Knights of Council 14360 Take Part in Special Mass at Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington

“What are you looking for? What is it that you see?” the Bishop said to begin his homily, noting that it was a question that Jesus asked his disciples.

“It is a question that roots each of our lives and one we bring to this sacred space,” the Bishop said, reassuring worshippers that the Blessed Mother opens a path to the Lord.

On Saturday, September 23, 2017, Bishop Frank Caggiano echoed those words in his homily to a packed house of more than 4000 pilgrims from the Diocese of Bridgeport, New York City, China and the Philippines at the Basilica at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC.  The Mass was held in tribute to the Rosary Walk dedicated to 100th Anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima to three shepherd children by Bishop Caggiano’s private foundation and other donations.

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More than 1500 pilgrims boarded buses in the early morning from all over Fairfield County with an additional 500 who drove down on their own.  Three Knights of Columbus members from Knights of Columbus Council 14360 and Bishop Fenwick 4th Degree Assembly 100 in Norwalk represented the Knights of Columbus in the Mass and procession.  The three Knights, Faithful Navigator George Ribellino, Color Corps Commander, Scott Criscuolo and Faithful Pilot Anthony Armentano travelled on a bus which left St. Matthew Parish (Norwalk) that morning at 7:00.

“Being a Knight is an honor by itself; having the opportunity of representing my council and assembly in such a storied setting was a humbling and joyful experience,” said Armentano.

On the ride down on the bus from St. Matthew, Parochial Vicar Father Tomi Thomas led 2 rosaries praying not only for the intentions of those on the bus, but for all those making the pilgrimage.  They even has some fun by playing trivia about Our Lady of Fatima.

The Knights led the procession for the Mass and were part of the procession to the Rosary Walk and dedication outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.  The Mass also included Knights of Malta, Knights of the Holy Sepulchre and 60 members of the Diocesan Youth Choir.

“It was such a humbling experience to be a part of the spiritual day and to see the youth of our Diocese bring such spirit to the day was so inspiring,” said Ribellino.  “I want to thank Bishop Frank and the Diocesan staff for making this day possible and to the wonderful ushers, clergy and staff at the Basilica for their hospitality.”

The Mass and procession was broadcast live on EWTN and covered by Catholic TV of Boston and NET-TV in Brooklyn, NY.

Criscuolo who led the Knights Honor Guard went on to say, “Not only do I think we represented our council, parish and city well but I’d like to think Catholics around the world watching on TV felt that we added a little reverence to an already spiritual experience.”

The Byzantine Romanesque basilica, which opened in 1959 after decades of construction, is a massive testimony to the faith of the American Catholic Church. It is largest Church in the U.S. and one of ten largest in the world.

More than one million people a year make pilgrimages to the site, which shares the campus of Catholic University of America.  The ushers at all Masses volunteer their time and are all members of Knights of Columbus Councils from Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland.

Bishop Caggiano said that those who go on pilgrimage are also “carrying others in their hearts,” a family member or friend who is struggling spiritually.

He said that those who live entirely by the secular values of materialism and relativism often end up empty and lost with nothing to sustain them.

“We bring them to Our Lady so they can ask the questions,” he said, praying that they find love and peace in the answer that, “Christ is the desire of every human heart. “

When the Mass concluded the entire congregation formed a procession to the new Rosary Walk and Garden near the side entrance of the Basilica while reciting the Rosary.

Contributions from the Diocese of Bridgeport Fairfield County Catholic

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Chili for Charity: Third Annual Council Chili Cook-Off at Saugatuck Sweets Benefits Al’s Angels

The battle for the best chili was on, but the champion prevailed once again.

The competition was intense from many other fine cooks, but the two-time Chili for Charity “Chili Cook-Off” champion came through again.

On a beautiful sunny Fall day, the  Knights of Columbus St. Matthew Council 14360 held their Third Annual Chili Cook Off fundraiser at Saugatuck Sweets in Fairfield on Sunday, October 1, 2017.

Six Knights from the council and two guests cooked eight chili entries, ranging from super-spicy to scrumptiously sweet. Defending Champion and Past Grand Knight George Ribellino was crowned Chili Champion once again, much to the dismay of current Grand Knight Scott Criscuolo.

“It is a dark day in the chili competition world. I really need to double my praying efforts to make sure this calamity never happens again,” said Criscuolo. “All joking aside, it’s always a great day when we can be out in the community, being a brotherhood with our Knights, and being able to raise money for a wonderful organization like Al’s Angels, who’s always striving to make a difference.”

“Once again, for the third year in a row, our Brother Knights hit it out of the park with some amazing chili offerings! We had some new participants bringing the heat to our veteran chili chefs. As always special thanks to Al DiGuido for his space and assistance. This year our council was able to donate $316 to Al’s Angels from the 95 judges at this event,” said Chili for Charity Chairman Erric Moretti.

The Chili for Charity concept was started by then-new Knight Moretti back in the summer of 2015. Moretti thought it would be a nice fraternal experience for the council while helping the community. He calls it a “fun raiser.”

The mission of Al’s Angels is to provide holiday meals and gifts to children battling cancer, rare blood diseases and severe financial hardship. This year Al’s Angels plans to provide holiday dinners for 1,000 families affected by Hurricane Harvey.

“I knew the competition was going to be tough this year since I have the target on my back. I appreciate the support of all the judges and I love the trash talk among the Brother Knights, which is all is fun. The best part is we get to raise money for a great organization in Al’s Angels,” said Ribellino.

“My family and I had a great time at the Knights Chile Cook-off. The contestants all created dishes that were not only delicious to eat, but appropriately named such as ‘Fire in the Hole, ‘Third Degree,’ ‘As Seen on TV,’ and ‘Meat Lovers.’ They were all so good it was difficult to say whose was the best! We look forward to next year,” said St. Matthew parishioner and judge Ernie DesRochers.

Knights of Council 14360 honored to be a part of annual Diocesan Blue Mass

At the noon Mass on September 10, 2017, it was an honor for Brothers of Council 14360 to be the host council for the Annual Diocesan Blue Mass, held at St. Matthew Church in Norwalk. The Blue Mass honored fire, police, and other first responders from the area.
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Bishop Frank J. Caggiano was the main celebrant, along with diocesan priests who serve as police and fire chaplains in Fairfield County. Fr. Charles Allen, special assistant to the president of Fairfield University, served as chairman of the event.

Law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical service personnel of all faiths in Fairfield County, along with members of the general public, were present at the Mass.

“It is always a privilege and honor to recognize our uniformed personnel who put their lives on the line every day to safeguard the community. The Blue Mass commemorates their courage and dedication,” said Fr. Allen.

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano presided over the service and spoke eloquently of the contributions of those being honored.

“When there is an emergency, you don’t ask if someone is a Republican or Democrat, Liberal or Conservative, English speaker or not – you serve them because they are brothers and sisters in need. You remind us what makes us a great nation, and that what unites us in Christ is greater than what could divide us because of personal differences,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.

The Blue Mass, sponsored by Knights of Columbus and benefactors, recognized the following First Responders for their courage and services to the community: Officer Maryhelen McCarthy from the Patrol Division of Newtown Police Department; Weston Volunteer Fire Department EMT Mark Blake; Norwalk Fire Department Truck Co. 2 Firefighter George Baez; Norwalk, CT Police Department Officer Anthony DePanfilis,  Officer Matthew Nyquist and Officer Jose Silva.

A reception was held immediately following the Mass in St. Matthew’s Masterpool Great Room.

The Knights of Council 14360 look forward to assisting with this very special event again in the future. God Bless our first responders who keep us safe each and every day.

Solemn Ceremony at Notre Dame Health & Rehabilitation Center Marks 9/11 Anniversary

In a solemn outdoor ceremony held on Saturday morning, September 9th on the beautiful grounds of Notre Dame Health & Rehabilitation Center in Norwalk, members of Knights of Columbus Bishop Fenwick 4th Degree Assembly (including members of Council 14360-Norwalk) were joined by their families as well as residents and staff of Notre Dame at a special Mass in remembrance of those who lost their lives sixteen years ago on September 11, 2001.

“It is nice to take time to honor those we lost on that day,” said George Ribellino, Faithful Navigator of Assembly 100. “This is the 3rd year of having the Memorial Mass and picnic with the residents of Notre Dame and we are so appreciative of the hospitality of Sister Lucie and the staff of Notre Dame,”  Ribellino went on to say.

On a bright sunny morning, residents and patients Notre Dame, along with staff, volunteers, a Knights Color Guard formed a procession across the Notre Dame grounds to the flag pole for the blessing of a brand new American Flag donated by Assembly 100.

Father Reggie Norman, Pastor of Our Lady of Fatima parish (Wilton) and Chaplain of Knights of Columbus Assembly 100, was the celebrant of the Mass.  Special American flags bearing the names of 9/11 victims were part of the ceremony as well.

Father Reggie in his homily about the 9-11 Anniversary said, “9/11 is a day to remember: remember who we are and what we are about. It was not a time of selfishness but a time of togetherness. Let us return to the time where we work and pray for each other.

The Mass was coordinated by Notre Dame’s Sister Lucie Monast, SSTV, with assistance from Assembly 100 and members of Catholic Daughters, Court St. Matthew #2640. Following the Mass, a special picnic was held for all attendees in which the Knights helped serve

“It was truly a special and memorable morning for all”, said Sister Lucie Monast

Notre Dame Health and Rehabilitation Center is a 60-bed residence, including 6 private rooms, and located on five landscaped acres in Norwalk, CT, is operated under the loving sponsorship of The Sisters of Saint Thomas of Villanova. Their goal is to optimize the quality of life for the chronically ill and convalescent elderly.  Notre Dame has been awarded 5 stars, the highest ranking from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It has been named by US News & World Report as one of the Best Nursing Homes in CT.   For more information go to ndhrehab.org.

Knights of Columbus Bishop Fenwick Assembly 100 was chartered in Norwalk, CT since 1914.  The Fourth Degree is the outgrowth and culmination of the desire of the Members to manifest their love for country and pride in their Catholic American heritage. In 1882, the Reverend Michael J. McGivney had founded the Knights of Columbus to provide mutual aid and assistance to its members and their families. At that time the Order had only three Degrees exemplifying the principles of Charity, Unity and Fraternity. In compliance with the wishes of the body as a whole, the national board of directors met in August 1899 and approved the addition of a Fourth Degree to the work of the Knights of Columbus. The new ritual was adopted on the 9th of December and went into effect in 1900 with its primary purpose to foster the spirit of patriotism through the demonstration of one’s love for its country and by responsible citizenship. It is the highest Degree in the Knights of Columbus, giving a greater knowledge and appreciation for our Catholic heritage.  For more information, go to Assembly100.org.

 

 

 

 

Two Local Knights of Columbus Councils make donation to Good Counsel Malta House of CT

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Two Fairfield County Knights of Columbus Councils partnered for a 2nd year to hold a Golf Tournament for Charity called the Sword & Shield Golf Classic.  Under the leadership of Co-Chairs George Ribellino of Norwalk Council 14360 from St. Matthew and Greg Matera of Fairfield Council 11077 from Our Lady of Assumption, the golf tournament was a rousing success for a 2nd year raising funds for several organizations including Good Counsel Malta House of CT –which is a home to feed and shelter women from all backgrounds eager to keep their unborn children.

On September 13th, members of both councils arrived at Malta House joining the residents and Board for  Mass and Dinner before presenting checks totaling $2000 from a portion of the proceeds from the late spring outing.  “To be able to do good for those in your community gives such a level of satisfaction, it really can’t be described,” said Golf Finance Chair and current Deputy Grand Knight from Council 14360, Anthony Armentano while attending this Donation Ceremony.  Armentano went on to say that “Malta House does so much good and we are honored to help where we can.   Co-Chair Matera echoed Armentano’s sentiment, “We are proud that the Knights of Columbus is able to support the needs of Malta house and their residents.”

Both Knights councils have worked with Malta House over the years by providing diapers, wipes, formula and supplying man hours to paint and make repairs at the house.  “I have worked with Malta House since joining my Knight council in 2009.  I admire the work that the staff and board do to help the mothers and children at Malta House.  We were so honored to present a check from the proceeds of the golf tournament to Good Counsel Malta House of CT,” said Tournament Co-Chair George Ribellino, Jr.

“Malta House is so very blessed to have the support of the Knights of Columbus Council 14360 in Norwalk and Council 11077 in Fairfield.  Not only do the Knights raise funds that allow us to provide a safe home and support services to young women and babies who have nowhere else to turn, they also work behind the scenes with the upkeep of our home.   We look forward to participating in next year’s Sword & Shield Golf Classic,” said Kim Petrone, Chair of Malta House.

The vision for Malta House came almost 20 years ago when a young father learned that there was “no room at the inn” for many pregnant women in Fairfield County, who chose life for their unborn. These vulnerable young families often found themselves living on the street or in sub-standard conditions.

It was just announced this week that Malta House formed a collaboration with Good Counsel which runs maternity homes in the tri-state area and beyond.  “Linked with Good Counsel’s network and resources, we’ll be able to provide even greater access to health services, education, job skills and more for expectant and parenting mothers,” Petrone said. “Good Counsel also has the ability to provide care for women with substance abuse and mental health disorders, ensuring that no woman who seeks our help will ever have to be turned away. This capability is a win-win for Connecticut and our home in support of human dignity and family stability.”

The Third Annual Sword & Shield Charity Golf Classic will be held on June 11, 2018 at Brownson Country Club in Shelton, CT.  Details will follow at saintmatthewknights.com.

Founded in 1882 by Father McGivney in New Haven, Conn., the Knights of Columbus has grown to nearly 2 million members with charity as its primary mission. Last year, Knights donated $177.5 million and more than 75 million hours of service to charitable causes.

 

Knights Feeding the Youth

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Three local Knights of Columbus Councils and Bishop Fenwick 4th Degree Assembly provide BBQ lunch for the Diocesan “Fan the Fire” Youth Rally

On Saturday, August 19, 2017, around 400 youth from the parishes in the Diocese of Bridgeport attended the Fan the Fire Youth Rally at St. Joseph’s High School in Trumbull.  Fan the Fire® is a one day event designed to reach out to teens and help them to either deepen their relationship with Christ or discover it for the first time. The day consisted of a dynamic host, high-quality music, and talented local, regional and national Catholic youth speakers, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, confessions, contemporary Mass, concert, lunch and dinner.

Father Reggie Norman, Pastor for Our Lady of Fatima Church and Chaplain of Knights of Columbus Bishop Fenwick 4th Degree Assembly 100, reached out to Assembly 100 Faithful Navigator George Ribellino to see if the Assembly and Knights councils that make up the Assembly would be interested in sponsoring and hosting lunch for the youth.  Ribellino said, “When Father Reggie mentioned this to me and what the youth rally was about, I said let me see what I can do!”   Ribelllino brought this up to the 4th Degree Assembly and everyone jumped on board.

The lunch was sponsored by Knights of Columbus Bishop Fenwick 4th Degree Assembly No. 100 along with Norwalk councils St. Matthew #14360, Thomas J. Finn Council #46 and Wilton Our Lady of Fatima #12698.  The menus consisted of hot dogs, hamburger, chips, water and lemonade.  Since there was a tight schedule, the Knights had to get everyone fed within an hour.  Everyone was served within 20-25 minutes.

“I was so proud to see Brother Knights come together to plan and execute a great meal for our youth, but we all got more joy seeing the youth of our diocese really enjoy a day of getting closer to Christ,” said Ribellino.

The leftover food was donated to the St. Joseph’s High School Football team, which was having summer scrimmages.

Knights of Council 14360 Host FCA Child and Family Development Program Summer Outing at Fodor Farm

For nine of the ten years that Knights of Columbus St. Matthew Council #14360 has been in existence, they have assisted or sponsored various events for the Family & Children’s Agency (FCA) in Norwalk. This has included the Agency’s annual Foster Care picnic and outings to Bridgeport Bluefish games as well as a day of painting with teens and seniors. This year, the council donated funds from various fundraisers to sponsor and take part in the FCA Child & Family Development Summer outing on August 10, 2017 at Fodor Farm in Norwalk

Mayx Holmes, FCA Manager of Community Engagement, spoke about how the St. Matthew Knights have partnered with FCA to make a difference in the Norwalk community for many years.

“Their dedication to helping the community through service and charity has been evident over the past nine years.  Each year, the Knights want to address the project with the most need, and this year they provided a wonderful summer event for FCA families. This event was a great way to bring families together to find support, reduce isolation and celebrate their accomplishments in FCA’s programs,” said Holmes.

The weather was perfect for the day’s events, which included arts and crafts, a petting zoo, mud and face painting, a tasty lunch, and of course ice cream, which was donated by Saugatuck Sweets of Westport and Fairfield.  The children and the parents really enjoyed the outing as it was a chance for all the families to bond with each other and the staff at the FCA.  Some of the St. Matthew Knights and a few of their family members ran the grill and helped FCA staff with preparing the salad and cutting up watermelon for the families.   In addition, the Knights and their families assisted with directing traffic in the parking lot, and helped run the raffle and arts and crafts tables.

“The FCA does a great job in supporting those of all ages from young children to seniors.  It has been a joy to work with the great staff at FCA over the last 9 years and we look forward to many years to come,” said Past Grand Knight and council liaison to the FCA, George Ribellino, Jr.

FCA’s Child & Family Development programs provides positive parent support and programs to families and their young children. These program focuses on the critical early years of a child’s life, birth to age 5, to support strong foundations for future success. FCA’s staff educate and equip new and growing families with resources that help them build a strong family foundations.

These programs are designed to work with at-risk families to prevent abuse and neglect in the home.  Ribellino went on to say, “This is our first year working with the folks from the Child & Family Development program and we are looking forward to sponsoring and assisting with next year’s event”

FCA is a nonprofit organization that offers services to all ages, from children to seniors, to build strength and help provide their needs. FCA serves Fairfield County and the surrounding areas. For more information, go to FamilyandChildrensAgency.org.