You may have felt lost when council members talk about recruiting, membership, and council growth. It sounds like we are just about membership and recruiting new members and that is not entirely correct.
We are about family and helping our church growth through coordinated actions in support of our parish priests. Our church has experienced rapid growth during the last ten years and it is only beginning. We are a vibrant church and welcome families every month. In addition, we are expanding our facilities, ministries, child care, and support of our neighbors and the elderly and home-bound through Meals on Wheels. We are now working on the acquisition of Aldersgate United Methodist Church to form St. Thomas More Church South Campus.
But, it takes people–men of the parish–to provide the experience, support and services needed. We also need to renew our officer pool of Third Degree Knights. We grow our own and that means we need to gain new members. How can you help? You can attend Membership Training hosted by Supreme and it is all on-line as a webinar. Best of all, it is a night time webinar presented at 8 p.m. on August 30th.
Join Fraternal Mission presenters for a training webinar identifying the best ways to recruit new members for our council and get them engaged in charitable activity.
The one-hour webinar will provide a detailed look at the how, what and why of recruiting new members. We will explore:
- Recruitment Skills Training
- Best Practices in running effective Church Recruitment Drives
- Setting goals and Earning the Star Council Award
Register today. You will fill out a brief form and then access a link to test your portal and Flash player. All webinars are recorded and available on demand.
Can you hear your inner voice calling you to service?
As you may know, key members of our Council have moved or can not take a leadership role this year in the Council. This is not new and we have experienced it before.
With change comes challenge and opportunity. New people will step forward, learn new things, accept new challenges, train themselves and others, and create a tempo that will lead to new members and reactivate those who have not had the opportunity to participate.
Personally, I want to challenge all of you to consider stepping up to a leadership role, a project lead position, or to a support role. Remember the story of “Links in a Chain?” We do this not for ourselves, but for the families and those in need in and around our parish.
I was once challenged to do more by a child who asked me, “…but, if you don’t go, who will do what you do? They need you.” I remember that moment each time I think about Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I ….”
She was correct. She reminded me that what we do in our Council benefits hundreds of people in the parish and beyond. And, in our 20 year council history, we have been there for thousands.
Children have watched us, welcomed us and said “thank you.” Today, many are attending with their children. Just ask Jerry Pilarski, Drew Melvin, John Marino, Gene Drogos, Tom Chegash, the family of Frank Cruz and Dario Sena, and many others. Again, the Council is about the St. Thomas More Church family; our family, the church and all those who attend. We make a difference because of you and your family.
The Knights of Columbus is about Family. And, like all families, we are going through a tough time. Families take these times to bond, to share, to care, and to be strong. We are living in interesting times. Let’s use this challenge as a time to help others. The joy of giving and helping others will give us strength and make us whole, again.
For years and years and years, Jerry Pilarski has been at the church front door greeting our parishioners at the 9:15 mass. He gives special attention to new comers and little children. We call them “Jerry’s family.”
If you stand off to the side and watch the steady flow of arrivals, be sure to watch the kids. They will stand in line to shake his hand or just to say “Hello.” Jerry’s broad smile is sure to get a positive response. Some will twist and turn like they are saying, “Ahhh, sucks, Jerry…..”
Adults from 20 to 40 may have started their “Good Morning, Jerry” as a little toddler arriving at Gimghoul and our original church. Now, they lead their toddlers and even babies over to Jerry, just to say, “Hello.” The tradition continues.
One parishioner said, “I so enjoyed Jerry Pilarski’s reaction when I surprised him with the photo of us taken at his 90th Birthday celebration at the Orange Grove 4H Barn on July 22nd. ” This was Lorenz “Larry” Hofmann. Larry stopped by Jerry’s 90th Birthday lunch and was joined by many other families and their children to say, “Happy Birthday.” Two twins were at the birthday event and made sure Jerry knew that they just had to be there to celebrate with him. They were proud to be there as “Jerry’s girls.”
Larry also reflected on Jerry’s presence as a parish greeter. He said, “I usually await patiently in line, as Jerry enjoys speaking to many friends. Jerry is truly a wonderful asset of kindness and gentleness to our church and whoever he meets. He smiled and nodded, when I said everyone looks forward to celebrating his 95th Birthday.”
When not greeting, Jerry may be found cooking, at a fish fry, pancake breakfast, roasting a pig, or just having fun with everybody and making new friends.
These Men Called Knights, is the title of a booklet on Knights and their many ways of making a difference in their parishes. Jerry deserves a special place in all our hearts as he is part of our church “fabric,” that represents the many men and women of our church that serve others.
This is just one story of a Knight of Columbus. We have many more to share and we hope these stories motivate you to step forward and take a leadership role in the Council. And, why not share the experience of Knighthood by encouraging a fellow Catholic gentleman to join us. There is much work to do at St. Thomas More Catholic Church.
No matter what your plans are for Saturday, July 22nd, you should make it a point to share your late afternoon at the Orange Grove 4H Barn.
The Council is joining family and friends to wish Jerry Pilarski a very Happy 90th Birthday. Arrive a about 4 p.m. and stay ’til the end at about 7 p.m. It is a nice drive in the country to the Orange Grove 4H Barn at 6716 Orange Grove Road.
Karen is preparing a Spaghetti Dinner! Call her to R.S.V.P at 919-819-3210.
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.
Our Forty Days of Lent are coming to a close and the celebration of Easter. Then, one week beyond, is Divine Mercy Sunday. Are your prepared? Do you understand Divine Mercy Sunday? Why not make it part of your journey as a Knight. It may be what leads you to the Fourth Degree and membership in the local Assembly.
“The message of The Divine Mercy is simple. It is that God loves us – all of us. And, he wants us to recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins, so that we will call upon Him with trust, receive His mercy, and let it flow through us to others. Thus, all will come to share His joy.” Won’t you join us on Divine Mercy Sunday on April 23rd at St. Thomas More Church.
We encourage you to learn more about Divine Mercy Sunday by visiting the Divine Mercy Shrine website. Learn more about why we gather for this special event. And, while you are there, click on their link to The 100th Anniversary of Fatima.
Our second of three parish fish fries was last night and everything appeared to have gone well, even with the absence of the Keeling Family and Tom Stoffel. Our Grand Knight, Newton Grant, was busy as a bee and, with the help of the ladies of St. Thomas More Church’s Catholic Daughters chapter, things went very well.
The Knights are about Family. We are here to create a family-friendly council that supports the mission and needs of our local parish. We invite all local and area brother knights to join in and assist us in making our Fish Frys, Barbecues, Pancake Breakfasts, and other fundraising events possible. It takes a lot of people to be successful in our mission.
We salute our Catholic Daughters and their helpers. They were outstanding! They arrived early to prep the kitchen, cooked and served food, and delivered the meals to the tables. Bob Patterson was at the gate selling tickets, Jim Heffernan, Dario Sena, Jim Ferris, Peter O’Grady, Brendan Fitzgerald, O’Neil D’Cruz, Mike Pacilio, and Bill Jackson, and a few more that I am still looking for their names. I would like to add your name to the list of Knights at our next Fish Fry event on March 31st.
Here is what you missed last night. Note the smiling faces! We were having fun. Okay, so there were a few shocked faces, too. What would you do if you saw the watchful eye of a camera sensor or flash in your face!
Next Friday is your last chance to join in and contribute your time and energy to a very worthy parish project.
The New Year is fast approaching and brother knight Jerry Pilarski is again hosting his annual New Year’s Day barbecue in the country. The Pilarski’s have been doing this with family and friends for almost FIFTY years as their way to thank friends and join together for the new year.
If you know Jerry, you are invited. If you don’t know Jerry, then it is time to learn about a wonderful person in our Knights of Columbus that has made it his personal mission to do something for others ALL THE TIME without expectation of something in return.
The Pig Picking Event is on January 1st. We gather at about 1:30 to 3 p.m. to be ready to serve and eat at 3:30 pm. Everyone is asked to bring a covered dish or dessert to share. Beverages and pulled pig are provided with hush puppies. We will gather for the blessing and eat at 3:30 p.m.
The barbecue is at the Orange Grove 4H Cattle Barn on Orange Grove Road at Dairyland Rd, just above the firehouse. Take NC 54 or Dairyland Rd from Carrboro to Orange Grove Road, then turn right.