Thursday, May 23, 2024

The Knight Shield - June 2024

 It’s a time to celebrate!

    Brothers, as our Fraternal Year comes to a close, we need to take a moment to acknowledge the successes accomplished as a Council and team over the past year. Some of our programs met new highs. We met the Council goal of (12) new members and are on our way to Star Council with the addition of a few more insurance sign ups. So, make sure you encourage those that might need some insurance or retirement advice to contact our Worthy Insurance Agent Don Wesley. 

    A perfect example of success was our Council’s participation in the Special Olympics held in May. You’ll find some pictures attached in this newsletter showing how happy and serious the athletes were. One of the funny moments in the opening ceremony was just how loud the choir from Lutz school was (they didn’t need a microphone). I only wish that our national anthem could be sung that loudly at all the national games ! Most of the seven MI Drive charities our Council supports were represented there at the Special Olympics. It’s a close-up view of how our fund raising gets put to work. 

    Thanks to those that came out to get the Canal Road Clean up done last month. After a rain out the week before, we got it done in short order the following week. Nice job gentlemen! A Rosary Rally for Life was also conducted last month. Thanks to our Church Director Tom Pardo for organizing. 

    June 13th is the Council’s annual Potluck dinner. It’s an opportunity to bring your family and friends out for a night of socialization and good food courtesy of the Council.  We’ve got some special presentations for Knight and Family of the Year which I am excited to help present. Also, some special awards for all the great work we’ve done over the course of the year. It’s a great time, hope to see you there. The sign-up list to bring food is online at the following link below.  Please RSVP with the number of people coming from your group to Kurt Buhlinger and myself. 


    As we close the 2023/2024 Fraternal year and shift into the new 2024/2025 Fraternal Year (I can’t believe I just said that, man time flies).  I want to congratulate our new team of officers. For those of you returning Officers, thank you for your continued support and service to this Council. For our new officers, we welcome you and we will support you as you grow in your role.  

God bless our Council and God Bless the Knights of Columbus.

Vivat Jesus!

Vincent Ursini 

Friday, April 26, 2024

The Knight Shield - May 2024

    Make a difference. Give more than you take. Be Christ in the world for someone in your community. Don’t judge and provide service to others. My Journeymen brothers shared that lesson recently with Father Larry and the 22:23 Men’s discussion. It’s something we need constant reminders of in today’s world. If you were to pass from this world, would anyone beyond your immediate family know it or feel it. There are people in need everywhere. The Knights can help. Be a part of it. The last two months were filled with tremendous Council programs that will benefit our local community today. And those that benefit will know that you made it happen.

    The Fish Fry events wrapped up in April as the most successful in this Council’s history. Success is measured in the number of people that enjoyed the dinners, the number of volunteers that assisted, the number of new recruits to our Council that resulted, the number of new members to our Parish that were encouraged to join and of course, the number of charities that will benefit. The proceeds of +$19,000 was extraordinary and the return to our church of $6,500 for the use of facilities and support is fantastic. Thanks to all of you that made it happen. As a side note, a young family with two children approached me and mentioned that they had been going to our fish fry’s and they were so impressed with the level of welcome and encouragement that they joined the Parish. Wow, now that is evangelism at it's best! 

    Easter ham and kielbasa sales once again came thru with another $1100.00 for our General fund. Since it’s inception a total of $19,500 has gone to local charities from this program alone. Thanks to Jerry Hund & Ted Czarny and team.

    The MI drive, otherwise known as the Tootsie Roll drive, suffered from some bad weather and lack of access to Walmart this year. Nevertheless, K of C Council members did their part to raise thousands in support of Mentally Challenged adults and children in our local communities. The Council voted to supplement the profits so that we don’t let down any of our local charities this year. Thank You Jeff Gapczynski and team. Macomb Special Olympics comes up on May 8th. Join Joe Phillips to bring joy to the Olympians participating and have some fun in the process.

    May General meeting is our annual election of officers for the next Fraternal Year. We will need a new recorder in addition to other positions as officers rotate out and into new roles. Please consider running for office. You will be further engaged in the Council affairs and help lead the activities moving forward. If you are unaware of some of the officer positions (as I was a few years ago), visit “Understanding Council Officer Roles and Responsibilities” on line.

    Another great exemplification in April. Welcome John Vollmer and Robert Hannigan to 11689 Council. Their addition meets our goal of (12) new members for this fraternal year. Thanks for all your help recruiting these gentlemen to our order.  I would like to thank our Degree team headed by George Lowen, Mike Hartel, Ron Marrese, Art Krygowski, Joe Phillips and Father Joe Hund. It’s great to see all these new men joining the ranks of the Knights of Columbus to continue our great works in the church and local community. God bless our Council and God Bless the Knights of Columbus.

Vivat Jesus!

Vincent Ursini

Thursday, March 28, 2024

The Knight Shield - April 2024

    This past month’s exemplification was tremendous. We had seven men from three different councils participating in the 1st thru 3rd degree program. Four of those exemplified joined our 11689 Council, giving us a total of 10 for the year. Two of those members are still in their 20’s and align with our focus to recruit younger members to our order.  Our state goal for the year is 12 new members, so we are still short of the goal and need everyone’s help to meet and exceed that commitment. I would like to thank our Degree team headed by Mike Hartel, George Loewen, Ron Marresse, Art Krygowski, Frank Burda and Father Joe Hund. As usual you gentlemen did a great job and we received many compliments for the quality of the program. It’s great to see all these new men joining the ranks of the Knights of Columbus to continue our great works in the church and local community. 

    Corporate Communion was well attended with a good turnout by our Knights Color Guard. They always make the Mass special and we can’t thank them enough for their participation in our Corporate Communions. Thanks goes to Tom Pardo our Church Director and Gary Skarb DGK for organizing the event. 

    The Easter Egg hunt brought in kids throughout the Parish. It was another nice turnout as you can see from the pictures included here in this newsletter. Thanks again to Ray Coughlin, Mike Hartel and the team that set up, filled the eggs, hid the eggs and sent those kids off to find them. Plus, the clean up afterwards. The Ladies of the Knights put some serious effort in here too. Thank you Ladies !

    The Fish Fry events in March have exceeded expectation. We continue to sell out (500 meals) week after week. The volunteer support has been excellent, the last fish fry I attended there were over 40 volunteers including the Ladies of the Knights. This Council has done a great job of contributing. In addition, students from the Key Club over at Chippewa Valley schools and other religious education students attended and helped serve dessert and bus tables. We are anticipating a banner year of contributions for the charities we support. Thank you all.

    Easter ham and kielbasa sales continue to do its thing. Providing wonderful meals to those in the Parish taking advantage of the program. Jerry Hund, Ted Czarny and team do a terrific job taking the orders, packing the orders and handing them over to Parish customers. This program has steadily provided funds to assist our charities over numerous years and we appreciate the support ! 

    Palm Sunday weekend saw the kickoff of the MI drive, otherwise known as the Tootsie Roll drive. Our K of C Council raises thousands in support of Mentally Challenged adults and children in our local communities. We support Special Olympics and give to 7 different organizations that provide direct support to local families. The work we do and long hours on the street or store front raise monies that make a difference right here and you likely know people and families that have benefited from this activity. Thanks go out to Chairman Jeff Gapczynski and his team for all their hard work. 

Lastly, on behalf of our Council, I’d like to thank Father John Kiselica for his service to our Parish. He became a Knight and member of our Council just this past year. And even though it was only a short time here at St Paul’s this second time around, we wish him all the best moving forward with his retirement. We will always remember his fantastic homilies, his knowledge and education of religious history and of course his humor. God bless this humble servant and please know you will be greatly missed. God bless our Council and God Bless the Knights of Columbus.

Vivat Jesus !

Vincent Ursini

Saturday, February 24, 2024

The Knight Shield - March 2024

When times seem darkest, there is light . . .

Finally, we have some popular spokesmen for Catholicism. And they were revealed during the Superbowl of all things. 

Did you notice a commercial during the Superbowl for “Jesus, He gets us!” ? Well, that ad was provided by Dallas advertising firm “Lerma”. They claimed “we are honored to share Jesus’ powerful message of forgiveness, unity and love!”

Another Catholic organization supported by Mark Wahlberg introduced Hallow, an iPhone app for daily prayer during Lent. Mark wears his faith on his sleeve and provides some insight on several topics including “fasting” during Lent and letting things go that are not good for us and turning back to God. Wow, very powerful message. The daily messages are great reminders for Lent and moving forward.

In addition, I hope you saw the article in the Feb 14th Knightline e-news regarding Harrison Butker, the field goal kicker from Kansas City that had a nearly perfect season and a Superbowl record 57-yard field goal. Harrison has been a Knight since 2015 and he lives his belief. He stated: “The greatest impact that I will make with my time on this earth, is remaining dedicated to my primary vocation – helping my family get to heaven.” Now that’s a great goal.

So quickly, very quickly, we have numerous examples of how God and Jesus are turning lives around. I tend to be skeptical and try to understand motives when I first hear of these people stepping up to embrace Jesus. But we need to believe. Let’s embrace these new ambassadors and promote them. With all the negative news we see on TV and social media these days, we need these uplifting messages to lead us forward and continue our path towards righteousness.

From our Council, brothers and sisters alike are working to raise money for charities through our fabulous Fish Fry events. Join in and work side by side with other like-minded Catholics working for the betterment of our community. The Fish fry runs thru to Palm Sunday weekend so there is plenty of time left to assist. Invite your family and neighbors to come out to eat here at St Paul’s. They will be among friends and they will enjoy their dinner. All are welcome !

Another very important activity for our Council occurs on Palm Sunday weekend. That is the MI drive, otherwise known as the Tootsie Roll drive. Our K of C Council raises thousands in support of Mentally Challenged adults and children in our local communities. We support Special Olympics and give to 7 different organizations that provide direct support to local families. The work we do and long hours on the street or store front raise monies that make a difference right here and you likely know people and families that benefit from this activity. Support our Chairman Jeff Gapczynski and our team to go out and make this drive the most successful yet.

God bless our Council and God Bless the Knights of Columbus 

Vivat Jesus ! 

Vincent Ursini

Monday, January 22, 2024

The Knight Shield - February 2024

"The Darker the night, the brighter the stars. The deeper the Grief, the closer is God"

    These are words from a former homeless person quoting Fyodor Dostoevsky.  Do you believe in God? There will be tribulations. No one has a free unobscured path to Heaven. This gentlemen’s path was quite challenging, but through the help and love of Catholic services, this man saw the light of day and is helping those that are where he was, desperate and destitute. 

    And so, our Council answers the call. Men’s Coats, sweaters and blankets were collected to provide to the Capuchin center to assist those in need of cold weather gear. The Pancake Breakfast this past January was to assist the SPOT Food Pantry in providing meals to the hungry and in need of assistance. We service our Church and our Community at large. 

    A week of Charity Poker resulted in a significant increase in the Charitable funds we have available to administer to the charities our Council supports. One new group in particular, is the Detroit Catholic Campus Ministry, which strives to keep Christ in the lives of college students who are away from home. Their latest endeavor is to have students attend a Eucharistic Revival Retreat for which the State’s K of C’s councils (of which 11689 is one) pledged over $15,000 at the recent Diocesan Winter Meeting in support.

    We are embarking on another fabulous Fish Fry season, which marks one of the Council’s largest fund raisers. Starting Feb 16th and running thru to Palm Sunday weekend. Remember we serve up to 500 people in a 3 hour window. The need is great for volunteers, both Knights and their wives to assist. The “Ladies of the Knights” make a huge impact to the success of our Fish Fry service and are much appreciated. Ask your family members to assist, they will be welcome. And for those of us that have an open Friday, come early as prep work goes on all day. Join the team and make a difference.

God bless our Council and God Bless the Knights of Columbus

Vivat Jesus ! 

Vincent Ursini

Friday, December 29, 2023

The Knight Shield - January 2024

    It’s a new year. Wow 2024 is already here. My wife Andrea and I moved to Detroit area in 2002, when my nephew was 1 year old. He just graduated from Central Michigan University ! We also attended another ceremony recently for another nephew who is 20 years old and just graduated from the Police Academy. He will be joining the Roseville police force to “Protect and Serve”. He was just a sparkle in his Mother’s eye when I first moved here. You get the point, our mission is great and time doesn’t wait for us. We have little time to make an impact in this world. Let’s get out there and make use of our God given talents.

    Some reflection on words from the Roseville Commander who talked about the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. When you can do something good for people and help them in their journey, celebrate those accomplishments loudly. He talked about the Bad where you are unable to help or assist people in need. And he didn’t need to talk about the Ugly (we all know what that looks like). The fact is that we must learn from those bad experiences and apply the lessons moving forward to further help people. Take action. Take your wins where you can get them.

    That’s a call to participate in this Council’s awesome programs. Proceeds from the Pancake breakfast in January will go towards our SPOT Pantry and their mission to feed those in need. We have 180+ Knights in this Council and I’d like to see a majority come out in support of this worthy cause. Get with our Brother Knight Kurt Buhlinger to sign up for a task. And don’t forget the Charity Poker Event in January, contact Michael Hartel our Worthy Program Director for that duty. If you enjoy playing cards, you’ll love this duty.

    The Council’s biggest fund raisers are coming up in February and March with the Fish Fry event and the MI Drive. We will need all you Brothers for these activities. The Social Hall Fish Fry takes several prep people, cooks, dinner sales personnel, servers, take out organizers and dining room support. Bring your spouse along as the "Ladies of the Knights" do a great job and find a way to enjoy their time while serving. These programs provide great opportunities to recruit and evangelize as well. Plus, you are raising money for our multiple charity organizations.

    Let’s get 2024 started off on the right foot. I’ve confidence this Council will do an excellent job to make these programs successful.

   Welcome, to our newly exemplified Council member Robert Hurlbert. Looking forward to working with you in this next year.

Wishing all of you Brothers and your families a most blessed and successful new year!

God bless our Council and God Bless the Knights of Columbus.

Saturday, November 25, 2023

The Knight Shield - December 2023

    My favorite time of year is upon us. Even when we lived in Northern Michigan, my family would come down to Detroit area to celebrate Thanksgiving and then roll into the Christmas holiday with family time. There is a spirit of Christmas in the air and it just seems that everyone is a little bit nicer this time of year.

    Congratulations to the Women of Faith and our very own Ray and Lori Coughlin for the tremendous success on the Baby Bottle Drive.  Both Gianna House and Abigale Ministries will both receive over $4,800 to continue their work with pregnant mothers and the support of the unborn child.

    Thanks also, to you brothers, for supporting the MCREST program. A significant amount of food was acquired and prepared by St John the Apostle team. And our Council did its part in delivering the food and on some days, serving the food to homeless women and children.  What a noble cause, aligned with the Holiday season.

    Looking forward to the Council’s Christmas Meat sales in December raising money for the general fund. Worthy PGK Jerry Hund and team could use some help. If you can’t assist with sales, please buy some of these delicious product(s). Look for Rosary Bracelets as well !

    The Knights are assisting the Men’s Group with the “Cookies with Santa” program on Dec 10th.  Last month’s K of C children’s programs had awesome turn out’s. We’re expecting nothing less for this year’s program which has been growing in leaps and bounds over the last 5 years. Bring your children / grandchildren and enjoy the fun in a program that has a little Magic and emphasizes the Reason for the Season.

    The Memorial Mass last month was well attended by our Council. Several family members of those wonderful Knights we lost last year came out to celebrate their lives. The K of C Color Guard came out in force and added to the wonderful Mass and Program.  However, the Knights we lost did a great job for our Council and will be missed. Step up gentlemen, there are big shoes to fill.

    For those of you that participated in the Rescue Project, we’ve learned a lot in a short period of time. Now it’s our turn to pass on that knowledge and continue our efforts to further evangelize and spread the good news. Thanks goes out to the Journeymen and Deacon Marc for putting on the program.

    If you’re looking to get into the Christmas mood, nothing sets that off like putting up Christmas lights and decorations. See Ken Krause on Dec 1st to assist decorating the church grounds.

    On a personal note, my wife Andrea and I would like to wish each of you a wonderful Christmas Season. And, may the birth of Jesus bestow his grace upon you and your families!

God Bless Our Council and God Bless the Knights of Columbus


Vince Ursini

Grand Knight

The Knight Shield - June 2024

 It’s a time to celebrate!      Brothers, as our Fraternal Year comes to a close, we need to take a moment to acknowledge the successes acc...