Member Training

Knights RecruitingYou 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?

Whom Shall I Send…

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.

KofcNC family

Courtesy of

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.

Bocce Tournament

We still need more teams/players for our Bocce Tournament on Saturday, during the Parish Festival.  The festival starts following 5:15 Mass (about 6:20 pm).  You can sign up as team of four, or as an individual.
bocce balls
This tournament is one of the Knights of Columbus’ fund raising projects for Operation LAMB.  LAMB proceeds go to local agencies who serve those with intellectual disabilities.
We will have 10 Special Olympics athletes participating in the tournament.
We are asking for a $10 donation for each player.
Please let me know if you can participate in our fun fund raising event.   You can contact John Aluise by email or just show up at the game.  Email John

Lenten Fish Fry Returns

We’re back!  The Knights of Columbus team has put together another outstanding series of Lenten Fish Fries for the St. Thomas More Church Friends and Family Hall.  Everyone is welcome to join in and enjoy a great fried fish dinner.

The dates are February 20, March 13th, and March 27.  Time is 5 pm for doors to open and we keep going until 8 pm or until the fish is gone.  But, don’t worry, we often restock with more fish, as needed, to take care of everyone.  Cost is $8.

For smaller kids we offer split plates for two.  For seniors and light eaters, try our one fillet plate for $7.

There is plenty of free parking and this event is open to everyone.  You’ll see cars pulling off the stalled traffic on US 15-501 and heading up our driveway all night.  The smell of frying fish  draws them in every year and our hospitality to our neighbors brings them back for the second and third fish fry.

We are preparing the food just in time for the crowds to arrive.  That means you will see a gentle wisp of steam coming  from your delivered-to-the-table plate.  Or, if you prefer, we can serve you from our beautiful serving area.  We want your dinner to be ready for you  when you are ready for it.

You get a generous portion!

You get a generous portion!

In a hurry and can’t stay to eat with friends?  We have take out plates standing by and we can fix a plate for one or more.  You are sure to see someone carrying out a stack of five or more clamshell plates as they head to a nearby firehouse, home, or  fun event with friends.

What is on the plate?  We have  two whiting fish fillets, hush puppies, coleslaw, french fries, and beverage.

Please also help us promote this family event. You can share this story on your Facebook page and send a link to your neighbors.

Our fish is a fresh as you can get and provided through Captain John’s Dockside Seafood  and is prepared at St. Thomas More Church Friends and Family Hall by the Knights of Columbus.  You’ll be amazed at how good it is.

If you have a VERY LARGE GROUP, let us know a week before and maybe we can accommodate your special needs.  Contact us

Don’t forget to share this information with our non-Catholic friends.  Everyone likes a fish fry!   We welcome the opportunity to open our doors to the community and to share with others our social events.  You may spark a renewal of faith and start a friend on a path that leads them back to their church, maybe our church.


Pancake Breakfast Back on Target

pancakes 091414Tom Stoffel reported that our pancake breakfast today was a great success. Lots to do, many joined in.

Tom said, “Sincere thanks to the Knights who stepped up to help us pull off a successful Pancake Breakfast today! PGK Bill Jackson, newer Knight Ed Van Duinen and Knight-in-transfer Matt Miller were there at 7 am and took it the distance today, racking up about 6 hours of heaven credits apiece! They all helped out with a number of different tasks, from kitchen to serving to mess hall to cleaning. Brother Matt also proved his prowess on the griddle, serving up some of the softest, no-knife-required pancakes we’ve had. Brother William Boyd helped with a lot of the dirty work, coming all the way from Pittsboro to keep clean plates, forks, and cups ready for use. And Brother Newton Grant cooked up a storm to cover for the big hole left by Matt Raynor’s absence.”

Tom was also very complimentary with others, too. “Much thanks as well to Lisa and Ariana Keeling, who helped with kitchen setup, cooking, and cleanup. And thank God for that, because our regular helper Peggy was missing today too.” and

“Thanks to the usual Knights, Men’s Club and CDA regulars too – Brendan, Dario, Gene K, Gene H, Gene D, David D, Charlotte, Bob, Chuck, Will, Margaret, Seth, Terry, O’Neil, and whomever I may have missed (it’s always dangerous to try to name everyone). We were missing a lot of regulars today, but a lot of people stepped up to help us pull it off.

Special thanks as well to Elizabeth Fixler, who helped us clean up and tear down the hall, and set up for a very large TYM evening session, as we often do. If you see her, please thank her. Even better, visit her religious items store in downtown Chapel Hill – 108 W Rosemary St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516 (919) 918-4090. She could use our support too.” Tom wrote.

It takes a lot of people to make a breakfast, dinner, or Oktoberfest possible. These events are “bonding” events in that new long-lasting friendships are forged. How about you? Are you ready to jump in and make our next breakfast an even better success?

A Journey of Faith

From Lieutenant Dan, to running from an incoming hurricane in North Carolina, an actor’s journey takes him on a special mission to serve.  God works in us and leads us to serve. Gary Sinise’s story has some very interesting and inspiring turns.

“Some 2,000 Knights of Columbus, their families and church leaders were delighted by a surprise encounter with actor Gary Sinise during the fraternal organization’s Aug. 5-7 convention in Orlando…” reported Tom Tracy of the Catholic News Service.  Read story

Letting Others See Our Work


Let’s make reporting easier!

Most  people who volunteer or do charity work don’t want to beat their own drum. Their reward is the smile on the face of those they serve. However, it is important to keep track of what we do for other reasons.

Let’s say that someone challenges an organization’s efforts. “What do you do? How much have your contributed to others from what you have raised?” they might ask. These are valid questions and we do a good job of record keeping and reporting. Many things, however, get overlooked or missed.

For example, many knights drop off a bag of canned goods each week in the Narthex and think nothing of it. However, 52 bags, with a value of just $5 each, quickly adds up to nearly $300. Now, combine that effort with the many others who do the same thing.  It is these and other acts of charity that go unrecorded and reported.

We bring this up at council meeting and there has not been an easy way for our Knights to provide the information.  Until now, that is.

The council has started on-line reporting for some of our programs and projects. We are starting off slow with just one new report. It is the Knights’ Food For Families Report. You can access it from our council website under Council Reports.  This one form covers food drives, soup kitchen work, pig roast fundraisers for the poor, and more.  See report.

On-line reports are compiled and are then available to the Grand Knight and Financial Secretary.  The information is then used to provide updates to the members and council leadership on what we are doing.

What’s next?  We will add other reports on LAMB, our annual raffle, and programs as they are identified.  We will also use the same method to collect information for LAMB, Free Throw, and other council projects where we need to know who can help and when they can serve.  On-line reporting is our way of putting the “fun” back into fundraising.  No one likes to write reports, including this reporter.

This Little Light of Mine…

“If a tree falls in the wilderness, will anyone hear it fall?”  You have heard this question many, many times.  You may have even pondered the answer.

“But what does that have to do with the Knights?” you ask.  A lot.  It describes a perception of our ministry and others of the church.  We do a lot for our parish, our community of Chapel Hill, veterans, handicapped, the poor, IFC Pantry, our members in need, the hospitalized, religious orders, and countless others.  True, we should not put signs on our back to announce our latest act of mercy, but we do need to share our deeds with others.

  • “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your fine works and give glory to your Father who is in the heaven.”  Matthew 5:16

What we do is not for ourselves.  We raise money to give it away.  We don’t use it to party or to serve ourselves.  Our fish fries, annual raffle, pancake breakfasts, and Operation Lamb projects benefit our church, seminarians, and mentally handicapped children.

We do a lot more than raise money.  We give of ourselves.  We give our time, our talents, and our personal wealth.  Knights donate thousands of dollars quietly to support a local crisis.  They give furniture, food, and other things to help a homeless family in our midst.  They help the widow.  They sponsor children in our area and overseas.  They serve on boards, committees, in clubs, and charities to give even more.

We work with our youth–our future–and have just completed the formation of a Columbian Squires Circle in our parish.  Our project went so well and showed what could be done, that another neighboring parish followed our lead.  They, too, started a Circle.

Lighting yet another another candle of hope

We are about 120 strong, but there are hundreds of other men in our parish who are welcome to join us.  What we need to do now is to show our candles of hope for the poor and suffering in our midst.  We need to share our stories with everyone we meet.  Let them know what the Catholic community of men in our town are doing and how they can help us do even more.

So, wear your Knights of Columbus jacket, shirt, cap or badge.  Wear your regalia on all special masses and funerals.  Be proud of your brotherhood and brothers.  Let your light shine bright for you do His works for His children.