Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 29, 2002
Church, Community, family
Knights cover all the bases
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
If Dr. Randall Yatscoff is seriously involved in an organization, it has to cover all aspects of life, particularly the Church, community and family.
All these he found in the Knights of Columbus. "What attracted me to the K of C is its goal to help the Church and help the community," Yatscoff, Alberta-NWT state program director, told the WCR.
"It is also family oriented. It covers all what I view are the most important aspects of life. It's all encompassing."
For Yatscoff, one of the "key things is that you can express your religious beliefs, and remain involved in the community and family."
"Other organizations are more uni-dimensional. With the K of C, there's a very broad spectrum."
Guided by the principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism, the Knights in Alberta and NWT has well-rounded programs ranging from Church, community, family, youth to council activities.
"There may be in the general public a lack of realization what the Knights are doing in the background. The major areas where the public sees us are in the community and Church."
In their Church program this year, one of their major activities was transporting and coordinating the movement of St. Therese's relics when they visited the province. The Knights made sure that the relics arrived not only on time but safely.
The Knights' primary role is to support our Church and our clergy. "I think that's one of the things that we're very proud of," said Yatscoff.
In supporting the Church and clergy, they promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
For several years, the Alberta-NWT state has been running Pennies for Heaven to financially support vocations.
Whenever the bishops of Western Canada hold a conference, the Knights provide shuttle services for them.
At Christmas, they erect billboards across the major cities and in Edmonton they have had a Nativity scene display in Hawrelak Park the past three years.
When the World Youth Day Pilgrim Cross visited the province, they were involved not only in coordinating events, but in providing workers and some financial assistance.
"The Knights will always be there to support the diocese in anyway we can," Yatscoff said.
Last year, the Alberta and NWT knights donated $1.6 million to charity.
They also run a variety of community services - blood banks and memorial sites for the unborn are the more prominent ones. Every year they coordinate delivery of Christmas hampers for Catholic Social Services.
Last year, the state also agreed to finance completion of St. Joseph's High School amphitheatre.
In support of the Church and the youth, the knights are heavily involved in the forthcoming World Youth Day in Toronto.
"We are involved not only in coordinating the activities. We provided some funding for the archdiocese for individuals to travel to Toronto," said Yatscoff, president of Isotechnika Inc.
Even though they work hard to be of service to the community, they do not leave their families uninvolved.
Family picnics, campouts and barbecues are also part of their activities. "We do these so everyone can feel they are part of K of C."
"You can't forget the fun aspect of being a knight. Part of what the K of C offers is a good way of meeting people and socializing."
They also have activities to support different councils. They have recognition awards for knights and for different councils for their outstanding service.
When councils hold fundraisers to support their charity work, they are also highlighting the fraternal aspect of the organization.
Yatscoff's goal when he agreed to be the state program director, was to find ways to maintain membership.
For him it is one thing to recruit new members and quite another to keep them active. "We have to get them involved."
The organization's programs provide the reason for joining and maintaining membership, Yatscoff said.
Yatscoff, a knight for 17 years, belongs to St. Joseph's College Council, the youngest council in Western Canada.
His son Mike joined the organization when he turned 18. "He wanted to be involved in charitable works."
"I guess when you are blessed and graced by God what you have to do in return is to give back to the Church and community. One way of doing that is through an organization. The Knights is the best choice because it is Church and family oriented," said Yatscoff.