Last month, we began to look at the 10 Keys to Success as a Chaplain (#4940) in an effort to stimulate some ideas, and maybe raise a few questions, or even a few objections. The 10 Keys are suggestions and not mandates, but we do hope they will be taken seriously. They should help all of us to have a common purpose and assist us to focus on how we can fit-in as chaplains within a lay fraternal organization.
We have been blessed with many, many outstanding chaplains who have made wonderful contributions to the Order, and we are indebted to their spiritual impact over the years. Our hope is that providing these ideas will help many
chaplains who just do not know where to begin, especially those who have recently joined the ranks or those who wish to establish a new council where the Knights have never had a presence. Some chaplains may be wondering where they are going to get the time to do justice to such a willing group of laymen, while others may feel somewhat lost and unsure of how to begin.
Yes, there are a lot of questions, and at times too few answers. So it may seem. We may not have a complete plan as yet, but we are well on the path to formulating it. Believe me, we have a magnificent array of willing participants. It is time to stand on the world stage and coordinate our efforts.
Let us move on to the second of the 10 Keys:
Acquire a working knowledge of the Order’s operation at all levels.
• Try to be present at all of your council’s meetings, and take the opportunity to get to know the officers and members.
• Make a point of comparing notes with other K of C chaplains in your area and share good ideas.
• Consider attending your state
convention or other statewide K of C meetings.
• Stay current with the Order’s initiatives by reading Columbia magazine, Chaplain’s Report and Knightline, and by visiting kofc.org
Some of our chaplains have made the effort to acquire this working knowledge of the Order’s operation, even at all levels. The best way to accomplish this is by attending meetings other than just the local council meetings. These might include the assembly, the diocesan gathering (or chapter), and the state convention. This is also an opportunity to meet other chaplains and to compare notes with them. New and helpful ideas emerge from such gatherings.
Monthly council meetings have presented challenges for some chaplains. We are all too well aware of the demands on parish priests to attend the meetings of every church
Asking him to take part in the Knights meeting every month seems an added burden. At the Supreme Convention last August a resolution was passed to help minimize the problem. I have printed the complete
Resolution and a short explanation in the September issue of this newsletter. Here I will quote once again the final statement:
FURTHER RESOLVED, that we call upon our brother Knights to recognize and accommodate the time commitments of our beloved priests by allowing the Council Chaplain to provide his message at the beginning of the meeting, as described above, or at any other time during the meeting as may best fit the schedule of the Chaplain.
More needs to be said about this second key, so I hope to continue on this topic next month.
God bless and keep you all.
Father John Grace, O.S.A.
Director of Chaplain Programs and Development