This edition:
Officer’s Desk reference Access
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Welcome to The Advocate … a newsletter dedicated to all Council Advocates but should also be shared with everyone in your Council and our jurisdiction. It is also available on the State website at under Publications.

It is important that every Council not only have a copy of the Charter, Constitution, and Laws booklet but that every Executive Committee member read it… cover to cover. It provides invaluable information about how our Order is governed and applied to your Council. Plus it is one of the sources of information for my newsletters. If you do not have a copy it can be ordered from Supreme through Knights Gear.

Officers Desk Reference (ODR) Access

A District Deputy recently stated he did not have access to the ODR. To clarify, the Officers Desk Reference is available to Grand Knights, Financial Secretaries, and Advocates at the Council level. The following also have access to the ODR…all District Deputies, State Membership Director, State Program Director, Executive Secretary, and all State Officers.

If you do not have access then please contact Supreme and obtain the proper access credentials for this site. The ODR provides a wealth of information and complements the Charter, Constitution, and Laws booklet which every Council should also have a copy.

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This is a topic which has been discussed and misused on numerous occasions. So here is the ruling from Supreme. It is a brief from the Name and Emblem section of the Officer’s Desktop Reference.

The name and emblems of the Knights of Columbus are among its most valuable assets. For this reason, the Order has registered them as trademarks in the various countries where it is active. In addition, the Order has numerous other marks, many of which have also been registered. The registered and unregistered trademarks and service marks (collectively the “Marks”) are intellectual properties that belongs to the
Knights of Columbus. Proper use of the Order’s Marks, including its name and emblems, is a critical element of protecting the Knights of Columbus brand (“brand” is a broad term that encompasses an organization’s name, emblems, trademarks, service marks, and reputation). Protecting the Knights of Columbus brand is one of the most important responsibilities of any Knights of Columbus officer.

The Order’s Marks do not belong to subordinate councils or other branches and divisions of Knights of Columbus (collectively “Subordinate Units”). Subordinate Units may use the Marks only with the express written permission of the Board of Directors. Columbus Clubs and Home Corporations (as they are known in the U.S.), which are independent legal entities, may not use the Order’s Marks under any circumstances. Similarly, individual members of Knights of Columbus may not use the Order’s Marks, except in connection with approved activities of a Subordinate Unit or the Supreme Council, as set forth below.

Section 162.11 of the Laws of the Order provides the basis for comprehensive management of the Order’s brand, including its Marks, by the Board of Directors. As set forth in Section 162.11, any member using the name of the Order or his membership in Knights of Columbus in connection with any business or social or other enterprise, without permission of the Board of Directors, is subject to discipline, including fine, suspension, and expulsion from the Order. As a general policy, the Board of Directors does not permit and will not authorize any member or any subordinate council or assembly to enter into any contract, agreement, or informal arrangement, or to use one’s membership in the Order, in connection with the promotion of any goods and services other than the financial products and services offered by the Knights of Columbus.

The purpose of this policy is to preclude the use of, among other things, the Order’s name, emblems, events, meetings, membership lists, and facilities to promote goods and services other than the financial products and services offered by the Knights of Columbus. The Board wishes to minimize the risk that anyone would draw the mistaken conclusion that the Knights of Columbus (a) has endorsed the good or service being offered or (b) has guaranteed the integrity of that good or service. Obviously, the Board cannot make any such endorsement or guarantee about any good or service other than those offered by the Knights of Columbus. The Board also wishes to avoid any business association that might expose the Order to liability if a good or service does not meet a customer’s expectations.

The Board of Directors has definitively interpreted Section 162.11 for purposes of protecting the Order’s brand. The Board has delegated to the Supreme Secretary the responsibility for managing and protecting the Knights of Columbus brand, including its Marks. All State Officers, District Deputies, and Grand Knights should be familiar with the statement from Supreme’s Board on the breadth and reach of Section 162.11, which
may be viewed at the link below. You will need your ODR user id and password to view this missive. Here
Please review other entries on the Officer’s Desktop Reference for guidelines on the proper use of the Order’s name and emblem at Supremes’ web site available at Rev. November 2016

Next month we look at Criminal conviction and membership in the Knights of Columbus.

If there is a topic you wish covered in future newsletters just send a note to

Your feedback is invaluable. If anyone has any questions or comments drop me a line at

Thank you for your attention…and God Bless.

Vivat Jesus

Sir Knight John Onyskiw

State Advocate