Our Lenten Journey!
My Dear Brothers in Christ…
The transition from February to March marks the beginning of our Lenten journey as we seek to become closer to the Holy Spirt and our Lord Jesus Christ. Both dwell within us – it is a matter accepting the joy and comfort they offer and practicing it in our daily lives. Making our Lenten journey even more pensive this year is the worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It has upset our everyday routines, and perhaps even instilled a sense of unease and foreboding as we all wait to see how this will affect ourselves, our families and those around us. The principles of the 3rd degree are Charity, Unity and Fraternity. There has never been a better time to practice them as our faith and resolve are put to the test. Our faith, charity and brotherhood will be needed in our parishes and communities in the coming weeks and months. As Knights I’m certain we will be up to the task.
Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, as well as many civic leaders and health organizations, have placed restrictions on group gatherings and social contact, including cancellation of all Knights of Columbus meetings and events. Please respect this request. Understand that limited social contact and frequent decontamination are the only preventative measure we have at this time to control and limit spread of the virus. The best source of information on precautions and preventative measures continues to be the Center for Disease Control (CDC) at www.cdc.gov and your local health authorities.
During this temporary hiatus in meetings and activities it is important we keep in touch with our membership, especially the elderly and infirm. If your council has not done so already, organize a phone tree that assures periodic contact. Organize teams to take groceries and personal items to those who are unable to go out and shop for themselves. As group activities cease seek alternatives for personal worship such as books, publications, EWTN or use social media as a means of mutual support, sharing experiences and remaining in contact.
Decisions on whether to cancel or hold state scheduled events will be made on a week to week basis as the impact of the COVID-19 virus unfolds. The State Free Throw Championship scheduled for Saturday March 28 has been postponed to a later date, possibly in May or June. At this time, the annual State Convention, May 14 through 16, in Sacramento has NOT been cancelled and will take place as planned with the expectation the current pandemic and restrictions on large group gatherings will have passed by then.
Even with the meeting hiatus we will continue the “Membership Marathon!” during the month of March. If you have candidates waiting to join, consider using the video exemplification in a personal or small group setting. Becoming a member during this uncertain time may be just the assurance they need to reduce anxiety for both themselves and their family. Having candidates join online at www.kofc.org can also be a practical alternative with the promise they can attend an exemplification as soon as one becomes available. During the month of March, a special promotional code has been created for those joining online. Those entering the code “CAKOFC” when prompted in the online application will receive a $10 discount off the normal $30 membership fee.
To supplement your local efforts, the California State Council will be originating a special 24 hour “Membership Marathon” livestream from 6:00 PM, Saturday, March 28 through 6:00 PM, Sunday, March 29. Occurring on the 138th anniversary of the Order and filled with Knights of Columbus videos and commentary, this livestream broadcast is intended to both inform and invite qualified Catholic men to join. This special livestream broadcast can be viewed on YouTube at www.californiaknights.org/live.
Please join me in Congratulating to the top recruiters, top recruiting councils and top recruiting district for the month of February. Brothers Emmanuel Bernal from Saint Anne Council 8627 in Union City and Grand Knight Marcial Vasco from St. James the Apostle Council 14541 in Fremont were the top recruiters bringing in four new members each. Joseph P. Schultz Council 3589 in San Marcos and Saint Anne Council 8627 in Union City were the top recruiting councils bringing in five new members each. District Deputy 42 Ian Ytem had the high recruiting district bringing in 11 new members during February. All will receive gift cards to restaurants in their local area.
May God Bless…