Knights roll out plan for supporting priests, increasing membership

.- Efforts to show solidarity with parish priests and to increase membership are key elements of the action plan for the Knights of Columbus over the next year. The order will also plan activities to mark its 125th anniversary.

The leadership of the Knights of Columbus met in Atlanta Nov. 17-19 to assess the order’s progress in meeting its goals for the 2006-07 fraternal year.

Membership and new council growth remain priorities for extending the Knights’ outreach to more parishes, communities and ethnic groups. These efforts are being enhanced with strategic growth goals and action plans for each jurisdiction.

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson announced that, beginning in 2007, recruitment programs and degrees will be tied to the year’s “In Solidarity with Our Priests” theme. The aim is to strengthen the order’s ties to parish life and to K of C chaplains and pastors.

Anderson said that in his experience he had not found an organization better suited to grow with the Church and meet its needs at every level than the Knights of Columbus.

“We are a fantastic, growing, productive and relevant organization," he said. "We are standing shoulder to shoulder with our Holy Father, with our bishops and with our priests."

"There are so many great priests sustaining our parishes and moving them forward,” Anderson noted.  He suggested that Knights offer a celebration to, “bring everyone in closer union with the pastor and our priests.”

"The Holy Father, our bishops and our priests know that in the Knights they will often find the money and material they need for their programs. Through this 'In Solidarity With Our Priests' effort, we are telling them that they also have 1.7 million faithful, loyal men to stand with them."

He also urged the Knights to remain confident in the vision of their founder, Fr. Michael McGivney, and strong in their determination to realize the organization’s potential.

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