Rev. Robert D. Bruso, 70
Leominster – Rev. Robert D. Bruso, 70, died peacefully Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at Saint Cecilia’s Rectory. He was born May 17, 1950, the son of Robert W. and Dorothy J. (Driscoll) Bruso. He was educated at the former Sacred Heart Academy in Worcester, Georgetown University, Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University and Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge and was ordained to the priesthood on June 5, 1993 by the late Bishop Timothy J. Harrington. He served as Associate Pastor at St. John, Clinton (1993-98) and St. Mary, Uxbridge (1998-2000) before being named Pastor of St. Anthony, Fitchburg (2000-14) and St. Cecilia, Leominster since 2014. He was the Dean of the Fitchburg-Leominster-Lunenburg Deanery and was a member of the Presbyteral Council. He was a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus, serving as Council Chaplain in Clinton, Uxbridge, and Fitchburg and was Associate State Chaplain (2012-16) and State Chaplain (2018- ). He leaves his nephew Vincent R. Kosakowski of Worcester, his grandniece, Christina D. Gambaccini of Worcester, his step-mother and friend Betty M. (Damon) Bruso of Millbury, his step-sister Linda M. Pope (Peter) of Shrewsbury and his step-brother James A. Okerberg (Amy Kelly) of South Dennis, and four nieces Jennifer M. Pope-Carter of London, Ashley E. Pope of Worcester, Jessica N. Morse of South Dennis and Sarah K. Okerberg of Brookfield, and Topper, his canine companion. He was pre-deceased by his parents, his sister and brother-in-law Christine R. and Vincent J. Kosakowski, Jr. and a neice and her husband, Kimberly D. and Mark W. Gambaccini. He had a special spiritual relationship with the Venerini Sisters and their associates. He loved being a priest, and having been ordained when he was 43, he was always aware of what a privilege it was for him to celebrate the Eucharist and the other sacraments. His knowledge of the lives of the saints was deep and wide and he was often called upon by friends looking for information on some obscure saint. He enjoyed the study of history and family genealogy and was delighted to visit the Driscoll family farm on Valentia Island, co. Kerry and meet his Irish cousins in 2018. He was a fan of the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Bruins and treasures his time on Cape Cod, the coast of Maine, and Italy, especially the villages of Tuscany and Umbria. He was blessed with many friend, especially the Greniers, Quinns, Zarrellas, Badagliaccas, and Gravelles. Memorial gifts may be sent to the Priests’ Retirement Fund, c/o Diocese of Worcester, 49 Elm St., Worcester, MA 01609 or the Venerini Sisters’ Retirement Fund, c/o St. Rosa Venerini Covent, 374 Main St., Rutland, MA 01542. Calling hours will be held Friday, July 10, 2020 from 4-7pm at St. Cecilia’s Church, 180 Mechanic St., Leominster. A funeral mass will be held Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 11am, St. Cecilia’s Church. Burial to follow in St. Cecilia’s Cemetery. To leave an online condolence, please visit Simard Funeral Home, 14 Walker Street Leominster, MA is assisting with arrangements.

Rest in Peace PGK Cliff Avey

Council #81 mourns the loss of our past Grand Knight, Clifford O. Avey, 89, who passed away last Wednesday, June 3rd after  fighting a strong battle with the Covid-19 virus.  Cliff was widely known in Marlboro as City Tax Collector and Treasurer for over 22 years, and the General Manager of St. Mary’s Credit Union for  more than 10 years during the time of its greatest growth.  Many St. Mary’s customers got far more than loans from Cliff, but also his grandfatherly advice about responsible household finances.  He was an active member of St. Mary’s Church until it closed, and was on the board of the Historical Society.  He was honored by the Mayor in 2013 as a Marlborough Heritage Hero.  He was a Korean War Veteran.  His wife Rose died in 2016.  His services will be private in light of the pandemic, and a scholarship fund has been started in him memory.

Job opening!  Parking Lot Ushers needed!

As you know, Immaculate Conception parish is conducting weekend Masses in the school parking lot.  Last weekend was a success and appears to be popular among the parishioners.    Fr. Steven has scheduled outdoor Masses through the end of June as follows:

Saturday: 4:00 p.m.
Sunday: 7:30 a.m.
11:00 a.m.
5:00 p.m.

Fr. Steven has asked us to help out with some volunteer “parking lot ushers” at each of the Masses.  He’s asking for four ushers at each Mass.

Your job will be to:

      • arrive at least 30 minutes before Mass;
      • park your own car on Prospect Street out of the way;
      • wear a face covering;
      • direct traffic as the people drive in, guiding them to available parking spaces;
      • collect the offertory by going door to door to the cars; and
      • direct traffic on the way out after the Mass ends.


If you can help out, there is a sign-up sheet on the parish website here:

The Knights are not doing this exclusively, we will be working with other parish volunteers.  Feel free to enlist a spouse or other age-appropriate family member.

Fr. Evarist reports that the Institute is suffering much the same as we are with isolation and lockdown, but their challenge has been augmented by hunger and lawless exploitation.  Prices for food and medical supplies have risen astronomically.  And, their plight has been mostly overlooked by the media in the U.S.

Please make a donation of whatever you can afford.

Home of Divine Mercy Covid-19 Appeal


Council #81 conducted the local Free Throw Championship on February 22nd.  23 participants competed at the Special Olympics Gym in Marlborough and got trophies from Council #81.  District Deputy Russ Lindquist was also on hand to award District Champion medals.  Our District Champions now advance to the Regional Finals on March 14th at Nichols College in Dudley – and, who knows, perhaps the State Finals!  Congratulations to all of our athletes who competed, and good luck to our Champions!

See more photos here . . .

Knights volunteer to make the Special Olympics Polar Plunge a big success.

On February 15, 2020 six Knights from Council #81 staffed the registration table and merchandise table, helping Special Olympics of Mass. (SOMA) conduct their annual Polar Plunge.

Lt. Tom Bryant (L) and Chief David Giorgi (R) take the plunge in 9 degree weather

Knights go undercover wearing SOMA T-shirts. (L-R) Tim Gruttner, DGK Neil Cronin, Paul Cote, GK Mike Tremblay, Rich Pulice (SOMA State Program Liason), and Kevin Armstrong. It was hard work, staying indoors all day, warm and dry, but somebody had to do it.

SOMA runs this event in four locations around the Commonwealth during the February School Vacation week.  The Central Mass event is the biggest and had over 75 “plungers” many from police, fire and public safety organizations who had sponsorship for fundraising.

See more photos here . . .