The Knights of Columbus: Serving the Church and the community

The Stone Chapel at St. Francis de Sales Church, Abingdon (Photo by Patti Murphy Dohn)

The Church in the United States observed the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, also known as Corpus Christi, this past Sunday. 

At St. Francis de Sales Church in Abingdon, Deacon James Sullivan took the opportunity to thank the local Knights of Columbus and Ladies Auxiliary for the work they have done over the years.
During his homily, Deacon Sullivan encouraged the congregation to honor the gift of the Holy Eucharist by “serving the needs of others in our church ministries, our community, and in the workplace… To espouse a cause that helps the poor and those who are in need of food, clothing, or shelter.” One specific suggestion made by Deacon Sullivan was to consider joining the Knights of Columbus or the Ladies Auxiliary of the Knights. 
Himself a third degree Knight since 1980 and a fourth degree member for the past ten years, Deacon Sullivan now serves as the associate chaplain for the local council. He cited the old proverb that “many hands make light work” and noted that when working together, things are accomplished on a much greater scale than if done alone.
The Father Maurice J. Wolfe Council:
Headquartered at Knights Hall there on the grounds of St. Francis de Sales, the Father Maurice J. Wolfe Council #11372 of the Knights of Columbus is involved in many activities in the parish and in the local Abingdon area, including outreach programs, holiday meals and Christmas gifts for local children, Special Olympics events, and providing support for the parish as opportunities arise.
One particular example of their parish support is the upcoming spaghetti dinner that the Knights and Ladies are sponsoring on June 20. All proceeds will go toward alleviating the deficit created this past winter in the snow removal fund.
After Holy Communion, Deacon Sullivan introduced Grand Knight Greg Ward who spoke about the influence of the Knights of Columbus on his early life. He spoke about the presence of the honor guard of the fourth degree Knights at his grandfather’s funeral and how much it meant to his grandmother to have their support. He knew that one day he would join their ranks.
More recently, Ward was particularly touched by the Special Olympics ice skaters who were hosted by the Knights for lunch after their competition at nearby Ice World. Their smiles and enthusiasm, as well as the hug of one of the athletes, touched his heart in a powerful way.
Opportunities for continued religious education and serving those in need were also part of Grand Knight Ward’s journey. He shared what he considered the “bottom line” for the Father Wolfe Council: “We raise money to give it away.” He spoke of the council’s support for the activities of the parish and the local community, as well as on the state level.
Grand Knight Ward proudly shared that their Ladies Auxiliary was voted best in the State of Maryland last year. Women do not need to be married to a knight to join this group.
Fourth degree Knights of the Father Maurice J. Wolfe Council #11372 gather in Ocean City in May for the annual Knights of Columbus convention. 

Seen from left: Grand Knight Greg Ward, District Warden Michael Georgulas, Faithful Navigator Keith Arndt, Chancellor Larry Shannahan, and District Deputy Lee Eder. (Photo: Father Maurice J. Wolfe Council #11372)


As I left Mass yesterday, I was flooded with childhood memories of my grandfather and great uncle (his brother) who were active in the Knights in Baltimore City. My family went to so many Knights-sponsored events as I grew up.
Great memories of spiritual, service-oriented, and social occasions are at the heart of the mission of the Knights of Columbus.


Fr. Maurice J. Wolfe (Photo: St. Francis de Sales Church)

Father Maurice J. Wolfe:

The Knights of Columbus Council #11372 was chartered on May 4, 1994, and is named for former pastor Father Maurice J. Wolfe (1918-1984)
Father Wolfe was appointed as the first official pastor of St. Francis de Sales by then-Archbishop Shehan on June 6, 1964 when this former missionary church was raised to parish status by the Archdiocese of Baltimore. He oversaw the planning for the 100th anniversary of the original church, now known as the Stone Chapel, which was celebrated on September 25, 1966. Fr. Wolfe served the parishioners for over 20 years until his death on December 11, 1984.

Having moved to Harford County in 1969, I was lucky to know Father Wolfe. He was a kind and caring priest who showed interest in the lives of his parishioners and of those living in the local community. Everyone loved him. He was the heart of Abingdon in so many ways.

(Photo by Patti Murphy Dohn)
Father Wolfe is buried in the parish cemetery, closest to the Stone Chapel. On Sunday mornings, I intentionally park up the hill by front of the Stone Chapel so that I walk past his grave on my way to Mass. It is my way of keeping Father’s memory alive in my heart. 


Mark your calendar:

Meet the Knights and Ladies and see their service in action: 
Make plans to attend the spaghetti dinner fundraiser sponsored by Council #11372 on Saturday, June 20 from 4 to 8 pm in the St. Francis de Sales parish center. Take out will be available.
For tickets or more information, please call Steve Herpel at 443-987-5621 or email:
Join the Knights of Columbus:
Membership to the Knights is open to men who are practicing Catholics. 

Membership to the Ladies Auxiliary is open to Catholic women, whether or not one’s spouse is a Knight. 

For more information, contact Membership Director Bill Hengemihle at 410-569-5253 or email:
Director Hengemihle can direct inquiries to councils outside of Harford County for those living in other regions. 

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.