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Rev Fathers, Worthy Supreme, State, & District Officers and Staff, Knights and Guests: As State President, I bring you greetings from the Ladies of the Minnesota Knights of Columbus Auxiliary. I am honored to have the privilege of being with you to represent the State of Minnesota Auxiliary.
As I complete my 1st year, I’m learning more about the history of the Knights of Columbus and the State Auxiliary. General Agent Lloyd Cybart, came to our convention last month and gave us a history lesson on the Knights beginning with the prejudices against Catholics regarding insurance. He built on that and gave the ladies plenty of information to ponder.
Many of you know that the Knights of Columbus Auxiliaries began in Minnesota in the early 1950’s. They went by a variety of names—Auxiliary, Knights wives, Silent Knights, Columbian Women, Columbian Ladies, Daughters of Isabella, Patricians, Lucien Galtier Ladies, Ladies of Columbus, Ladies of Christopher, Santa Marians.
In January 1970 Jim Campbell received a letter from Supreme Council stating “…I see no objection to state officers approving the recommendations with regard to the ladies’ auxiliaries in Minnesota.” It was signed by the Supreme Advocate Harold Lamboley.
Then in March 1970, the MN State Knights of Columbus, with the blessing of Supreme, went forward to have a state entity called the Minnesota Knights of Columbus Auxiliary. That was nearly 50 years ago and we are planning a celebration in April of 2020.
Since 1970, the Minnesota auxiliary has ebbed and flowed with the number of participants. Between 1987-1990 we grew to 35 auxiliaries with nearly 2300 ladies. We ended this year with 22 auxiliaries and 695 ladies. The recruiting momentum may seem to be stuck in reverse but we added two auxiliaries this year. We had a vibrant group of college women join us in October from Mankato State University and a Spanish speaking group from Our Lady of Guadalupe in February.
Though the college ladies will be moving in a new direction, we expect to have great things come forth from Our Lady of Guadalupe. One the first things they did was to participate in the Silver Rose program.
Exciting things are happening in this fast-paced world, we can meet with ladies across the state of Minnesota via Facebook and email. The internet makes it much easier for us to support those locations that are a long distance from home.
Just think about it... how many of you who are here today have auxiliaries in your district? What are you doing to keep your auxiliaries going? Are you asking your ladies to participate? When Bob became Catholic in 2000 it didn’t take long before he joined the Knights and became an active member. Within a short time, he jumped in to fill an empty position and we were on our way. I was not planning on getting involved with the Ladies Auxiliary. I could think of many reasons why I didn’t want to get involved. I didn’t really see where I had the time, but I showed up to one meeting the year Bob was becoming Deputy Grand Knight and they made me Vice-president of the our Auxiliary and as they say, “the rest is history”.
What is your story? Have you asked your wives to support you in an auxiliary? To do this might mean starting an auxiliary… Sometimes we need to walk by faith and not by sight. As Jean Ackerman told me when she was president, God does not call the equipped. He equips the called.
Now let’s ponder these questions. How would the ladies’ auxiliary help your Council? Church? Community? Charities?
Last year our ladies reported 114,125 donated hours of time and gave $27,315.00 to Charities.
We know this is only a portion of what our ladies are doing as not everyone reports as they should. This is from 695 ladies total. How much more could be given if you had an auxiliary?
Each year we ask our auxiliaries to submit names for an Auxilian of the Year. Here is an example of what one women can do and it is great to have her on our team.
The Auxilian of the Year joined her auxiliary in 2015. She is the youngest member of her auxiliary. She makes tied fleece blankets for Women’s Source, a local pro-life clinic every winter and she always makes hers extra special with a braiding method. She worked the auxiliary’s Country store not only participating as a cashier during the sale but also managing the inventory before and after, helping with set-up and making some crafts for the sale. She is part of a small team of auxilians that decorates the church for our annual steak dinner. She helps make flower corsages for Mother’s Day and participates almost every month in social hour after Mass together with other members of her Auxiliary. She is usually in charge of serving coffee and greets parishioners with a warm cup of joe.
For the Council, she helps the Knights with their functions, including Pancake Breakfasts, Lenten Fish Fries, and Retreat Hospitality. For the fish fry, she usually works as a server to get hot plates of fish quickly to the hungry members of the parish. Her husband is a 4th Degree Knight and she attends functions, Exemplifications, dinners and their annual Christmas party. She also attended social events for the council and their families.
For the church, she is a member of her parish council. helps with Trivia Night and this year, served dinner for the parish staff and council. She serves in the core committee for their sister parish St Catherine in Haiti. As a member of that committee, she helps make decisions on the allocation of financial resources, mission trips, and major environmental and educational initiatives. Last spring, she organized a silent auction to benefit the sister parish.. She assists in planning the parishes annual Immigration Sunday Mass every January, where aside from planning, setup and cleanup, she wears colorful clothing of her native Mexico and brings a typical dish to share for the potluck after Mass. She did face painting during a parish 40th anniversary celebration, assisted with retreat hospitality in our parish during the fall and has recently been involved in social justice activities, facilitating community conversations about Islam and race issues. And, she served as a judge for “Cupcake Wars”, an event organized by the Faith Formation team.
She participates in many skills-based volunteering initiatives in our community and beyond. Volunteering at the MN Science Museum every January to teach children of color about food science; teaching Junior Achievement for 2nd graders at Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion school every summer and volunteering at Ascension Catholic school to teach kids about science during their after-school program. She donates her time and expertise to help small food businesses in Africa through “Partners in Food Solutions”. She participates in Habitat for Humanity, volunteers for the local food shelf, and donates blood every year. She also serves as a mentor for students of Cristo Rey High School every spring.
Our Auxilian and her husband (and a female rescue hound, Paki) are expecting their first child in October. She holds a PhD in Food Science from Louisiana State University, where she was inducted to Gamma Sigma Delta and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. She graduated with honors with her BS in Agroindustrial Engineering from Zamorano University in Honduras, volunteered at Christ the King Catholic Church and the Hispanic Youth Pastoral group in Baton Rouge, the Institute of Food Technologists, Louisiana 4H, and Louisiana State University International Cultural Center and she is a triathlete. Participates in 5K’s benefitting the Animal Humane Society and Missing Grace Foundation for pregnancy and infant loss. She has barely missed a meeting since she joined the auxiliary.
Please join me in congratulating Adriana Soto-Vaca from Maple Grove #13359 on her well-deserved award. Adriana, please come forward and receive your plague.
That is the “Power of One”!
Before I conclude, I would like to present a few items
- Pat Ruffing, please come forward with the basket from our table. Bishop, please draw the winning name. Winner is Tom Michels.
- To State Deputy Bob Penas, a copy of our Annual Audit Report and the Hours/Money donated.
- To Fr. Jeff, a check for Pennies for Seminarians in the amount of $1,000.00 and a check for the Jim Campbell fund.
- To Mike Daley or another representative, a check for the Student Loan Fund
I am proud to be a leader of this fine organization. Our ladies stand out in their actions and their words and I believe your councils can grow and build comradery by having a women’s auxiliary at your side. Please ask your ladies to start or reinvigorate an auxiliary.
In God we trust and grow. God bless you all.
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- to unite all of the individual auxiliaries throughout the State of Minnesota
- to assist the Knights of Columbus Councils in Minnesota with their activities
- to bring closer relations to all Knights of Columbus Auxiliaries, in order to join in common projects, to unify their work and thus increased their efficiency and service.
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Work is under way to plan an event you will enjoy. Our annual convention is the celebrated event and the convention would commence during the day as usual but Mass and the officer installation would be moved from the morning to the afternoon. Following Mass, the festivities will continue. A spot for the convention and celebration has not been determined. The State Board may host this event but event bids are being accepted. We are in need of photos from the past and any other old document that you would like to share.
Assessments were sent to all auxiliaries and to date some auxiliaries have returned the entire amount assessed. We thank you for your financial support of the celebration.
Your committee members are Jean Burnett, Nancy Mathewson, Mary Wick, Marilyn Jacobs and Ann Aeschliman. Please dig in your past and send items to one of the committee members.
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Nancy Casey on Human Trafficing ( a very important subject at this time)
Alice Thraen Bees & the Environment
Rafael Tilton Poetry & This Delight in Life
Claren Sellner Adult Children of Acoholics
All can be reached 507.282.7441 Assisi Hgts Rochester, MN 55901
Thanks Sister Claren