Filling and Fulfilling

Newsletter issue: 
December 2014
News item date: 
Thursday, December 4, 2014

By HPN Staff

    The Knights of Columbus were founded in 1882 to enable Catholic immigrant families to provide mutual support. Today, they are a fraternal society, dedicated to furthering the Church’s social mission through service, charitable giving, and the promotion of Catholic education. In 2013 alone, the Knights provided over 70 million hours of voluntary service and were responsible for awarding more than $170 million in contributions to charity.

Fulfilling its specific charism, the North Kingstown, RI Knights of Columbus, St. Francis Council #2011 has dedicated one of its renowned breakfasts in support of The Haitian Project (THP) and its mission of Catholic education in Haiti for several years.

This year’s breakfast, which took place in November, was initiated when Patricia Newell, THP Board Member and parishioner of St. Bernard Catholic Church in North Kingstown, connected with St. Francis Council #2011’s Financial Secretary, Guy DeMelis at the annual parish stewardship festival. Of the Knights’ involvement with THP, Newell noted, “The breakfasts help to build a sense of community. They bring people in and give people a chance to learn more about the Project.”

Not including the Knights, who set up, cooked, and cleaned, the event brought together over 50 people for a hearty breakfast. Grand Knight Bill Cran-dall, while dolling out pancakes, professed, “I had been involved in many groups before joining the Knights. But, after many years of community involve-ment, the only role that occupies me now is as a Knight. It is so fulfilling.” Of the event itself, Demelis added, “It is very rewarding for myself and our Council 2011 to be able to assist THP’s mission.”

Although the Knights’ pancakes and home fries stole the show, the event also featured raffled baskets full of Rag-A-Muffin items (accessories made from up-cycled t-shirts by women in the LCS neighborhood), holiday metalwork magnets, and Haitian coffee.

In the same weekend, Fr. Jack Unsworth and the St. Bernard’s communi-ty took up a second collection for THP. Deacon Patrick Moynihan preached at weekend Masses and Newell, along with former THP Volunteer and Vice President of Operations, Reese Grondin, sold of Rag-A-Muffin items after Masses.

The weekend was successful not only in the funds it raised but also in the community it encouraged. The positive effects of the community action were widespread. The combination of fellow-ship, pancakes, and coffee led to a filling and fulfilling Sunday morning.