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Keeping Your Council Vibrant and Alive

By Tony Fontanelli, Council Growth Director

Vol. 4, 2016-2017

Tony Fontanelli

You’re probably wondering why the Council Growth Director whose area is primarily responsible for starting new Councils and reactivating dormant ones would choose a topic that deals with Active Councils. The reason is quite simple really. We have around 740 Councils in the Texas Jurisdiction of which 115 are currently suspended with the members still on their rosters receiving no fraternal benefits. The Council Growth Team then has the added responsibility of trying to bring these Councils back to active status.

Each of these Councils started out with the best of intentions to grow the Council and the Order and to assist the Pastor and Parish that they serve to the greatest degree possible. Somewhere along the way these 115 Councils lost their compass and lost track of why they were a Knights of Columbus Council.

We must always remember that we are there to serve. Service encompasses many areas from our members to our Parish to our Diocese and to our Community. Each Council should be undertaking Fraternal and Faith in Action Programs to accomplish these goals so as to be as helping and spiritually uplifting as possible to it’s members and the priests, parishioners and community we are there to serve and assist.

There is no greater obligation for the Members and Officers of a Council than to keep their Council vibrant, active, and relevant. We should never become a Social Men’s Club. That was not the intent of our founder 138 years ago nor is it the intent of our Supreme and State leaders of today. Our purpose is to serve and to bring value to our members and our communities.

Each Council should outline it’s Fraternal and Faith Based programs at the beginning of each fraternal year and to develop plans that will result in those programs succeeding. We should have programs that want the members to participate in them and inspire other Catholic men to want to join us to be a part of what we are contributing and accomplishing.

A council is only as strong as it’s Programs. Without strong and interesting programs the members will quickly lose interest in both the Council and the Order. Strong programs are the best Retention Tool that we have and also the best Recruitment Tool. Strong and meaningful programs that help the Parish and the Community keep the Council vibrant and alive and prevent it from becoming another on the list of suspended Councils.

So I implore each and every Council in Texas to seriously approach their mission each fraternal year and to work closely with your Pastor to develop and sustain Faith in Action Programs that will really help the Parish and the Community.

And don’t forget to fully involve the wives and children. Involvement in our programs at an early age is our best tool for keeping our kids in the Faith when they reach adulthood.

Let’s all resolve to keep our Councils vibrant and relevant and to help start new Councils or reactivate dormant ones wherever possible at other parishes in our areas.

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