New KofC state deputy,
Mark Roth, presents
donation to diocese
Liberal resident also discusses
his new role and the KofC ‘
Supreme Convention’ in
Editor’s Note: Soon after attending the national KofC “Supreme Convention” in Washington, D.C., new KofC state deputy Mark Roth of Liberal took time to answer these questions emailed to him from the SKR.
Southwest Kansas Register: Can you tell me how this donation to the Diocese of Dodge City came about?
Roth: In 2008 when the economy started its recent turmoil, our Supreme Knight, Carl Anderson hosted a meeting, in Washington, D. C. of all the charitable fund raising organization in the United States. Some of the charities invited included, the United Way, the Red Cross and numerous other organizations. It was determined that donations of time and money to these organizations were lower and requests were increasing. Out of this meeting the national “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” campaign was born.
As part of this campaign, the Supreme Council instituted several new projects on the national level such as “Coats for Kids,” where the supreme council provides new coats for children in the winter months; also a project where the Knights are providing wheel chairs to third world countries; and the “Food for Families” project which is where these funds came from.
The Supreme Council set aside $1 million to be divided among all jurisdictions that had at least 20 percent of their councils participate. Local councils had to participate in local food drives or donate to a local food pantry and report it to the supreme council.
Kansas was one of, I believe, 31 jurisdictions that had at least 20 percent of their councils report. Thus Kansas received a “piece of the pie”.
The $1 million was divided by population base per jurisdiction so Kansas received a little over $20,000.00. In turn, this money was divided by population base per dioceses and the funds were dispersed directly from the Supreme Office to each diocese to be used in the diocesan “Food for Families” projects. The Dodge City diocese received $1,758.00.
SKR: When did you become state deputy of the KofC?
Mark Roth: I was elected to the office of State Deputy at our annual state convention in May of this year.
SKR: What is the role of state deputy?
Roth: As State Deputy I am the President and Chief Executive officer of the Knights of Columbus in Kansas. There are 72 jurisdictions around the world which include all 50 states along with Canada, Mexico, Guam, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and recently we have expanded into Poland.
SKR: What do you value the most about your role?
Roth: I think the one thing that I treasure the most about being State Deputy is the opportunity to oversee all the projects we undertake in Kansas. While doing so, I get to meet and make many new friends and acquaintances.
SKR: How long have you been a Knight, and to which local council do you belong?
Roth: I joined the Knights in 1975 in Dighton council #3210, at the age of 18. Then after moving to Liberal I transferred my membership to Liberal Council #3381 in 1985.
SKR: Besides state deputy, do you hold any other offices such as grand knight?
Roth: This is the only position that I hold in the state. However, in my formation for this position I have served as Grand Knight, District Deputy, State Program Director, State Warden, Advocate, Treasurer, and Secretary.
SKR: Can you give me your impression of the national gathering in Washington, D.C.?
Roth: Yes, I just returned from our Supreme Convention which this year was held in Washington D.C.. As with any convention, it was very fast paced and filled with exciting programs. Kansas received several awards for membership recruitment including the coveted “Circle of Honor” status, which is obtained by meeting membership and insurance quotas along with participating in all programming areas. Congratulations go out to Immediate Past State Deputy Francis Drouhard and all the Knights of Kansas for all their accomplishments this past year.
The theme for this year’s convention was “I am my Brother’s Keeper” and the focus was on our volunteerism. In his annual report, Supreme Knight, Carl Anderson reported that last year, the Knights of Columbus worldwide set a record with donations of over $151 million dollars to charities and gave over 69 million hours of volunteer service hours to charity.
Last year the Knights also surpassed the 1.8 million member mark and we now have over 14,000 active councils around the world.
For me the highlight had to be the opening Mass which was held at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Along with over 2,400 Brother Knights and their families, we were joined by eight Cardinals, over 70 Bishops and over 200 Priests.
The highlights of the convention can be found on the Supreme Website at www.kofc.org.
SKR: What do you do for a living?
Roth: I am a Vice President at First National Bank of Liberal. I manage one of the branch offices.
SKR: Are you married? Do you have any children?
Roth: Yes my wife Lila and I have been married for 30 years. We have two grown children. Our son is an Officer in the U.S. Airforce. He and his wife are currently stationed in Germany. Our daughter and her husband live in the Kansas City area.
SKR: Anything else you’d like to add?
Roth: I would like to add that, we as Knights do believe that we are our brothers’ keeper. We are here to see that our Catholic morals and beliefs are protected; to see that our Priests and Religious are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve; we’re here to see that every individual has the right to life from conception to natural death; we want to comfort the needs of all our brothers and sisters, both moral and material as best we can.
I would like to personally invite any and all eligible Catholic men to join our ranks and be a part of the largest Catholic fraternal benefit society in the world; the Knights of Columbus.