In Service to One, In Service to All
You certainly could call them the go-to guys for the parish and the pastor.
They also are one of the biggest sources of fund raising and charitable giving at Holy Rosary.
The Holy Rosary Knights of Columbus organization, 102 men strong, is always ready to pitch in when the parish or Fr. Kenneth Haydock need a hand. The frequently visible group, often sporting name tags at church or collecting for some good work or another, is looking for a few more good men. That includes any good catholic age 18 or older who is interested in doing something good for the parish community and the community at large.
The group went on a recruitment drive in the fall, handing out brochures hoping to attract new blood. Recruitment efforts are mounted at least once a year.
“We’re looking for someone who is interested in serving the parish and actually interested in participating in the activities we do,” said Kurt Johnson, a former Grand Knight or leader of the Knights.
You might be most familiar with the Knights’ monthly breakfasts, a primary method of raising money. This year’s budget is more than $48,000, all money that will go to one worthy need or another.
“Holy Rosary would be a different parish without their involvement,” Fr. Haydock said. “They strengthen the fellowship among parishioners, which is very important. Also, the parish would need to pay for many services they provide.” He said the local Knights are a “very hard working group of men serving parish needs.”
The local parish council, called the Mother Teresa Council 12591, was established in 1999 under the urging of Romy Ablao, German Milnar and John Williams.
The now worldwide organization originated in the late 19th Century in New Haven, Conn, where enclaves of Catholics often had dangerous jobs such as police or firefighting work. When a man died on the job, the original Knights contributed to the care and livelihood of his family. The idea, former Grand Knight Ron Johnson said, was that a parish community could take care of its own.
Current Grand Knight Ron Carr, a convert and a former Baptist deacon from Texas, said he didn’t know much about the Knights when he joined the Church. He and his wife visited several churches after he moved to this area and settled on Holy Rosary because he liked Fr. Haydock. “All of a sudden I started hearing about (the Knights),” Carr said, and he was looking for a way to involve himself in the parish. “I asked about it and before I knew it I was signing my name.”
The group holds monthly meetings, and members pay $36 a year in dues. Everyone has special interests, and the Knights have enough activities that there is one for most everyone.
It could be just taking donations for relief of weather-ravaged folks in the Philippines, maybe putting on the December Santa breakfast, taking care of the grounds around the Parish Center, or organizing the annual Matt Talbot dinner for the needy in Seattle. Holy Rosary Kinghts have donated to a pregnancy center in Lynnwood, the MS Helping Hands store in Edmonds, the local food bank and Coats for Kids.
“We are charged with conducting service activities in five different areas, including support of church families, youth, vocations, our own fraternity, and patriotism,” Ron Johnson said. ”We encourage those who are busy with other projects in the parish or their families to join even if they don’t have time for many of our activities.”
Men with a variety of skills are sought. Just look for the Knight name tag at church, Kurt Johnson said. Sit down with that person over coffee and discuss interests, he said. Joining is a great way to become involved in the parish and the community at large, Carr said.