Program Manual

Message from Programming Director

Edward Tydings, Programs Director

“Programs need Knights, but ALL Knights need programs”

Programs in the State of Texas is one of the things that makes us successful. Catholic men want to join our ranks because of our charitable initiatives, and it is our duty to bring them into the Order. Some of our programs are mainstays: RSVP, Family of the Month, Columbian Squires, our athletic tournaments, the ultrasound initiative, and the ACE Wings. Under the theme “The Freedom to Serve”, we introduced some new programs. We are partnering with the 4th Degree and the Charities team to increase our presence in VA centers around Texas. We developed a new award, the “Faithful Citizenship Badge”.
We have spent a lot of effort implementing the Supreme Knights new initiative this past year, Building the Domestic Church. “Today, the Knights of Columbus is providentially positioned to play a key role in the new alliance between the Church and the family…But for us to do so requires that we adopt new methods.” To accomplish this we must understand what is involved in the new initiative. The best way to understand the initiative is to read about it at . This link will include the latest news and announcements, action steps for all signature programs, and resources for promoting the initiative within the Council and parish.
As fraternal leaders we are charged with developing a plan for the implementation of the Domestic Church initiative. By design, the initiative requires that we involve our parish priests at the local level. Where a strong program exists outside of the design of the Council, we will work to supplement whatever is needed. Where a program does not exist, there is no better organization than the Knights of Columbus to start one. The important thing is to communicate early and often with your pastor.
The organization of the Domestic Church has familiar groupings. We will work on fraternity and formation for the spiritual and social development of Catholic men in our parishes and Councils. These are the Council and Church Activities:

Council Activities
• Father’s Day Renewal of Wedding Vows*
• Knight of the Month/Year
• Shining Armor Award
• Sick/Condolences Committee
• Council Newsletter
• Member socials
• Clergy Night
• Insurance Night
• Athletic Teams (Bowling, Softball, Golf)
• Special Olympics
Church Activities
• Fifth Sunday Rosary*
• RSVP/Seminarian Support**
• Clergy Appreciation Night
• Priest Annuity Program
• Corporate Communions
• Project Moses
• Living Rosary (October and May)
We will engage in programs that promote the family as domestic church and strengthen our parishes through a commitment to “whole family” activities, particularly a commitment to service to Catholic youth ministry. These are our family and youth programs:
• Family Fully Alive*
• Holy Family Prayer Program*
• Consecration to the Holy Family*
• Journey to the Inn/Posada*
• Food for Families* and **
• Family of the Month/Year
• Family breakfast/banquets
• Christmas Party
• Ladies Appreciation Night
• Memorial Masses for Deceased Brothers
• Columbian Squires**
• Coats for Kids**
• Free Throw Contest
• Essay and Poster Contest
• Scholarships
• Youth Mentoring and Parish Youth Ministry
• Recognition of Altar Servers
We will lead programs where brother Knights lead parishioners in a “charity that evangelizes” and engages the parish community through a commitment to the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. These are our community and culture of life activities:
• Habitat for Humanity**
• Global Wheelchair Mission**
• Veteran Administration Volunteer Support
• Red, White, Blue, and Green Masses
• Faithful Citizenship Badge Promotion
• Blood Drive
• 40 Cans for Lent Food Drive*
• Shield a Badge with a Prayer
• Toys for Tots
• Health Promotion Night
• Armed Service and Public Safety Appreciation
Culture of Life
• Ultrasound Initiative**
• March for Life**
• Pregnancy Resource Center Volunteer
• Nursing Home Volunteer
• ACE Wing Promotion
• 40 Days for Life
• Pro-life Mass
• March for Life
• Mother’s Day Roses
These lists are in no way meant to be all inclusive or exhaustive. Programs and activities are limited only by the imagination and ingenuity of the local Council. Programs with (*) are those specific to the Building the Domestic Church initiative. Councils are asked to plan to include them in your calendar. Programs with (**) may meet SP-7 requirements for all activities in that section if specific and minimum requirements are met.

Star Council is still the ultimate goal for every Council. It represents outstanding recruiting, insurance promotion (family protection), and programs. One of the requirements for Star Council is the completion of the Form SP-7. The SP-7 divided into six categories: Church, Community, Council, Culture of Life, Family, and Youth. Work to have four programs in each of these categories throughout the year. A diverse list of programs will help ensure that we can meet the needs of as many of our members and new prospects as possible. Additionally, you must have four programs listed in the Domestic Church initiative to qualify for Star Council.

Councils participate and sponsor outstanding programs every year. This year will be no different, and we anticipate several new programs and ideas as Councils incorporate the Domestic Church. State and Supreme Awards are great recruiting AND retention tools. They can help spotlight particularly outstanding work to those who don’t understand what our mission is. We award the top three submissions in each section of the SP-7. Entries may be completed throughout the year, but they must be received no later than March 1, 2018. Entries may be mailed directly to the State Programs Director. Your Councils do the work, take the time to give us the opportunity to recognize and congratulate them. Oftentimes, the submission will be ten or more pages long. When compiling your program entries, keep in mind the following criteria:
1. Content – Does your program fall into the category for which you are submitting? Who benefited from the program?
2. Participation of the membership – Include the total number of members participating in the event, and what percentage of membership this represents. If you recruited new members as a result of the program, make sure to include this in the write up.
3. Program Originality – Was this a new idea or an annual event? If it is an annual event, was this one special for some reason?
4. Committee planning – How well was the event organized? How much time and detail went into planning the event?
5. Delegation of Responsibility – Did you have non-officer step up to lead part (or all) of the activity? Again, how many members participated in the planning and execution of the event?
6. Publicity – How well was the event publicized to the community, membership, and parish? Include copies of print, electronic, radio, and television media releases.
7. Pictures – Organize and caption a photographic journal of the planning, coordination, and execution of the event. Action shots of brother Knights are always better than posed “Check and Shake” pictures.

This award is designed to recognize those Councils who take the time to submit multiple entries into the STSP competition. Entries may be completed throughout the year, but they must be received no later than March 1, 2017 to be considered for judging for the State Convention. Entries may be mailed directly to the State Programs Director.
• Silver PACE Setter Award – Councils who submit entry forms in three categories
• Gold PACE Setter Award – Councils who submit entry forms in all six categories

We have families across the state of Texas who are exceptional examples of how to live their faith through prayerfulness, service to the Knights, service to their community, and service to their church. A great way to recognize these families, and to inspire other families, is by submitting them for consideration as the Texas Family of the Year. Like the STSP submissions, the best submissions will be quite extensive. There should be plenty of captioned pictures, newspaper articles (if available), letters of recommendation from their pastor, parish staff, volunteer organizations, etc. Anticipate these entries to be at least ten to twelve pages long. Entries must be received no later than March 1, 2017. Entries may be mailed directly to the State Programs Director.


2017-2018 Star Guide

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