite then to an information meeting about the Knights of Columbus, can do so within a week or two after the round of initial phone calls have been made to the Council members. I would venture to say that every single member knows one or two eligible Catholic men that are not yet a member of our Order, including myself. I have two right in my own neighborhood, including my next door neighbor.
We recently invited him to attend an Information Night at our Council that Flora and I attended as well and he completed a Form 100 and is planning on attending an Admission Degree within the next few weeks. This effort can be accomplished even if it has been challenging to arrange a date with the Pastor for a Membership Drive weekend. Implementing this method now during the month of May could certainly add greatly to the numbers of candidates going through the Admission Degree between now and the end of the fraternal year. We are asking the Fourth Degree Assemblies to utilize the same method in contacting each of their members as well. The Vice Supreme Master has agreed to support this effort as this will not only help bring in members for the Council but will lead to a larger pool of prospective candidates for the Fourth Degree as well once they have taken their Formation (Second) Degree and the Knighthood (Third) Degree with no additional time requirement for the taking of the Patriotic (Fourth) Degree of the Order.
In summary, I need your help in rolling out and implementing these ideas noted above during May and June so that we as a State Council can finish strong as we usually do in achieving our membership goals so that we can maintain our noted record of excellence as a State Council for this great State of California. There is certainly an opportunity for every member in California to make a difference in the spiritual life of another man and his family. What an honor that will be.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Pray For Us