Reverend Fathers, Brother Knights, Friends,
I am Ryan Karl Polywkan, and I am humbled and honoured to have been elected as your new Grand Knight for this fraternal year. I became a Knight in December of 2014, after arriving back in Kingston upon my release from the Military that summer. At the time my wife Crystal and I had 3 children and were coming from a parish in Shilo, Manitoba where we made up 5 of the 13 or so parishioners. We came back to the church only within the last couple years we were out there. I had been struggling and spoke with my Padre at work, as it so happened, he was a Catholic Deacon who had been in the infantry and was injured, had his calling and came back to the military as a Padre. He told me to turn my focus to God. So, I did. We went to Our Lady of Shilo where we had the most welcoming priest Father Innocent, his love for God and his love for the mass was something to behold. You could truly feel the Holy Spirit working through him. When we were moving back to Kingston, he sat down with us and we were looking at St. Paul’s, being closest to us, but also where I had gone as a child for school. First with Father Karl, then with Father Leo. Not long after being here was I approached by Brother Howard to ask if I would be interested in becoming a Knight. In my now nearly 8 years in this council I have tried to be involved with as many events as I could. To date the only event I’ve not participated in is the Fish Fry. The amount and variety of activities in this council really can keep one very busy. There is something here for everyone.
The last two and a half years have put a damper on our events. We are not completely out of the woods yet, but we are the closest we have been. We can gather once again, without restrictions, we can host events, we can come together as a community of believers, as friends, as family. We must now take this opportunity and move forward, it’s time to put everything back into full swing again. We must contribute as we once did. Without fear. With love for one another. Let’s get out of the shadows we’ve spent the last two years in. We are Knights, we are husbands, fathers, brothers, grandfathers, men, and our parish community needs us. It’s time to bring our parish family back together in the ways that we have in the past, with the many events that bring us all together.
I encourage all brother knights to get involved. Whether it has been two years, ten or more, now is the time to come back out to our meetings and events. Now is an opportunity as everyone has missed time lately. Reintroduce yourselves. Our meeting format has changed a little since the pandemic started. It is now designed to keep the meeting to within an hour, to allow for fraternal social time following the meetings. I would like to get to know more of you using this time and find out what your interests are and how we can help each other make this a success. Our meetings will remain available online for the foreseeable future and will be broadcast from the parish hall where those wishing to come can be there in person. I look forward to working with every single one of you. Each of us has something to offer. I would also like to encourage every one of you to pray your Rosary daily. When you joined the Knights of Columbus you were all given a Rosary, it deserves to be prayed. If you need a replacement, please let me or our Financial Secretary know. It is the most important piece of your kit as a Knight of Columbus.
I would like to take this opportunity to give my heartfelt appreciation to Brother Michael Mombourquette for his steadfast leadership over the last 4 years he served as Grand Knight. His term was one that won’t soon be forgotten. He guided us through a pandemic that saw changes not only to our finances, but also dramatically changed the way in which we hold meetings. Br Michael was immediately successful in running our meetings via zoom and made it look like a flawless transition to online. We were the lucky ones and didn’t skip a beat because of him. We are truly blessed as a council to have had Brother Michael as our Grand Knight. Thank you, Br. Michael and may the Holy Spirit continue to guide you.
As Knights of Columbus, we have a fraternal greeting, “Vivat Jesus”, which means “May Jesus Live”. I come from a Gunnery background where the moto for the Artillery is, “Ubique”, which means “everywhere”. Sometimes I find myself putting these two together and some of you may have seen that in some previous correspondence. I can think of no more fitting way to end this than with that.