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The Focus of the Council

By Reggie Vasquez, Star Council Awards Director

Vol. 4, 2016-2017

Reggie Vasquez

One of the challenges of leadership is: what is one to do with all the incoming sources of information? For some councils some information is far more important than others. This year we have seen an influx of many new “reporting forms”, new programs and guides, new requirements, and new deadlines. It can be confusing, frustrating, and down-right exasperating to try to keep up with it all, especially if the when and where of the sources of information is not known. So, the tendency is to prioritize what the council thinks is important and just go with that until things settle out.

Our State teams have worked hard to communicate the vast array of new and legacy information regarding structures, programs, safe environment compliance, goals, awards, and organizational commitments. But it all stars and hinges on what the Council perceives as important. For a number of years now, the TX State jurisdiction has produced and provided a Star Tracker report which attempts to summarize council activities, reports, and requirements in their pursuit of the Star Council Award. The State produces a Star Guide annually for councils to have positive direction on achieving Star Council, and the Supreme office provides the Fraternal Leader Success Planner. While never changing the key principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism, the Order has definitely shifted its focus to Faith in Action and commitment to compliance in a Safe Environment. The shift has left some councils grappling with what is most important and how to deal with it.

The bottom line is that to maintain and strengthen the structure and integrity of our Order, we need the help and cooperation of each and every council. We need the front line to “report-in” to our State and Supreme office so that we know and document our end strength. As the saying goes, there is strength in numbers. And we do this by documentation at the council level and turning-in, either by paper or the preferred digital means, our contact and programs (our work) data. The more documentation, the stronger the integrity and the witness of who we are and what we do! The issue at hand is that we need to get better at doing this.

All the information available, in any format (paper or digital), is of little help if it is not utilized, studied, applied, and revised as necessary. In the matter of compliance we have a long way to go. In the matter of turning-in required forms in a timely manner we have a long way to go. In the matter of program utilization and participation we have a long way to go. And in the matter of electing and positioning our council officers, directors, committeemen, and appointees we have a long way to go. The good news is that at every level we recognize that we can do better. But it starts in your council and mine. We may not be able to get a lot of this done at once, but we can all make a real effort to avail ourselves of all training available at the Supreme, State, diocesan, district, and council levels. Some of it may even be on-line training.

Our goal is now, and for the foreseeable future, to achieve Star Council. That requires meeting membership and insurance goals, timely reporting of officers and service personnel, reporting on fraternal activities and programs, adherence to Faith in Action requirements, and compliance with Safe Environment directives. We can do this and we can do it in a positive approach. After all we are a Catholic organization and we have the virtues of faith, hope, and of course charity. So let’s finish this year strong and determine to positively approach this coming fraternal year. Adjust the attitude to positive! Vivat Jesus!

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