The Sum of the Pieces

Knights Fraternal TrainingIf you every wondered about the activities of the men of the Knights of Columbus or asked yourself, “What would I do as a member of the Chapel Hill Council?”, consider this.  Each member of the council adds their own talents and time to the Order.  Some are great, some are small, but all are critical to the Order as a whole.  We are “the sum of the pieces.”

Each council like ours joins with all of the other councils of North Carolina and together we serve the many churches in our parishes.  When you consider that our efforts are part of a national, no international, Order, then you start to realize that the Knights of Columbus are a huge gathering of men with a common goal–to serve others.

Take a look at the Knights of Columbus’ video, “Knights of Columbus Year in Review – 2017.” Then remember, it all starts right here in our community.  It starts with men of our parish standing up and saying, “Here I am, Lord. Is it I Lord? I have heard you calling in the night. I will go, Lord, if you lead me.”

KofC 2017

Click on image to view

New Year’s Day Pilarski Family BBQ

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe New Year is 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 over 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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe 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.

pilarski-pig-picking-4The 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.

It is next to the Orange Grove Volunteer Fire Station.  View map

Council Story Appears in Knights in Action

Thousands of stories are fed to the Supreme Council for publication in Columbia.  Not all of them get published in the magazine, but a few are selected for on-line publication.  One of our stories made it.

A special “Thank You” goes out to John Aluise for submitting a story on our own Knights’ work with our youth.  He submitted a candid photo of Bishop Burbidge getting a bocce lesson and pointers.

Have you taken a look at the activities of other councils across the country?  Visit Knights in Action.  Click here.

Aluise and Bishop Burbidge

Your Parish Needs You!

kofc-recruitingThe Knights of Columbus have been serving Catholic Families and their communities for over 100 years.  You see us on committees, in service groups, helping others, raising funds, providing for children with special needs, and working with our parish youth.

If you are not part of our Council and are interested in learning more, take a look at our brochure.  Then take a look at some of the stories about our Council and our activities.  Share it with you spouse and family.  Why?  Because the Knights are about family.  Download brochure

The Knights of Columbus started as a group of men interested in the welfare of Catholic wives and children left without support following the loss of their husbands and fathers.  They made sure that they were not left alone and without help.  We still do this and more  today.

The next step is to contact us.  Let us know that you are interested in learning more and we will contact you.  Just click on this link and it will open an email addressed to our Council and Past Grand Knight.  He will share your contact information with our membership team and you will be contacted.  No pressure, just honest answers to your questions.

Bishop Burbidge Tries Hand at Bocce

Bishop Burbidge BocceBrother John Aluise, Council 10910, St. Thomas More Parish, Chapel Hill, provides instruction on the game of Bocce to Bishop Burbidge, formerly the Bishop of the Raleigh Diocese, who was attending the St. Thomas More Church’s 75th anniversary at the annual parish festival.

Council 10910 conducts a Bocce game, including participants from the Special Olympics, to raise funds during the festival to add to its Operation LAMB Tootsie Roll campaign.

Special Knights Meeting – Sep 10

As you are aware, with the departure of the Keeling family and the nonavailability of Tom Stoffel, the Knights of Columbus is unable to sponsor a Pancake Breakfast on September 10.   However, we will have an important planning meeting in lieu of our breakfast immediately following the 9:15 Mass on Sept 10.  We will discuss the current and future functions of the Council.

We believe this would be a great opportunity for prospective members to learn about the Knights and to share ideas and suggestions.   We are particularly interested in getting this message out to the parish Hispanic community.

We urge Council 10910 members and those considering membership in the Knights of Columbus to attend and help shape the future of the Council.    Coffee and donuts will be served.


Call to Help for Texas

Many people in the Gulf Coast of Texas are reeling from the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey this weekend. Thousands have evacuated their homes, many of which have been damaged or destroyed.
The recovery process is going to be a long and painful one, and your support is urgently needed.
Please DONATE TODAY to help those suffering such devastation. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go directly to relief efforts. This includes providing immediate needs such as food, clean water, shelter and other necessities.
God bless you for your support.
  –  Knights of Columbus

1 Columbus Plaza, New Haven, CT 06510

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.

90 Years and Still Driven

Jerry 90 birthday

Lorenz Hofmann and Jerry Pilarski at Jerry’s birthday event

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.