A Higher Purpose
Create annual opportunities for prayer and reflection as a fraternity. Under the guidance of their chaplain, Knights of Columbus councils can attend a retreat or day of reflection together or perhaps organize their own event for men of their parish. Council participation in Spiritual Reflection is required to qualify for Columbian Award.
Many Catholic young people can attest that religious retreats are radically rejuvenating spiritual events that often leave a lasting impact on participants’ relationship to their faith. Yet, so often, retreats seem only to be offered to students and youth. Working with their pastors, Knights of Columbus councils can hold low-cost retreats of their own. These events might be held for council members or men of the parish – or may be open to entire families. If councils are unable to organize these events themselves, they could go as a group and attend a retreat in their area to satisfy the requirement.
A council must conduct this required program in the Faith category to be eligible to receive the Columbian Award.
- If you are planning a day of reflection or weekend retreat of your own with your pastor, obtain his permission and recommendations on conducting the Spiritual Reflection Program.
- Prior to the Spiritual Reflection, use the sample press release as a model to create and distribute a tailored release to local media.
- Build public interest for the event! Promote the Spiritual Reflection in your parish and larger community through a variety of efforts:
- Prominently display promotional posters (which can be ordered through Supplies Online)
- Bulletin announcements
- Pulpit announcements
- Posting on your council and parish website / social media pages
- On the day of the event, wear Knights of Columbus-branded apparel and have the council membership director set up a table with brochures and membership documents (including Prospect Cards #921A). Do not forget that this event is a recruiting opportunity!
- Enlist a fellow Knight or community member to photograph the event.
- To gain credit for your program, complete the associated reporting forms and submit them to the Supreme Council Department of Fraternal Mission. Remember to retain copies for your council records.
- Immediately after your event is finished, complete the Faith Report Form (Forthcoming)
- At the end of the fraternal year, complete your Columbian Award Application (#SP-7)
Guidelines for the Spiritual Reflection Program
- The definition of a “reflection” is broad but should be a day-long event at minimum and could possibly encompass an entire weekend.
- Councils can attend religious retreats and days of reflection organized by other groups. However, if they are attending a reflection and not planning it themselves, council attendance should be significant with at least 10 percent of the council or a minimum of 10 members participating.
- Reflections and retreats can be held at the council level but councils could also collaborate with other councils in the area to host a Spiritual Reflection.
- If planning a retreat for the council, consider holding it on church property and have volunteers pack lunch or provide their own meals to defer costs.
- Be creative! Make a pilgrimage to a nearby basilica, monastery or convent. Celebrate Mass with the religious or your chaplain/pastor.
- It is strongly encouraged that councils incorporate Mass within their program, celebrating the liturgy with your chaplain/pastor. Also, incorporate opportunities for other sacramental and liturgical activities such confession, Eucharistic adoration, a rosary or all of these.