The 96th Annual State Council Meeting of the Knights of Columbus of Saskatchewan, held in Yorkton on April 20-22, 2018, was a call for Knights to hold fast to the Catholic principles around which the Order was founded 136 years ago.
Under the theme ‘Domestic Church Inspiring Missionary Disciples’ State Deputy Brian Schatz, the State Executive, and the delegates and their families from around the Province celebrated the past year’s successes and deliberated on how to better serve the Church and the community.
Throughout the weekend, delegates had plenty of time to share their love, joy and hope as family as well as focusing on informing all present about the important issues facing the Church, the Community and the Order with guest speakers instructing the delegates on the information they should be taking back to their home Councils, detailed a release from the organization. Delegates to the convention passed a number of resolutions – the following are some of resolutions passed at the 96th Annual Convention:
2018 Student Summer Jobs Program – Required Attestation
The Government of Canada is requiring applications for the 2018 Student Summer Job Grant Program to attest that both the job, and the organization’s core mandate, respect individual human rights in Canada, including “reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of … gender identity or expression.” Among other actions in support of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the delegates to the convention passed the following resolution:
“That the Saskatchewan State Council, on behalf of the membership, write a letter to the Government of Canada, expressing its objection to the required attestation of the 2018 Student Summer Jobs Program, with copies to the leaders of the various opposition parties and all provincial councils”.
In addition the delegates adopted resolutions concerning:
Attack on Religious Freedoms & Freedom of speech in Canada
“That the Saskatchewan State Council develop an action plan to address the erosion of religious freedoms and freedom of speech including the involvement of all State Councils in Canada so as to formulate a national front in this matter.”
Support of Christians in the Middle East
“The all councils in Saskatchewan show their support for Christians in the Middle East through prayer, and that council’s and individual knights be encouraged to make donations to the Knights of Columbus Christian Refugee Relief Fund, administered by Supreme.”
The State Council elected the following executive effective July 1, 2018: State Deputy – Chris Bencharski of Meadow Lake; State Secretary – Joe Riffel of Saskatoon; State Treasurer – Larry Packet of Davidson; State Advocate – Rene Gaudet of St. Louis; State Warden – Marte Nogot of Saskatoon. Brian Schatz of Regina will continue on the executive as Past State Deputy.
Newly elected State Deputy Chris Bencharski announced the following appointments; Honorary State Chaplain – Most Reverend, Donald Bolen, Archbishop of Regina, Associate State Chaplain – Reverend Edward Gibney, and the Order is honoured to have Bishop Bryan Bayda Eparchy of Saskatoon as our State Chaplain.
From the opening Mass celebrated by Bishop Bryan Bayda to the official convention adjournment by outgoing State Deputy Brian Schatz, the 96th Annual Convention of the Knights of Columbus of Saskatchewan was a great success, holding firm to the principles of the Order; Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism. The delegates left Yorkton better informed and inspired to go back to their communities and join together to spread the message we received in this year’s convention theme … “Domestic Church Inspiring Missionary Disciples”.