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Chapter President's Message

Chapter President's Message . . . 07/21/2023

My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


On behalf of my wife, Monica Saldana, in the presence of my parents and my children: Welcome and Merry Christmas! I’d like to thank you for displaying your faith and trust in me to represent you as your superior Northern California Chapter President! 


I can tell you that our Chapter officers truly work together. We look out for each other because we all want each other to succeed. No one person can do it alone. I recognized that early on as a Grand Knight and throughout the various positions I have held with the Knights. Any success you have is not yours alone but of those who supported you. Success comes from your wives, your officers, Councils, and Assemblies.


To quote 1 John 3:17-18, “Let us love not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” Our parish community does not need our thoughts or sympathy, but rather our deeds and service. That’s our charge to those who hear this message today: “Return to service.” Return to your pastors and ask how you can help them. Return to your council meetings and inspire activity. Return to your communities and be seen. Get out there and promote your Council’s traditions, your dinners, your fundraisers – the very events and actions that attracted you to the Knights. By returning to service, people will not only see our good deeds but also bear witness to our spiritual message of charity.


When I served as your State Programs Director, it was no coincidence that the most successful councils were some of the most active. They were out there feeding the hungry, providing jackets for the homeless, and praying for and saving the unborn. These are the same councils that were active in their parishes, prayed in adoration, and answered when called upon by their pastors.


It’s no secret how important our chapter is to success of the entire state. If our Worthy State Deputy Greg Marracq is to make the Circle of Honor, then Northern California Chapter MUST BE SUPERIOR. Our chapter is larger than most states in the U.S. We have more councils, we have more Knights, and we have more parishes entrusted to us. God has blessed us with much in our care because He believes in us. God knows that WE have the leadership and Brother Knights in place to lead both this Chapter and the Diocese of Sacramento, and who are we to argue with God?


I have always said, “Every program that a council hosts BOTH is a recruitment opportunity AND serves as membership retention.” It’s recruitment because you have a group of people out there with Knights of Columbus shirts, aprons, badges, and vests doing something good for the community in solidarity. And when consistently seen, people will ask, “How do I become part of that? How do I join? How do I make a difference?” That same event serves as retention because the Knights involved FEEL that they are making a difference. It’s THAT feeling that we want to amplify. It’s probably because of THAT feeling that you first joined and still remain an active Knight today.


Participating in our programs is not an excuse to leave your wife and children but rather an opportunity to include them. My family throughout the years has been involved with everything from raising money for the homeless, collecting canned foods for food lockers, praying for 40 Days for Life, to donating clothing and backpacks to the less fortunate. We’ve consecrated ourselves to the Holy Family. We’ve baked cookies for seminarians. We’ve sent veterans to Arlington National Cemetery. And we’ve done all these things as a family.


Worthy State Deputy and my Brother Greg, I stand here today under your leadership, with the support of my family, paired with the guidance of our Past Chapter Presidents, and with the inspiration of all those in attendance today, to present you with our goals for the coming Columbian Year 2023-2024:


  • Purchase 4 new ultrasound machines, thereby saving 400 lives of the unborn.

  • Establish 5 new councils; and

  • Recruit 429 new Brother Knights, all by the end of May 2024


So, how do we get there? It’s actually quite simple: three. We need to be mindful of the number 3:


  • Every District needs 3 new members every month for 11 months. Please notice we are not asking every council to recruit 3 Brothers every month, though that would be great, but rather as a district.

  • 3 new members times 11 months = 33 new Brothers per district for the year.

  • 33 new Knights times 13 districts = 429 new Brother Knights for the year.


Many of you are in this room today were perhaps asked to take a leadership position. Maybe you were asked to be a Council officer, a District Warden or Deputy, or perhaps you were asked to take on a larger role with your church. And your immediate, almost automatic response was, “I can’t possibly” or “I don’t have enough time.” Well, I’m here to tell you that I am a husband, married for almost 22 years; a father of four; I own my real estate company; and most recently I started helping grieving families at Saint Mary’s Catholic Funeral Center. When I’m not doing these, you can find me in my home parish of Saint Mary’s as an usher, altar server, Eucharistic Minister, lector, member of the parish finance council, and teaching Catholic faith formation to fifth and sixth graders on Wednesday nights with my wonderful wife, Monica.


With the Knights of Columbus, I have served as a two-time Grand Knight, Past Faithful Navigator, one year as Warden, and four years as District Deputy. I’ve had the honor of starting three new councils in our chapter and helping with a fourth. I have served in various Chapter Director roles, and I stand before you today as your President. In these last two years, I’ve fulfilled many of the duties previously stated, all while studying for the Diaconate in the Diocese of Sacramento. It’s easy to dismiss God’s calling for us to serve by thinking, “I simply don’t have enough time…”


That’s what I did when I was approached by Father Davy to consider the Diaconate, that is, until Deacon Lu Del Gaudio got ahold of me. I am living proof that God makes time. If what you’re doing is for His greater glory, He will always make time. Throughout my formation, God has called my wife closer to His church so that she and I can spend more time together. He’s called my children as altar servers, a lector, and a Eucharistic Minister. All of this and my wife Monica and I still manage to carve out one night a week for date night.


The Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Church do not need more people like me; we need more people like YOU. More people like you to answer God’s call, more people like you to say YES, and more people like US to return to service. If we make serving God our focus this Columbian Year, the byproduct of our faith in action will be the growth of our order. With God and His Church as our focus, we WILL continue to make Northern California Chapter truly Superior!




Ricardo Saldana

Chapter President

Northern California Chapter

Knights of Columbus

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