Grand Knight’s Blog
Date: Tuesday, March 8, 2022
Time: 7:30 p.m. . . . . . . . . doors open at 7:00
Place: St. Matthias Parish Hall
Method: Live and in person
Activities and News Since Last Meeting
· Reminder: New Meeting Location
Remember, meetings will be at St. Matthias Parish Hall, 409 Hemenway Street, Marlborough, MA 01752 until further notice.
· Ukranian Solidarity Fund
Supreme Council is matching donations for Ukraine. Council #81 put a “Donate” button up on our website on Sunday Feb. 27th and we have raised $1,175 in 9 days so far, which we have already transmitted to Supreme. We will keep the Donate button up for as long as necessary.
We have 1,800 brother Knights in Ukraine. In many cases, their wives and children have taken to the road toward Poland fleeing the bombing and killing. The men stayed back to defend their homeland. This money goes first to them, and their families. There are another 34,000 Knights in Poland who are on the front lines taking care of refugees. Our funds go to support their effort too.
Yesterday, Supreme reported that it has already raised $2.4 million from councils so far, and has already begun disbursing funds to the region.
The Polish Knights have put up “Mercy Huts,” (i.e., tents) every few miles along the roads from Ukraine into Poland where travelling refugees can stop, rest, eat, etc. Our money is already going directly into that effort.
· Super Bowl Pool
We netted $1,600 for the Council. Council members Andy Tivnan and Mike Bleecker were quarterly winners.
We received a donation of $100 from Lillian Young in memory of Christie Rembetsy. I will ask the Council what to do with it at tonight’s meeting, but my initial instinct is to add it to the Ukranian relief fund.
Programs and Upcoming Events
· Council #131 in Hudson
Council #131 was active in Hudson until about 2005. For reason we don’t know, it fizzled out. Fr. Ren Tocci has been a source of renewal since taking over as pastor at St. Michael Parish. He asked us for assistance with their parish picnic, and we in turn ran several programs over there. In the process we found about six of our Knights going to church there, and as a result of our activities we have recruited several new members. Most of you already know about our “Round Table” of St. Michael’s members. All of this is old news, but here’s what’s new:
An outreach has been made to reactivate Council #131. State Membership Director Ed Hebert got involved and made efforts to support it, especially by locating and contacting former Council #131 members. Unfortunately, they will need 20 members for reactivation, which does not appear likely. There were 13 members on the books, but 4 of them have moved out of state, and several have died. Ed has rightly decided that if they continue to forge ahead to reactivate Council #131, it would probably expropriate members from Council #81, substantially diminishing our active membership base. In the meantime, I was contacted by Avidia Bank informing me that they have an active bank account in the name of Council #131 which is about to be paid over to the Commonwealth as unclaimed funds. State Advocate Nick Melanchook put on his thinking cap and found precedent for merging an inactive Council into an active one as a method of transferring assets, and this plan will be presented to our membership for a vote.
A meeting will be officially noticed in the near future inviting all former Council #131 members to vote.
If Ed is not successful in assembling some members from Council #131 to vote on it, he may suggest several of Council #81’s members sign enrollment cards and transfer to Council #131 for the sole purpose of voting on the merger. After the merger, they automatically become members of Council #81 again. Now’s your chance to become a Grand Knight for a minute!
Unfortunately, my sleuthing has discovered that Council #131’s bank account had only $88 in it so we will clean up the status of Council #131, but we won’t be rolling in dough for it.
Ed will be present to explain in more detail at our meeting tonight.
· Mike Gibson’s Run for State Warden
Council #81’s own Mike Gibson, PGK, PDD, presently State Program Director, is running for State Warden. He’s in a contested race against Fausto “Tito” Cabrera from Lynn who is a well-liked, all around good guy and has a solid base of support from the larger metro area. Council #81 will be looking for your assistance to support Mike.
· Ultrasound Program
You may recall over a year ago we were approached by First Concern, a pregnancy resource center with facilities in Marlboro and Clinton. They fizzled out during the pandemic, but they are back. They have reached out to both Fr. Steven and Fr. Ren. Supreme has a program that will reimburse us 50% of the cost of a clinical Ultrasound machine. The cost runs around $30,000, so it would be an investment of about $15,000 for the Council. The State Council and Supreme council have placed a strong emphasis on this program. Councils in Massachusetts have already raised funds and placed about 10 of these machines. It provides help to these pregnancy support centers in getting reliable diagnostic information and referring women to appropriate medical care and other resources, and can perhaps be the largest factor weighing in against an abortion for women in difficult times. As I have said before, if we are going to preach against abortion, we must be willing to put our money where are mouths are and help these women out in a time of need. Another pregnancy resource program in Hudson is assembling and distributing diapers, formula, baby supplies, etc., and Fr. Ren has devoted some space in the parish offices to stocking and distributing those supplies.
Mike Wells has taken the initiative on this program. Fr. Ren will make a launch in early April. Fr. Steven right after Easter.
This will be an “all hands on deck” program. We are going to need lots of creativity from the council to seek out sources of donations. We are confident we will have strong support from our pastors, so it falls on us to do the leg work: phone calls, website donations, cards, letters, presentations at Masses, donation cans after Masses, i.e., anything we can think of. Put your thinking caps on and if you have any ideas, get in touch with Mike Wells.
· New Members
Welcome Sergio Enciso Carrizales, a Marlboro resident who attends I.C., who joined last month.
Welcome Deacon Chuck Rossignol.
An advance Welcome Dr. Paul Stebenne presently living in Mashpee, who plans to move to Hudson later this summer and join Council #81. Paul is a District Deputy of District 47 on the Cape and has lots of KofC experience.
· Upcoming Program Ideas
Put your thinking caps on and give us some ideas at tonight’s meeting!
Other Meeting Agenda Items
· Prayers / Intentions:
Please keep Craig Fallon, Mike’s son; Andy Tivnan; and Phil Short in your prayers.
Mike Gibson has been shuttling between coasts over the past several months. His father had a fall and has been in and out of the hospital and rehab. Please keep Mike’s father in your prayers also.
· Other business?
If you have an item to add to the agenda, please let me know.
If you have any news to report, email GrandKnight@kofcmarlboro.org.
See you all Tuesday night.
Mike Tremblay, Grand Knight