Wednesday, March 30, 2022

The Knight's Shield - April 2022

Happy Easter, He is Risen!

We are approaching Easter and there is a lot still to do. We are continuing fish fries through April 8th. Come on out and join us for a good time serving up food to our community. The Easter meat sales order form is attached. We have the Easter egg hunt coming, a great time for the kids. Last but certainly not least is our 2022 MI Drive. Let Jeff Gapczynski know if you can work it.

Next month begins our officer election process. We will be taking nominations at our April general membership meeting. Then in May a 2nd round of nominations and the elections. If you are interested in taking on a leadership role in the council or have any questions, let me know. It is perfectly acceptable and encouraged to self nominate for a position. 

There is a webinar called "purpose driven retirement strategies" hosted by your K of C insurance agency, presenter Joe Jordan. See the flyer with this newsletter. Please let me know if you sign up for this event as we do get credit if you attend.

The Resurrection is the greatest of the miracles -- it proves that Jesus is God. That is why St. Paul writes: “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain; and your Faith is in vain… And if Christ has not been raised, then your Faith is a delusion and you are still lost in your sins… But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (I Cor 15:14, 17, 20). If Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, then the Church is a fraud, and Faith is a sham. But if He really did rise from the dead, His message is true! Without the Resurrection, Jesus would have remained forever a good person who had met a tragic end. People would remember some of his teachings, and a handful of people might try to live according to them. All the basic doctrines of Christianity are founded on the truth of the Resurrection. “Jesus is Lord; He is risen” (Rom 10:9) was the central theme of the kerygma (or "preaching"), of the Apostles. In fact, the seventeenthcentury philosopher, John Locke, some of whose ideas were incorporated into the Declaration of Independence, wrote, "Our Savior’s Resurrection is truly of great importance in Christianity, so great that His being or not being the Messiah stands or falls with it."

Vivat Jesus! 

Tom Gray

Sunday, March 27, 2022

George Joseph Francis - January 6, 1932 - March 19, 2022


George J. Francis, 90, of Grosse Pointe Farms, died peacefully Saturday, March 19, 2022, surrounded by his loving family. Born in Indianapolis, Ind., in 1932, George moved with his proud, Lebanese immigrant parents and siblings to the east side of Detroit in the mid-1930s. Growing up one of six children, George learned early the importance of hard work and a good education, including taking two buses to attend Detroit Catholic Central High School on the west side of Detroit, graduating in 1949.

Shortly after, George enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1950, where he spent the next four years stationed in Europe and California, working his way up to staff sergeant. He earned an honorable discharge in 1954, after obtaining a National Defense Service Medal and a Medal for Good Conduct. After a brief stint working in Cincinnati, George found his way back to Detroit. In 1959, he got an entry-level job in the mailroom at Michigan Consolidated Gas Company. Being naturally analytical, along with his hard work and determination to provide a better life for his family, he quickly moved to data management where he contributed to the company's technological transformation from paper to mainframe, to personal computers and servers. He was the manager of information systems when he retired in 1994, after 35 years of service.

In one chance moment, a humble George met his one and only, Ellen MacDonald, a student-nurse at Providence Hospital School of Nursing, while standing up in his brother's wedding in 1960. George and Ellen married in 1961, and with a mutual belief in the beauty of a large family, were blessed with 10 children over the next 14 years. George's unyielding dedication to family, fatherhood, faith and friends helped him develop a true commitment to his community in East Detroit, serving as a youth sports coach, member of the St. Veronica School Board and St. Veronica Men's Club, and active parishioner at St. Veronica Catholic Church, where his children attended school. His lifelong passion for sports included years bowling in the Knights of Columbus Leo the XIII bowling league with friends, as well as an almost perfect attendance record at his many children's sporting events throughout their years at Notre Dame and Regina high schools. George also had a deep affection for the sports teams at the University of Michigan and spent numerous weekends cheering on the Wolverines.

George was meticulous in how he cared for the landscaping around his house, refusing to let anyone else cut his lawn until his later years. One of his other joys was getting up early Saturday mornings in the summer, scrambling a few dozen eggs, sizzling a couple pounds of crispy bacon and preparing French toast before cleaning and vacuuming his swimming pool so his children could enjoy it for the weekend. In his later years, George found vast enjoyment watching his children and 31 grandchildren find their own pathways in life. Fueled by his tremendous work ethic and desire to give back, George spent 20 years in retirement volunteering at Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe (formerly Bon Secours Hospital). He also loved expressing his passions through social media posts about great music and decadent chocolate desserts. George was a humble, gentle, selfless, loving man who will be dearly missed by all who had the fortune of knowing him.

George is survived by his beloved wife of 60 years, Ellen; sons, Dr. Peter (Dawn), Dan (Jessica), John (Kim) and Joseph (Kelly); daughters, Debra Francis, Lisa Ayrault (Terry), Mary Kay Francis (John Jones), Ann Louise "Snip" Francis (Melanie Gilbert), Kristen Taylor (Bob) and Maureen "Mo" Krieter (Chad); 31 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. George also is survived by his brother, John (Nora); sisters-in-law, Rose Fischer and Sue Francis; brother-in-law, Bernard MacDonald (Carol); and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Joseph and Rahmy, as well as his siblings, Joseph, Mary (Kouri), Louise (Brady) and Richard.

In keeping with the lifelong efforts of George to help those in need, memorial contributions in his honor may be made to The Capuchins,

Visitation takes place from 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 27, and Monday, March 28, at Chas. Verheyden Inc., 16300 Mack, Grosse Pointe Park. He will lie in state Tuesday, March 29, from 11:30 a.m.until the time of his funeral Mass at noon at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 22412 Overlake, St Clair Shores. A livestream will be available on St Joan of Arc's Facebook Page and the livestream page of the parish website (

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Donald Stephan Szlezyngier - 4th Degree Knight of Columbus

Obituary for Donald Stephan Szlezyngier

March 10, 2022. Age 76. Beloved Husband of Marianne. Loving Father of Dave (Jill) Szlezyngier and Sara Haidar. Cherished Grandpa and Papa of Brandon, Delaney and Jason Szlezyngier and Arianna and Audrey Haidar. Dear brother, of Diane (Chet) Dzbanski and Pattie (Dave) Bousson. Loving brother-in-law of John (Betty) Pyenta and Steve (Carol) Pyenta. Loving cousin of Jerry Podgorniak. Also survived by former spouse, Nancy Szlezyngier and former son-in-law James Haidar, as well as many nieces, nephews and extended family. Don was an educator and instructional specialist for Detroit Public Schools. A love of teaching was extended as a Boyscout Troup leader and an instructor through the Detroit Sports Congress where he coached and taught Junior Rifle and CPL classes. As a Master Gardener, Don had the most beautiful and bountiful garden. Don's talents spread over a vast array of instruments such as the accordion, piano, organ, and melodica as well as skilled woodworking and painting. He was a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus. Don will be greatly missed by the many lives he impacted over the years. Visitation Monday, March 14, 2022 from 3-8pm at Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons, Inc. 36900 Schoenherr at Metro Parkway (16 Mile) with Rosary at 7pm. In state Tuesday 9:30am at St. Paul of Tarsus Catholic Church (41300 Romeo Plank Rd, Clinton Twp) until 10:00am Mass. Burial Resurrection Cemetery. Share memories with the family at their "On-Line Guestbook" @


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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...