A Family Guide to the Knights of Columbus
All Knights, especially new Knights, are often asked about our Order. The attached is provided to explain to wives, family and friends the purpose of our Brotherhood and allow them to understand your motivation for joining the Knights of Columbus.
Vignettes From Our Past
On January 31, 1960 a group of over 100 men gathered to explore the possibility of establishing a Knights of Columbus council in the Monroeville area. On February 14, 1960 over 52 of these men braved unplowed roads and well over a foot of snow to attend a meeting at St. Bernadette Parish to affirm the commitment they had made. On March 6, a First Degree was held with 52 charter members in attendance.
Many examples of dedication to the principles of Columbianism by our members have been exemplified in the months and years since March 6, 1960:
A brother Knight extending a no time limit, interest free loan for ceremonial robes and equipment. A brother Knight whose dying wish to become a 4th Degree member was fulfilled in his hospital room just a few days before his death. Brother Knights standing in shopping centers and cold windy corners passing out Tootsie Rolls and soliciting funds for the Bishop's Project for Exceptional Children - an idea initiated in another state, but first introduced in the Pittsburgh area by one of our members. Dozens of brother Knights banding together to raise funds and pack and deliver thousands of heavily laden Christmas boxes to needy families in the area. It is estimated that we have helped well over 4,000 families with these baskets. Knights and their families enjoying the annual summer picnic which once included a brother Knight's special production of "turkey on a stick" (ask anyone who was there). Knights banding together to paint St. Michael's Hall. Knights standing watch at 3:00 AM beside the casket of a beloved Chaplain. Knights treating teenage boys from Auberle Home to a day of fun at the Monroe Bowl. Knights devoting hundreds of hours to renovating and converting an old movie theater into a council home. (Since sold.) The impromptu K of C band which took over at parties when the pros needed a break. A 4th of July float of the "Santa Maria" whose mast had to be dismantled on the way to the parade because it wouldn't clear an overpass on Route 22. K of C clowns making balloon animals, passing out candy and otherwise delighting the children at parades and Christmas parties. A council whose members have long assumed responsible leadership roles in the Bishop's Project, the Pittsburgh Chapter, the PA State Council, on 1st, 2nd & 3rd Degree teams, State Convention Host Committees and the Supreme Convention Host Committee. A dozen or more Knights spending hours painting, landscaping, repairing, mowing, etc. at the home of a brother Knight's widow, and still having enough energy left to toss each other into the pool afterward... Brother Knights so dedicated to the ceremonial work of the Order that its Degree teams have been cited for their excellence. A Council whose acts of charity and community involvement cover a wide gamut - from filling a request for a new pair of glasses or a winter coat, supplying a school with a flagpole, funding a tuition assistance program for sons and daughters of members, a stained glass window for one of our churches, bowling for dollars for Mom's House, sponsoring little league baseball and free throw contests, contributing to the educational cost of diocesan seminarians, etc. A council whose efforts in the media and before municipal council helped reverse a decision to schedule a 4th of July parade on a Sunday morning. A Council whose efforts have raised over $200,000 for "our kids" at McGuire Home and in the St. Anthony's School Program. A council whose commitment to the cause of life prompts participation in the annual "March for Life", the erection of a Memorial to the Unborn at Good Shepherd Cemetery and another on North American Martyrs property. A poor economic climate prompted the sponsorship of a series of public seminars and guest speakers designed to help the unemployed. A council whose solidarity with their priests was demonstrated by a Recognition Banquet honoring and thanking 75 priests and religious in our area for their dedication to and their leadership of our Catholic Faith. A council whose commitment to the culture of life is further reflected in project “Rosebud” to ease the plight of women in crisis pregnancies. In cooperation with the East Suburbs Respect Life Groupand various agencies the council sponsors a pregnant woman for one year and provides both physical and social services as needed. A few Knights and their wives interact with and counsel these ladies. Other Knights have helped to provide furniture, diapers, household items, etc. Rosebud has grown so fast that we are now at “Mom #7” because of the need. A council who dug down deep to make the financial investment to become the PA distributor for “Keep Christ in Christmas” nativity scene car magnets in order to help spread that message to a secular world. A council that disseminates reliable information about our Catholic Faith by providing literature to parish book racks, prison chaplains or wherever appropriate.
Much has happened since Pius XII Council was charted on March 6, 1960. The spirit, strength and vitality that typified our council then still exists. It has been built upon and amplified during these past 50 years. Let us pray that our powerful and ever living God will bless us with the courage and drive to continue His work over the next 50 years.
CHARTER MEMBERS - Knights of Columbus - Pius XII Council #4925
Grand Knight Patsy Boccardi, Jr.
Deputy Grand Knight Thomas R. Curran
Chancellor Regis Cunningham, Jr.
Warden Stephen J. Witko
Recorder William J. Oberley
Financial Secretary James D. Finley
Treasurer Harold A. Sweeney
Advocate Lee W. Smart
Inside Guard Matthew M. Czyzewski
Outside Guard Dominick W. Panichella
Trustee Raymond A. Steppling
Trustee John C. Keenan
Trustee Francis R. McCarthy
Lecturer Charles Wattson
James E. Adams John Longazel
Benjamin R. Baklarz Kevin J. Lynskey
Clayton J. Bossart Stephen M. Matejevic
Richard V. Breitenbach Gerald E. McLaughlin
Anthony H. Breslin Mario A. Mignogna
Joseph Communale Nicholas J. Mignogna, Sr.
Michael J. Dojonovic Herman E. Rawlings
Emil M. Duralia Alfred A. Regotti
Bernard R. Forcier Raymond C. Reinmann
Donald J. Gresco Alfred E. Relation
John G. Grill Lawrence R. Robinson
Patrick J. Harmon, Jr. Joseph A. Ross, Jr.
Richard L. Henkel Rocco D. Ross
John W. Holtschneider James E. Sandala
Robert L. Houy Andrew L. Shogun
Joseph R. Kauric Joseph D. Shuck
Raymond J. Kennedy George F. Snyder
Peter P. King Harry S. Steffenino
John Korchak Leo R. Stapinski