Grand Knight’s Message – July 2015
Alan Pultyniewicz, Grand Knight
My Brothers All,
I am humbled by the trust you have placed in me by electing me to serve as your next Grand Knight for the 2015-2016 Columbian Year.
It is hard to believe that nearly a year has passed since we were gathered together for the installation of PGK Sonny Van. During his inaugural speech, PGK Sonny asked all of us to pray. He encouraged us to pray to our Lord God for the strength to do God’s will….serving God’s people and one another, caring for those who are in need, and being there for our own St. John’s parish family and for our friends and neighbors in the community.
What Sonny asked each of us to do is simply what we should do as brother Knights. This is what the Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney did by forming the Knights of Columbus in 1882 – through the principles of Charity, Unity and Fraternity. We gather together as the largest, Catholic fraternal organization in the world to grow deeper in our faith and to help each other and others, especially in times of need. We must remember that together, we are all one.
We will continue to live up to the principles of our Order and I am committed to continuing the efforts of the administration of our PGK. We must now move forward and continue to grow. No doubt, we will face difficult times and will need to make difficult choices. But, through God’s Grace, we will overcome and rise above those challenges. We will continue to make a difference, for each of us and for everyone in our parish and community.
What a blessing it is to be part of this Order and especially this Council – Columbia Council 7559. Established 35 years ago in 1980, our Council has such a tremendous group of caring, compassionate and committed men. When we gather together, we work together hand-in-hand to serve others and to be there for one another. We will continue to work closely with our clergy to support our parish community. We will also continue to partner with each of the communities that make up our great faith community known as St. John the Evangelist.
How will we do this? It is simple – we will pray to our Lord for the strength and courage to do God’s work. We will ask this through the continued intercession of our Blessed Mother. We must not be afraid to step outside of our comfort zone. We must let the Holy Spirit move us in ways that we never could have imagined. Trust me, never in my wildest thoughts, did I ever imagine that I would be standing here, giving these remarks as a Grand Knight.
I vividly remember the times when my Dad would take me to the Oakland Mills Village Center, where I donned the yellow apron, held the yellow canister, and helped collect donations that support our community members who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. It’s hard to believe that nearly 30 years later I am standing here as a Grand Knight with the Knights of Columbus. So, with that being said, my message here is simple… nothing is impossible with God’s Grace and the work of the Holy Spirit. We will accomplish great things! As St. John Paul II said, “be not afraid.”
I look forward to another successful fraternal year. We did such great work together this past year and will continue to work together to accomplish our goals. It is not one person who does all of the work, but a group of men working together. Working together and with God’s grace, we can and will accomplish much this year and for years to come.
Now, I ask all of my brothers to help your Council and your fellow Brother Knights—you do not need to come to all of our business meetings, but please, respond to our emails and telephone calls and participate in the many events we coordinate or participate in throughout the year. These events take a lot of work, and we need many hands to make these events a success.
If your health unfortunately does not permit your active participation, please let us know how you are doing and what we can do for you. We are here for one another – for each of our brothers. We will be there for you and will help in anyway possible.
And, I pray and ask that all of the inactive members of our Council return and be an active part of your council. We cannot do anything on our own, but united together, we will accomplish much. Consider what you can do for your council. Reach out to me and to our retention committee, chaired by Deputy Grand Knight Joseph Toyang. If there is anything we can do to help you get started, please let us know. Just call or email us anytime.
Brothers, I look forward to working with each of you in the new fraternal year ahead. Please pray for me that I will do what is in the best interest of our council.