NORWALK—Being a part of a Knights of Columbus Council, you try to establish relationships in your parish and community. Some relationships are expected, and others occur when you least expect it.
On Saturday, June 20 a few members of St. Matthew Council 14360 helped out with a food drive collection at Room to Grow in Norwalk. Grand Knight Anthony Armentano and Past Grand Knight George Ribellino struck up a conversation with a volunteer and she mentioned that her husband is a Knight in another town but would love to be in a council in Norwalk where they live. After telling her about our council and activities she took the paperwork for her husband to transfer. She also mentioned that her children go to Regina Pacis Academy in Norwalk which is an independent Catholic School. She asked if our council would like to establish a relationship with the school and they could use some assistance with projects before they open in September.
“This council does not hesitate when those in the community ask for help. We certainly welcomed the opportunity to form a new and hopefully long term partnership with the school,” said Armentano.
St. Matthew Council 14360 is known for its mission of putting Faith in Action and performing outreach in the community including Coats for Kids, Food Drives, painting and remodeling of the chapel at Notre Dame Health and Rehab, painting and repair work at Malta House and yearly mulching of playground projects at All Saints School and Our Lady Fatima Academy, just to name a few.
“Our council loves to roll up our sleeves and assist with labor. It saves other non-profit dollars that are not there due to limited budgets, said Past Grand Knight and project co-chairman George Ribellino.
The Council met with Principal Kimberly Quatela at the school to assess the project. Eight classrooms and two long hallways needed to be prepped and painted as well as a temp wall splitting a classroom needed to be taken down. Longtime Council member/carpenter and Project Co-Chair Tim “Tool-man” Horne reviewed what needed to be done and said this is something we could do.
“I knew we had a great bunch of Brother Knights in our Council that could handle this. It is always a pleasure to work with my Brothers so we can assist those in need,” said Horne.
So the Council put on their painting clothes and work books and started on Saturday, July 18 with the prep work, which included taping and covering the floors and some furniture. On Saturday July 25, many members of the council and a few members of neighboring council worked with some school parents and staff to paint all of the classrooms. Tim Horne went during the week to knock down the wall in the one classroom and paint the upstairs hallway.
“Without Brother Tim Horne, we could not take on some of this big projects over the years. His expectations and insight help guide us, said Ribellino.
On August 1, the Council finished the long downstairs hallway and the project was completed. It was a large job but all involved were happy with the outcome.
“A job of this magnitude would cost between 25 to 30 thousand dollars,” said Horne.
The Council is going to continue working with school on outreach project. In addition, they will help run some of the traditional Knights of Columbus youth projects such as the Keep Christ in Christmas and Vocation Poster contests as well as the Catholic Citizenship Essay contest. Principal Quatela will also help recruit some of the fathers in joining the council.
“On behalf of the entire school community of Regina Pacis Academy, I would like to
thank all of the Knights who selflessly donated their time to beautify our
school. This is a tremendous gift to our students and faculty members who
are eager to be back together under one roof this Fall. Thank you for
providing them a fresh, clean and beautiful school to come back to in
September. Please know of our prayers of gratitude for each of you and your families,” said Kimberly Quatela, principal of Regina Pacis Academy.
Regina Pacis Academy is an independent, Catholic classical school located in Norwalk, Connecticut, serving students in Kindergarten through eighth
grade. The mission of Regina Pacis Academy is to achieve academic
excellence, providing a Roman Catholic classical education taught by
teachers loyal to the Magisterium. For more info go to www.reginapacisacademy.org.
The goals of Council #14360 are 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. Council members work together to foster the founding principles of our order; Charity, Unity, Fraternity & Patriotism. Our goal as a council is to continue to identify specific needs in our community and muster support and help to alleviate these challenges and hardships to the best of our abilities and resources. For more information go to saintmatthewknights.com.