Norwalk’s Knights of Columbus St. Matthew Council 14360 has many traditions, but helping veterans and children in need are at the top of the list. Recently, members of the council spent part of their Thanksgiving weekend taking part in several annual events designed to help others.
To start, Council 14360 and students at All Saints Catholic School sponsored a donation drive for the veterans at the Homes for The Brave in Bridgeport (in honor of Veterans Day). Homes for The Brave is a facility in Bridgeport that takes care of veterans who are working to get back to regular life after serving in the armed forces. This was the 4th consecutive year that the council and school have run a drive for Homes for the Brave. The items were delivered to Homes for the Brave just in time for Thanksgiving.
The council then celebrated Mass on Thanksgiving Day at St. Matthew Church in Norwalk. Knights in full regalia as well as members of the council were in the procession, along with other ministries and organization of the parish. In addition, Council 14360 and Catholic Daughters of the America’s St. Matthew Court 2640 provided and delivered a full Thanksgiving meal for the residents of Homes for the Brave for the fifth consecutive year. In addition, Grand Knight Scott Criscuolo along with Past Grand Knight George Ribellino helped serve the meal along with George’s wife and Catholic Daughters member Heather and daughter Mia.
“Our men and women both loved the food and we could not be more appreciative. What a blessing St. Matthew Council #14360 and Catholic Daughters Court 2640 have been to us. Your Thanksgiving visit and the meal you delivered was a wonderful blessing,” said Homes for the Brave CEO/Executive Director, Vince Santilli.
The day after Thanksgiving has of course become known as “Black Friday”, with many shoppers rushing about in search of the best deals on everything from clothing to televisions. This Black Friday, for the third consecutive year, some members Knights of Columbus Council 14360, along with Brother Knights from Norwalk Council 46, New Canaan Council 2287, Westport Assumption Council 3688, and K of C Bishop Fenwick 4th Assembly 100 joined forces to supply coats to those on a limited income.
Brothers handed out coats for children in need at St. Joseph Church in South Norwalk as part of the Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids initiative. The coats were purchased by the three K of C Councils with money generated from the council’s respective fundraising activities.
The Knights of Columbus launched the coats initiative (designed to keep kids warm in harsh winter climates) in 2009. With many families with young children struggling in tough economic times, there was a clear need to provide warm winter coats to children in their communities. And so, the Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids program was born.
Since the program’s inception, the Knights of Columbus in the United States and Canada has given away more than 370,000 coats to children in need. Approximately 2,000 local Knights of Columbus councils have participated in their communities around the world. “This is the third year that local Knights councils collaborated to give away coats. This year we gave over 140 coats. It is an honor to help children keep warm this winter,” said Council 14360 member and CT State Knights of Columbus District Deputy George Ribellino.
Lastly, while some of the Brother Knights were handing out coats, the council split up to help Pastor Msgr. Walter Orlowski and the parish family of St. Matthew for the annual post-Thanksgiving church cleaning and the assembling of the creche for Advent and Christmas. Led by Grand Knight Scott Criscuolo, the Knights helped clean the altar, vacuum and dust the church, clean windows and bathrooms and assembled the creche. “It’s a great event to get together with Knights and parishioners to clean our beautiful church and get ready for the season of Advent,” said Council 14360 Grand Knight Scott Criscuolo.
The goals of the Knights of Columbus Council at Saint Matthew Church in Norwalk are to perform acts of charity. Providing those in need with a range of support from financial to tactical help in dealing with a wide variety of challenges. Council members work together to foster the founding principles of our order; Charity, Unity, Fraternity & Patriotism. Our goal as a council is to continue to identify specific needs in our community and muster support and help to alleviate these challenges and hardships to the best of our abilities and resources.
Thanks to Anna Marie Mastrolillo for contributing some of the photos posted above!
For additional photos of this year’s Coats for Kids distribution (taken by The Hour’s Erik Trautmann), please click on the link below: