A Message from the DC State Council

June 5, 2020

 

My Brother Knights of the District of Columbia,

Since the senseless and brutal murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, alongside numerous other black men and women across our cities, our country has been wrought with righteous anger in protest and unrest. This is not the first time that we have seen black communities in pain, scared that what happened to George might happen to their father, son, grandson, or brother. Pope Francis reminds us that “we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life.”

Amid the unrest in the District of Columbia, the President and First Lady visited the Order’s Saint John Paul II National Shrine. This event, while seemingly related in proximity to our national pain, was pre-planned, and unrelated in context. No Officers from either the Supreme Council or State Council were present at the event. It was planned many weeks ago by the White House as a way to commemorate the anniversary of the Saintly Pope’s visit to Poland in 1979 and to coincide with the signing of an Executive Order on International Religious Freedom which was instead signed at the White House the same day. While we stand for religious freedom in our country and around the globe, the character of the visit changed given the President’s inappropriate photo opportunity outside of St. John’s Episcopal Church the day before.

The Saint John Paul II National Shrine, while owned and operated by the Knights of Columbus, is not managed by the DC State Council. Therein, the DC State Council was not aware of and did not have any input as to the Presidential Visit which took place on Tuesday.

As DC Knights of Columbus, we stand for unity, which is what has inspired us to welcome all Catholic Men, regardless of their race, into our ranks for generations. We have heard from Brother Knights and families throughout the district who are hurting, upset, and angry at the events of the last few weeks. We stand united with them. Racial justice is a pro-life issue – the equality of every man and woman is at the core of what we believe and who we are as Catholics. At this time, we pray for unity, especially within our Order and our District. Beginning on Sunday, June 7, and concluding on Monday, June 15, Knights of Columbus around the country will be praying a Novena for National Unity & An End to Racism. Please join us as we pray and work to expel the sin of racism and hate from our hearts and our society.

We remain, as we always have, in solidarity with our Church, her priests, and her bishops. We will continue to work with the Archdiocese and our parishes to advance the mission of our soon-to-be-beatified founder Fr. Michael J. McGivney. As DC Knights, we are committed to serving our in every community throughout the District. In the following weeks and months, we will be in dialogue with members of the Community to discuss their thoughts and feelings regarding recent events, which we hope to be able to use to change the way we approach racial justice in our community.

We are Christ’s Brother. We wear His Name. We must bear this Cross.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., during the March on Washington in 1963, told us that “Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.” It is still that time. We must work together, and move forward committed to the principles and ideals that we originally joined the order for – to be our brother’s keeper.

 

Fraternally,

Brandon J. Brown
State Deputy

Christopher Pierno
State Secretary

Le N. Nguyen
State Treasurer

Fred “Jazz” Armstrong
State Advocate

Nicholas S. C. Shields
State Warden

 

Download this letter as a PDF


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SPANISH

State Convention Update

[Editor’s Note: The following email was sent by State Deputy Brandon J. Brown to all Grand Knights and Financial Secretaries of the Jurisdiction.]

 

Worthy Grand Knights and Financial Secretaries,

Good afternoon, I hope you and your families are safe and healthy. The State Executive team met by conference call last night. During the call, we received an update from Supreme on the current Coronavirus situation and how it has affected the business of not just our jurisdiction, but of the whole order. We also checked in on each other and discussed a game plan for the way forward. 

The Supreme Knight does not feel the situation with the Coronavirus Outbreak will end anytime soon. Per our Supreme Knight, the Supreme Office and State Councils should prepare for a long period (3 – 4 months) of limited contact events. The Supreme Council has established a fraternal working group in New Haven whose job it is to review all facets of this situation on a daily basis. Supreme will also be operating with a skeletal staff in New Haven, as most of their personnel have begun working from home. In addition to keeping tabs on the daily situation around the country, the fraternal working group will be working on new guidelines for meeting along with revised requirements for the Circle of Honor and the Star Council Awards. There will be weekly meetings held between the Regional Growth Directors (RGD) and the home office to better assist councils through this period. RGD’s will continue their regular calls with state officers and inform them of any updates. The Supreme Council will also be sending out updates to everyone via email on a regular basis.


With this information in hand, I have the sad duty of announcing that we will not gather to hold the 121st DC State Convention at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine. In lieu of our normal meeting, the Supreme Knight has directed that all State Conventions shall be “Virtual Conventions” for this year. Supreme will be providing guidelines to the State Deputies as soon as possible. We will aim to hold the Virtual Convention on the same date as our in-person Convention on Saturday April 25, 2020.

I ask that the following forms still be submitted:

Delegate Credentials Form:
Please scan and email to State Secretary Chris Pierno ([email protected]org). If you don’t have the capability to scan and email it, please mail it to the State Secretary.


Council Program Nominations Forms:
As I have visited the majority of the Councils in the jurisdiction, I know how much great work you have done before everything changed. Please send in your best program in the four service areas to IPSD Otto Heck ([email protected]). I would ask that you scan and send those forms to the worthy IPSD. He will then scan all the forms in and the Past State Deputies will meet via conference call to decide on the four service areas. 


Mass Remembrance Forms:
On the Sunday of Convention, we usually have a closing Memorial Mass for our deceased brother Knights and their families in the jurisdiction. It is still important to remember those who have gone before us marked with the Sign of Christ. Please submit the Mass Remembrance Form to State Executive Secretary Tim Saccoccia ([email protected]). He will compile the names and we will remember those names at a future Mass.

Worthy Sirs, we are living in unprecedented times, but we are Knights. We are united by our faith and brotherhood and we will overcome all that this world throws at us. This is not the first time our order has seen a pandemic. It will withstand this one as it did in 1918. Please stay united with your members and your family. Please stay united with your District Deputies and State Council. Let us continue to pray for each other and pray for our world. I continue to entrust all our brother Knights in the District of Columbia and beyond to Our Lady of Lourdes. May she guide, protect, and keep us all safe.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

Vivat Jesus,
Brandon Brown
State Deputy, DC Knights of Columbus

Coronavirus Novena

Courtesy of the Archdiocese of Baltimore

Archbishop William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore and Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus, invites all the faithful of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and all members of the Knights of Columbus and their families to join him in praying a novena — nine days of prayer — to the Blessed Virgin Mary beginning Sunday, March 15.

The novena, inspired by a prayer by Pope Francis, asks Mary for her intercession and protection from the coronavirus. A video from the archbishop follows, with the text of the prayer below. To download a copy for printing, click here and to download a card version for printing, click here.

 

Full prayer: 

O Mary,
you always brighten our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who, at the Cross, took part in Jesus’ pain while remaining steadfast in faith.
O loving Mother,
you know what we need,
and we are confident you will provide for us as at Cana in Galilee.
Intercede for us with your Son Jesus,
the Divine Physician,
for those who have fallen ill,
for those who are vulnerable,
and for those who have died. Intercede also for those charged with protecting the health and safety of others and for those who are tending to the sick and seeking a cure.
Help us, O Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who took upon himself our sufferings and carried our sorrows,
so as to lead us, through the Cross,
to the glory of the Resurrection. Amen.

Under thy protection we seek refuge, O Holy Mother of God.
In our needs, despise not our petitions, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.

 

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response

State Deputy Brandon J. Brown of the District of Columbia State Council sent this message to Grand Knights in response to calls from the Supreme Knights and CDC.
 
Yesterday afternoon the Supreme Knight sent out guidance and recommendations on how Councils should proceed during the pandemic of the Coronavirus. As State Deputy of this Jurisdiction, it is my responsibility to ensure that all brother Knights are being as safe as possible during these times. The State Officers & Staff care for the health and safety of all our Knights and their families.
 
With the suggested recommendations below, I would ask the following-
  • Hold all Council meetings via conference call. The State Council uses freeconference.com to hold executive meetings and will continue using this method for the near future. I suggest Grand Knights sign up for an account. The use of freeconference.com is free and there are no charges unless you want to use an 800 number.
  • Any Council that have upcoming Fish Fry, please meet with your Pastor to access the situation and consider cancelling it. This should be a decision between the Council and the Pastor. I am not telling you to cancel, but seek guidance. I understand how much these Fish Fry’s mean to the Council, Parish and local community but consider the risks, and have that conversation with your Pastor. [Please notify [email protected] if you cancel a Fish Fry]
  • The upcoming State Combined degree scheduled for Saturday March 20th is cancelled. We had great momentum with the last month’s degree but the JPII Shrine has reduced its staff to essential personnel and I wouldn’t want anyone getting sick from attending. If you have candidates please visit them at their home and conduct the Combined Degree via video. Please notify IPSD/State Ceremonials Otto Heck if you use this method or need assistance. You can also have new members sign up via the online method.
 
If there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me or the State Officers to answer any questions. If there are any brother Knights or their family who become sick, please let me know so I can notify the State & Associate Chaplains for prayer and possible anointing of the sick.
 
I entrust our jurisdiction to Our Lady of Lourdes during this difficult time. May Our Lady heal all those that are sick and give their family the strength to care for them.
 
Our Lady of Lourdes, Pray for us.
Mary Queen of the Knights, Pray for us.
 
 

Below you will find compiled resources from various governmental resources in regard to responding to and preventing the spread of COVID-19. Please use them as you need. 

 
 
 
Information for Families and Households:

2020 Lenten Fish Frys

Join Knights of Columbus throughout the District of Columbia as we prepare to turn on the deep fryer and welcome in hundreds of families with a plate of fresh, batter-fried fish and a side of fries. St. Anthony Council #417, Keane Council #353, St. Martin de Porres Council #9386, and St. Cyprian Council #10008 will all be hosting Fish Fries, check the map and list below to see where and when they’ll be serving up the classic Friday Lenten Meal.

St. Anthony’s Council #417 – 1029 Monroe St NE

Located within St. Anthony’s Church                       
April 3, 2020, 12:00pm – 6:00pm 

 

Keane Council #353 – 6001 13th St NW

SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE (Covid-19 Concerns)

Located within Nativity Catholic Church
March 6, 2020, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
March 13, 2020, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
March 20, 2020, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
March 27, 2020, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
April 3, 2020, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

 

St. Cyprian Council #10008 – 320 21st St NE

Located within the Imperial Room Annex of St. Benedict the Moor
April 3, 2020, 11:00am – 3:00pm
April 10, 2020 (Good Friday), 11:00am – 3:00pm

 

St. Martin de Porres Council #9386 – 4925 E Capitol St SE

Located at St. Luke Catholic Church
March 13, 2020, 11:00am – 3:00pm
March 27, 2020, 11:00am – 3:00pm
April 3, 2020, 11:00am – 3:00pm

Save Columbus Day in DC

The ongoing debate in communities throughout our country about the celebration of Columbus Day often centers on efforts to recognize the important contribution of Native Americans to the United States and the terrible way in which these peoples were treated by early settlers.  Instead of pushing aside the contributions of Columbus and the importance he holds in immigrant, Catholic, and Italian-American communities, efforts should be made to find another day or a separate, standalone opportunity to honor indigenous peoples.
 
We have just received word that the District of Columbia City Council has fast-tracked legislation to change Columbus Day to “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” in the District.  The Council will consider this bill at its meeting tomorrow, October 8, at 10:00 a.m. at the John A. Wilson Building (1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW).
 
I would ask every Knight and their family living in the District of Columbia to contact both their City Councillor and the at-large Councillors to voice your opposition to this bill TODAY. 
 
 
Thank you for your service as Knights and for taking the time to ensure your voice is heard on this important issue in DC.
 
If you or anyone you know is curious as to the truth behind Columbus and his legacy, we would encourage you to visit www.truthaboutcolumbus.com and to read this article by Patrick Mason, a member of the Osage Mason. The Supreme Council also has a webpage “Honoring our Namesake” with additional resources and articles. 

Walk with John Paul II

Become a pilgrim in your own city and join us in walking from Our Lady Queen of Poland in Silver Spring to the St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C. This 12-mile journey will take us through Rock Creek Park for prayer and fellowship and will end with mass at the St. John Paul II National Shrine…

Faith Day @ Nats Park

Join your Brother Knights of Columbus at Nationals Park for the 2019 “Faith Day”…

137th Supreme Convention in Minneapolis

The Supreme Convention a chance for us to see the breadth and richness of the Order. This year’s 137th convention was no exception! Over five full days, the DC delegation was able to welcome Knights from around the world…