Hopewell Council #7103

The Hopewell Council is co-located at St. Alphonsus in Hopewell Borough and St. George in Titusville, NJ.  Our council also includes St. Charles Borromeo in Montgomery Township, NJ.  Our Grand Knight for 2011-2012 is Bob Rushnak. You can contact the Knights by phone at 609-498-5568, or by email at webmaster@KofC7103.Org if you want more information or are interested in joining the Knights of Columbus. Click on About Us to learn more about the Council and its' various activities.


Hopewell Council #7103 demonstrates the true meaning of Christmas by displaying outdoor Christmas billboards on the church grounds of St. Alphonsus (top) and St. George (bottom picture).  At both churches, Council Brothers constructed a 4’ x 8’ framed billboard and added a multicolored, vinyl picture of the Nativity scene to both side of the display.

Lights were added to keep the message visible throughout the evening hours. Each sign carries the message to Keep Christ in Christmas and has the Hopewell Council and Knights of Columbus logos prominently displayed, reminding men to consider joining the Knights.  Thanks to the construction skills of Ted Delbo and Michael Zdanowski, both parishes have this display on their front lawns. Our Brother Knights are proud to say “Merry Christmas” because we know that Jesus Is the Reason for the Season.

2011 Nativity Scene at the NJ State House
The Allentown and Trenton councils worked together to obtain permission to place the creche on state grounds.  On Saturday, December 17, 2011, Monsignor Jim Innocenzi blessed the Nativity Scene on State Street with the Color Corps looking on.  In attendance from 7103 were GK Bob Rushnak, PGK Joe Melillo (and his sons), Ed Ogonowski, Bill Kennedy, and Dave Macera. 

2011 Christmas Luncheon
Knight of the Month Edgar Dormer, and his wife Sarah enjoy their meals at our Council's 2011 Christmas Luncheon held on Sunday, December 4, 2011 at Paulie's Anna Rose in Ewing.  Click on the photo for more pictures from the luncheon.

Martin House and the 12 Knights of Christmas
Hopewell Council 7103 is among one of the smallest councils in the Trenton Diocese, yet we do so much for our council, our church and our community. 

Our GK took this picture of twelve gifts under the Christmas tree and next to the crèche to show the generosity of these men called Knights.  These are presents our Brothers have purchased to fill the personal request of children in the Trenton area, making certain that twelve children will enjoy a Merry Christmas at the Martin House.   Charity is the first cornerstone of the Knights of Columbus, so we take the time to thank the kindness of the following gentlemen.  These are the Twelve Knights of Christmas:  Michael Ahearn, Santi Buscemi, John Devlin, George Heffernan, Todd Kent, Dave Macera, Joe Melillo, Ed Ogonowski, Tony Petto, Bob Rushnak, Aaron Vurgason, Michael Zdanowski.

Winter Clothing Collection
Hopewell Council #7103 finished their winter clothing collection at St. Alphonsus and St. George with their usual success.  Between both parishes, over 180 winter coats and jackets went to Catholic Charities for distribution throughout the Trenton area.  In addition to the coats, there were 29 sweaters, over 40 shirts, 11 blankets, and an assortment of scarves, winter hats and gloves.   Also, 75 bags of food were delivered to Mt. Carmel Guild.  Joe Melillo will be delivering seven boxes of sweatshirts and 50 blankets to the veterans at Lyons Hospital.

Coats for Kids
Hopewell Council 7103 donated two cases of brand new winter coats through the Knights of Columbus “Coats for Kids Program” to Catholic Charities.  It is our hope that these coats will help to make this winter a little warmer for needy boys and girls from El Centro in Trenton.

Mass for Deceased Knights
What started out as a small service five years ago has turned into a very special event for the Knights of Columbus.  What I am talking about is the Mass for Deceased Knights hosted by Hopewell Council #7103 at St. George’s Parish.  Msgr. Jim conducts a special Mass that is open to all Brother Knights and their wives from the Trenton Diocese.  A special part of the service occurs when recently deceased Knights have their name and council called out.  

As soon as his name is announced, a Brother Knight from that council will approach the altar and receive a candle, proceed to the top of the altar stairs and light the candle, then he will place it in a specially prepared sand box on the altar. 

After the Mass, all are invited to the activity room of the John Prince Center (the original St. George Church now used for CCD classes and other special meetings and activities) for refreshments.  Hopewell has always been known for their generous hospitality whenever we host a meeting or special event.

After refreshments, Brother Knights retire to the Chamber upstairs for a Chapter meeting, followed by an Assembly meeting.  While Knights are busy with their meeting, wives are invited to the rectory for an impromptu, special meeting of their own.

Alzheimer's Respite Care Fund
PGK, FDD, PFN, and PCP Michael Zdanowski once again took on the chairmanship for the Hopewell Council #7103 Annual Alzheimer’s Caregivers Respite Fund in honor of Michael’s mother.  People suffering from this devastating disease require much supervision and assistance with daily living activities.  It is not just those with the disease who suffer; the continual demand for care creates emotional and physical stress for caregivers. 

Experiencing firsthand the heavy demand of caring for his mother 24 hours per day, Michael has united his Brother Knights to assist him in the collection drive.  Over the 2010-2011 Columbian year, New Jersey Councils raised over $40,000.00 for the Alzheimer’s Respite Care program.  On the local level, Hopewell Council collected $1283.00   Thanks to Brother Knights George Heffernan, Tony Muscente, Ted Delbo, Santi Buscemi and Bob Rushnak for assisting with this worthwhile program.

Congratulations, Sir Knights!
Three Knights from Hopewell Council #7103 took part in the 4th Degree Exemplification Ceremony held on Sunday, November 6, 2011 at the Sheraton in Eatontown.  Congratulations to our newest Sir Knights John Devlin, Aaron Vurgason, and Mike Ahearn.  Thanks to Grand Knight Bob Rushnak for his sponsorship and past GK Joe Melillo for being present at the event.


(from l to r, front row) John Devlin, Aaron Vurgason, and Mike Ahearn.  (back row) Grand Knight Bob Rushnak and past GK Joe Melillo.

Hopewell Harvest Fair

Due to Hurricane Irene in August and rains in September, this month’s Annual Hopewell Harvest Fair was held on November 5th (the weekend after the Halloween snow).  As you entered the concession area on this brisk autumn Saturday you were certain to find Tony Muscente’s Famous Meatball Sandwiches feeding the hungry crowd of visitors. 

While over on the grassy playground area, Todd Kent and his staff manned the inaugural basketball toss (we retired the knock over the wooden bottle with baseballs to save whatever good knees we have left).  This event would not have been as successful without the organizational skills of PGK Joe Melillo, Chairman of the Harvest Fair.  Thanks to Joe and the Knights working in the kitchen preparing meatballs, and those in the concession stand and games booth for making this event a huge success. 

Click on the picture below for the slideshow.

2nd Annual Shield Award

        Hopewell Council #7103 of the Knights of Columbus held their Second Annual Shield Award Dinner to recognize and reward excellence in community service to one member of the police, rescue and firefighters from Hopewell Valley.  The award ceremony and dinner was held at Sal DeForte’s Restaurant on October 18 before a crowd of 85 members of family and friends.  The three awardees received their Knights of Columbus plaque from a senior member of their department following words of praise for their personal accomplishments.
        Police Chief George Meyer said of Police Detective Michael Sherman that he is, “energetic, bright, always cheerful, always willing to help his fellow officers, very well liked by all members of the police department, and by the students and staff at Hopewell H.S. where he serves as the school liaison officer, and at Timberline Middle School as the department’s juvenile officer.”  
        Rose Novak is Captain of Hopewell Borough Emergency Medical Unit and she reminded everyone that her recipient, Duchess Lake helped deliver the first baby for their squad in 1983, and many more since that time.  “Duchess is always willing to lend a helping hand, whether it is joining a committee, working as the assistant treasurer or mentoring a new Emergency Medical technician.”
        Matthew Martin. Chief of Emergency services introduced Emergency Services Specialist Andrew Fosina as a man who had demonstrated his commitment and dedication to the fire department in a variety of ways.  “Whether Andy is on the front line of fighting fires or performing safety inspections, he is an example of one of the many men and woman in the fire department who spend their time away from families to serve with the fire and rescue squads.”  Andy Fosina called the members of the Knights of Columbus “heroes” because we have taken the time, and made the effort to recognize all the service organizations of Hopewell Valley with our award dinner.  
        The Shield Award is an example of Hopewell Council’s personal commitment to honor the men and women who proudly serve their community in time of need.  We ask that God will bless and protect them as they go about serving the residents of Hopewell Valley.
        Click on the picture below for the slideshow.

Honoring George Heffernan - Knight of the Month

        On October 1, 2011 Hopewell Council awarded George Heffernan with the Knight of the Month Award at St. Charles Borromeo Church.  It was our thinking that this award would be more meaningful if George received his award in front of his own parish, in front of family and friends, as well as the Knights of Columbus.  George is a PGK and a member of Council 7103 for sixteen years and has served as usher at the 5 p.m. Mass for Pastor Msgr. Malovitz.  The applause for George after he received his award at St. Charles was loud, enthusiastic and lasted over two minutes.  There is little doubt that George Heffernan is loved and respected by all who know him.  Council Brother Knights who attended included Aaron Vurgason, Tony Muscente, DD Joe Melillo, Honor Guards Ted Delbo and PGK, FDD, PFN Michael Zdanowski, and GK Bob Rushnak.  Also supporting George were Worthy Faithful Navigator Pete Donchak, FDD, PGK, Past Chapter President, and now Worthy Master Chet Kulak, and Worthy Field Agent Tony Petto.

    Click on the picture for the slideshow.

Thank You

        Thanks to Lawrence & Cindy Kianka and Ed & Odile Ogonowski, our Council now has two used, but excellent working refrigerators lined up in the newly refurbished garage at St. Alphonsus.  The garage never looked so good thanks to the efforts of Joe Melillo, Nick Toth, Michael Zdanowski and Ted Delbo, and to Tony Muscente for letting us use the dumpster at his business site.

St. George Picnic

    St. George’s Parish Picnic was held on church grounds for the first time this year and turned out to be a big success!  Many hands went into the work that brought about a great time.  Food is always part of any picnic and the Knights were there to help from grilling of hot dogs and hamburgers to setting up the salads and desserts. 

    When it came time for the duck race, no one could be more honest than Bill Kennedy, who had the distinction of being chief judge at the finish line.

Click on Bill for more pictures.

September 11th Remembrance

The parishioners of St. George’s Church honored the families, friends and loved ones who lost their lives on 9/11.  On the tenth anniversary of one of our countries’ worse tragedies, the congregation mourned the incredible loss.  Church music and accompaniment centered on patriotic selections and hymns of remembrance and forgiveness. i.e.  Battle Hymn of the Republic, America, Let There Be Peace, On Eagles Wings, Be Not Afraid.   Homilies by Deacon Mike and Deacon Larry connected the Sacred Scripture readings with their theme of forgiveness. During the Mass at the “presentation of the gifts” two members from our police, first responders or firefighters brought the bread and wine to be concentrated by Msgr. James Innocenzi.  As a symbol of the sacrifice of so many, helmets representing police, fire, EMT’s and military service men & women were placed on a table, along with a special prayer card for parishioners. Forty six Brother Knights perished in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania on that dreadful day.  
                                            Bob Rushnak, GK –Hopewell Council #7103, Hopewell, N.J 

David Pinelli, Chief, Pennington Fire Company & Kevin Riley, EMT, Pennington First Aid Squad 

Heidi Palau & Manuel Palau, Paramedics 

George Meyer, Chief, Hopewell Township Police and Gus Tackacs, Firefighter, Trenton Fire Department

George Meyer, Chief, Hopewell Township Police and Gus Tackacs, Firefighter, Trenton Fire Department

2011-2012 Installation
On Sunday, July 10, 2011, Hopewell Council #7103 held their Installation Ceremony at St. George Church followed by a luncheon at Sal DeForte's Ristorante.  Please click on the photo of GK Bob Rushnak and State Program Director (and our former DD) Tom Ponting.
St. George's Senior Citizen of the Year
Susan T. Cheney (holding plaque) is presented with the St. George Senior Citizen of the Award on June 26, 2011 by Monsignor James Innocenzi.  Also pictured are Susan's daughter Susan and GK Bob Rushnak.  
            Susan T. Cheney, the “General” as she is affectionately called, is an outstanding example of an involved parishioner and one who truly cares about our senior population.  After our senior group practically disappeared several years ago, Susan took over and rallied the troops to hold a lunch and an informal meeting for the newly named “Seasoned Citizens” each month.  At this meetings, she frequently invites a guest speaker to address the seniors on some health, medical, or legal topics. 

            In addition, Susan takes a group to the Annual Retreat Day for seniors held at the Diocesan Pastoral Center.  By themselves, our seniors would most likely not attend this function, but with encouragement from Susan, they not only take an active part, but talk among themselves afterwards about how much they enjoyed the program.

            Susan not only serves our senior citizens, but she is also an active member of St. George’s Parish Council and Pastoral Planning Committees.  Susan brings a positive and jovial spirit to each of these groups and her “get the job done” attitude encourages others to take part in parish activities.  She will always make you smile and laugh, even at yourself. 

            Susan would be a treasure to whatever organization she belonged, but is even more than a treasure to St. George’s Parish which she cherishes and which cherishes her. 

NJ Knights of Columbus EMT of the Year
GK Bob Rushnak (right) presents the NJ Knights of Columbus EMT of the Year to Dan Boone from the Pennington First Aid Squad in June, 2011.  Dan is also a winner of the Council Shield Award in October, 2010.  
Silver Rose Ceremony
On June 3, 2011 the Silver Rose ceremony was held at St. George's Church in Titusville.  Click on the photo below to view the slide show.
3rd Annual Golf Outing
Thanks to all who joined us at Mountain View Golf Course on Wednesday, May 25th for a great day of golf.  Prizes, great food, gifts, sunshine, and plenty of fun all for a great cause.  Net proceeds from this event will benefit selected charitable organizations. 
Click on Tony to view the Sponsor photos.
Click on Swinging Joe to view the Action Shots.


Patriotic Dinner
The Fourth Degree for the Knights of Columbus is dedicated to Patriotism.  Every year, the Bishop Ahr Assembly and the Bishop Griffin Assembly (Hopewell Council's Assembly) select one candidate who exemplifies the qualities of patriotism, community and church invlovement.  Hopewell Council nominated Christian T. Robinson, a U.S. Marine and member of Hopewell Twp Fire District No. 1.
In addition to honoring Chris Robinson, Monsignor Jim also received "Knight of the Year" from the Bishop Griffin Fourth Degree Assembly.
District Deputy Tom Ponting presenting plaque to Chris while Msgr. Jim looks on.
(From left to right) Specialist JD Moore, Christian T. Robinson, Specialistr John Schafer, Bob Rushnak, Grand Knight Hopewell Council 7103.
(from left to right): Color Corp Commander Peter Donchak, District Deputy 26 Tom Ponting, and Monsignor Jim
District Deputy 26 Tom Ponting and Monsignor Jim
Monsignor Jim at the microphone
About Chris Robinson

Upon graduating from Hopewell Valley Central High School, Christian "Chris" Robinson enlisted into the United States Marine Corps and completed basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC., and then Antitank Assaultman training at Camp Lejeune, NC.


Additional military training included successful completion of courses in Martial Arts & Close Quarter Battle Instruction, Corporals

Leadership, Combat engineering, and the Special Operations Training for Urban Reconnaissance and Surveillance.


While on active duty, Chris advanced through the enlisted ranks, attaining the rank of sergeant prior to separating from active duty.


Chris's deployments included:

  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Port Au Prince, Haiti for Operation Secure Tomorrow;
  • March Air Force Base, Riverside, CA;
  • Fallujah, Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Chris fought in the Second Battle for Fallujah. The US. Military called it the heaviest urban combat that US. Marines have been involved in since the Battle of Hue City, Vietnam in 1968.


Chris's military awards include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon,

Humanitarian Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, National Defense Service

Medal, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, three Certificates of Commendation, and a Meritorious Mast.


Upon separating from active duty, Chris began his current career with Hopewell Township Fire District No.1 as an Emergency Services Specialist. As a specialist, Chris is responsible for fire investigations, inspections, and response to emergencies as a firefighter and emergency medical technician.


Chris has been an active volunteer in his community since 1999. While in high school, Chris joined the Hopewell Fire Department and Emergency Medical Unit. Since that time, Chris has held various leadership positions within the department, including first and third lieutenants. Chris has been honored as firefighter of the year, and EMT of the year. Chris has received two lifesaving awards and a military service award from the fire district.


Chris is currently' pursuing a degree in fire science and has future aspirations to attend paramedic school.

Roast Beef Dinner honoring Celeste Long, St. Alphonsus Senior Citizen of the Year
Please click on Celeste's cake to view pictures from the Roast Beef Dinner held on Saturday, May 21st to honor St. Alphonsus Senior Citizen of the Year, Celeste Long.  We had a great turnout and the dinner was fantastic!
2011 Pride in Priests Dinner
Hopewell Council #7103 was represented at the Annual Pride in our Priests dinner held on Thursday. April 14 at Doolan's Restaurant in Spring Lake.  Msgr. Jim, Bob and Millie Rushnak, Bill & Camille Kennedy and Michael  Zdanowski were among the 400 guests attending.  In addition to Bishop  David O'Connell, there were 122 priests attending as guests of the Knights of Columbus.


Monsignor Jim

Millie & Bob Rushnak, Michael Zdanowski

Bill & Camille Kennedy, Millie Rushnak

More pictures available of State website. 

2011 Senior Citizens of the Year - Celeste Long & Susan T. Cheney
The Hopewell Council realizes they can brighten the lives of our Senior Citizens by giving them the recognition they deserve.  Another new program instituted this year by our Council is the Senior Citizen of the Year Award.  The purpose of this award is to recognize the contribution of our senior citizens to their church and community.  We often fail to recognize what an active and vital part our seniors play in their church and community programs. 
Celeste Long - St. Alphonsus Church

            Celeste Long has been a parishioner of St. Alphonsus since 1942 when Fr. Thompson was the pastor.  She can readily recollect historic facts and memories about her parish community and how it has grown and changed throughout the past 60 years.

            Celeste was married to Don Long for 50 years when he died while embraced in her loving arms.  They loved and raised six children together, five naturally born to them and one child they fostered.  Celeste’s family includes 13 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, and her family continues to grow with the anticipation of the birth of 2 more great-grandchildren this year.

            The Long children received a Catholic education while attending St. Michael’s School.  Celeste was the President of the St. Michael’s PTA.

            Celeste worked for many years at the Institute in Skillman caring for the developmentally challenged.

            At different times throughout the years, Celeste was a member of the choir and participated in the RCIA program, helping to prepare and welcome new members into our Catholic faith.  In addition, she feels it is important to keep our faith community vibrant and accessible, and initiated the publication of an updated Parish Photo Directory just last year.

            Celeste is in her 80th year and continues to be a very active parishioner of St. Alphonsus.  She faithfully attends daily Mass, and continues to serve reliably as the parish Sacristan, a position she has served at for 22 years.  Since 1989, in her role as Sacristan, she cares for and maintains the sacristy, prepares the altar and church for Mass, baptisms, weddings, funerals and special services throughout the liturgical year.  She keeps track of the vessels and supplies needed for liturgical ceremonies.  She frequently assists the priests, deacons, lector, Eucharistic ministers, and altar servers in preparing for Mass.

            Celeste has a well-practiced knowledge and dedication to the liturgy, and offers The Liturgy of the Word with communion to parishioners who want to attend church, even on days the celebration of daily Mass is not scheduled.  Celeste also serves her parish as an Extraordinary Minister of the Holy Eucharist.  She especially enjoys bringing communion to our homebound parishioners and visiting with them every Sunday.     

Susan T. Cheney - St. George Church

            Susan T. Cheney, the “General” as she is affectionately called, is an outstanding example of an involved parishioner and one who truly cares about our senior population.  After our senior group practically disappeared several years ago, Susan took over and rallied the troops to hold a lunch and an informal meeting for the newly named “Seasoned Citizens” each month.  At this meetings, she frequently invites a guest speaker to address the seniors on some health, medical, or legal topics. 

            In addition, Susan takes a group to the Annual Retreat Day for seniors held at the Diocesan Pastoral Center.  By themselves, our seniors would most likely not attend this function, but with encouragement from Susan, they not only take an active part, but talk among themselves afterwards about how much they enjoyed the program.

            Susan not only serves our senior citizens, but she is also an active member of St. George’s Parish Council and Pastoral Planning Committees.  Susan brings a positive and jovial spirit to each of these groups and her “get the job done” attitude encourages others to take part in parish activities.  She will always make you smile and laugh, even at yourself. 

            Susan would be a treasure to whatever organization she belonged, but is even more than a treasure to St. George’s Parish which she cherishes and which cherishes her.

Honoring our Founder



The Knights of Columbus began in the basement of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, in 1882, when Father Michael J. McGivney called together a small group of pioneering Catholic laymen, and founded a society designed to provide financial assistance for widows and orphans of members.


March 29 marks the anniversary of the Order receiving its charter from the state of Connecticut.


Knight of the Month - Ockie LaCross

            Octavius “Ockie” La Cross (pictured, left) became a member of the Knights of Columbus in 1979 when he became a charter member of Hopewell Council 7103.  He served as Past Grand Knight, Treasurer and eventually took over the duties of Financial Secretary, a position he still retains for the past thirty years.  When Supreme Headquarters requests a completed form, Ockie has already finished that report and has it in the mail.  Our council could not achieve the success we’ve enjoyed over these past decades without his knowledge of past council history, his ability to well with his treasurer and other council officers, and his efficient handling of the many details attributed to the role of Financial Secretary.  I am certain that every Grand Knight who served with Ockie will say their job was made easier because of the devotion to duty of Ockie La Cross.

            In addition to Financial Secretary, Ockie is active in every council program and is always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need.  One council activity that he is most active with is the Knights of Columbus Drive for Developmental Disabilities.  Perhaps it was because Ockie taught in the Trenton School System as a Special Education Supervisor that he has become the official council chairman of this fund raising program for children with intellectual disabilities.  Brother Knights are familiar with his late night phone calls scheduling them to stand outside supermarkets to collect funds for distribution to schools serving special needs children.

            Ockie had planned his early retirement and had planned to live out his “Golden Years” with his wife Josephine, his four children and grandchildren.  Keeping a family together is the role every father has to play, regardless of the circumstance.  Faced with family health issues, he has the added responsibility of raising his eight year old grandson.  Like most men, Ockie is a private person and does not wish to burden others with his problems, he finds his strength through quiet prayer and the belief that God is listening even if he doesn’t always get the answer he would like.  It is through prayer that he finds peace, and peace is only possible through faith.

            Whenever we are faced with adversity, there will always be someone who will say that we should be grateful for the things we have.  Ockie realizes that each day brings new hope, and the belief that through his faith and prayer, one day he will find that peace he seeks.  Adversity has taught him about his strengths, his character, his resilience, his capacity to love, and his faith in the futures.  He is grateful of each new day on earth, for being able to draw in a breath, for having the skills and strength to use his mind and body.  And also he is grateful to be able to spend tine at the kitchen table working on second grade homework, hanging pieces of art work on the refrigerator, and very often, feeling tender arms around his neck.

            Ockie is a true example of Christian strength through his patient example of unyielding courage.  He may not realize it now, but he has touched lives in ways he may never realize.  Ockie La Cross, your Brother Knights take great pride in honoring you as Knight of the Month.

St. George CCD Teacher of the Year:  Mrs. Joyce Wright





           In 2011, Hopewell Council #7103 of the Knights of Columbus added the CCD Teacher of the Year as one of our newest programs. The purpose of this award is to honor an educator responsible for the instruction of children who are attending parish CCD classes.  This teacher must demonstrate evidence of their commitment to quality instruction.

           On March 20, 2011 Hopewell Council of the Knights of Columbus recognized Mrs. Joyce Wright, a member of St. George’s teaching faculty, and presented her this award to honor her for the instruction of children attending our Catechesis Program.  In order to qualify, the teacher must demonstrate evidence of her commitment to quality instruction and a devotion to her students.  So, it should come as no surprise that the recipient of this award is Mrs. Joyce Wright, fourth grade Catechist.

            Mrs. Wright began volunteering to teach Catechesis at St. Anthony’s Parish in Trenton before moving to the Titusville area and to St. George’s Parish where she continues to share her love of her faith with our children.

            Mrs. Wright obtained the distinction of being a fully Certified Diocesan Catechist.  She attended 52 hours of study and 10 hours of focus student in specific areas.  She is only one of two persons from our Parish who has attained this honor.  She also has taken the opportunity to be part of the Certificate Program for Coordinators, receiving her certificate from Bishop Smith in 2009.




            Mrs. Wright was instrumental in launching our Family Catechesis Program for the 4th and 5th grades.  She continues to be an inspiration to the teaching staff and to the children she teaches.  Even though she only sees her 4th grade students once a month, they are rarely absent from her class because they enjoy the activities she planned for them.  Her dedication to this program and her commitment to St. George’s Parish is one that is given from her heart.  Mrs. Joyce Wright has found the winning combination of her love for God…love for her students… and a love of teaching.

            On behalf of Msgr. Jim, Chaplin of our Council, and the Brother Knights from Council 7103, it is my pleasure to present this award to Mrs. Joyce Wright, Teacher of the Year.


Pro-Life Baby Shower

Hopewell Council had a good showing at the Annual Pro-Life Baby Shower and Buffet Breakfast on March 13, 2011 sponsored by the Central N.J. Centennial Chapter of the Knights of Columbus.  Attending this year’s celebration was (l to r) Michael Ahern, GK Bob Rushnak, PGK Santi Buscemi, PGK Frank Betitto and their wives.  After breakfast, guest speakers from Good Council Homes & Silent No More offered inspirational messages on Pro Life topics.  St John the Baptist Council hosted the event.


Testimonial for Herb Meyer
The New Jersey State Council hosted a Testimonial Luncheon honoring State Deputy Herb Meyer on Sunday, March 6. Over 300 people attended the luncheon, held at the Venetian in Garfield, many presenting Herb with gifts from various Councils, Assemblies, Chapters, and Federations, as well as the NJ State Columbiettes and the Meyer family. Herb's son, Chuck, presented him with his Past State Deputy's ring. Ann Meyer presented Herb with a shadow box containing the Jewels of Office Herb has attained during his career as Officers in the Order. 
The offices and members of Hopewell Council #7103 took the oppotunity to thank State Deputy Herb Meyer and his wife Ann for their service and dedication to the New Jersey State Council of the Knights of Columbus.
More pictures are available at the State website.
Bob Rushnak, Grand Knight with State Deputy Herbert C. Meyer. 
 Herb and Ann Meyer entering the Testimonial.
 Honor Guard at Testimonial.
Catholic Men for Jesus Christ 

            On Saturday, March 5, Grand Knight Bob Rushnak had the opportunity to attend the 14th Annual Catholic Men for Jesus Christ (CMJC) men’s rally at Mater Dei Prep.  Hundreds of men filled the gymnasium to join Bishop David M. O’Connell celebrate Mass and to listen to national speakers Rev. Father Larry Richards and Peter Herbeck.  To be in the presence of so many men who openly professed their faith and prayed together was an awesome experience for Bob. 

            CMCJ recognizes that true happiness can only be found in Jesus and calls all men to live out their faith with courage and holy boldness.  The good news is that we are not meant to answer his call to “follow me” alone.  Catholic Men for Jesus Christ strives to bring men together, to support each other, and to challenge each other on their spiritual journey to become the man that they were called to be. 

            How should we as men respond to this challenge? Every day our faith is being tested.  God is slowly disappearing from our society.  We have the power to make an impact on the world if we recommit ourselves to Jesus Christ.  Catholic Men for Jesus Christ encourages men to deepen their relationship with Christ, their families, their church, their community, other Catholic men, and to live their faith in every day life.  Visit www.catholicmenforchrist.org for additional information or contact Bob.

Recycled Cell Phones



Hundreds of thousands of American troops are deployed in hostile and remote regions of the world and on ships throughout international waters.  Operation Gratitude seeks to lift troops’ morale, and bring a smile to their faces by sending care packages to service members in harm’s way.  The care packages contain food, toiletries, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation, all wrapped with good wishes of love and support.  Operation Gratitude is working with GRC Wireless Recycling to raise funds through the recycling of old cell phones.  Hopewell Council collected a total of 55 old cell phones that will be recycled.  Operation Gratitude will use that cash from each donated phone to support their care packages.




Letters to Seminarians


           Hopewell Council #7103 of the Knights of Columbus conducted a Letters to Seminarians writing program during the month of February.  We felt this was a terrific opportunity to show our support and encouragement for future priests so they will continue with their studies. There are 35 seminarians from the Trenton Diocese currently studying for the priesthood in various colleges and seminaries in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and Rome.  We achieved our goal to send each man three personal letters (105 letters) of encouragement to show our love and support for these men who seek to serve us as future priests.  This goal was achieved through teamwork with our brother Knights, CCD students from both St. Alphonsus and St. George’s church, and the Columbiettes.

            Now, more than ever, we need priests.  If taking a few minutes to write an inspirational message helps one seminarian get through one rough day, then it is all worth it.



2011 Polar Bear Plunge (aka "Chilly Knights")


            When the temperature drops, the Polar Bears Plunge!  Hopewell Council 7103 sent their Grand Knight Bob Rushnak into the chilly water of the Atlantic Ocean for the 2011 Polar Plunge held on Saturday, February 26 in Seaside Heights.  The air temperature was hovering around 38 degrees while the water was a cool 36 degrees.

            Each participant raised money by asking individuals to sponsor them.  All proceeds go the New Jersey Special Olympics.  The funds raised helped advance the goal of Special Olympics New Jersey to provide free, year-round training and competition in 24 Olympic type sports to more than 18,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. There were 5,100 plungers who collected 1.5 million dollars for Special Olympics!


Dan Rossi (in the “Tux”), Ann Meyer, Tom Ciborski, and Bob Rushnak pictured above are part of a team of 15 Knights, spouses, and family named the Polar Penguins who took the plunge for this worthy cause.  Yes, the water was cold!  And yes, Bob is glad that he did it for the second year in a row!  Not only for the donations that went to a good cause, but also for the personal accomplishment. Kudos to Bob and the other team members!












Super Bowl XLV Meatball Sale 
Thanks to all of you who supported our annual Super Bowl Meatball sale at St. Alphonsus Church on
Saturday & Sunday, February 5-6th, 2011.  Net proceeds are donated to local charities.
Vince Lombardi was a member of the Knights of Columbus
2011 Free Throw Championship
Hopewell Council held its' 3rd Annual Free Throw Championship at Hopewell Elementary School on Sunday, January 9, 2011. 
We had a nice turnout and plenty of fun as participants (including Father Alex) were able to pit their free throwing skills against their peers.  We had 18 participants with 6 players advancing to the District Competition at St. Ann's gymnasium.  Thanks to all the boys and girls who participated!
Special thanks to Todd Kent for organizing the event and thanks to the Knights who volunteered:  GK Bob Rushnak, Santi Buscemi, Ron Cefalone, Bill Kennedy, Tim Mc Shea, and Ed Ogonowski.
Click on Father Alex (left) for more information and photos from the event.
2010 Archives
Click on the Calendar to access our 2010 Archives to review all our activities, including 2nd Annual Golf Outing, Shield Awards, Bishop Smith's Appreciation Banquet, raising funds for Alzheimer's Relief and much more.

Shield Award
St. Alphonsus Church, Hopewell, NJ
St. George Church,
Titusville, NJ
Knights of Columbus
World Day of Prayer for Peace