YORKTON, Sask. — The 96th annual state council meeting of the Knights of Columbus of Saskatchewan, held in Yorkton April 20 - 22, was a call for Knights to hold fast to the 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 better to serve the church and the community.
Delegates passed a resolution concerning the 2018 Student Summer Jobs Grant Program, in which applicants are required 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, delegates 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.”
Delegates also adopted the following resolutions:
Attack on Religious Freedoms and 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 councils and individual knights be encouraged to make donations to the Knights of Columbus Christian Refugee Relief Fund.”
The State Council elected the following executive effective July 1: 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: honourary State Chaplain — Archbishop Donald Bolen of Regina; Associate State Chaplain — Rev. Edward Gibney; State Chaplain — Bishop Bryan Bayda of the Eparchy of Saskatoon.
From the opening mass celebrated by Bishop Bayda to the official 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 informed and inspired to go back to their communities and spread the message of the convention theme: “Domestic Church Inspiring Missionary Disciples.”