Father McGivney sought to strengthen the familial bond of father to mother and children to parents. His vision for family life was not only financial and material aid but also spiritual strength. The majority of our time is easily spent in secular circles unless we intentionally create ways to live the domestic church. These programs, created for families by families, help us to live this call.
The Supreme Council provides elements of the Family Program area which are summarized here:
The elements of the Life Program area which are noted in the Columbian Award application and the Annual Survey of Fraternal Activity forms are:
- Food for Families
- Family of the Month/Year
- Family Formation Programs
- Keep Christ in Christmas
- Family Week
- Family Prayer Night
- Family Fully Alive
- Good Friday Family Promotion
- Consecration to the Holy Family (which is a required program)
- Miscellaneous Family Programs
Our Council Family Programs and Projects are shown below:
Knight Family of the Month/Year Program
The Family of the Month Program is a Supreme Council feature program. Selection and presentation occur at the local Council level. BSC also participates in the Knight Family of the Year Program. BSC Family Activities Chairman and Council Officers select deserving families for this recognition and forward a nomination packet to the State Council. Recommendations are encourage from all Council members to the Committee Chairman.
Consecration to the Holy Family
To help families live out the joy of Christ, Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori has composed a prayer through which families will come together to consecrate themselves under the protection of the Holy Family. In this prayer, we ask for the aid or intercession of the perfect son Jesus Christ, Mary the perfect mother, and Joseph who is a model for every father. Our Council and Parish will plan on attending Mass on the Feast of the Holy Family and recite this prayer to consecrate ourselves under the protection of the Holy Family.
St. Vincent De Paul Service to the Poor / Food for Families
An annual week-end food drive is coordinated at the Parish by the St Vincent De Paul volunteers. A parish-based First Sunday Food drive is also conducted monthly. Brothers from BSC are among the volunteers who collect and store the donated food for subsequent distribution to St Vincent de Paul. During Lent, BSC Brothers and family members collect food and cash donations to provide support to St Vincent de Paul Food Bank program. A goal of $1,000 is set so that the Supreme Council will add 20% to the collected amount which also then goes to the food bank. Several Brothers and their family also perform case worker functions as part of the Saint Vincent de Paul ministry to screen and assist poor people who have fallen on hard times, and sometimes require a grant to pay for essential utilities or rent.
Family Prayer Night (formerly Social Potluck)
The Family Prayer Night is a Rosary and supper for Knights and their family members combined with an abbreviated social meeting. This event constitutes a get-together that is scheduled whenever there are no new candidates scheduled for exemplification at the second council meeting each month. Families become more acquainted with each other which promotes friendships and support for church, council and community events.
The Brothers of BSC coordinate with the St Andrew the Apostle Parish to conduct a Mass intention for widows of deceased Brothers. Immediately after the Mass, a complimentary brunch is served to the widows, and a small-price brunch is also offered to other attendees of the brunch.
Good Friday Family Promotion
Our Christian faith centers on Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. But attendance at Good Friday and Easter services is declining. Now, through this promotion, Knights and their families will work with their pastor to create a campaign promoting the importance of Good Friday services. Knights will take this opportunity to also educate parish families about the plight of Christians living in the Holy Land today. Support of this event also includes sales of Solidarity Crosses by the Knights.
Food for Families Programs
BSC supports the St Andrew The Apostle Parish Food Pantry and St. Vincent De Paul Society Food Bank. The St Andrew the Apostle food pantry is located in the Parish office complex and is usually stocked from the food donated by parishioners on the first Sunday of each month. Occasionally, food items must be purchased food to stock the pantry, when required. Food from the pantry is delivered periodically to the St Vincent De Paul food pantry for distribution to the needy in the community. On occasion, hungry desperate people will be given food items directly by the Parish staff. Items that are used most are canned meats, cereal, snacks and items that do not require much preparation or refrigerated storage. Dry beans, bags of rice and some canned vegetables are also popular. An annual week-end food drive is coordinated at the Parish campus by the St Vincent De Paul volunteers. Brothers from Bishop Salpointe Council are among the volunteers who collect and store the donated food for subsequent distribution. A previous section on St Vincent de Paul describes the annual food and money collections during lent to benefit poor families in our community.
Prayer Rallies/Public Rosaries for Sanctified Marriage and other Issues Affecting Family Integrity
Our Brothers and their wives and children can participate in group prayer events that show solidarity with others in our community who share our Christian values. Prayer in public places is especially warranted during times of civil discourse when lawmakers and judiciaries undertake legislation or litigation actions that have significant impact on families.
BSC sponsors the local Knights of Columbus International Free Throw Championship for boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 14. All competition starts at the local level. Winners move on to the District, Regional, and State, and some make it to the International level for championship competition in their group. To sponsor a competition, BSC needs volunteers to conduct the local competition under instructions contained in the Free Throw Championship Kit (#FT-KIT), a couple of basketballs, a hoop and a bunch of kids.
Catholic Citizenship Essay Contest
BSC supports the Knights of Columbus Catholic Citizenship Essay contest designed to promote critical thinking about upholding and defending our faith. The annual contest begins at the local parish level and progresses to State and then National/International levels. BSC volunteers chair the program and coordinate participation and judging.
Lenten Friday Stations of the Cross and Fish Fry
BSC sponsors a Fish Fry each Friday before Good Friday during Lent. The fish fry often offers music entertainment to go with the meal attended by many of the parishioners who attend the Friday Stations of the Cross. Others from the community and surrounding parishes also like to attend. This venue also provides an opportunity to solicit cash donations for the St Vincent de Paul Food Bank, baby clothing for the Care Net pregnancy center, ticket sales for the Arizona Council Raffle, St Paul Street Evangelization (SPSE), Solidarity Cross sales, and other worthy charitable causes. Brothers prepare and serve the fish fry dinners to raise funds for our councils’ other charitable activities.
Scouts are responsible for organizing, and executing troop events in accordance with the approved Troop Meeting Plans, however adult leadership is required for oversight and protection of the scouts. Meetings and camps involve a lot of volunteer time by the Brothers and Family members of BSC. There are several fund-raisers such as pancake breakfasts, Sunday morning kiosk donuts and coffee, and other special events that need supervision and assistance. The three Packs offer a variety of activity and volunteer requirements for boys of all ages. Our council provides $500 per year in funding to the Troop.
American Heritage Girls Arizona Troop 1464 Support
The organization offers badge programs, service projects, girl leadership opportunities, and outdoor experiences to its members. Volunteer efforts require a lot of time by the Brothers and Family members of Bishop BSC. Sierra Vista AHG Troop AZ 1464 includes all grade levels in meetings twice a month. This is a great benefit for sisters in different grades who can enjoy the scouting experience together. All age levels join together for the opening and closing of each meeting. Each grade level breaks off for small group activities during the meeting. Various opportunities are provided to enhance life skills through our merit badge program, promote service to others and foster friendships. Our council provides $500 per year in funding to the Troop.