A Salute to the Keeling Family

We have had to share Gene Keeling for many months this year, while he was off on his several trips to California and beyond.  He was sorely missed, but Lisa Keeling seemed to be everywhere filling in and often led efforts in support of both the Council and the Catholic Daughters.

Now, sadly, the news we feared the most has arrived.  The Keeling Family is pulling up stakes and heading West to San Jose.  We feel like parents watching our young take off, but we are full of pride as we look back over the more than ten years of Keeling Family support of the Knights and our parish.

The Keeling Family have been critical to parish events.  Be it Parish Pride grilling, Pancake Breakfasts, Oktoberfest, Fish Fry’s, St. Thomas More School Graduation Breakfasts, preparing meals in support of Diocesan events, roasting pork for parish fundraisers, Operation LAMB, or one of the many other parish charitable events, Gene and family were there in a leadership role with sleeves rolled up and no job too hard to take on.

The Council recognizes their efforts and have named Gene Keeling our Knight of the Year and the Keeling Family as our Knights of Columbus Family of the Year.

Yes, we shall miss them, but our memories are many and their contributions to the parish and Council build a seemingly endless list of accomplishments.  We are proud of them and wish them continued success in all that they do in their new parish community.

Oktoberfest Was Fun For All

How do you know when an event is a resounding success?  From what you see, hear, and enjoy.  There was laughter everywhere, a little singing, more laughing, joking, sharing, and lots more laughing.  New friends were made, stories shared and our church family was bonding. We may have even rekindled interest in the knights from a relocating knight.

oktoberfest-crowdTom Stoffel said, “Congratulations Gene and Lisa for taking this event from zero to success in a mere 45 days!  And for winning the “best German attire” award.  And for


Bob Patterson greeted our guests and served as cashier.

pulling it off with Gene stranded in Dallas overnight Friday night.

For those that did not attend Oktoberfest on Saturday, you missed a great event.  We sold about 60 tickets in advance, so we planned for 100.  We lost count at 120!  In fact, we turned some people away because we ran out of food.

A special thanks goes to the Catholic Daughters and all of the knights that served food, beverages, and helped with our Oktoberfest.


Oktoberfest Fun

Oktoberfest 2014 (17)Our 2014 Oktoberfest was fun for all.  Great music from the Little German Band and lots of dancing.

We watched German folk dancing and listened to many a tune, then it was audience participation time.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the chance to get up and dance or join in a procession around the room and dance floor.  Were you there?

A special thanks to the many hands that joined in to decorate, prepare the food, and serve.  Have ideas to make next year’s event even better?  Share your ideas and volunteer to be part of the organizational team for Oktoberfest 2015.

Oktoberfest – Sep 26

Oktoberfest Coming September 21stOktoberfest is all set for Friday, Sept 26, 2014.  It will be from 6 pm to 10 pm. The Catholic Daughters will join us again as co-participants.

Tom Stoffel has announced that the menu will be brats, chicken, sauerkraut, potato salad, pretzel roll, and cake.  It also includes three adult beverages.  All this for the still low price for $25.  Children under 21 are just $15.

Good news for families this year.  We have added a new  family promotion package of $60 for parent/child under 21.  Sorry, this does not include extended families or children of legal drinking age.

The Little German Band is  also returning.  Their music is the highlight of the evening, except, of course, for the lederhosen and festive attire of some of our brother knights.

Take a look at last year’s event!

There is plenty of work for the knights as we pull this event together.  There is pre-planning, decorations, setup, ticket advance sales, serving tables, escort work, and more.  Contact Matt or Gene to volunteer!  You can contact them by clicking on their name:  Matt Raynor or Gene Keeling

Oktoberfest Ticket Sales will take place after masses on the following four weekends:

  • August 16/17
  • Sept 6/7 (sharing table with Operation LAMB)
  • Sept 13/14 (sharing table with Operation LAMB)
  • Sept 20/21

September Ends With Oktoberfest!

Oktoberfest in Chapel Hill is on Friday, September 27, 2013. You won’t find it anywhere in our town but right here at St. Thomas More Catholic Church.

01-OktoberfestOktoberfest is a 16-day celebration in Germany that starts in late September.  Our postwar GI’s and early German immigrant families brought the celebration to America.  In Germany, millions of people attend.  You can avoid the crowds and join us for our Chapel Hill event with the Little German Band playing and dancing.  There is food, beer, wine, dancing and live entertainment.

Cost is $25 per adult and includes brats, chicken, sauerkraut, potato salad, pretzel roll, cake and three adult beverages.  If you are under 21 or a child, it is just $15 for a lifelong memory of fund and German music.

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It’s a kid friendly event as Oktoberfest is a family celebration and festival.

Parish celebrations, festivals, and other community events have brought church members and their community together for many years.  It is a time to be thankful for the many blessings we have received and for us to share our faith with our community.

Download Oktoberfest Poster

She Gave Us Strength

Amelia Young

Last December, we lost one of the ladies that made a brother Knight a better man.  She also served as a role model for others in her family and our church.  Amelia Young, age 77, and life-long friend and wife of Sir Knight Kai Young, was a women who was there for the men in her life, even as her life was failing.

We share her eulogy with you today as a reminder that behind every Knight is a Lady who makes us, no, made us, who we are.  We are truly blessed with such remarkable wives, mothers, sisters, daughters and family who are the pillars under These Men Called Knights.

Eulogy, Amelia Bensan Young, as read by their son, Vincent B. Young, MD/PhD, Associate Professor, The University of Michigan.  

Remember, Tempus fugit, memento mori.

Catholic Daughters of the Americas Visits Chapel Hill

We were honored this past Sunday by a visit by Sheila F. Storey, State Regent, and other members of the North Carolina State Court of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas (CDA).  They provided information on the CDA to the women of our parish as part of their quest to build a local court at St. Thomas More Church.

The CDA are very similar to the Knights of Columbus.  The CDA is the largest organization of Catholic women and has over 95,000 members.  Their motto is Unity and Charity, and their works parallel that of the Knights of Columbus. Learn more

The women of our parish have often asked, “What about us?  Can we join the Knights?”  The answer has always been “no,” but they can do similar projects and work closely with the Squires and Knights to build our church family and to help others.

Talk to your spouses and other ladies in your family.  Ask them to participate in an upcoming meeting that will talk more about the CDA.  Maybe we are ready to have a CDA court in our parish.  Contact the State Regent for more information.

For membership questions and to sign up for the upcoming organizational meeting, contact the  CDA First Vice State Regent and State Membership Chairman, Essie Walker.  Call her at 704-577-7436 or contact by email.