Knights of Columbus Council 17043 Newsletter
Issue 4 June – July 2021
Member Spotlight: Rick Alexander – Rick and Cathy are active members of Little Flower Church. Brother Rick is also a 4th degree (Sir) Knight. We have a Council at Little Flower Church mostly due to the efforts of Brother Rick. His leadership enabled our Council to be singled out in its first two years of existence as a Star Council. This is a remarkable accomplishment and took hours upon hours of work on his behalf. Rick has enabled my transition into the Grand Knight position seem almost seamless. I came into the position with limited knowledge of the inter workings of the Knights of Columbus and with his vast knowledge and willingness to share as well as see our Council continue to operate at a high-level Rick vastly assisted in having things move forward – even in a year that involved navigating around and through the Covid Pandemic. Rick, I can not pour enough thanks to you for your continued support and advice! I truly hope that Cathy and yourself are getting to spend all the time you wished with those grandchildren.
The Year in Review
Knights of Columbus / Parish Family of the Month/Year – It is truly exciting to announce that through tireless efforts of Jerry Zent, Vince Feck, Rick Gallant, Jim and Chris Reilly we have awarded five parish families as recipients. I would like to point out when we embarked upon this program, we had absolutely no idea that the Parish would be identifying 2021 as the Year of the Family. We will be working closely with our Parish Year of the Family program through out the year. Please consider nominating deserving families that you know for this award. The nomination form can be obtained by contacting myself, brother Jerry Zent or simply go to the Parish Website and download the form. Please give us as much information as you can about the family. Our winners will go on to complete at the state and maybe Supreme level. We are extremely proud of all of our nominees. The nominations seem to grow every month. I encourage all of you to find families that deserve of this recognition. Finally, I do not want to neglect to thank and mention Rick Gallant, Rick is involved with our “Family of the Month” program and has donated a very nice assortment of gifts for the family pet, be it a dog, cat, bird or whatever the family pet may be he seems to find a way to shower it with gifts. Rick thanks a lot – these families appreciate you! We appreciate you! We also thank our Parish family for complete support of this program. A special shout out to Megan for her work on the posters placed around our parish facilities. It is really nice to see the nicely done posters on the bulletin boards around our church buildings. I am certain most of you have viewed the posters of the families placed around our church are so cool and professional! Thank Megan when you see her!
Council Men’s Social Night – After our Meat and Greet gathering for the Consecration of St Joseph we were encouraged that it may be time to move forward with these events as we are aware some members of our Council joined for Brotherhood. We are excited to share with you that Brother Todd Elliott is spearheading this initiative for us. We are currently in the planning stages of putting a men’s social event together at Four Winds Field where we can watch a South Bend Cubs Game and just get to know one another as Catholic Families. We are planning and coordinating this event as I write this newsletter. The event is scheduled for July 10th Saturday evening at 7PM at Four Winds Field in South Bend. After discussion the officers of our Council thought it important to invite and involve the spouse of those who dedicate so much time to our success. So, there it is we have reserved an area in the Picnic Patio and will be getting together as a Catholic family to have some fun and get to know one another on a more personal level. I hope to see spouses attend this event to enable them to get to know our spouses as well. I am very excited about this and can not wait for the time to arrive.
Church / Parish Activities – Our Brother Knights continue to support Father Terry in his shepherding of our flock. Recently Brother Knights assisted in the re-opening of our church for services during this time of Covid-19 by providing ushers, directing persons while approaching the table to partake in the receiving the body of Christ. At the completion of services it has been members of our Council that have cleaned and sanitized the church to prepare for the next service. We want to extend a big thanks to these brothers for their efforts to enable our brothers and sisters in faith to return to services. We also had 10 brother Knights meet at Little Flower and write out and address Christmas Cards to members of the Little Flower Family at the request of Father Terry. Thanks to all who participated. We continue to support Father in the mission of conducting the Sunday Masses while following all social distancing guidelines as well as sanitizing the church after each mass. Our Council played a large role over the Eastern Weekend in getting things moving forward from the Pandemic. We had brother Knights serve as ushers for all mass sessions to assist in returning to the Collection of funds during the offertory. Lastly, we just helped sponsor and pull together a farewell picnic for Father Terry. We had quite a number of Knights assist in setting up, delivering the lunch and simply sharing good times with fellow parishioners. Father Terry will be dearly missed. That being said it was amply nice to meet Father Julius a Sir Knight himself. He seems eager and ready to work with us and shepherd our flock into the future. Welcome Father Julius. We look forward to seeing a lot of you!
New Members to Council 17043 – Since our last edition we have welcomed (4) new members to our Council. First was Justin Leugers – Justin is a transfer and joined the Knights while in Lansing, MI. We Justin and his family typically attend the 1130 Mass on Sunday’s. Gerald Espiritu – Gerald has been a member of 553 but a long-time parishioner at Little Flower. We are glad to have him as a part of our Council. Jim Reilly – Many of you know Jim and Chris. Jim applied to the Knights just as 2020 came to close. Thanks to brother Vince Feck for never giving up. Jim is involved in so many functions in our Parish community. We are really excited to see him join the Knights. We also gained a new member after the Meat and Greet. Brother Scott Smithburn expressed interest in becoming a Knight. Scott became a member of our Catholic brotherhood at the Easter Vigil. He came to assist and help at the April fund raiser and completed his application to the Knights and our Council online that same evening. To all of the above we are excited you chose to join our Council. We hope to see you at Church, Meetings and other Knights functions as we move forward.
Double Star Council – I am extremely excited to announce your council 17043 has received the Star Council award for the second time in our short two-year history. This is the highest award handed down by our Supreme Council. I salute Brother Rick Alexander for his leadership enabling our Council to receive this prestigious award. I also salute each of you for your unselfishness in time and effort in achieving this award. We know that any event we set out to do we always have more volunteers necessary to pull the activity off. This is a tribute to all of my brothers. Thanks for your total commitment to our mission. Along with receiving the Star Council Award we have received several awards from the Indiana Knights of Columbus. We are working on establishing a location to display these awards. We conducted this ceremony on February 14th after the 11:30 mass. Father Terry was knighted and we were awarded these very prestigious awards at this Ceremony. We had the Fourth Degree Color guard present for the Knighting as well as Worthy District Deputy to present the Council awards. Thanks to all members that helped earn these state and national awards. They are a reflection of all of you uniting behind a common cause – Service to our Lord and God!
Fund Raising – As most of you are aware we pulled off our first real fund raiser since the Pandemic struck. We had a drive up To Go pulled pork meal. The meal consisted of pulled pork, mac n cheese, baked beans and cole slaw. We want to express many thanks to all brother Knights that assisted in pulling this event off. We express special thanks to Brother Charles and Jerry Zent for coordinating a putting this event together. Big thanks also to Brother Jim Reilly and his friend for spending all day Friday April 30th from 5am until mid-evening cooking and serving up the pork. It was delicious and we netted nearly $600.00 from this event. We look forward to more of this in the future. Please do not be afraid to step up and volunteer to assist, it often takes no more than an hour or two of your time to make these a real success and not burdensome on a few. This Council is amazing in this regard as we never have problems getting sufficient members to show up to ensure the success of the event. Again thanks to all!
Lenten Activities – Novena for Life – Brother Rick Alexander led a Novena for Life; we had several members along with family members participate in this nine day Novena. Always say a prayer for Life and Thanks Brother Rick for leading this Novena. Consecration to St Joseph – Brother Daniel Tucker our Church Music Director volunteered to lead a group in celebrating the consecration of St Joseph. He has recommended the book “Consecration to St Joseph, written by Father Donald Calloway. We had quite a number of our membership participate in this event. We followed the recommended path and each participant read and conducted prayer on his own schedule. We culminated the even with a meat and greet on the Feast Day of St Joseph. Our Council funded hot dogs and hamburgers for the participants. It was a great time again thanks to all that made this a success. Special thanks to Brother Charles who did the cooking of the Hamburgers and Hotdogs. This proved to be a great opportunity for these men to learn more about St Joseph. St Joseph is so important and filled so many roles. Amazing man tasked with teaching our Lord about being a man, husband, and father just a real role model for us to follow…
Father Terry is knighted – Our congratulations go out to Father Terry. He recently completed the exemplification to become a 4th degree Knight. He was knighted after the 1130AM Mass on February 14th. Sir Knight Father Terry Congratulations!
Seminarian Support – We recently committed $500.00 in support of our Seminarians. We will be sending a check to the Faith Director for our State and the money will be distributed to our future Priests. We thank all members for the support of this program.
Ultra Sound Initiative – The Knights of Columbus is a leading player in the Right to Life Movement. With this Ultrasound Machines have proven to be a real asset in women choosing life. We again have committed $500.00 to this all important fund. We once again will be sending our contribution to the Life Director for our State. Thanks again to all for supporting Life!
New Initiative – At our last meeting we begun discussion on a new initiative that we would like our Council to become involved in – Marriage! This compliments perfectly our Family of the Month Program. It is also a focus of our new Supreme Knight. This is only in the discussion stage at this time. We had a couple of members Dave Van Horn and Brian Peterson at our meeting that expressed interest in being involved in the formation of this program. I want to point out that we are NOT looking to take over in any way the marriage program of the parish or diocese – we are looking to lend a helping hand where our Pastor sees fit. I am excited about this new program and I personally have some ideas, like recognition of some sorts for Marriages identified to us by our Pastor that have achieved major milestones like 10, 20, 25, 50 etc. This is just one idea. Brother Dave had an idea of providing some financial counseling – great idea since finances cause many marriages to crumble. If you have any ideas on things you would like to see us implement obviously with the complete support of our Parish leadership please bring them to one of the individuals listed above or myself. I eagerly await the opportunity to lend a helping hand in the vocation of Marriage.
Election of New Officers – I am sure many of you are aware that we conducted an election of Officers for our upcoming new Fraternal Year beginning on July 1st. We began taking nominations for positions at our meeting in May and continued to accept nominations for positions at our June General Meeting. First and foremost, many thanks to Brother Vince Feck our Advocate for leading and conducting our election. The results are in and here are your officers for this upcoming fraternal year:
Grand Knight – Ben Janczewski
Deputy Grand Knight – Brian Peterson
Financial Secretary – Nevin Siqueira
Recorder – Jerry Zent
Treasurer – Craig Phillips
Warden – Alan Chamblee
Chancellor – Gerald Espiritu
Advocate – Vincent Feck
3rd Year Trustee – Todd Elliott
2nd Year Trustee – Rick Alexander
1st Year Trustee – Mikel Hogan
I wish to dearly thank all of my fellow officers for this past year that assisted in navigating our Council through what may have been one of the toughest times in modern history – Covid-19. I never cease to be amazed at the commitment and dedication that each of you demonstrated to get us to where we are today. We are only a step away from being a Star Council once again. We could not have come even close to this with out the ceaseless efforts of each one of you. Now to our newly elected officers, your term begins July 1. I am excited about what lies ahead for our Council now that we seem to be rounding the corner of Covid. We have many exciting things on our agenda as we look to Fraternal Year 2021-2022. Some of the items that I would like to see happen are: First, we hope to finalize and establish our own Degree Team to bring new members on board in the Knights of Columbus. This will be an initiative that we hope to pursue as soon as this fall. Brother Rick Alexander has already indicated he would be willing to lead this venture. Thanks Brother Sir Rick! Secondly, we need to set some sort of Fund-Raising plan. Thoughts are a mix of Breakfast and Dinner/Lunch options and maybe even some tailgating functions of some sorts during Notre Dame FB games this fall. I am excited as well to bring Father Julius into our family! We need to work tirelessly to see his transition into our parish family goes quickly and smoothly. Father Julius is already a 4th Degree Sir, Knight! We will focus on establishing an ongoing recruiting and introduction to the Knights program my thoughts are at least once a quarter doing something that will bring new brothers to our fraternal family. We will also strive to get ahead of the curve on expectations from our Supreme Council – Faith in Action. Lastly, we wish to build upon and continue our Family of the Month program at Little Flower. Brothers Jerry Zent and Gerald Espiritu have presented ideas for (1) Knights uniting next year for the Corpus Christi walk – great idea we need to plan it now! (2) Assume a more active role with Right to Life in the Michiana area. Plan for events in January now! (3) Develop with our Pastor and Parish a program that will recruit young members of our parish community to serve during mass as Altar Servers. Gentlemen – we have an aggressive and exciting year staring us in the face. We are always seeking ideas to bring new programs into action so please bring your ideas. Everything great was only an idea at one time. I thank you all for your time and anxiously await the year ahead a year without Covid – Thank you Lord!
May God Bless Each and Every One of You and Your Loved Ones!
Quote of the Month: “Others do not care how much you know until they know how much you care!”