Knights of Columbus annual conference held in Moose Jaw

Nathan Liewicki
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Local representative notes decline in membership

Three years after hosting the Saskatchewan State Council Knights of Columbus Convention, Moose Jaw did so again this past weekend.

Knights of Columbus

Delegates from as many as 150 provincial councils were in the Friendly City April 25-27 for the 92nd annual convention, which was held at both the Heritage Inn and at the Moose Jaw Exhibition Company.

“This year in Moose Jaw we had about 145 voting delegates,” said Al Rossler, chairman of the organizing committee.

“Then we have many other members, like district deputies, program directors, visitors and guests. Anyone can attend the convention as long as you are a full fledged Knights of Columbus member.”

Rossler said each council has the ability to send up to two delegates to vote on an array of matters, but many other delegates attended this year’s convention.

He estimated about 340 participants attended the convention, plus another 40 were at the banquet.

According to Rossler, the number of convention attendees has decreased in recent years.

“It’s a very much family-oriented organization, but due to a variety of reasons the numbers are dropping,” he said. “There are not as many Catholic gentlemen out there to draw from.”

Rossler added that part of the recent decline – he feels – is a result of complacency, not only at the conference, but in Roman Catholic churches as well.

“The people who call themselves Roman Catholic are not participating and attending,” said Rossler.

That being said, Rossler believes the Knights of Columbus will not die off, despite a drop in membership and an increase to the average age of members, which is in the mid-fifties.

In the early 2000s Rossler, who has been a Knights members for nearly 25 years, remembers attending a conference banquet that was in the range of 550 people.

Still, the Knights are holding their own, and will continue to discuss important issues facing the Roman Catholic Church and its communities.

One of the things members of the Knights of Columbus maintain a common ground on, in addition to representation at conferences, is the aspect of fellowship.

“You meet men all over the province, and a lot of them bring their wives,” said Rossler. “People come because they want to make that personal connection.”

Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks

Organizations: Knights of Columbus, Heritage Inn, Moose Jaw Exhibition Company Roman Catholic Church

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Friendly

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