Union Council 345
4049 Hartley Avenue, Easton, PA 18045

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Typically the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at 7:30 PM
Msgr. Gobitas Room at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Church

Wednesday, 6/13/18
7:00 Rosary, 7:30 PM Business Meeting

Click HERE to view The 2018 Meeting Schedule

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See the Events page for more detailed event information & the current list of events for 2016 & 2017.

Grand Knight's Message

Brother Knights:

I hope everyone enjoyed Memorial Day by paying respect to our fallen veterans whose service and sacrifice helped provide for our freedoms.  Thank you!!!!

As my time as Grand Knight (GK) is coming to an end I wanted to share with you my thoughts about the future of our organization.  Hopefully a solid base has been established so that the next GK has the footing to help improve and grow our organization.  We have been successful in our recruiting and have added about 20 new members in the past two years, but unfortunately several of our older Brothers have passed on so it provides a zero sum gain during the same time period.  We have also had about two dozen Brothers advance their degrees.  Membership growth is the lifeline of every council and new members can invigorate councils by bringing new ideas and taking on new programs --- so RECRUIT, RECRUIT, RECRUIT.

Elections for new officers are underway.  We are looking for someone to step forward and take the position of Deputy Grand Knight (DGK).  All the other positions have candidates but the positions are still open until the last reading of nominees, so please come to the meeting on June 13, 2018 and participate in this vital process by nominating candidates and voting on the nominees.

This brings me to an area that no-one wants to talk about --- the lack of commitment by too, too many of our Brothers.  We are an organization of 300 members; approximately 10% are very active with their commitment; another 10% make a good effort to commit to our fund-raising activities; that leaves 80% as "dues paying members only" --- they pay dues and do not participate in any other events as a volunteer or ticket buyer.  The survival of this organization depends on the time-talent-treasury of each member.  We understand that not all of these criteria are equal with all individuals, but unfortunately the 80% provide the minimal effort in each criteria.  We understand everyone has a talent, that everyone may not have the time (especially younger members with young families), but unfortunately the treasury criteria is ignored by this 80%.  I would hope that during the next year these 80% purchase "Big Raffle" tickets, "Football Sweeps" tickets, tickets for the Lenten Fish Dinners, and visit us and buy from our tent at Palmer Days and share your treasury. Your Council needs you to fulfill our principles of charity, unity, and fraternity --- please join us!!!

There are still approximately 20 members, about 7%, that have not paid their 2018 dues.  Supreme requires us to carry these members and pay a monthly per-capita fee for a 24-30 month period.  Supreme is very reluctant to "remove" members so we continue to carry these members on our roster.  So as to not penalize all members and without requiring changes to our by-laws, a proposal was discussed to add an administrative fee on second request and additional billing notices of $5 for each additional billing sent.  This matter is pending.

While this is difficult to ask, it is imperative for each of you to ask yourself --- "why did I become a Knight???"  If your purpose has changed and you no longer have the commitment to be a Knight you need to re-examine why you joined.  There are some Brothers that feel I should remain quiet on this issue and continue to collect your annual dues, but I cannot because you are not experiencing what the Knights have to offer and helping our Council grow.  Thanks to the Knights, my commitment to and understanding of my faith has been greatly broadened by the Knights.  I would like for you to share in this experience.

Now for some lighter moments and some accomplishments.

We have initiated new programs and continue to promote our Council at Parish events.  We have started to "brand" our Council.  We initiated tee-shirts and hats to be worn for the Fish Dinners and Palmer Days to stand out and look unified.

We have introduced Council shirts (like golf\polo shirts) with a Knights logo to be purchased and worn for events.  We also provide this shirt to any member that completes their Knighthood (3rd) Degree.

We have been more available and participated in events for our other Parishes (Holy Ghost, St Anthony's, Our Lady of Mercy), events such as the "Fifth Sunday Rosary Program", and have tried to rotate some meetings to these locations. 

We have supported and participated in events with the Catholic Daughters of America Court #358 of Easton, PA.  We have invited this court to participate in our Memorial Mass to remember and honor our deceased members.

We initiated a change to our "Knight of the Year" dinner.  The oldest members in our Council are invited as our guest to participate in this celebration and share their times and memories with those in attendance.

Our two primary fund raisers are affected by weather, so to become less weather-risk sensitive we are considering some new fund raisers.  One under consideration is a lottery calendar to be sold in the March to May time period.  The calendars would be limited to 1,000 calendars at $10 each with designated prizes for each day. This matter is pending.

The Chance of a Lifetime (COAL) drawing is currently not promoted by our Council.  At one time it was supported as a fund-raiser but our Council's efforts were redirected to other more beneficial fund-raisers.  This program is a state sponsored program that offers ten (10) scholarships of $3,000 each year to participants.  Scholarship participants must be family members of Knights in Councils that participate in COAL.  For a Council to be a participant it would have to sell a minimum of 50 books of tickets.  Our Council would like to provide this opportunity to member's families but we would need a chairperson to coordinate this effort.  We would hope that some younger member(s) of our Council, whose children could participate in COAL, would step forward to run this program --- it would take about one week of time to distribute the booklets at the beginning of the process and maybe a couple of hours to submit the sales.

Efforts have been made in making Council's facebook page more active with posts about Council activities.  Please take the time to "like" our facebook page.

1). This year our Council will be submitting to Supreme a new Brother to serve as Financial Secretary (FS).  Bill Bogari, who has served as FS for many, many years, will be retiring as FS and his efforts and professionalism will be dearly missed.  He is one of the top FS in the state of PA and we are grateful he will be available to assist our new FS.

2). This has been a difficult year regarding the health and well-being of many Brothers. Several members have been hospitalized and many Brothers have been inflicted with on-going ailments so please keep them in your prayers.

3). I am sending this as an electronic email blast which will reach about half of our membership.  Please share this email with any brothers you know that are not part of this distribution.  I am not trying to preach to the choir, but I need all of you to help spread this message to all members.

Look forward to seeing many of you at our upcoming meetings in June.

Vivat Jesus!
Jim Di Paolo, Grand Knight #345

Vivat Jesus!


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Union Council 345
was formed 120 years ago in the City of Easton and has a distinguished record of service to both our catholic parishes and our community. Our Council serves the parishes of Holy Ghost, Our Lady of Lebanon, Our Lady of Mercy Parish, St Anthony's of Padua, and St Jane Frances de Chantal.  As Knights we try to create a better world through charity and volunteerism. If you are looking to live out your faith in the spirit of charity by helping others, the Knights of Columbus welcomes you to join and become a Knight.

Send comments or questions to the Grand Knight at grandknight@kofc345.org
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