The priest chosen to serve the council as chaplain will primarily act as
spiritual advisor to the brother knights and families of that council. Since he
will more than likely have a full-time ministry demanding the major part of
his time and effort, no specific duties with regard to running the council
have been assigned to him. He is expected, however, to make a report at
council meetings. The chaplain's report, scheduled in the "Method of
Conducting a Council Meeting" (#1937), consists of any business matters
relative to his office and a brief talk by him on any religious matters. The
chaplain should also serve as an advisor to the Church activities director
and members of that committee.
Section 128 of the Laws explains that "the grand knight, deputy grand
knight and board of trustees may annually select a priest to act as chaplain,
but such selection must be made in accordance with any rules established
by the bishop of the diocese in which the council is located." It is the
responsibility of the grand knight to follow any established rules of the
diocese. If questions arise, the grand knight should contact the state deputy
or the chancery's office of the diocese.
Deacons and religious brothers cannot serve as a council chaplain, but may
be designated as the "spiritual director" of the council.
After the selection of the chaplain, the grand knight, the program director
and the director of Church activities should conduct a meeting with the
council chaplain to outline the work of the council in the field of Church
activity for the fraternal year.
In addition, as early as possible after the election of officers, there should be
a meeting of all council officers including the council chaplain to discuss
particular programs in which the chaplain will participate.
Since the chaplain is a priest, it is expected that the council officers will
provide him with as many opportunities as possible to exercise the teaching
phase of his ministry for the benefit of the council members themselves,
their families and the community. Every opportunity should be provided the
chaplain to help train the members of the council in their rightful positions
as Catholic leaders. Through such a program the chaplain can make a great
contribution to the development of a better informed Catholic leadership by
clearing up any questions which the members may have and by interpreting
religious information which comes to them through secular newspapers,
the radio, television, etc. The chaplain should also cooperate with the
council in conducting public affairs of a Catholic nature -- such as lectures,
special religious services, publication of Catholic advertisements and
assistance to the clergy in the community through intelligent and trained
Occasionally there arise in a community, in a jurisdiction or on a nationwide
basis controversial questions in which the position of the Church or of
Catholics is involved. Before any public action is taken with regard to such
a matter, the council officers and the committee chairmen involved should
sit down with the chaplain and discuss the matter thoroughly, so that if the
council does take a position, or if it should ask its members to take a
position, the question will be thoroughly understood and handled properly.
Following the order of business outlined in the "Method of Conducting a
Council Meeting" (#1937) and to give greater importance to the role of the
chaplain at Council meetings, the chaplain will report to members
immediately after the grand knight's report or whenever he so desires. He is
also provided an opportunity for a summation just prior to the closing
Council chaplains can enhance the interest at council meetings by
arranging to conduct special informational programs for a specified time
period during the chaplain's report section of the council meeting. The
advice and counsel of the chaplain are often needed by the officers and
members and, therefore, his presence at as many meetings as possible
would be most helpful.