New Year’s Resolutions

David “Reggie” R Vasquez, Visions Chairman

The start of each new calendar year is a great time to assess what we as leaders have accomplished and how we can improve our efforts.

The Knights in Texas get an early start in this process at the State Council Mid-Year Meeting. It’s called “Mid-Year” because we are already half way through our Fraternal year and it’s a time when the State Officers and the Director’s teams meet with the Diocesan and District Deputies to report on and review where we are in all our endeavors and to discuss what we can do better.  As with any gathering of Knights, this is a “family” event - a state family event to be precise, which gathers Knights from all across the great state of Texas. As many of you experienced over the Holidays, families can be a great joy to be with and sometimes a bit messy. But it’s always about building relationships that last.

One memorable moment came at the opening prayer session at the Mid-Year Meeting in the form of a video of Matt Maher, a world renowned recording artist and youth minister, leading a worship song at World Youth Day. Matt is a Catholic apologist who evangelizes very effectively through his music. In a Lighthouse Talks CD issued by the Augustine Institute, Matt relates a number of great insights that we Knights can focus on at the beginning of this calendar year. First, he states that “our story” is the greatest thing we have to offer. Second, he asserts that if you want to become a bridge, you have to lay down and let people walk over you. And third, he says that since images convey far more meaning today than do just words, how can we better transmit an orally based tradition (such as our Catholic principles) to a visually based culture? His answer is for us to be as the saints; we need to be humble witnesses. 

As we plan our Diocesan Conferences, District Meetings, and Council Meetings it would be good to tell “our story” over and over again. We can be proud of all great things we do as Knights of Columbus on behalf of the family, the Church, the community, the youth, the clergy, and the charitable outreach efforts of each Council. We have a large family of Knights here in Texas and more should hear “our story”.  Relate boldly how we build the bridges of the Domestic Church one at a time, in service to one, in service to all. It is all about relationships, and we need to be receptive and inviting. And indeed, we need to be present for others to see. We need to be active, engaged, and yet humble witnesses of faith in action. We must live out the Freedom to Serve – Service Inspired by Faith.

At the Mid-Year Meeting, I asked a good number of people what they thought was the best recruiting strategy for the Knights. Without a doubt, the most common response was: You have got to ask the gentlemen to join.  Does your Council have a goal this coming year? Do you have a New Year’s resolution regarding the Knights? Can you and your Council articulate “your story”? Is it one you are proud of now and for the future? The great thing about being part of a proud yet humble family, is that no matter how great or how messy it gets at times, I have something to learn from you, and perhaps you have something to learn from me. What kind of story would your Council like to tell?

At the start of this new calendar year, resolve to exercise our principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism. Tell our/your story, be proud of who we are and who you are. Know our identity is rooted in our Catholic faith and ask others to join our family and add to our story.

Vivat Jesus!  Viva Cristo Rey! 

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