Hispanic Development Jose “Pona” A. Magana
Vietnamese Development Dat T. Tran
The primary purpose of Cultural Outreach and Development is to promote membership growth and a Knights of Columbus presence in non-English speaking communities of worship. Many of these communities exist in parishes by themselves or coexist with English speaking communities that may or may not already have a Knights of Columbus council. Thus, in a particular parish, it is possible to have many cultures and ethnicities represented. Many of the members of these ethnic communities either do not speak English, or may feel more comfortable engaging in social activities specific to their culture. They may also be more comfortable communicating in their native language.
In parishes where there is already a Knights of Columbus council, one way to reach out to these cultural communities of worship is by forming an ethnic Round Table. There are Round Table kits available in Spanish and other languages containing all the materials necessary to start a Round Table. A guide to forming Round Tables in Spanish (“Mesa Redonda Parroquial Guía”) may be found online at http://www.kofc.org/un/es/resources/service/council/roundtable.pdf
If there is not an existing Knights of Columbus council at the parish, an ethnic council may be established with the Pastor’s approval. If there are multiple ethnic communities within the parish, a Round Table may be established for each ethnic community. The appointed Round Table Coordinator must be bilingual in English and the language of the ethnic community. He will serve as the liaison between the council, the Pastor and the ethnic Round Table.
The State Cultural Outreach and Development Committee is a vital resource in planning and executing membership drives, information sessions and Exemplifications in Spanish or the particular language required. These same personnel will assist you and point you in the right direction if the community is not Spanish speaking. When initiating membership drives and recruitment efforts, involving members of the Cultural Outreach and Development Committee will help ensure cultural differences are bridged and you can recruit new members into your ethnic project effectively and successfully. Traditional recruiting methods may not work in some cases, so this is the reason for involving these members to help you.
It is recommended when holding open houses, informational sessions and Exemplifications that they occur on the home parish grounds and not at a different site. Committee members are ready willing and able to travel and assist you in your Cultural Outreach projects and recruitment efforts.