NORWALK—On what was a cloudy day outside, inside St. Matthew Parish the light was bright, faithful and uplifting. Knights of Columbus St. Matthew Council #14360 held their 6th Annual Family Communion Breakfast on Father’s Day June 16 and it was a great success. After a packed 9 am mass, over 125 people gathered in the Masterpool Great Room to enjoy fellowship and food for the body, mind and Spirit, through a stirring talk from featured guest, Father Jeff Couture. The pastor of St Francis of Assisi in Weston gave a wonderful talk on his unconventional journey to the priesthood. Father Jeff was ordained at the age of 38 after being a part of the sex, drugs and rock and roll scene. The self-described “metal head” and manager of a restaurant and Starbucks felt there was more out of life after a near-death experience.
“In my death experience the presence of Jesus appeared to me and the energy I felt was the good and evil and my soul started to separate. Jesus was emanating light and said to me “I love you and forgive you.” Jesus said to me I want you to do unto others as I have done to you. He wanted to show mercy and love to others and turn away from my sinful life,” said Father Jeff Couture.
After this experience, Father Jeff changed his life and went back to church. Father Jeff credits his Dad for this experience because he prayed for the rosary every day for his son to be saved.
“After listening to Father Jeff speak, I am not afraid of death anymore. He made it sound so wonderful that my fear is gone,” said K of C Communion Breakfast chairman, Ron Miller.
Father Jeff took questions from the attendees at the conclusion of his talk and really enjoyed speaking of his death experience and offered to help anyone in need of s help with addiction and spiritual guidance. The crowd was so moved by his talk that they gave him a standing ovation at the conclusion. Father Jeff was urged by young people in his parish to put his story on YouTube and you can subscribe to his channel by going to https://youtu.be/IZdQ6dqD3Hw.
A great breakfast was served by the council and was catered by Zody’s 19th Hole in Stamford which included, eggs, French toast, bacon, sausage, home fries, and Danishes. Brother Ron Miller got with George Ribellino, past Grand Knight in 2014 and wanted to start the tradition of hosting a yearly Communion Breakfast at St Matthew. Miller loved going to Communion Breakfast when he was a kid and thought this would be a great way to get families together.
“When Brother Ron brought this idea to my attention when I was Grand Knight in 2013, I jumped all over it because I thought it would be exciting to get families together for a great meal and for spiritual reflection from awesome and dynamic speakers, said Ribellino. He went on to say, “It is so nice to see this great idea by Brother Ron continue to this day.”
In addition, the council honored visiting retired Pastor, Msgr. John Sabia with a special Knights of Columbus watch commemorating his 55 years as a priest. “We are so lucky to have Msgr. Sabia at St. Matthew Parish. He is a great man of faith and truly loves to be a man of the people. We are so appreciative of his service at St. Matthew,” said Ribellino.
Lastly, this was the last major council event for Grand Knight Scott Criscuolo. Scott was the leader of the council from 2016-2019. He was thanked by St. Matthew pastor Msgr. Walter Orlowski at the 9 am Mass before the breakfast for his three years of service.
“As always, it’s so nice to spend a Sunday with my brother Knights & the St. Matthew family. And a special thanks to Father Jeff, who took us on a journey so special. I was truly honored to lead the council over the last three and years and this was such a great event to end off and exciting term,” said Criscuolo. Current Deputy Grand Knight Anthony Armentano will become the Grand Knight on July 1.
The goal of the Knights of Columbus Council No. 14360 at Saint Matthew Parish is to perform acts of charity, providing those in need with a range of support from financial to tactical help in dealing with a wide variety of challenges.
(For more information, visit saintmatthewknights.com.)