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What’s the Plan?

By Reggie Vasquez, Star Council Awards Chairman

Vol. 4, 2016-2017

Reggie Vasquez

Brother Knights, Families, & Friends

Have you ever done something a certain way and didn’t get the results you were hoping for? Did you ever go back and do that something again and expected different results? We are at the beginning of another Fraternal year. And though it may seem like the same as any other fraternal year, this year promises to be quite different. There were some real changes for Knights this past year, the Faith in Action model of programs, new program specific forms, safe environment compliance requirements, and online membership initiatives. Those changes alone should be a very strong hint that we can’t continue doing things the same way we have always been doing things and expect new and different results.

Here is what we need to do in response to the new changes. We need to plan, execute, improve and adjust as necessary. And we have some wonderful, useful, and timely tools to help us. First and foremost is the 2019-2020 Fraternal Planner (available as a free download at www.kofc.org just type in fraternal planner in the search line). The Star Guide (available on the www.tkofc.org website), as well as the Faith in Action program book and the Safe Environment Information Guide (available on www.kofc.org) are the key documents for planning out the fraternal year. By using the Fraternal Planner dates and program lead times, councils can easily be set-up for a successful year. The first six pages of the Planner set the framework for council success, even framing the required programs necessary for Star Council in each of the Faith in Action categories. It’s time to change the way we approach the work of our councils.

The role of our council leaders is a true Catholic challenge in these volatile times. They are being asked to inspire others with a shared vision of the personal invitation to live out the call to faith. The Faith in Action program model is a plan of action designed to bring Catholic men and their families into a personal relationship with God, family, community, and our fraternal society. It takes commitment and responsibility to plan, execute workable actions, and improve the programs on a local, parochial level. And make no mistake, it takes dedicated manpower, it takes good informed leadership, and it takes a strong belief in who we are and what we do. And through it all the core principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism stand firm.

Where we can improve, and we must, is in the area of documentation. We as an organization have a good number of forms that need to be submitted each year. On page 4 of the Star Guide (www.tkofc.org) is a forms deadline checklist. The Fraternal Planner is also a very good reference as to when forms are due. The TX State Council has asked that copies of forms be sent to forms@tkofc.org as a backup. The Faith in Action program has a number of forms to be submitted regarding some of the programs. The new form 10784 Fraternal Programs Report Form can be extremely useful in documenting all your council activities and helping to fill out other essential required forms for Star Council. The aversion to filling out forms is prevalent with arguments regarding their true purpose. The results will not improve if we do not let the Order and the State know the good works we do, and consequently our communities as well.

The next big challenge is to improve our Safe Environment compliance. Without the training and documentation of key leadership being compliant, we are telling our parishes and communities that we are not serious about maintaining a safe environment for the most vulnerable among us. The Knights require our Grand Knights, Program Directors, Community Directors, and Family Directors to be trained and some of them to secure background checks. This is distinct from required diocesan training. Please take the time to review the Safe Environment Program Guide and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

So what’s the plan? Each council is unique and each one can use the tools above. Just remember the more men we get involved the better the plan turns out. So engage others, be consistent, invite others to join us, and be proud of who we are and what we do.

Vivat Jesus!

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