Huddles - Listening to Each Other, Learning & Growing in Fraternity

We are meeting many Knights and finding out what issues they are dealing with in their own councils.

I am encouraged by what we are learning and believe its been a profitable use of our time to do so.

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One hot item of discussion was the Fraternal & Family benefits available to members simply by paying their dues.

I've attached the 10/08 version of flyer #2773 containing a listing of all the benefits.

Some key points:

1) accidental death up to $2500 for the brother Knight and another $2500 for his wife. Graduated until 4 years of membership attained. We've paid out over $12 million dollars on this benefit alone.

2) If the member owns a minimal policy with the Knights, his children have benefits specifically stillborn and new born death protection; also guaranteed coverage with minimal policy should they ever become uninsurable due to accident or sickness

3) Mathews and Swift educational fund - for full time military, firemen or policemen killed in the line of duty. Children can attend Catholic college for 4 years tuition free.

these and many more are outlined in the attached flyer. Of course I encourage you to visit with your field agent to gain a full and up to date understanding of these benefits available to members.


Is "2773 Fraternal Benefits.pdf" (2773 10/08) the most current version of this form?

Along with the Fraternal Benefits Flyer here is the most recent update on the fraternal benefits paid.

$13 Million plus for Member/Spouse Accidental Death

Over $1.1 million for Stillborn and Infant deaths.


This is excellent information that we will bring to the attention of Catholic gentlemen who visit with us during our Church drive.

Huddle Information Meeting

Saturday, March 14, 2015

St. Mary of Nazareth, Des Moines, IA

Notes are attached...


The following comments have been posted on the Comment Wall at
It would be interesting to get comments from more members of the website.


Comments below are re-presented here in chronological order as of 1 June 2015 @ 12:55.

Comment by CLM yesterday

I am not convinced that having in public on the Iowa Knight Life page makes sense; this seems to be information that is only of interest--and only should be accessible--to District Deputies and District Wardens and State leadership. It seems to me that some of the discussions move toward the private realm. It seems to me that this podcast would be better placed in the District Deputy group ( For internal discussions and information dissemination, the electronic (gotomeeting) huddle is GREAT, and having access to the podcast is a fantastic resource for DD's and DW's  and State leadership but not for the public beyond that group.

Comment by Jim Bates 15 hours ago

As a Deputy Grand Knight I learned from this recording. My council is served by a very competent DD but it would be difficult for him to share all that this huddle contained that might pertain to my council or to me in my council position. So, I'm in favor of keeping these recordings available to a wider audience than the DD, DW or state leadership positions. I suggest that people who participate in such events are reminded to keep anything that my be private kept offline and handled through another forum. It seems a recurring trend throughout the organization is difficulty in finding and nurturing council leaders. Many of the comments in this huddle mentioned that. I intend to be an effective GK and it's incumbent on me to do what I can to learn that position before I get there, not after. So please keep the "training" for council leaders coming; even if it's in the form of recording like this.

Comment by Steve Heffern 13 hours ago

You both have good points, but I recommend that we err on the side of openness. Government bodies have open meeting laws that require public disclosure, we can at the very least do the same. We have nothing to hide. And there are nuggets of discussions that really provide insight to our members if they are interested enough to spend an hour of their time on "meh" for 30 seconds of "wow."

I'm thinking that we ask our WSD to post it on a page that requires logging in to the website. At least we can validate the that reader is at least a bonafide friend of the knights.

Comment by CLM 7 hours ago

I agree that making the huddle recordings accessible to leadership is a good thing, but I am convinced that to have the recording up on the totally public Iowa Knight Life website is counterproductive to the efforts of the Knights of Columbus because the discussions are semi-private and, because the recordings can be taken out of context by people not "in the know," could be counterproductive to the goals of the Iowa Knights of Columbus. I strongly suggest putting huddle recordings in a private area, as I suggested in my initial post on this issue. The private area would be accessible to Iowa Knights of Columbus leadership and, if both the huddles and the recordings are not meant just for District Deputies and State leadership, they should be retitled simply "huddles." I have to say that when the huddle was publicized on the website, I wondered if anyone could sign in and participate given that the gotomeeting weblink was published right on the totally publicly accessible website.

I like the huddles, I like them via the web (as long as audio quality is sufficient, which it seemed to be in this huddle), I like openness as much as possible, but there are limits to what should and should not be posted for all the world to see and hear. Please listen to this huddle from the point of view of a person who is not a member of the Knights of Columbus and who knows almost nothing about our wonderful organization--the recording gives the impression of a group of negative, downbeat, disorganized persons who are confused about what should be done to make the organization work. Unfortunately, that impression would be absolutely incorrect given the strong organizational structure of the Order at all levels and the hard and positive work being done by members at all levels. There's no need to air all dirty laundry for all the world to see when that laundry is out of context.

So who should have access to this podcast? State leadership and DD's and DW's for sure, but I agree with Jim that this could include GK's and DGK's; I would add financial secretaries.

Here's another place where DD huddle podcasts could be archived:

Is "2773 Fraternal Benefits.pdf" (2773 10/08) the most current version of this form?


Here is tip # 5:"Have great audio.
Without intelligible audio, your live streaming event will be unwatchable. Avoid audio challenges by getting a mic on your presenter or even taking a feed from a PA system if there’s one in use. Your camera’s onboard mic often won’t pick up a good enough signal."

I will add that it is critical that there either be a moderator who brings a microphone to a member of the audience when the audience member is speaking, or an audience member should move to a pre-positioned microphone and speak into it when he wishes to contribute to the conversation. In this way, the online participants will be able to hear the moderator/presenter AND the members of the live audience.

The camera should be positioned to take in most of the live audience. Better yet, there should be an external camera or webcam that is mounted and can be swiveled to focus in on the live participant(s) who is/are engaging in conversation. This requires the use of a camera operator, but it's well worth it, and it's really not a hard job.

Online huddles are the way of the future in order to cut costs, increase engagement, and decrease negative human impact on the environment by way of a decrease in driving. I strongly support the use of online huddles, and I am thankful that our State leadership has taken it upon itself to increase contact with members via online huddles.


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