As we gather this year for the annual Columbus Day Banquet we have so much to be thankful for and we can look back on the past year with a great deal of pride in our accomplishments. We attained the Pinnacle Award for the second year in a row, but more importantly we had 30 councils achieve an award attaining goals in membership, insurance or charitable works. This is a true testament of all of your hard work, dedication and service to others and for this you can be justifiably proud of our accomplishments. Congratulations to all of our councils!
With our achievements serving as our foundation for moving forward, we cannot dismiss the fact that growth of our order is our life's blood ! For this reason, I continue my appeal to you to reach out to the men of our church community. Share with our fellow parishioners how being a Knight of Columbus has so positively impacted your life, the lives of your family and community. As Catholic's living our faith, it is imperative that we engage potential members as direct and as often as possible; while always serving as an example of Charity, Unity and Fraternity.
As we begin this month of October and celebrate the namesake of our order, Christopher Columbus. We must revisit whether we are doing what it takes to properly expose our greater community to the ideals of our founder, the Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney. October marks one of the most significant membership efforts of our fraternity
- Has your Council/Membership Director made the appropriate arrangements for your membership drive? Has your District Deputy joined you in the proper execution of this effort? Have you invited a State Officer to be present? And, have they accepted? Has your Field Agent been contacted and have you asked for his assistance? Allow this letter to serve as your call to action, especially if the answer to any of these questions is-No. You are not alone in your efforts, as Brothers we stand together-International -State-Local Councils. This is what unity is all about, working together to achieve our common goal-Growth in Our Order.
Again, congratulations for last year’s successes and may we continue to build upon those achievements in the current year.
May Our Lady of Guadalupe continue to intercede for us in our efforts.
Hawaii State Council
In a move that will give many Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq hope for the future, the Knights of Columbus will raise and donate $2 million to save Karamdes, a predominantly Christian town on the Nineveh Plain which was liberated from ISIS late last year.
The Knights’ action will move hundreds of families from minority religious communities in Iraq – especially Christians – back to the homes from which they were evicted by ISIS in summer, 2014.
The Knights’ action matches a similar donation by the government of Hungary, which recently donated $2 million to save another predominantly Christian town, Teleskov. About 1,000 families have now moved back to that town, providing proof that such actions can actually work in returning Christian populations to pre-ISIS levels in the region.
Like the government of Hungary, the Knights will partner in this resettlement and rebuilding effort with the Archdiocese of Erbil, which is currently housing the largest population of Christian refugees in Iraq, including many of the residents of Karamdes.
“The terrorists desecrated churches and graves and looted and destroyed homes,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson during his annual report at the Knights of Columbus 135th Supreme Convention. “Now we will ensure that hundreds of Christian families driven from their homes can return to these two locations and help to ensure a pluralistic future for Iraq.”
The Knights are urging K of C councils, parishes or other Church groups, and individuals to help by donating $2,000 – the approximate cost of resettling one family. Just a thousand such donations would be sufficient to reach the $2 million goal. The rebuilding work will begin this week and money will begin flowing to the project immediately.
Urging the Knights to get behind this historic new initiative, Anderson paraphrased the words invoked by Winston Churchill in 1940: “Put your confidence in us … We shall not fail or falter, we shall not weaken or tire. We will give you the tools and together we will finish the job.”
In the same report, Supreme Knight Anderson also announced that the K of C would partner with the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops on a “Week of Awareness” for persecuted Christians beginning Nov. 26.
Since 2014, the Knights’ Christian Refugee Relief Fund has donated more than $13 million for humanitarian assistance primarily in Iraq, Syria and the surrounding region. The Knights’ documentation of ISIS’ atrocities and advocacy on behalf of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East were decisive in the 2016 decision of former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to declare as genocide the treatment of Christians and other religious minorities in the region. This designation was reaffirmed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last week.
One hundred percent of the money raised will be used for this project. Knights of Columbus Charities, Inc. is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations can be made at www.christiansatrisk.org or by calling 1-800-694-5713. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
The Hawaii State Deputy, Theodore Rhoades III, encourages all our Brother Knights of the Hawaii State Council to pray for the people of Karamdes and the effort of our Fraternity to help in its rebuilding. Each Hawaii Knight is encouraged to pray and discern how you can help in this effort. Every dollar counts in the emotional, spiritual and physical reestablishment of this city and its Christian community. Click here
and donate! Vivat Jesus!