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Star Council Award the Final Destination

By Reggie Vasquez, Star Council Awards Director

Vol. 4, 2016-2017

Reggie Vasquez

Each fraternal year as we approach the Texas Council State Convention the Texas Knight issues a publication to update and inform the Knights of our jurisdiction. The articles vary from each Directorate and each one of the Directors will key in on what is most important relating to their particular focus. All the Directorates share a common goal: get councils to achieve Star Council. We all know that if a council would make Star Council then active Education and Training is ongoing, Membership is increasing, Programs are being faithfully executed, Charities are gathered and dispensed, and Council Growth is truly valued. The principles of our Order are being lived and modeled.

This year is different only in that it has seen radical changes over a short period of time that have caught the attention of many both in opposition and in eager anticipation of the changes. There is a remarketing of the Knights going on that seeks personal relationships and the telling of a wonderful heart-felt story. The story of the Knights, who at all costs, put their Faith into Action, and want to involve their families and local communities. In today’s environment, there is a real need for radical change. Our suffering Church needs the strong steady support of an informed and focused laity. The Knights of Columbus truly are providentially positioned to carry-out the roles of leaders in our faith communities and in society at large.

Achieving Star Council doesn’t just provide valued recognition for work well done for all those involved in making it happen. Rather it demonstrates the serious commitment to Faith, Family, Community, and Life that our new program model captures. It demonstrates that we really do want to grow in membership so that we can increase our contributions to our Church and communities. It demonstrates that through our programs and initiatives we truly can impact the social justice issues that are in dire need of reform and change. Most importantly it demonstrates that each council who attains Star Council is not only active, but is pro-active and is unafraid to share our story of good works informed by faith.

We are at a turning point in the remarketing effort of the Knights. With the implementation of the new Degree of Charity, Unity, and Fraternity a whole new group of people are now invited to share in the exemplification of new Brother Knights. The larger community and families can share in the history and commitment of the Knights to our Order and our Church. This wonderful opportunity for increasing our council membership goes to the heart of carrying out Fr. McGivney’s vision of establishing a brotherhood committed to the principles of Charity, Unity, and Fraternity to care for the Church and family.

The biggest obstacle so far in all the radical changes seems to be the Safe Environment compliance requirements. In each council members serving in key leadership positions are required to complete three training modules designed to teach them about abuse prevention best practices, either online or via workbook self-study guides. It is up to these council leaders to make sure that all Knights of Columbus safe environment policies and procedures are followed at activities sponsored by the Knights. Those roles are: Grand Knight, Program Director, Family Director, and Community Director. In addition to the training modules the Family Director and the Community Director must consent to a background check. The whole process is initiated by submitting a form 365 (and 185 for GK) with valid email address for the listed positions. If those members are not compliant (met training requirement and background check) within 30 days of notification, they are subject to removal and the process would have to be re-initiated. Specific details are specified in the Safe Environment Program Information Guide which is available at the www.kofc.org website. Almost any specific questions a council may have can be addressed directly to the Office of Youth Protection: oyp@kofc.org or 203-752-4558. This process seems to be the biggest hurdle for councils. It is a change that is here to stay. The Star Tracker gives councils the tools they need to see the compliance status of their key members. And compliance is one of the key elements for obtaining Star Council. So, Brothers it’s up to you to take the changes, the challenges, the opportunities straight-on. There are a lot of people counting on you to do what is right. Let’s work together to provide a safe environment for our councils and communities so all may prosper. Let’s get to Star Council!

Vivat Jesus!

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