Copies of these letters were mailed to all members with valid addresses on file on 29 MAR 2017.
My Brother Knights,
It is 2017 and our council continues to muddle through its mission of service. We have been affiliated for over a year with St. Thomas the Apostle parish and currently meet the second Wednesday of the month in classroom 15 of the closed St. Raphael school.
Our participation has increased with approximately 2% to 3% of the membership (as opposed to 1%) attending monthly meetings. It is this same core of knights (6 to 10 men) who represent the council in parish as well as council activities.
This is an area where we need more participation, both from present knights as well as from the recruitment of new members. This council is hanging in the balance almost as much as it was 4 years ago. Closing and selling the building as well as the merger of Garden City parishes have taken its toll. However, it is past time to accept the realities of the situation and recommit to serving.
Financially, we are also struggling. About 50% of the members who are supposed to pay dues, have chosen not to. As a result, the council must try to cover the $24 per year per member obligation to State as well as Supreme from the dues that are collected. It's been close every year, but this year we will not be able to meet those payments. We are on a path that could lead to the council losing our charter.
How can we make things better? Get involved and get those inactive knights you know to get involved, especially those that you may have sponsored into becoming knights. Additionally, encourage friends and relatives to join the Knights of Columbus. Going back to our founding principles, it is charity, fraternity, and unity that guides us in our mission. Only by remembering and following these three concepts can we turn this council back into the vibrant one that it was in its day.
If you feel like you no longer have interest or cannot serve, you have two choices. You can continue to pay your dues and consider it a charitable contribution for a noble cause. Or, you can notify the Financial Secretary in writing that you no longer wish to be a knight with your signature, printed name, and date.
By becoming a knight, you once committed yourself to serving your parish, your community, and your faith. You wanted to be a better man, a better Catholic, and a better servant of God. Please pray on it and make the decision you need to fulfill the time and effort you once felt so strongly about offering to our worthy cause.
If you are in distress, please do not hesitate to contact any of our council officers so that we can help you. That is the number one priority of this organization as it was established by Fr. Michael J. McGivney in 1882.
Jeffrey A. Gorman
My Brother Knights,
It has been some time since we sold our building. After paying all our debts, we were left with approximately $52,000 which has been placed in a money market account.
This sum is clearly not enough to purchase or lease a new building. However, it represents a resource that we can put to a greater use in service to our faith community.
At recent council meetings, we have discussed establishing scholarship funds like the council once had with about half of these funds. We envision two such programs.
The first would be a yearly award of $500 to a seminarian. Each year our local parish priest and chaplain would help us select a deserving candidate.
The second program, would also be an award of $500. Instead of a college scholarship, it has been suggested that we offer it to a deserving student for use in attending a Catholic High School. Selecting this individual would be done through a competitive process overseen by a board of knights to determine the best candidate. The process may involve a detailed application, an essay, and a personal interview.
The balance of the building sale funds would be kept as our rainyday fund for possible tax liabilities or unforeseen financial burdens. Although we should be out of the woods for such expenses, we must be prepared.
What we need from you, brother knight, is a vote for or against the use of these funds for a scholarship program. Come to our council meeting on 10 MAY at 7PM to participate in the discussion and vote upon it.