Grand Knight’s Blog
Date: Tuesday, October 10, 2023, 2023
Time: 7:30 p.m. . . . . . . . . doors open at 7:00
Place: St. Matthias Parish Hall
Activities and News Since Last Meeting
· St. Michael’s Parish Picnic
Thanks to all the Knights who helped out at St. Michael’s Parish Picnic on Sunday the 8th at the Elk’s in Hudson. Special thanks to Dale Dolesh for helping bridge the gap to St. Matthias and for assembling our Council’s outstanding raffle basket (Or should we thank Sue?). Thanks also to FS Rich Caissie who was outstanding in his field – in fact that’s where he was most of the day: out
standing in his field — parking cars. Mike Wells, Deacon Chuck Rossignol and Kevin Armstrong were also wearing optic yellow vests and waving red flags moving the traffic along. Mike Bleecker held down the KofC table and handed out tootsie rolls and pops, and a few donuts that mysteriously snuck in. Mike Tremblay embarrassed the whole organization with a pitiful performance in the cornhole competition. Of course, your Grand Knight was there to supervise, commanding the troops by walkie-talkie.
· Tootsie Roll Drive
Thanks to everyone who staffed a slot at St. Matthias and Immaculate Conception last weekend, and also our “stand out” at St. Mary’s Credit Union. Also, because of the conflicting parish picnic, we still have St. Michael’s coming up next weekend. The final count isn’t in yet, but looks promising. About $2,700 reported in so far, and we still have St. Mike’s to go so we should break last year’s $3,000 total. Be sure to sign up on the website if you can staff a Mass next weekend in Hudson. Special thanks to webmaster Mike Tremblay for setting up the sign-up sheets and donation portal on the website, and obtaining the QR code for donations, which we can use from year to year going forward. Special thanks too to Mike Gibson for coordinating, picking up the Tootsie Rolls, and getting foam-boards printed with the QR code. And, of course, John Dedecko for obtaining permission from St. Mary’s C.U. for Tootsie Roll Drive placements, counting all the crumpled bills and doing our banking. Thanks to our pastors for giving us some valuable real estate in the parish bulletins. P.S. for those interested, the “Tootsie Roll” vs. “Tootsie Pop” debate continues undecided. The handouts at the churches were mostly favoring the original Tootsie Rolls, but the stand-out at St. Mary’s Credit Union favored the Tootsie Pops. The debate continues.
· State Charity Ball
The State Charity Ball will be held on October 28, 2023 at the Doubletree in Milford. Grand Knight Brendan Butler and Krista will be in attendance to turn over the Tootsie Roll money. If anyone is interested in attending, email the webmaster for details: firstname.lastname@example.org
· Coats for Kids Motion
You should all have gotten a written motion in the mail for a vote at tonight’s meeting to fund $2,000 worth of Coats for Kids. This important initiative is being spearheaded by Mike Wells who has partnered with agencies nearby who will make good use of these coats by identifying needy kids right in our community. If you didn’t get the mailing, please let Financial Secretary Rich Caissie know so we can update your profile: FinancialSecretary@kofcmarlboro.org
· In Memoriam: “Jack” E. Duffin Jr.
Thanks to Mike Tremblay for responding to Jack’s widow and organizing the space at St. Matthias for a collation after Jack’s interment ceremony last Saturday, and finding a bugle player form Marlboro High to play taps. Thanks to Mike Fallon and Paul Tynan for attending and helping clear out the hall.
· In Memoriam: Rev. Gregory Mercurio
Our last appointed Chaplain was laid to rest on September 11th last month. Thanks for Mike Gibson and Mike Tremblay (and wives) for trekking up to Lynn for his wake and funeral. Father Gregory suffered for several years with Progressive-Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) and Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD), a very debilitating disease with extremely discomforting symptoms. If you would like to learn more, you can find information at https://pspcbdfoundation.org/ and if you wish to make a donation in Father Gregory’s memory, you can do so at PSPCBD Foundation 7961 Falling Creek Road Bedford Virginia 24523.
· Labor Day Parade
The Labor Day Parade was a hit, thanks to all who marched (or strolled). At least we were dry this year.
· First Concern
First Concern Pregnancy Resource Center held a gala fundraiser and Grand Knight Brendan Butler was in attendance.
Megan Paradis, the executive director, reported that in the first six months of 2023, 71 women sought help (some with babies or other young children in tow), and with their new partnership with medical staff, they performed 27 on-site ultrasound procedures, and provided other valuable help and services, resulting in at least six women who chose life over abortion.
They also weathered a protest outside their premises in Marlboro, and had 60 people respond for a peaceful counter-protest.
· Maui Donation
We heard from former Marlboro resident (and Mike Fallon neighbor) Laurie Killam who lives in Maui, and she recommended an organization called “Feed My Sheep” a multi-denominational Christian organization which she confirmed is highly visible providing services to the victims of Maui’s wildfire. Laurie’s house was spared, but the fire split in two and went on both sides of her. Our check for $500 was mailed to Feed My Sheep last week.
· Local Ukraine Refugee Donation
Grand Knight Brendan Butler presented a check for $500 to Denis Neshcheretny in front of all his co-workers to help out the resettlement of his family from Ukraine. Denis works at Waldron’s Auto Body in Marlboro and his whole family was exceptionally grateful for your support.
· Father McGivney Award
Unbeknownst to anybody in the Council, immediate Past Grand Knight Mike Tremblay was awarded the Father McGivney Award from Supreme Headquarters for outstanding achievement as Grand Knight, in this case for sustained membership progress. Only a limited number of the Father McGivney Awards are made each year.
Programs and Upcoming Events
· Upcoming Programming
Coats for Kids is in motion for next month. If tonight’s motion passes, we will supply approximately 75 coats to local agencies positioned to find kids in need. Mike Wells is the Program Manager.
“Keeping Christ in Christmas” Poster Contest and Essay Contest will be rolled out in early December. We could use an overall Program Manager as well as three “Captains” to be in touch with the Religious Education Directors at the three parishes.
Basketball Free Throw Challenge is planned for January or February. Neil Cronin is Program Manager. He will be looking for helpers such as scorers, registration table, prizes, etc.
Please let the Grand Knight know if you can spare some time helping these programs succeed.
· Additional Programming
We have nothing else on the horizon after the three programs listed above, so if you have any programming ideas, speak up!
Our Supreme organization has many canned “out of the box” programs we can tap into, with packaged literature, supplies, posters, and assistance. They are divided into Faith, Family, Community and Life concerns. Here are some ideas.
Into the Breach – a program to run a series of talks and discussions. Posters, topic suggestions, and supplies are available from Supreme. One or more of our pastors would surely support this. The program manager would reach out to the pastors and see where interest lies, and organize and promote two or three events throughout the year.
Vocation Support – we have “adopted” a seminarian (Javier Padilla) and we reach out to him from to time but he rarely asks for help. Nevertheless, we make sure he knows we are there for him if some need arises that we can help with. Mike Tremblay currently runs this program, but there is room for another!
Building the Domestic Church Kiosk – This program supplies a kiosk of literature at the back of the church (or other similar location) on various topics on Catholicism. The Program manager would solicit interest from our pastors, obtain supplies from Supreme, install the kiosk in the back of the church, and keep it stocked every few months as time goes by.
Spiritual Reflection – This is a one-day retreat event, usually on a Saturday. The Program manager would solicit interest and support from our pastors, schedule a venue, find a retreat facilitator, promote the event, and obtain coffee, donuts, sandwiches, etc. Last year we partnered with Valencia Council in Milford for one of these events which was highly successful and spiritually rewarding.
Rosary Program – There is so much going on in the world right now that warrants our attention. The program manager would pin-point some causes and organize a rosary at one of our churches, possibly after a Mass, or other convenient time, as the need arises, perhaps several times a year. We did this earlier this year at Fr. Ren’s request, and hosted four online “Zoom” rosary sessions to combat the SatanCon convention, which were highly successful.
Family of the month/Year. The Program manager would reach out to our pastors for nominations of a family for recognition; gather information and write up a story for publication in the bulletins and on our website. The Council would support with a prize or gift.
Family Prayer Night. The Program manager would arrange a venue and schedule a one-hour prayer session once a month, concentrating on attracting families with children, etc. Probably some refreshments and rotating support from our priests and deacons to lead the sessions. This has been a meaningful program in other councils to strengthen families and promote the youth in our families to stay with the faith.
Helping Hands. The Program manager would find some need in our community, or locate an agency already serving such a need, and coordinate our Knights to supply volunteer labor at events such as soup kitchens, rides for seniors, visiting at nursing homes, etc. This is also a good way to get our own wives and families involved in what we do.
Soccer Challenge. The Basketball Free Throw challenge is one of the Community Programs we already participate in, but the Soccer Challenge is not being served in our area. It would run much like the basketball program, but might have the added advantage of attracting some minority community participation – and membership. There is also a Hockey Challenge available. The Program manager would obtain the materials from Supreme, find a venue at no cost or reduced cost, promote the event through local sports teams, and organize staffing, scorers, prizes, etc.
Disaster Preparedness. Many councils in other parts of the country run these programs, but they are not common in the northeast. The Program manager could locate Knights at councils in our geographic area who have skills, talents, and equipment to respond to disasters such as hurricanes, tornados, snowstorms, fires, etc.; and mobilize to help. The first level would be finding the people to help; and then creating and maintaining a database and email list to keep the interest alive to be ready to respond. This is a good opportunity to partner with other Councils in the area and divvy up the work.
March for Life. This takes place each year in an important venue, such as Washington DC. Our council has not had a highly visible presence at this. With a Program Manager, we could mobilize families willing to charter a bus and help out. There are other organizations in our community doing this, we could easily partner with them and improve our input and visibility.
Pregnancy Center Support. We have already established a long-term relationship with First Concern, but a permanent program manager is probably warranted to be our primary contact person and keep us in touch, informed of their needs, and organize our members to help out when possible. It would be a one or two hour a month job, not counting any events or programs that might arise.
There are many other programs available for our participation. Ideally, we would like to see at least one form each category added to our annual repertoire and get one visible program running in the community each month. You can view more of the “canned” programs here: https://www.kofc.org/en/what-we-do/faith-in-action-programs/index.html
Being a program manager is really a small investment of time, i.e., one or two hours a month of planning and preparation plus a few days of more intense activity when the event takes place.
· Supreme Knight’s Report
Supreme Knight Patrick Kelley reported in this month’s Knightline that in the past year:
“We stepped up in so many ways — all 2 million Knights of Columbus. We donated $185 million to charity and devoted 49 million hours to volunteer service. We protected Catholic families with a record $121 billion of life insurance in force.”
· Coffee and donuts after Mass
Mike Wells is interested in re-instituting a coffee and donut session once a month after Mass at each of the three churches. We got this going a few years ago, but Covid killed it. It was a very effective way of promoting our activities, achieving visibility in the parishes, and recruiting new members. If you are interested in helping out, we’ll discuss it tonight. Ideally, we’d like to see a “captain” to help organize at each parish. We have a giant 40-cup Coffeemaker and four vacuum pump dispensers, and all kinds of other equipment, so all we have to do is buy a can of coffee, cream, sugar, etc., and a few dozen donuts and we are ready to set up.
Other News and Meeting Agenda Items
· 12 months of free membership
Tell any of your friends or neighbors interested in joining, use the QR code below to join online and use the promo code “BlessedMcGivney” for 12 months of free membership.
· Prayers / Intentions:
John Harrold has had a miserable year. He has been in poor health; his son passed away earlier this year; his daughter has cancer and is in radiation therapy and her house burned down. Please keep John and his family in your prayers, and if anybody learns of a need we can fulfill, please let the Grand Knight know.
Mike’ Gibson’s mother had a bout in a Florida hospital last month, but is home safe and sound.
Deacon Elcio has still not been formally assigned, and is anxious to get back to work.
Deacon Chuck Rossignol is in the same position, but to make matters worse, got laid off from his civilian job.
Mike Fallon reports his son Craig remains stable.
· 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 tonight.