Please read this important message issued by the Knights of Columbus on March 16:
Dear Brother Knight,
As the world confronts the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you the actions and responses taken by the Knights of Columbus.
The coronavirus disease is not the first pandemic the Knights of Columbus has faced. In the late nineteenth century, and again in 1918, the Knights remained strong and active despite such situations.
And together, we will do so again this time.
We know that this period will be difficult in various ways for everyone, and we want to assure you that the Knights of Columbus is fully committed to you and your family, and has taken the steps necessary to continue our important work on your behalf – from protecting the faith and financial stability of members’ families, to helping members put their faith into action by providing important charitable service within their communities.
Although to our knowledge, no staff at the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council or Museum in New Haven or at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C., have tested positive for COVID-19, we have implemented remote operations for most staff, allowing our business processes, customer service and fraternal support to continue their important work uninterrupted, while simultaneously protecting the health of our employees and reducing the risk of community spread of this illness, which is often facilitated by having large groups of people in close proximity to one another.
Furthermore, our sustainable investment strategy means that our exposure to current stock market volatility is limited, and we remain extremely strong financially. With that strength, and the strength that comes from committed employees, we remain positioned and ready to serve our brother Knights.
Of course, our agents and our customer service team also remain available to help you with any insurance or related financial needs that you may have. As we implement new systems to serve you and respond to a higher volume of inquiries than usual during this period, it is possible that wait and turnaround times may increase.
In addition to what we are doing at the Supreme Council headquarters, many brother Knights have asked how they can help in their own communities. We suggest the following:
1. Pray. During this period, we urge every member and his family to pray the Supreme Council's novena based on the prayer of Pope Francis (printable or video prayer), as well as a prayer being promoted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
2. Help keep yourself, your families and your communities safe by cancelling all “in person” Knights of Columbus meetings and activities at the local or state level until otherwise indicated. This disease spreads when groups of people gather, so it is important that we avoid activities that could spread this illness. Councils should pursue online and/or teleconferencing options for meetings, fundraising, etc. until the danger has passed. The Supreme Council will be providing additional information on such options shortly.
3. Leave no Knight – or neighbor – behind. If members of your council – or community – are elderly or have underlying medical conditions, please ensure that they have enough food. If you or others in your council have food to spare, offer to drop something off on their doorstep or to shop online for them.
4. Give blood. Many communities are facing blood shortages. Those not being recommended to isolate themselves due to illness, age or underlying conditions should consider giving blood. National blood drives were pioneered by the Knights of Columbus in the 1930s, and this lifesaving activity remains an important aspect of our charitable work today.
As we move through this pandemic together, you can rest assured that the Knights of Columbus will be there for you. We will provide regular updates in the days ahead, and we will remain joined with you in prayer and in service to our neighbors in need.
May God bless you, and keep you and your loved ones healthy and safe.