At the recent Parish Coordinating Team meeting it was asked “What do the Knights of the Southern Cross do?”
In order to answer this I’ve simply cut a chunk from the national website and pasted it below which should go some way towards answering the question.
But it’s more than that. On a local level it’s a group of men from Sunbury and Gisborne Parishes that come together once a month for a meeting which always starts with prayers and a twenty to thirty minute Faith Formation Program. This year we are focusing on “STEWARDSHIP – THE WAY OF THE DISCIPLE”, a program put together by Sister Anne McMillan, Coordinator of the Pastoral Ministry Office of the Ballarat Diocese. The previous program was on the changes to the missal, and prior to that we focused on the “Year of St Paul”. Locally we look after the graves of our past Parish Priests who are buried in the Sunbury Cemetery (now with the help of Teachers and Pupils from Our Lady of Mount Carmel School), we do various maintenance jobs in the Convent. Putting up safety rails springs to mind. Some of our members keep a look-out for repairs required on our Churches and Presbytery. We have members that visit the sick and infirm. We are on call when the Archbishop asks for our assistance. This can be anything from providing ushers at St Patrick’s Cathedral to collecting signatures opposing the Abortion Legislation that sadly now is law. Much else is done by our members around the parish but as our members don’t like to blow their own trumpets, much of it is invisible. Maybe we need to get a badge in similar manner to other service organisations.
Our meetings usually end with a light supper brought by one of our members, and some liquid refreshments.
If you look at the left-hand side of this page you will see “Categories” and if you go down the list you will come to “Knights of the Southern Cross” Click on that and it will take you to some of the things we have done locally, photos included.
WHAT THE KNIGHTS OF THE SOUTHERN CROSS (KSC) DO
(FROM THE NATIONAL WEBSITE)
A Catholic Men’s Organisation originally established in 1919 to help fellow Catholics obtain work and to support each other’s families to live their Catholic Faith. The organisation is known as The Order of the Knights of the Southern Cross Australia and is a member of the International Alliance of Catholic Knights, whose members are recognised by the Vatican.
The Objects of the Order have been agreed by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and are:
1. To promote the Advancement of Australia;
2. To foster the Christian way of life throughout the Nation;
3. To promote the welfare of members of Member Organisations and their families;
4. To encourage social and intellectual activities amongst members of Member Organisations; and
5. To conduct and support educational, charitable, religious and social welfare work.
The Member Organisations are the State Branches (Organisations) of the Order. Each State Branch is an autonomous body which is represented on the National Council of the Order – the Governing Body of the Order.
THE WORKS OF THE KNIGHTS
The Knights of the Southern Cross carry out a wide variety of works which vary from State to State. Some of the works are included below:
- Annual Mass for deceased members.
- Formation Programme written each year to be used by Branches throughout Australia to develop the spirituality of members and the knowledge of their Faith.
- Anzac Day Mass – Provision of Ushers and assistance with invitations and seating.
- KSC Education Foundation (established by KSC (WA) in the early 1990s) – provided over $70,000 in 2006 to assist 41 teachers in the Catholic School system to attain qualifications in the area of Religious Education and Theology. $8,000 of scholarships went to seminarians from the Redemptorist Mater Seminary studying at UNDA.
- Southern Cross Charitable Trust – donations made to the Sisters of St Joseph through the Mary MacKillop Foundation to help the disadvantaged and to Centacare (Qld) for assistance to people with disabilities through Soubirous Place.
- Sponsorship of an award in the Rock Band section of the Performing Arts Festival in Perth for Catholic Schools and Colleges.
- Australian Defence Force Project – the Order has provided 10,000 specifically designed prayer books and single decade rosaries to Catholic members of the Australian Defence Force.
- Australian Defence Force Support – The KSC provides support to all Catholic Defence Force Families and Military Chaplains as required.
- Working with aboriginal elders and young boys in WA.
- Financial support to committee arranging exchange of seminarians between the Perth Archdiocese and a Greek Orthodox seminary.
- Assistance to St Charles Seminary (WA) to overcome an urgent maintenance problem.
- Assistance to a Presentation Sister in WA to publish and promote a faith education and development program for young children that involves participation of Parish/School/Family.
- Financial support to Bishop Bianchinni to assist aboriginal youth in his Diocese.
- Sponsorship of Fr Peter Hung Manh Tran C.Ss.R to publish his book “Advancing the Culture of Death: Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide”
- Working with Southern Cross Care (Australia) in the provision of aged care facilities throughout Australia.
- KSC was represented on the WYD08 Communities Advisory Committee for World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney and was greatly involved in the project.
- Assisting voters to make informed choices at elections by obtaining the views of political candidates on matters of morals and ethics – abortion, same sex marriage, etc. – and facilitating public forums to meet candidates.
- Promoting the “Keep Christ in Christmas” campaign throughout Australia throughout the year.
- Visiting detention centres for asylum seekers.
- Established Priests Support and Education Funds to assist clergy and seminarians in a number of States – fundraising is generally carried out through annual dinners.
- Creation and sponsorship of the Festival of Faith in Sydney – to showcase the organisations and works of the Catholic Church.
- Mobile phones for jobseekers – Canberra
- Australia Day Mass – Organisation and Assistance
- Golf Tournaments for Members
- Barney’s Picnic for Members
- Retired Members Group
- Monthly Branch Meetings for Members
- Monthly State Council Meetings – Sometimes in Country Areas
- State Conferences for Members and Wives
- National Triennial Conferences for Members and Wives (Special Programmes for Wives)
- Collection of recycled paper and cans.
- Assistance with Christmas Bowl Appeal sponsored by the SA Council of Churches (KSC-SA).
- Preparation and distribution of regular State Newsletters to all members in Australia and to all IACK (International Alliance of Catholic Knights) organisations overseas.
- Helping the Josephite Sisters in a project to have a framed picture of Mary MacKillop sited in every church throughout Australia (KSC-WA initiative).
- Presentation of Rosary Beads to all First Communicants (KSC – WA initiative) in certain parishes.
- Installation of stained glass window depicting a Christian Knight in St Thomas’ Parish in Claremont, WA.
- Preparation of submissions to Government on matters affecting morals and ethics.
- Support for Southern Cross Bioethics Institute in SA.
- In partnership with Notre Dame University Australia – organised a seminar on Ethics in Business for invited business leaders in Perth and the Alumni of the University.
- Tools for East Timor – Huge project to provide 3 shipping containers of good quality tools to enable students in East Timor to learn trades to help themselves and their people.
- Running Water for St Peter’s Junior Seminary, Tanzania – $10,000 from KSC (NSW) to help extend water pipes to three dormitories. KSC(NSW) had been helping the seminary for three years previously.
- Pakistan – $5,450 in support to Fr Anthony for his work to provide a safe environment for Catholics in the area. All IACK Orders were asked to contribute.
- KSC is represented by the Supreme Knight at all meetings of the International Alliance of Catholic Knights (IACK) held every 2 years in different countries.
- Twinning Arrangements have been established with the Knights of Our Lady Queen of Peace in Mauritius and joint projects are being arranged.