Grand Knight’s Blog – April 2020
Our next meeting is Tuesday, March 14, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
This meeting will be conducted by video conference in accordance with the recent Resolution of the Supreme Council on the Covid-19 pandemic. Instructions on logging in to the meeting are set forth at the bottom of this memo.
Activities Since Last Meeting
- Free Throw Championship. The March 14th Regional Championship at Nichols College was canceled due to the Covid-19 outbreak. It was one of our first large public events to be effected. At the time, it seemed shocking but looking back now, it was just a sad precursor of what has become normal. There will be no time to reschedule the event, or the State Finals, and the event is thus done for the year. We had some very happy kids from Marlborough who were excited about competing at the next level, and we achieved a great deal of good will in our community. We will reproduce it next year.
- In light of the pandemic, we have been conducting an online, live video recitation of the Rosary on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. Mike Bleecker has been leading. We have had solid participation. If you feel overwhelmed and powerless to fight against this virus, this may be the outlet you are seeking. Use the video conference instructions below to join in.
- Little Sisters of the Poor. The state Council has adopted the Little Sisters of the Poor who operate nursing homes for the poor in Somerville and Pawtucket. They are in need of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, etc. If you have any to donate, give Mike Gibson a call and drop it off at his house. Mike’s garage is the official MetroWest drop off location.
Programs and Upcoming Events
There is not much to report here. Sadly, all of our public activities are suspended. Here are a few things we can do:
- Rosary Meetings. Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. It helps to stay together, stay connected, and stay in contact. And the intercession of the Blessed Mother certainly can’t hurt.
- Look out for our brothers and their families. If anybody has any special needs, we can still mobilize some bodies to help out. Don’t be bashful. Most of us are just sitting around the house and would welcome something to do. If you need help with grocery shopping, finding toilet paper, etc. let us know. I will circulate the request and see what we can do.
- Home of Divine Mercy Institute in Kabale, Uganda. Rich Pulice has reported that the institute is suffering much the same as we are with isolation and lockdown, although their plight has been mostly ignored by the media in the U.S. Their challenge, however, has been augmented by hunger and lawless exploitation. Prices for food and medical supplies have risen astronomically. Rich will tender a motion for the Council to make a donation of $250 to help Fr. Evarist in this time of crisis, and he also invites our brothers to make a personal donation of whatever you can afford. There’s a link where you can donate easily with a credit card on the front page of our website: kofcmarlboro.org
Other Meeting Agenda Items
- Single Parent Summer Camp Appeal. I received a request for assistance to a single mother with a 7 year old daughter to help defray her summer camp expense this summer. I will not compromise her identity here, but I will share more details at the meeting.
- Our Adopted Seminarian. I reached out to Javier Padilla, our adopted seminarian at Redemptoris Mater Seminary, to see how he is doing and inquire whether we can do anything to help him at this time. I got a nice note back which I will share:
I am still at Redemptoris Mater Seminary and I, along with everybody else, am doing fine. Thank you for asking.
Since we are a relatively small community of residents, comprising of just 14 seminarians along with 3 formators, we have remained in our house.
Even though St. John’s Seminary is closed we are still taking our courses through online platforms.
I cannot stress enough how much our Rector has made sure to introduce sanitary protocols to ensure that we do not contract anything through neglect.
We generally do not leave the house. Tasks which seminarians took up, which require going out, have been taken up by our formators themselves so as to limit the going-and-coming. Considering that our movements are restricted we seminarians are keeping our spirits up.
Overall we are doing just fine. I only ask that you remember our seminary in your prayers.
Please feel free to join us in prayer which we have begun to live stream generally at noon and 5pm daily. We realize that many people long for the presence of the Church during this time. For this reason, we opted to live-stream- as a sign that the Church goes to the people.
I am glad to hear that you are doing fine and hope that you continue to see healthy days.
Please keep Javier and the other isolated seminarians in your prayers. They are mostly all far from home and family, and anything we can do to keep in touch will help a lot, and even though I know he is tough and won’t ask for help, we should not resist trying. If you’d like Javier’s email or mailing address, let me know.
- Main Street Journal. Jim Ash, the publisher of the Main Street Journal, reached out to me for a report of what charitable organizations like us are doing in times like this. I gave him an update about our Little Sisters of the Poor initiative. They are planning a spotlight article on local Marlboro charitable organizations and I think we will get some coverage, and inclusion in a full page ad highlighting local charitable organizations. The Main Street Journal has given us excellent coverage in the past few years and I hope you all support it.
- Nominating Committee. Our bylaws require that we appoint a nominating committee in April to propose a slate of officers for the upcoming election in June. We have an informal tradition of our officers serving for two years, so the “even year” nominating committee usually has an easy job of contacting the incumbent officers to see if they will all serve a second term. If you can devote a couple hours to this task in the next four weeks, please let me know and I’ll add you to the committee.
- Other business? If you have an item to add to the agenda, please let me know.
If you have any news to report, email GrandKnight@kofcmarlboro.org.
Mike Tremblay, GK
ezTalks Video Conferencing Instructions:
You can participate with a desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, or a plain old fashioned telephone (but, of course, you will not be able to see others and they will not see you).
You may wish to start logging in at least 5 minutes before the meeting to get set up if you have never used ezTalks before.
Please click https://www.eztalks.com/j/23142811
You may be prompted to enter an 8 or 9-digit meeting number (It should appear automatically, but if not, enter the last 8 or 9 digits in the above link, i.e., 23142811). This will be our permanent meeting number for all Council meetings and business, so you can bookmark it.
Enter the name you wish to appear as to other participants. You can use a nickname. Don’t pick “Mike.”
A little check box will appear that says “Join with Computer Audio.” Make sure you check it. Otherwise, nobody will be able to hear you, and you will just be a silent spectator.
If this is your first time using ez-Talks, you will be prompted to install a small app called the ez-Talks Launcher. It takes less than a minute. Just click the link to download and install the ezTalks launcher. It all happens automatically. If you have previously used ezTalks, just click to “Open the ezTalks Launcher.”
The ezTalks Launcher Window should pop up automatically on your screen. However, if you have a clutter of windows open, you may not see it because it may be buried underneath some already open windows, so shrink all open windows with the (-) minus button to uncover it. Voila!
Make sure your camera lens isn’t covered with duct tape and your microphone and camera are turned on.
If you have trouble with the microphone or camera, first make sure the Video and Audio icons on the bottom left menu bar of the ezTalks launcher are turned on. They will have a red stripe through them if they are turned off. Just click the icon to turn them on and make the red stripe go away. If that doesn’t work, here are some quick pointers for Windows users to getting them turned on:
If you are using a Mac, you are on your own.
ONCE YOU ARE IN THE ezTALKS MEETING APP:
If you can’t see or hear yourself, look in the lower left corner of the app to see if you have “Video” or “Audio” icons with a red stripe, like this:
If so, just click the “Video” or “Audio” icons to turn on your camera and microphone.
If you click “Participants” on the bottom menu bar, you can see a list of other participants logged on to the meeting.
If you have a question, you can click “Chat” and send a little note to the meeting administrator without interrupting the whole meeting. Good for dumb questions.
If you prefer the “Zoom” video format (where you can see all participants), click the icon of little people’s heads to toggle to “Gallery View.” Just hover your mouse over the right side and the icon will appear, like this:
You can also toggle the diagonal arrows for full screen view.
If you are hopelessly technologically challenged, you may join the meeting by calling in by telephone. Just dial 1-201-439-8092 and enter the 8 or 9 digit meeting number.