This year's thematic

Orientation message from your State Deputy


I have so much to tell you, I do not know where to start. In April, delegates elected me state deputy for Quebec. State Deputy, what is it to be the State Deputy of Quebec. The more it goes, the more I find it big, the more I realize that alone, I can do nothing. I'm going to need you all. Yes, I can give you my moods, but alone I can do nothing. Therefore, since my election I have worked hard to find the right people in the right places. It is not obvious, Quebec is large, we are 90,000 members, but how many of those members are active? How many of these members want to take on responsibilities? At the local level, at the district level, at the regional level, at the provincial level, not Knights of medals, but Knights who are willing to put their hands in the dough, Knights who, like all of you here, have answered Yes to the call. Before going further, let me introduce my team to you. Of course. There are the state officers that were presented earlier by Brother Roger Pomerleau, who has agreed to preside the conference. Roger, thank you in advance, knowing that you will know the words to animate, but also to encourage, to motivate, to do non-partisan knighthood, be the brother who will rally all the brother Knights even if sometimes we are not in agreement, we do not all have the same tastes, luckily, for we would all be married to the same woman. My brother Roger will also sometimes act as a moderator in accordance with our fundamental principles of CHARITY first, then UNITY, FRATERNITY and PATRIOTISM.
Thank you brother Roger for having served as practice and now, let's really begin this presentation.

Our Liaison Bishop
Bishop Simard will make the link between the Knights and the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Quebec and as State Chaplain will handle anything that touches the religious side, I think of the diocesan chaplains, the council chaplains, spiritual leaders, the role of Chancellor in the absence of a chaplain or a spiritual leader in a council ... We have a big job to do so that we are recognized not as social clubs, but as a Catholic lay order that has, as one of our values​​, to support the CHURCH with a capital C. Yes we are Catholics, but do we affirm it? It will be discussed throughout the year. Bishop Simard will be assisted by Father André Lafleur, who will take over in the absence of Bishop Simard, who cannot be present at all our activities. Thank you in advance for all that you do for knighthood in Quebec.

Worthy State Secretary
Brother Denis Lapointe will oversee the State Secretariat which is managed by our director general brother Fernand Rochon. He is also responsible for the CFACs (financial management consultant) who are under the good leadership of our director general, he is also responsible for: Initiation and Conferring Officers with brother Ian Goyer who has agreed to lead this great team, not to mention Training which will be led by Brother Gilbert J Pilon, who could not free himself for this meeting, in the company of brother Égide Boudreault and brother Albin Parent. Not to mention he is the mentor of regions 02, 03 and 11, a nice big territory to be served. Brother Denis, good luck in your new position and I know you'll be supported by Mrs. Francine, who will sometimes bring you to order.

Worthy State Treasurer
Brother Omer Deshaies who will monitor the finances of the State in collaboration with the Secretariat staff. He also agreed to supervise the charitable works campaign. Along with the Provincial Coordinator, brother Noel Belanger without forgetting his wife Helen who supports him wholeheartedly. He will evaluate requests for donations at the provincial level and make recommendations to the State Executive while respecting his budgets. He must learn to work miracles. He is mentor of regions 05-10-15. The playfulness of Aline, or rather the complicity of Aline, allows him to still be alert even after 50 years of knighthood.

Worthy State Advocate
Brother Jean-Luc Bilodeau, as for him, has everything relating to the law. He will sometimes advise us on ways to say certain things to avoid a conflict of interest. He will see to advise us, before undertaking certain so-called legal actions, we will see to consult him. I also gave him the responsibility of Culture of Life to evaluate those requests. I come back to you on this topic tomorrow. He is mentor of regions 04, 13 and 14.

Worthy State Warden
Brother Roland Giroux has, meanwhile, all the Columbian programs, ie: Celebrate a Birth, Family of the Month, Personality of the month, State Service Program Awards, Drawing Contest, Soccer, Free Throw, etc ... He has chosen a provincial coordinator to support him in all that, who is brother Réal Bernier. He will also oversee the Supreme Awards in the company of our new Supreme Programs Consultant brother Pierre Côté. He is also the mentor to regions 08, 12, 16 and 17. He is supported by his wife Laurence.

Worthy Ex-State Deputy
Brother Pierre Beaucage, fear not, there are things left. He is an ex, but still a State Officer, he believes he is retired, but it will not be the case, I kept him for dessert. He will be senior advisor to the State Deputy. I will entrust to him special mandates, and the first of these is the restructuring of the regions. Yes, during the year, we will question our structure, our councils belonging to a given district, our districts to a given region and even our regions, is it current to have so many regions? ... Our former State Deputy, in collaboration with the Regional Directors, will look at what we can do and he will report to the State Executive which will take a decision. Maybe the current setup is the best, but why miss out if better exists. He will also oversee the Family / New Evangelization file in collaboration with the Provincial Coordinator brother Benoit Thibault. He also will oversee, in collaboration with brother Claude Rousseau ex-State Deputy, the meeting with the Bishops and PEACE Delegate files. He is mentor of regions 06-07-09. He is supported by his wife Francine.

Our Worthy Vice Supreme Master
Sir Knight André Leclerc who heads the 4th degree. He has enough to do with all the programs of the fourth degree. We certainly will call on him and his troops during the year. The visibility of the Order, it is important, and we will surely have a few outings in their company. We must not forget that all fourth degree are foremost brother knights who decided one day to advance further.

There remains all who report directly to me.
First Membership. This year I have decided to appoint a Provincial Director who will take over this important issue. When I speak of Membership, I mean recruitment, retention, round tables, new council foundations and the Columbian Squires (our leaders of tomorrow).

I entrusted this job to brother Alain Smith who enlisted as Provincial Coordinators for membership the brothers Jean-Guy Pineault, Joe Labelle and Pierre Emond. All staunch supporters of the Columbian Squires and who will have specific responsibilities, but who will all promote membership provincially. A great team to promote the life of the Order. Yes, my brothers, we must recruit if we want to have people to whom to transmit our values.

You have to give birth to new brother Knights, you have to do first degrees with one, two, five, ten candidates, but we must do them, in our council, in our district ... The Supreme Council speaks of one new knight per council per month. You will tell me that it is utopian, but not for all. I understand that a Knight per month for a council of 40 knights, this is too much, but for a council with 1000 members, this is far from enough to renew itself. So you will hear this again this year one Knight per month per council, it is what is requested and we can do nothing about it ... we must live with it.

What is important is life, what is important is to renew oneself, to enable all Catholics to become Knights. I will return to this later, I have to finish the presentation of the other coordinators who have accepted responsibilities.

The provincial coordinator, brother Gilles Champagne will handle the Marian Prayer Program in addition to taking care of the hospitality suite of the State Council at conventions and assist in setup at conventions. Thank you for your involvement, great example, he is a Master at the 4th degree, but above all, he is a brother Knight.

Brother Denis Lavoie will continue the good work he began in handling the file of the Holy Door which will end during the year. Another way to demonstrate our commitment to the Church.

A new post that I created, Provincial Coordinator for protocol, that I entrusted to Brother Thomas Potvin. He will promote the formal respect for our traditions and customs. I'm going to visit the regions, no, we will visit the regions, I and the other officers of state, and I do not want us to be received like a bull in a china shop. All must know what to expect. Surely, brother Thomas will work closely with our state warden, I am not about to take away his responsibility, on the contrary, I give him an additional aide for the day to day workings. During a congress, the State Warden is the principal host, he takes care of important guests, but he cannot take care of all my trips. He has his files, responsibilities, we cannot ask for more than a man can do, he only has two hands.

We also have the State Deputy Opens which are headed by brother Maurice Faucher in the East and brother Pierre Richard in the West.

We welcome our brother Marc Castonguay newly appointed Director of Fraternal Insurance Agencies of the Knights of Columbus.

In closing this first part, I will be the mentor for region 01. I forgot, I'm the head of the Order in Quebec, therefore, you all answer to me, whatever you do, you will do it on my behalf. This means that if we succeed, if we do something good, it will be due to me and if it's the opposite, I will receive a knock on the head. This means that my head is on the chopping block for the next two years. When you take a position, you take everything that comes with it. We savor what is good, and we forget what is less good. Sometimes you have to raise the feet to get over some obstacles.

And I don't want to forget the Coordinator of Women's Activities
My wife Suzanne who supports me since my nomination. It is customary that the wife of the state deputy gives life to a provincial collection of funds, so I invite my wife to join me so we can give you this presentation together.

My brother Knights, ladies, no I have not forgotten my right arms,
my collaborators, my - our Regional Directors:

Region 01 Gaspésie-Les Îles, brother Ghislain Deschênes (Carole)
Region 02 Saguenay-Lac St-Jean-Chibougamau-Chapais, brother Marc
Tremblay (Sylvie)
Region 03 La Capitale, brother Pierre Pelchat
Region 04 Des Appalaches, brother Magella Grenier (Madeleine)
Region 05 De l'Estrie, brother Denis Rancourt (Diane)
Region 06 Richelieu-Yamaska, brother Pierre Richard (Monique)
Region 07 Montréal, brother Richard Paratte (France)
Region 08 Laurentides-Outaouais, brother Daniel Langlois (Claire)
Region 09 Valleyfield-St-Jean, brother Pierre Charbonneau (France)
Region 10 Mauricie-Lanaudière, brother Daniel Duchesne
Region 11 Côte-Nord, brother Michel Tanguay
Region 12 Abitibi-Témiscamingue, brother Gilles Bernatchez (Gisèle)
Region 13 Des Monts Notre Dame, brother Robert Breton (Lyne)
Region 14 De la Vallée du St-Laurent, brother Serge Dubé (Marie-Paule)
Region 15 Des Bois-Francs, brother Patrice Rousseau (Lyne)
Region 16 Laval-Rive Nord, brother Réal Sauvé (Micheline)

And this year, I decided to create a new provincial region encompassing the ethnic groups, a region of the English language. Since I do not speak English, I needed to have a brother who will do it in my name. So region 17 Southwestern Quebec, brother Boris J. Polanski.

Quebec is big, it is diverse, what is good in Gaspé, is not necessarily suitable for the brothers of Gatineau ... There is lots of local color and I am fine with that ... In Quebec we have a franchise and our franchisor is Supreme. It provides us with the structure and the rules to follow. The heart, the picture so to speak, we have to put the frame around it, the local color, the values ​​of our founder must always be present, but nothing prevents us from putting a renovated frame with flowers so that it will enhance the image of Quebec Knights.

My brothers, this is my team of regional directors who have agreed to take to the road with me, with the whole team of State Officers that you elected last April.

I have left you, my brother District Deputies, you will understand that I cannot name all of you, but I know that I can this weekend shake all your hands. There is also Sunday at the formal installation of officers, I will have the chance to address you, the congress will end with the installation Sunday morning.

Now that you know the players, there is the content, the heart, the true message of the State Deputy of Quebec. Brothers during the next year, we must unite to do knighthood.

Lord Jesus,
One day, you called Michael McGivney
To establish the Columbian Order
To work with parish priests
In your plan of salvation.

Now, you call me
To continue the work of our founder
To be the same Apostle of the Church
A responsible Knight
In his family, social,
Parish and professional environment.

Keep me faithful to my promise
To be the yeast of UNITY and CHARITY
Among us.
Make me always aware
That FRATERNITY invites me
To love one another
And that true PATRIOTISM is established
By the promotion of your kingdom
Of faith, justice and love
In this world of today

But what a beautiful prayer, when we stop a bit and we reflect on all that is said in this prayer, this is what the Supreme Council demands from us. This is what we must do during the next year.

To help us, we have all the programs that will be explained to you tomorrow. The coordinators will be happy to give you a refresher course, an update because, in reality, I know you know a lot, but in knighthood, and at all levels, we must repeat, we learn a little bit each time. The entire structure is made like that. Experience cannot be bought, wisdom neither, it all adds up. Therefore, there is a certain hierarchy in the Order and, if you please my brothers, try to respect it. There is the Supreme Knight with his executive, to whom report the State Deputies with their Executives. We, in Quebec, we have the Regional Directors (based on distances, regional disparities, language).

The Regional Directors are representatives of the state deputy in his region. They helped to choose you my brothers. They must promote the programs in their region and especially unify the activities of their region. The Regional Director must be the leader of his region. He should motivate you, make sure that you have all the tools to properly serve your councils. He must also schedule the third degrees in the region...

And there are you my brothers, District Deputies, who will represent me inside your district. You represent me in your district, not in the neighbour's, but in yours. You represent the State Executive in your district. You must coordinate the activities of your district. You are there to motivate the Grand Knights, to see that knighthood is lived at the base first. You have the most important job in the Order. Ensure that each council member lives knighthood following the rules established by our founder. Above all, see that recruitment is done in the councils. We must renew ourselves. We must pass on our values ​​to our descendants. Be careful not to take the place of the Grand Knight because he is the boss in his council.

You must ensure that the Grand Knight and his members make every effort so that there is plenty of life in the councils, to ensure that programs are well presented to the members and that they get done. You must ensure that much CHARITY, UNITY, FRATERNITY and PATRIOTISM is lived in the councils under your jurisdiction. Our councils are not social clubs. I remind you that we are a Catholic lay order, so make sure that councils are a place of resourcing to increase our faith. We believe in God and it has to be shown, we have to support our bishops, our parish priests.

Currently, the Church in Quebec is in full restructuring with Communions of Community ... Some parishes merge and it is expected that this will affect the territories, it will affect some districts that will need to be remodeled and perhaps even some regions. .. It's a file that will attract our attention during the year. What is important above all is that all the baptized in Jesus have the opportunity to grow their faith, to become a Knight of Columbus and to do that, we must recruit, we have to do first degrees in the councils, we have to do 2nd and 3rd degrees in the districts.

If you, the District Deputies, you feel you do not have enough candidates in your district, you are free to invite one or two fellow District Deputies to join you. For sure I will allow new members to join us. UNITY is one of our principles which is not used often enough. I’m not telling you to do fewer 2nd and 3rd degrees, on the contrary, more need to be done, what I'm telling you is that if I take 3 districts that decide to unite, there might be a ceremony in November in one district, in February in another, in May in the third ... It's for you to judge, it is also one of your duties is to do initiations. We will speak about it again tomorrow ...

During the next year, one of the values ​​that I will try to demystify, that I will try to promote is the FAMILY. The family is the heart of life. Everything goes through the family. Life begins and ends with the family. Our faith is lived within the family. The family is the preferred cell to transmit our values, besides our Pope Francis understood this truth so well that he gave his approval to a special synod on the family during the next year. We will be called on to participate, at what level, we'll see, but one thing is for sure, we will follow this issue very closely. At the meeting of state deputies in New Haven, the Supreme Knight advised us that during the year, there will be actions taken to assist the Holy Father in his business.


2015 Theme

Our founder Michael McGivney had at heart the widow and the orphan, is it not a family broken by life in spite of them, but it's a family ... Today, how many families are broken ... Sometimes some families are disparate, I confess. We, as Knights of Columbus, we will promote the ideal family, a man, a woman and children, but that does not stop us from practicing CHARITY to families less fortunate, broken families. Ultimately, when we see around us children in poverty, is it not our duty to intervene. Children are the future of humanity, who knows, maybe a future Knight, a future daughter of Isabella, one thing is sure, it is necessary that the child has a chance to live, and if possible to be taught about God.

The symbol of the 3rd degree of the Knights of Columbus of Quebec represents all the member Knights, the symbol of the fourth degree for those who have decided to go further, a step further, the Columbian Squires, our succession, where there are enough young people who want to do good around them, it is our duty to support them. We must make every effort to help them grow. We'll talk about them tomorrow. Insurance, the primary reason for the creation of the Order, to unite to support widows and orphans. Today, the Fraternal Insurance of the Knights of Columbus is a private insurance that is for members only. Tomorrow morning, our brother Marc Castonguay will have the chance to talk to you more fully and be assured that we will support him throughout the year. Every knight needs to have the chance to join the largest fraternity in the world. Open the doors of the councils to your fraternal counselor, he can help you in all aspects of membership ...

Of course, we have our four core principles which are: UNITY, FRATERNITY CHARITY, and PATRIOTISM.

The theme of Supreme: One Member per Council per Month. Reminds us that we must recruit, we need to give a chance to every Catholic man to join our order because we want to do good around us and for that we need arms. We need men of good will who like us want to do good. Not just anyone, men who stand tall, men who have a spine, we need men who have values​​. Find men with whom we will love to work. We must be able to have fun while working. We must love what we do and it has to show. The new members need to be interested in joining us. We need to be able to say "see how he loves himself."

Here are some Canadian personalities who have done good around them. This work has been recognized by the Holy Catholic Church. They are given to us as examples ... Sometimes in our lives, all kinds of things happen to us and we wonder to which saint to turn. I want you to walk in their footsteps during the year, do not hesitate to ask for their help.

And our Founder: Father Michael J. McGivney, he is not yet a saint, but one day he will be, I have placed him right beside because in life, we all need to have mentors. We stick to those that we want to resemble. My brothers, you often have to ask him to intercede with the Father. I am among those who believe that his intervention can make a difference. Our founder gains by being known. Who knows, during the year or over the next years, maybe he will be canonized? Our prayers cannot hurt. Yes, our founder is a man who did good in his life, he is blessed.

A church steeple: to remind us that the support of our parish priests is another of our values ​​bequeathed to us by our founder and this is even more true in Quebec than elsewhere. There are fewer and fewer priests in parishes and they need, they will need us more than ever. As Catholics, we must affirm our faith, support our priests, our bishops, our cardinals, our Pope. Bishop Simard, you can confirm it to the other bishops, over the next year we will make an effort to stick to you. We must unite to go further in collaboration with the Church. We all want to go to heaven, well my brothers act accordingly. Sometimes you have to step on your self love, charity, this is not just giving money, helping your neighbour, it's loving one's enemies. To love one another, is it not one of the commandments?

The Holy Family, can we have a better model than that? Jesus, in his youth, Mary, our mother and protector, and Joseph, the guardian of life. I do not need to comment. Whenever I see a picture of the Holy Family, it relaxes me, it rests me, it calms me, and it predisposes me to listen, to meditate. I feel closer to God. I do not know why, I become more serene.

Overlooked by doves to remind us that we are never alone. The Holy Spirit is present wherever we go, wherever we are, we are never alone. In life, we must dare, as the saying goes help yourself and heaven will help you.

And finally, the slogan of the year:
In our Columbian commitment Let's value our families ...
That says it all. During the next year, you will hear a lot about families and I'll see to it. The whole context will ensure that the family will be at the forefront. And how to ask for better. The family is the heart of life.

Finally, pray for our families

Jesus, Mary, Joseph, bless our family,
Jesus, Mary, Joseph, bless ALL the families.

It does not need much explanation, except the word ALL in bold capitals. ALL without exception, broken families, disparate family, extended family: children, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, everyone around us ...

The Columbian family, my brothers and their wives. ALL the families ...

My brothers, ladies, here is my vision of the theme for next year. There is work. I do not think that we are bored. There is something to rally some brothers who have left us in recent years. You know that in life, there are ups and downs. When the flame dies, it takes someone to blow on it and allow it to regain strength. Well, in the coming months, we will try to give air to some flames so they pick up the pace and rejoin our ranks.

Good congress,

Richard Desrochers
State Deputy