From the State Deputy

January 1, 2016 Dear Brother Knights, I am so proud of all your efforts in your respective councils for achieving our membership goals for the past six months. As the mid-point of the Fraternal Year comes to a close, I want to thank each and every one of you for a successful membership recruiting effort. Your efforts are making it possible for Catholic men to have an opportunity to join the greatest fraternal organization in the Catholic Church. By becoming a Knight of Columbus, you are providing them the opportunity to become better men, husbands, fathers, and Catholics. The second half of the fraternal year starts with the Mid -Year meeting in Newport News. Other events include Religious Freedom Day in Fredericksburg, the March for life in Washington, the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics in Virginia Beach, and a pilgrimage to the St. John Paul II Shrine. There is also the State Bowling Tournament in Richmond and the Free Throw, essay and poster contest for our youth, not to mention all the various council activities. The addition of new brother Knights will be a blessing in making these activities a tremendous success. I want to relay a quote from our Supreme Knight during his address to the Mid-Year State Deputy Meeting. "Today we are determined to continue this work of renewal and unity. In this way we will also realize the mission that St. John Paul II identified in Ecclesia in America will not be possible without the active presence of the laity. Therefore they are largely responsible for the future of the Church". Our Pope, Bishops and clergy are counting on us, the Knights of Columbus to be a major contributor in this renewal of unity. We cannot do that with our present membership alone. New and invigorating young men of our faith are sorely needed to make sure that the work of the laity continues in the future. The average age of a Knight of Columbus today is over 60 and without our youth of today where will our Church be in the future? It is imperative that we continue to tell our story and show our colors to our youth and to convince them to be a part of our mission. I want to congratulate two councils, St. John Council #11806, (GK Mark Clemente) and Immaculate Conception Council #16226, (GK David Brin) for attaining both the Membership and Insurance requirements to be a Star Council. These two councils are well on their way to be Double or Triple Star Councils. Which council will be the next to achieve this distinction? Remember there is still work to be done to achieve the state goal of 145 Star Councils. Achieving Star Council is a major step in your council becoming the strong right arm of your parish. As Catholics, it is our duty to evangelize the church. There is no better way to grow and serve the church than through the ministry of the Knights of Columbus. No other Catholic lay organization can match the resources of men, of talent, of dedication or has the financial resources that can match the Knights of Columbus. Our objective is to ensure that every eligible Catholic man wants to be a Knight of Columbus.
The last part of this message is to remember that one of the visions of Father Michael McGivney was to make sure families were taken care of should the bread winner pass away. As I reviewed the statistics of our present membership, I have noticed that we are far below where we should be in making sure that protection is being extended to our member’s families. I encourage each Grand Knight to make sure the fraternal benefits adviser has had the opportunity for a fraternal benefits night in your council. Your encouragement is needed to the members to make sure the fraternal benefits adviser has visited their home and had the opportunity to talk to each of our families to ensure a secure future. Brothers, your dedication to the Knights of Columbus is awe inspiring and I encourage you to make sure the legacy of being a Knight of Columbus is carried on in your parish for years to come. May you and your families have a Blessed, Happy and Healthy New Year. Vivat Jesus, Steve Stephen Paul Raschke Sr.
Virginia State Deputy

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