Some of the officers of the Sacred Heart Knights of Columbus Council
gather to prepare for a business meetings. Standing L to R: Chris Wolf,
Jerry Weber, Chuck Gburek. Seated L to R: Dave Ettner, Mike Looby, Ron Rood

The Knights of Columbus is an international Order of Catholic Lay men who support and promote the mission of the Roman Catholic Church and provide outreach and assistance to their brother members and families, parish families, and the wider Church and civic community. There are over 15,000 local Knights Councils throughout the world, and one of them is at Sacred Heart Church in Marengo.

Members of our community know them well for their monthly pancake breakfasts—delicious meals that offer much more than pancakes at an affordable price. Beyond those breakfasts, there is a lot more to know about this group of men.

There is no doubt they have an impact. This year, for example, they have participated in 94 different programs, giving a total of 3,000 volunteer hours. Most of these are behindthe- scenes and unheralded, ranging from collecting used ink cartridges and cell phones to raise funds for worthwhile causes to keeping a section of the local highway clean.

Each year they raise and distribute an average of $20,000.

We see Knights each fall in many cities selling Tootsie Rolls to raise funds for programs for people with developmental disabilities. The Marengo Knights Council give these funds to local groups such as Gigi’s Playhouse, the local school districts and Pioneer Center.

As many local Churches and local organizations did, the Knights gave substantial donations to the 7th Circle explosion victims, and were able to procure a $1000 grant from the State Knights of Columbus General Assistance funds.

Profits from each pancake breakfast are earmarked for a different local charity or cause. Each year, funds from an annual flower sale support the Bauman Fund which awards a scholarship for a student at Marian Central Catholic High School. Profits from their popular Silent Night Auction are given to Hooves to Heal and the M.O.R.E. food Pantry.

Each year they sponsor one student’s attendance at Boy’s State, and three seminarians studying for the priesthood. They purchase winter coats for kids, turkeys for holiday dinners, and Christmas gift baskets for needy families. They give donations to pro-life causes and sponsor trips to the Pro-Life Rally in Washington, D.C.

Beyond raising money, the Knights of Columbus lead or help with many worthwhile activities. They sponsor Blood Drives, make contributions and labor to repairs and renovations at the church, most recently purchasing a new freezer and renovating the kitchen cupboards. They provide social events such as a golf outing, Christmas breakfast, an outing to a Major League Baseball game, a bowling outing for parish altar servers, a family picnic and a Valentine dinner for their wives and other married couples.

At every worship service on weekends and many weekdays at Sacred Heart there are Knights serving in various ministries—as ushers, lectors, choir members, ministers of Holy Communion at Mass and to shut-ins. At every parish acactivity, Knights are either officially part of the event, or are there participating and supporting it. They make a difference and have a real impact at Sacred Heart and in Marengo.

Any Catholic men, age 18 and above who are interested in knowing how they can become a member of the Knights of Columbus can visit their website by following the link at http://www. sacredheartmarengo.org/ Knights-of-Columbus.

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