Grand Knight’s Blog
Date: Tuesday, June 14, 2022
Time: 7:30 p.m. . . . . . . . . doors open at 7:00
Place: St. Matthias Parish Hall
Activities and News Since Last Meeting
· Congratulations State Warden Mike Gibson!
At the State Convention in Hyannis from May 20-22, Council #81 brother Mike Gibson was elected State Warden. Mike was our Grand Knight from 2015-2016; Faithful Navigator of the McSweeney Assembly of Fourth Degree Knights; a District Deputy for four years; and was serving as State Program Director. Council #81’s delegates DD Rich Pulice and GK Mike Tremblay were on hand to vote for him and share in the excitement. Mike ran against a formidable opponent, Fausto “Tito” Cabrera from Lynn, who had a very large Council behind him campaigning hard. On top of that, Tito is well-liked, a nice guy, and an able person who could well have filled the shoes. Mike rented a suite which was converted into a “Hospitality Suite” where your faithful Grand Knight was pressed into service as bartender. I took a two-night online bartending course to make sure I didn’t poison anyone, and the Grand Wife Kathy and I made drinks for voting delegates from all over the state who came by to meet Mike and assess his character. Kathy decided to offer a specialty drink, the “Gibson Martini,” invented in 1904 in San Francisco, and it was a big hit.
Mike Gibson addresses the State Convention after being elected. See more photos on Council #81’s Website, kofc81.org.
There is a significant importance to this event: State board members have a tradition of moving up in rank every two years, and there hasn’t been a floor nomination or contested election for the upper offices in anyone’s memory. The Warden moves up to Advocate in two years, then to Treasurer, then Secretary, and eventually to State Deputy. So if the tradition holds, Mike will be the State Deputy in 8 years, the highest ranking Knight in Massachusetts.
Council #81’s un-official historian, Mike Fallon, has noted that in his nearly 50 years as a member of Council #81, he has not seen anyone from this Council serve on the state board. So if Mike makes it to State Deputy, little Council #81 will be officially on the map.
Thank you to all who supported Mike at his Friendship Dinner, and otherwise.
Congratulations also to Mike’s wife Robin and daughter Bethany, who are the model of a loving and supportive family.
Thanks, too, to the Deputy Grand Bartender, Kathy, who made a killer Sangria which sold out two nights in a row, mixed a ton of drinks, and helped schlepp lots of heavy objects into and out of the hospitality suite.
There are only good things that may come to Council #81 from having our Brother on the state board!
· State Membership Goal Award
Also at the state convention, we were surprised to have our Grand Knight called up to receive a membership achievement award. Not being tuned in to such things (I usually eschew the state board’s demands and focus on keeping our Council active with our own local events) you can imagine how surprised I was to learn that we exceeded our new membership quota by 125% this year. And we did this without really trying. It goes to show you that if we focus on our local programs, perform valuable service to our parishes and community, and are visible, membership will follow.
· Ultrasound Program
FS Mike Wells and I joined Fr. Ren and Fr. Steven on May 19th to present two checks to the First Concern Pregnancy Resource Center. The first was for $14,750 (half the cost of the Ultrasound Machine, the other half coming from Supreme) and other for $10,250 (the surplus we raised) which will go toward their site renovation costs. The Executive Director Megan Paradis and the whole Board of Directors were present. They were ecstatic. We got a tour of their facilities and nice summary of their future plans and goals. For example, although many people criticize First Concern for renting space in the same building as Planned Parenthood, I was surprised to learn it was their deliberate choice to move in next door and go head-to-head and be visible to Planned Parenthood’s potential customers and make sure they know that other options are available right to the last second.
Fr. Steven has also recruited some I.C. Parishioners who are contractors to supply labor and materials for their site renovations.
I think we have found a great partner to support on an ongoing basis to promote a culture of life.
The success of this program, which was important to both pastors, should make us more visible and useful to our parishes in the future.
· Congratulations Devlin Madden
Our newest member made his 1-3 degree exemplification on May 24th. He is officially eligible to be a Council Officer!
· Outdoor Mass at St. Michael’s Cemetery
On Memorial Day, we were pleased to help out with the staging of St. Michael’s annual outdoor Mass at the cemetery on Cox Street. The event was curtailed two years by Covid-19 and inclement weather last year, and the parish was very anxious to see it resume. An outdoor altar was erected by Council #131, and the Knights traditionally provided most of the labor staging the event every year. We were very glad to step in and carry on Council #131’s wonderful tradition.
Thanks to Mike Wells for coordinating, Kevin Armstrong and Brendan Butler for helping stage and serve food after the Mass. Your Grand Knight schlepped tables and chairs in the official KofC trailer. And don’t forget Louie Armstrong who was in charge of handing out napkins and will be signing a Form 100 in about 13 more years.
· Website improvements
Our Grand Worthy Webmaster (i.e., me) has been to work making some enhancements to our website. Some new color schemes were unveiled. Very subtle, but a little more tasteful (and approved by the Grand Wife who usually confronts my color choices with comments like “You’re wearing that?”). Some sidebars were also switched around the to the left side and a shadow border was added around the widgets just to make things stand out a little better and create more eye-appeal, and generally to mix things up. Please note the new headline banner that now reads “Council #81 Marlboro-Hudson” to more accurately describe our jurisdiction and not ‘dis our Hudson members, which includes me.We also obtained the rights to the URL “www.kofc81.org” and have begun the transition over from “www.kofcmarlboro.org.” “Kofc81.org” is already up and running, but I will keep the old address pointed there for a while, so change your bookmarks asap.
· Fr. Steven’s Housecleaning Project
We had a successful haul of junk from the Convent and lower school basement, which included a lot of recyclables such as old television screens. Very heavy television screens, I might add. We also hauled about 20 boxes of old records to a shredder truck compliments of St. Mary’s Credit Union. When we heard some of our members were sick with Covid and might not make it, we enlisted the aid of a couple of seminarians, Javier Padilla and Jose Monteiro who helped. Thanks to Brendan Butler and Chris Lundberg for pickup truck assistance and schlepping.
· Wheelchair Donation
Two months ago, you will recall we made a $500 donation to a Marlboro resident who needed a specialized motorized wheelchair. Mike Fallon received this update from the family:
“Hello, it’s Isaac again. Me and the family wanted to update everybody on the situation and with immense gratitude and joy in our hearts, we want to share with you guys that we have been able to raise the full amount needed to cover my brother’s wheelchair. Through 152 donors on the GoFundMe page and several other institutions that have helped us with this. We want to thank everybody that helped with donations, sharing the posts and most importantly prayers and kind words, truly this wouldn’t be possible without you all! I cannot put into words how grateful we are. We will also be doing an interview with the local newscast Community Advocate when the wheelchair arrives later this month to show it to you and thank everybody that has been behind all this and made this all possible.
He is our happiness and you all are helping change his life for the better.
Programs and Upcoming Events
The next meeting on June 14th includes the annual election of officers. The nomination committee has proposed a slate of nominees as follows:
|Grand Knight||Michael Tremblay|
|Deputy Grand Knight||Brendan Butler *|
|Financial Secretary**||Michael Wells|
|Inside Guard||Devlin Madden|
|Outside Guard||Timothy Gruttner|
|Trustee – 3 Year||Richard Kearns|
|Trustee – 2 Year||Michael Fallon|
|Trustee – 1 Year||Rafael Johnson|
* The nomination committee reported this position vacant, but Brendan came forward later and will be nominated by the chair.
** Appointed by Supreme, shown for information purposes
· Our Adopted Seminarian needs help!
You will recall that as part of Supreme’s Program called “Vocation Support,” we adopted a seminarian, Javier Padilla from West Haven, CT, about four years ago. Javier has requested our assistance. His seminary, Redemptoris Mater, is planning a trip to the Holy Land later this year. The cost will be a little over $3,000. He has asked us for some financial assistance with this. I have been tracking Javier’s progress over the past four years and communicating with him often to see if we can support him, and he always declines. I will propose to the Council that we consider assisting Javier. Unfortunately, the deadline for registering is at the end of June, so we don’t have time to notice a meeting for a donation over $500.00. So, because I know many of you will want to help out, I have put up a “Donate” button on our website to help raise funds for Javier. There’s a teaser on the homepage, and full information is here: Kofc81.org/seminarians/. If we exceed our goal for Javier, I will give the surplus to the Rector, Fr. Tony, for other seminarians who may be in some need for financial aid.
· St. Michael Parish Talks in Hudson
St. Mike’s is hosting a talk by Arthur Boyle from Hingham at 7:00 PM on June 15th in the Lower Chapel. He’ll be relating his own experience of the healing power of Medjugorje and about the power of the sacrament of reconciliation and devotion to the Blessed Mother. Boyle was healed from metastatic kidney cancer after a trip to Medjugorje and has written a book about his experience. You can read more about Arthur here:
Bring the wife and you can take her out afterward for homemade ice cream at the New City Microcreamery or a local brew at Medusa or Ground Effect. And if you still have money, there’s Welly’s and the Rail Trail for dinner. Downtown Hudson is the place to be.
· Invite a Friend
Since we no longer meet in secret in dark dungeons or post guards to prevent prying eyes, and the new Supreme guidelines now encourage inviting guests to our meetings, it makes sense that we should take advantage of this to invite potential new members to our meetings. Let’s make June 14th an open invitation to anyone you know who may be interested in learning more about the Knights of Columbus. They can see for themselves what we do, and we can have a short meet-and-greet afterward. I’ll line up some refreshments. Forward this blog along to some candidates who might be interested and invite a few good men!
· Summer Vacation!
After tonight’s meeting, we are off for the summer until September 13th. Mark your calendars! Check the website periodically for announcements and events. Remember to check the Event Calendar often.
Have a fun and safe summer.
· Summer Officer’s Meeting
We will convene two short Officers’ meetings to plan programming for the upcoming fraternal year. I will be in contact with the officers with a date, time and place. By custom, it’s usually on my porch with some beverages.
· Mass and Social in September
Dale Dolesh is busy at work planning our Mass for departed Knights and a follow-up social event, which looks to be perhaps a catered dinner in the St. Matthias Parish Hall for members, wives, and family members. Stay tuned to the Grand Knight’s Blog for more information.
Other Meeting Agenda Items
· Prayers / Intentions:
Please keep Craig Fallon, Mike’s son; Andy Tivnan; and the families of Phil Short and Fr. Mike McEwen in your prayers. Please keep Mike Gibson’s father in your prayers also.
· Thanks for an excellent fraternal year
With the pandemic slowly fizzling away, we emerged from the woodwork and ended up with a pretty proud record of accomplishments this year. We ran the Free Throw Championship; the Essay Contest; the Poster Contest – and landed the state winner in her age group; and raised more than $10,000 too much for the Ultrasound program. We were visible and productive and provided a valuable resource to our pastors, our parishes and community. Let’s do it again next year!
· Other business?
If you have an item to add to the next meeting agenda, please let me know.
If you have any news to report, email GrandKnight@kofcmarlboro.org.
See you all Tuesday night.