Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The Knight's Shield - March 2021

I hope this finds you and your families all well.

We are into the Lenten season now, a time to reflect, sacrifice, and get closer to God. Please consider volunteering at one of our many upcoming events such as fish fries, MI Drive, Ham and Kielbasa sales, or Easter Egg hunt.

We had our February meeting online as a Zoom meeting due to the restrictions. We had around 30 participants and were able to complete all required business with no issues. I am looking forward to meeting in person again. I have reviewed the guidelines and think that we can meet in person at our next meeting on March 11th. I have submitted my plan to the church and am awaiting their response at the time this is being written. I will send an update as to what the plan will be. I am hoping to have a hybrid meeting with both Zoom and in person to accommodate everyone's comfort level. We will possibly be having an exemplification before the meeting at 6:30. We currently have one, maybe two new members attending. We also have one 1st degree member to attend for 3rd degree. If anyone is not a 3rd degree member and would like to attend, please let me know so we can be prepared.

We have completed our 1st day of fish fries at the writing of this newsletter, and it went pretty well considering it being two years since we have had one. It was a great turnout, and we sold out by 5:15. We did get into a groove after a slow start. We have a couple of things to tweak to be more efficient. We don't think that we can get much more food out of the kitchen but we are going to try to add some meals for next week. Please consider helping out with this, our biggest fund raiser of the year.

From my family to yours, we wish you a blessed Lent. Let us hope and pray that 2021 brings an end to this pandemic and our lives can return to normal.

Vivat Jesus!
Tom Gray

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The Knight's Shield - February 2021

We had our January meeting online as a Zoom meeting due to the restrictions. We had a much better turnout then the December meeting and were able to complete all required business with no issues.

We closed the Casey the Teddy Bear program. We raised around $750 profit from the program. PGK, FDD Jeff Gapczynski delivered the 4-1/2 cases of bears to the hospital. We now have funds to run it the rest of the year also. Hopefully we will get back to the Casino trip fundraiser next year.

Our next general meeting is currently planned to be in person on February 11th at 7:30. We will possibly be having an exemplification before the meeting at 6:30. We are planning to record this exemplification so we can post it online. We currently have one new member attending. If anyone is not a 3rd degree member and would like to attend, please let me know so we can be prepared. I will be monitoring the rules set out by the State and the Archdiocese for any changes. If we have to pull back the number of people, we could have a Zoom meeting or a hybrid meeting with some in person and some Zoom. I will send out updates if there are any changes.

You should all have your state raffle tickets. Please sell these, as the proceeds fund some state programs. The council also receives a kickback from each ticket sold.

Lent is just around the corner, and you know what that means! Fish Fries are back! Please prepare to help out with this, our biggest fund raiser of the year. We will be doing something whether we have to do carry out only or drive through or something. We are working out the logistics for the kitchen work to happen safely and within state guidelines. Stay tuned...

From my family to yours, we wish you a blessed Lent. Let us hope and pray that 2021 brings an end to this pandemic and our lives can return to normal.

Vivat Jesus!
Tom Gray

Friday, December 25, 2020

The Knight's Shield - January 2021

It was 25 years ago this month that our council was chartered! With the strong leadership and dedicated membership we have had through the years this council has thrived. God willing we will be able to have a celebration this spring with an awards night and dinner.

We had our December meeting online as a Zoom meeting due to the restrictions. It went better than I thought it would.

Our next general meeting is currently planned to be in person January 14th at 7:30. We will possibly be having an exemplification before the meeting at 6:30. We are planning to record this exemplification so we can post it online. We currently have one new member attending. If anyone is not a 3rd degree member and would like to attend please let me know so we can be prepared. I will be monitoring the rules set out by the State and the Archdiocese for any changes. If we have to pull back the number of people we could have a Zoom meeting or a hybrid meeting with some in person and some Zoom. I will send out updates if there are any changes. The meeting format will be changing slightly due to new guidelines from Supreme.

The Ham and Kielbasa was successfully completed. Thank you to all who helped! This was the first fundraiser we had this year that the funds are coming into the council so it was well needed.

Ken Krause will be needing some help removing Christmas decorations, there will be an update with timing and how to volunteer to help.

You all should have your state raffle tickets. Please sell these as the proceeds fund some state programs as well as the council receives a kickback from each ticket sold.

Casey the Teddy Bear will have been completed by the time you receive this. I will report final numbers when they become available. Thank you to all who supported this effort!

The free throw contest is still on for now. It is 1/30 at St. Thecla in the morning. We will be sending out details soon.

Lent is just around the corner and you know what that means! Fish Fries are back! Please prepare to help out with this, our biggest fund raiser of the year. We will be doing something whether we have to do carry out only or drive through or something. Stay tuned.

From my family to yours, we wish you a blessed New Year. Lets hope and pray that 2021 brings an end to this pandemic and our lives can return to normal.

Vivat Jesus!
Tom Gray

Monday, December 7, 2020

The Knight's Shield - December 2020

I hope this finds everyone is safe and healthy during these trying times.

Our MI Drive is over and the final results are $4,145.00.

Mike Hartel and I delivered 35 coats to Erie elementary for coats for kids.

We are still working on timing for the wheelchair ramp for the lady moving from Arizona. The closing on her home has been delayed due to Covid.

Attached is a flyer for the fraternal benefits meeting December 2 at 7pm. Please let me know if you sign up for this. If we get 10 non-insurance members, it will qualify as one of our insurance events for Star Council next year.

Our next general meeting is currently planned to be in person, December 10th at 7:30. We will be having an exemplification before the meeting at 6:30. We currently have one new member attending. If anyone is not a 3rd degree member and would like to attend please let me know so we can be prepared. I will be monitoring the rules set out by the State and the Archdiocese for any changes. If we have to pull back the number of people we could have a Zoom meeting or a hybrid meeting with some in person and some Zoom. I will send out updates if there are any changes.

You will find the Ham and Kielbasa order form attached if you wish to order. We will be at the masses 11/28-29 and 12/5-6. If you can work it, check in before and after your Mass to see if if help is needed. We will not be doing samples because of Covid.

I am saddened to inform you of the passing of Sir Knight Leon Eggers. He passed away Wednesday, November 18. He passed away one day before his 89th birthday. May he have eternal rest in peace with the Lord. Let's keep his wife Lorrayne and their family in our prayers.

From my family to yours, we wish you a blessed Christmas. I pray that you and your families and friends all stay safe during this pandemic.

Vivat Jesus!
Tom Gray

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Leon Eggers 1931 - 2020

Leon was born in Wausau, WI of parents Charlotte Sucharski and Fred Eggers, Jr. on Nov. 19, 1931. He is survived by his wife Lorrayne Thielemans. He had four children with now deceased first wife Jacqueline Scherr. They are; Sharon Okray (Mickey), Sandra Hill (Robert), and deceased Judith Sprecher (Dennis) and deceased Leon Eggers (Debbie). He has 5 living grandchildren and one deceased. He has 8 great-grandchildren. Leon attended Pershing High School and Chrysler Trade School. He was manager at Schlitter Tool for many years. He had a great love of music and loved boating on Lake St. Clair and in earlier days was a hunter in Northern Michigan. The family will be gathering for a Funeral Mass. Your prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Leon originally joined the Knights of Columbus on August 1, 1964 and was a member of St. Paul of Tarsus Council 11689. He rejoined the Council on January 12, 1996. He joined our Assembly on March 22, 1998. He had regalia, so I assume that at one time he was a member of the Color Corps.

Eternal rest grant onto him, Oh Lord. May his soul and the soul of all our faithful departed Knights rest in peace. Amen.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

The Knight's Shield - November 2020

Fall is upon us!

I hope this finds that everyone is safe and healthy.

The road cleanup was held October 3. There were about a dozen men, and it made light work. It only took about an hour to complete. Thank you to all who participated!

We held our last outdoor meeting in October. We will be indoors for our next general meeting on November 12. We cannot serve a meal according to the social distancing and mask guidelines. So the meeting will begin at 7:30 with no meal.

The By-Law resolution passed with no dissent, the new By-Laws are posted on our website. If you would like a hard copy let me know and I will provide printed copies for any one that wants one.

Our Virtual MI Drive is still going online. We did collect before and after all masses Columbus Day weekend and took in about $800. Not too bad considering the lower attendance at Mass currently. We also collected some at our October meeting. We are well over $1,000 online at the time of the writing of this article, so that will put us at the maximum for the attached resolution to match funds out of the gaming account not to exceed $2,000. See the resolution attached for your review. We will be discussing and then voting on this at the next general membership meeting.

The memorial mass this year is virtual and will be posted on YouTube. I don't have the details at the time this is being written. We had 5 Brother Knights called home to be with the Lord last year.

You may not have heard, but November 3rd is election day. Please exercise your right and perform your duty to vote your conscience. Remember to promote our non-negotiable Catholic values. The sanctity of life from conception to natural death, the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman as a lifelong commitment, and religious liberty.

This is also the season for giving thanks to the Lord for the blessings that he has bestowed upon us. I am personally thankful for my family and friends. This includes my Knights family and friends. I am thankful to be chosen to lead this wonderful and active council, even during these trying times. I am also thankful for my Catholic faith. Getting through this time would be much more difficult without it.

I pray that you and your families and friends all stay safe during this pandemic.

Vivat Jesus!
Tom Gray

Monday, September 28, 2020

The Knight's Shield - October 2020

Happy Autumn Everyone!!

I hope this finds that everyone is safe and healthy during these trying times.

Currently, we are planning for the October meeting to be outdoors. If weather is threatening, we will hold it under the canopy. I am going to move the time up 1/2 hour from 7:00 pm to 6:30 pm to give us a little more daylight. We will be voting on the By- Law update and resolution at this meeting. You can also provide feedback by contacting me or any other officer of this council.

Without any change to the State mandate from our Governor’s Executive Order of no more than 10 people at an indoor gathering, we wil have to go to virtual meetings starting in November, as the weather will no longer permit outdoor meetings. I will send out a Zoom invite to attend the meeting a week or so prior, unless something changes.

The Road Clean-up is going to be October 3. See the attached flyer for details.

Regarding the MI Drive this year...after much deliberation and discussion, our council leadership has decided to forego hitting the streets. We are going to do a virtual MI Drive. Stay tuned for more information, as we will all need to participate. We will probably be doing a “Go Fund Me” or something like it. We will need to spread the word virtually to as many people as possible via social media and email to be successful. We will be looking for some volunteers to be at the Masses on Columbus Day weekend to man the tables with jugs so parishioners can donate. We will also have signs prepared with the info for the virtual drive.

We are going to have to cancel the Trunk or Treat event as well because of Covid.

On a positive note, Father McGivney’s Beatification Mass is October 31. In honor of this, listed below are 10 things you probably did not know about him.

1. Not only Catholics, but even Protestants were inspired by Father McGivney’s witness of faith. Alida Harwood, the daughter of a prominent Episcopal minister in New Haven, frequented Mass at St. Mary’s Church where Father McGivney served. When Alida contracted malaria at the age of 25 and lay on her death bed, it was Father McGivney that she asked to see.

2. He was a surprisingly good baseball player. We know that in one game with his seminary team, he scored three runs, contributing to a big victory with a score of 23-6. He paved the way for a long history of baseball planers who would join the Knights.

3. More forward-thinking that Yale? Father McGivney pushed the boundaries as a theater director. At a time when, according to Parish Priest, nearby Yale University was limiting theater to only male actors. Father McGivney welcomed women to perform when he directed his parish’s St. Patrick’s Day play in 1880.

4. He helped young people take charge of their lives and create a better future. Father McGivney saw that many young men were neglecting their religion and turning to alcohol abuse. In response, he founded St. Joseph’s Total Abstinence and Literary Society, a group that helped young men stay strong in the faith and become active in their communities. No doubt, Father McGivney’s experience with this group prepared him when he later founded the Knights of Columbus.

5. His vision for the role of the laity was very unusual for the time. Seventy-seven years ahead of the Second Vatican Council, the idea that a Catholic organization could be led by laymen was quite extraordinary. Yet that was Father McGivney’s vision for the Knights of Columbus.

6. He ministered to inmates. Father McGivney was responsible for ministering to inmates in the city jail. One inmate was 21-year old Chip Smith who, while drunk, shot and killed a police officer. Smith was convicted for first-degree murder and sentenced to be hanged. Father McGivney ministered to him daily and, on the day of Smith’s execution, the priest was filled with sorrow. Just before he died, Smith comforted him: “Father, your saintly ministrations have enabled me to meet death without a tremor. Do not fear for me, I must not break down now.”

7. He was only 38 years old when he died in a 19th century pandemic. And that’s actually not surprising — life expectancy was short for priests in Connecticut during this time in history when the Catholic population was growing in American. Disease was common and the priests were overworked.

8. He’s on the path to sainthood. Father McGivney’s beatification this year is the latest development in his cause for canonization.

9. His belongings were burned when he died. When Father McGivney died, his personal items were burned to prevent the spreading of disease. Only a small number of his writings and belongings remain.

10. He is known to intercede especially in four areas (from Columbia magazine):
Employment and Finances. Just as parishioners looked to Father McGivney for help when “No Irish need apply” was often included in job postings, so today many receive help when they are laid off or seeking a better job.
Substance Abuse. In Father McGivney’s day, alcoholism afflicted the immigrant population, and many now find relief from drug or alcohol abuse after praying to him.
Family Reconciliation. Father McGivney helped Continues to respond to the prayers of families.
Return to the Faith. Father McGivney founded the Order to keep men from joining anti-Catholic societies. Today, many Catholics receive favors when calling upon him to help their fallen-away children return to Mass.

I pray that you and your families and friends all stay safe during this pandemic.

Vivat Jesus!
Tom Gray

The Knight's Shield - March 2021

I hope this finds you and your families all well. We are into the Lenten season now, a time to reflect, sacrifice, and get closer to God. P...