Home Service Program Activities Contact Links

Family Director
Survivors' Assistance
Family of the Month/Year
Family Projects
Family Week
Service Program:  FAMILY
Council 2181, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia Canada
Take a look at what's happening to our family life. Do we communicate? Do we share? Do we take time to get involved with each other? Are there opportunities for improvement? What is God's plan for us?

Today’s society makes it hard to be a family. Television takes up a lot of our time together. The hustle and bustle of business, rushed meals, school, work, committee meetings, sports and shopping are cramming our days and weeks. The family is under heavy attack today. The battle is largely over values and commitments. To survive, the family needs support. Its primary source of strength must be found in a growing religious and parish life. But it also can be helped substantially by an organization such as ours.

Family Director:  Gregory Huskins: 742-3937

For more information: Contact Council 2181
Strengthening Family Life

Help prevent the death of the family by administering preventive medicine. Conduct those programs and activities which aid in rebuilding the family spirit from within, making it vital and strong enough to resist society’s ills. Encourage members and their families to choose as their model the Holy Family, copying their attitude of interdependence, sharing and respect for authority.
Work to strengthen family life. Nourish wholesome home life through the sponsorship of activities involving entire families on a scheduled and continuing basis. Encourage communications and routines which involve family members within their own homes as well as bringing families together in social and recreational events in the community. Stimulate togetherness within family units. There are many ways in which families can enjoy time together in a scheduled, organized way, even when the age range of members of the family varies widely.

Maintain contact with widows and dependent children of members. A committee of council members might offer to help in making funeral arrangements, assist a widow in the completion of the insurance forms, social security and other necessary paperwork, keep a deceased Knight’s family informed about council activities they can attend or participate in, conduct social events particularly for the widows and children of members. Survey the needs of surviving family members and determine
in what ways your council can help meet those needs. The council membership, as well as the man’s family, will be enriched by maintaining ties. Often the council’s Knights of Columbus insurance agent offers a program of survivors’ assistance so be sure to contact him.

Remember the children of your deceased brothers. Include them in the youth activities of your council. Occasional visits and progress checks will make them feel wanted and important.  Invite the eligible sons of deceased members to join your Squires circle. This activity will assist them in building their leadership traits and carrying on the family tradition of Columbianism.

Establish a memorials committee within your council. A member may never need a strong show of fraternal spirit from his Order and his brother Knights so much as upon the death of someone in his family. By the same token, the family of a member may never recognize the genuineness of that spirit nor realize its benefits so much as upon that member’s death.

The primary responsibility of the memorials committee is to attend wakes and funerals of brother Knights or their family members. Special council prayer cards should be provided to members of the memorials committee, with prayers chosen by the council chaplain as appropriate for wakes. Such cards are usually designed by the council chaplain and printed locally. 
Offer Masses for departed members and their families.
Sponsor an annual memorial Mass and Communion.
Establish scholarships in memory of deceased members.
Urge enrollment of members for purgatorial Masses and offer spiritual bouquets for members and relatives.

Plan a family Mass, a picnic, a dinner, a prayer service and other activities that will promote and highlight both family interaction and the family focus of the Order. The Family Week degrees can be used to welcome family members, the focus of recruitment efforts for these degrees.  Organize family corporate Communion breakfasts. Planned as quarterly events (or on the 5thSunday in a month), these gatherings bring together council or parish families to celebrate the Eucharist and share time and a meal together.  Plan an annual marriage vow renewal program for couples in your council or entire parish. Work with your chaplain to plan a Mass or prayer service during which married couples will renew their vows. 

Adopt a needy family. Contact your parish, social service agencies or similar community groups to offer to assist an impoverished family. Once a family is selected work with the parish or social service group to determine the long-term and short-term needs of the family. Areas to take into consideration include employment and job training, clothing (both winter and summer), food, education for children and adults where necessary and housing.
• Encourage your council’s families to visit relatives or have family reunions. How many times
have you heard, “We only see each other at weddings and wakes”?
• Hold a “Family Contest.” Determine which family in the council can take the best picture, catch the largest fish, bake the prize-winning cake, raise the most charity funds, or bowl the best score in a family tournament. The idea is to make sure the entire family is involved.
• Plan outings or trips designed especially for entire families. Visit museums, cathedrals, college campuses, parks, zoos, company headquarters, etc.
• Volunteer as a family. Involving entire families in your council’s service programs can benefit the

Support education vocally in front of your own children. If a young person hears his parents criticize his school and teachers, he is not likely to have confidence in them or get much out of his class work. Even before a youngster starts school, he can sense whether his parents consider school work a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity or a tedious bore to be endured. Instill a respect for scholarship in children.

Encourage potential dropouts to stay in school. Persuade those who have dropped out to return. Help students overcome the barriers to proper education they may face — learning problems, home life, etc. Stress to these students and their families what the future holds for dropouts. Thousands of students drop out of school every day. The unemployment rate for dropouts is twice that of high school graduates.

• Question, examine and reinforce what is taught in school. Don’t hesitate to voice your opinion to officials if you are not pleased and satisfied with the education being provided to children in your community.

• Take an active interest in the sex education programs in local schools. Consult experts in religious education and adolescent psychology. Council members and their families could spearhead the development of materials and programs that could assist and fill out whatever the local schools may be doing in the area of sex education.

• Award scholarships at Catholic high schools and colleges to qualified Squires and sons and daughters of council members. Hold an annual scholarship competition.

Work to improve relationships between teenagers and their parents. Sponsor a panel discussion that could bring parents, teachers and teenagers together. Perhaps there might be enough interest to have a weekend retreat or day of recollection for parents and their teenage sons and daughters. The emphasis here would have to be on the spirit of sharing experiences and points of view rather than an authoritarian kind of preaching.

• Urge your members to reserve Sundays for their families; to participate and share in the joy of life together. Remind them that life is too short to spend time thinking about what one should have done. Encourage each member to enjoy his family’s company and let them enjoy him.
• Reach out to families and children of divorced or single parents.
• Provide instruction on the theology, meaning and purpose of marriage.
• Offer support and discussion groups for married couples.
• Support services that provide premarital counseling programs to help prepare couples for marriage.

Participate in the Order’s “Family of the Month” and “Family of the Year” programs, honoring council families who exemplify the values taught by our Church and our Order. Full details on the program are provided in the Family of the Month booklet (#1993) provided to each council in its annual

Provide additional recognition to your “Family of the Month/Year” recipients in several ways. Contact broadcast stations in the area, particularly diocesan radio and television stations, and ask them to consider making announcements recognizing “Family of the Month/Year.” Post a sign on the front lawn of “Family of the Month/Year” recipients to let the community know that they have earned this honor.

Host a “Ladies Night.” This could become one of the most popular and enthusiastically anticipated affairs on a council’s activity schedule. Not only does it serve to acquaint the ladies with the place where their husbands spend so much time, but it also gives them the feeling of participation in another phase of their social life.

When organizing the program, consider the type of evening sponsored, refreshments or a meal, music or entertainment, and who will be invited. It is important to decide upon a definite date and announce it well in advance.

Plan a picnic, a summer kick-off weekend or day for council families. Put individuals in charge of food, entertainment, activities, outings, etc. Have a good time!

Service Program Manual in pdf format
Home Service Program Activities Contact Links