Hopewell Council #7103
2013 Archive Page
The Hopewell Council is co-located at St. Alphonsus in Hopewell Borough, St. George in Titusville, and St. James in Pennington, NJ.  Our council also includes St. Charles Borromeo in Montgomery Township, NJ.  Our Grand Knight for 2013-2014 is Aaron Vurgason. You can contact the Knights by phone at 609-477-2806, 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.




Upcoming Events

  • November 2-10 - Winter Coat Drive
  • November 13 - End of Life Lecture with Deacon Pat
  • November 15 - Bishop Appreciation Dinner

Council 7103 Receives Columbian Award for 2012-2013

With much support from the parishioners of St Alphonsus, St George, and St James, Hopewell Council officially closes out the 2012-2013 Columbian Year by accepting the Columbian Award.  This award is granted to councils with participation in activities focused on church, council, family, youth, and culture of life.  

The council doesn't operate with the propose of receiving such honors, but they do serve as a positive goal.  This year, 7103 is asking for YOUR help in making 2013-2014 the best one yet.  The knights are current accepting applications for practicing Catholics in good standing with the Church.  If you're unable to join the Knights, you can still support the charitable works by joining us for many activities like our dinners and meatball sales.  Or, take part in any one of our collections or drives.  For instance, right now, you can donate a winter coat or sign up for the March for Life.

2013 Shield Awards

The Hopewell Council of the Knights of Columbus sponsored the 4th Annual Shield Award on Monday, October 21, 2013, to recognize area police officers, fire fighters, and emergency medical personnel for their outstanding service to the community.

This year’s recipients of the Shield Award were:


 George C. Meyer, Chief of Hopewell Township Police Department 

 Richard Pratt, Firefighter, Pennington Fire Company and Rescue Squad

 Julie Aberger, Emergency Medical Technician, Pennington First Aid Squad

 Lieutenant Bill Springer, Police Officer, Hopewell Township Police Department

 Daryl Burroughs, Police Officer, Hopewell Township Police Department

 Doug Pinelli, Police Officer, Pennington Borough Police Department

Standing (left to right):  Matt Martin, Chief of Emergency Services Hopewell Township Fire District No. 1; Richard "Dick" Pratt, Pennington Fire Company and Rescue Squad; Jim DeForte, Chief Penn Fire Company; Reverend Monsignor James Innocenzi, St. George Catholic Church; Aaron Vurgason, Grand Knight; Daryle Burroughs,  Police Officer, Hopewell Township Police Department; Julie Aberger, Emergency Medical Technician, Pennington First Aid Squad; Weed Tucker, Pennington Borough Council President; Tim Matheny, Pennington Borough Administrator; Lt. Bill Springer. Police Officer, Hopewell Township; George Meyer, Chief of Hopewll Township Police Department;  Bob Rushnak, Past Grand Knight.

Kneeling (left to right): Kirk Schmitt, Captain, Pennington First Aid; Doug Pinelli, Police Officer, Pennington Borough Police Department; Jeff Bourne, District Deputy.

Click here for additional pictures.

Congratulations to Council #7103!

Hopewell Council #7103 earned the Knights of Columbus Columbian Award for running at least four major programs in each of the Service Program categories: Church, community, council, family, culture of life, and youth.  The Council also earned the Father McGivney Award for exceeding expectations for the number of new members that joined the council last year.

Pilgrimage to the National Basillica

Bishop David O'Connell invites the clergy and the faithful, of the Diocese of Trenton, to journey with him to the National Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC on Saturday, October 19th.   The bus will leave St. James at 7:00 a.m.  The Hopewell Council (#7103) of the Knights of Columbus is coordinating transportation and registration for the three Hopewell Valley Parishes.  For more information click here, and to register for the trip, please contact Aaron Vurgason at 609-477-2806 or GK7103@KofC7103.org  

Respect Life Rose Donation
The Knights of Columbus
Hopewell Council #7103 will be holding their semi-annual Respect Life Rose Donation next weekend after each Mass (October 12-13) at St. Alphonsus and St. George.  Past proceeds have been directed towards maternity services in the Diocese and the recent purchase of an Ultrasound machine for Choice One Crisis Pregnancy Center in Lawrenceville (the first in Mercer County, second in the Diocese of Trenton, in conjunction with the fund raising efforts of the other  10 Mercer County parish-based councils).  This would not be possible without the past generous support of our parishioners.  Thank you in advance for your support for the upcoming drive on October 12-13!

Harvest Fair 2013

The council hosted a Games Booth and Food Booth (Meatball sandwiches, of course!) at the 2013 Harvest Fair at Hopewell Elementary Schools

Knights of the Year
Knights of the Years Octavius "Ockie" LaCross and Joe D'Agostino III were honored by the Council as Knights of the Year for their dedicated years of service to the Council and other levels of the Knights.  


Joseph D’Agostino (pictured at left and below in center) held the offices of Former District Deputy, Past Grand Knight, Past Faithful Navigator, Past Chapter President, and  Past Federation Chairman, as well as numerous offices as a State Chairman.  Presently, he is chairman of the Teacher of the Year and CCD Teacher of the Year programs for the State.  Joe is a long time member of the Third Degree Team and a member of the Color Corp.  On the Council level, Joe has been our treasure for a number of years and is a member of Hopewell Council 7103 since 1981. 

Click here to read more about Joe.


Octavius “Ockie” LaCross (pictured at left with his wife Josephine) became a member of the Knights of Columbus in 1979 when he entered as a charter member of Ho
pewell Council 7103.  He joined a long list of Brother Knights who served as Grand Knight of the council, then moved to treasurer for a brief time, and eventually took over the duties of Financial Secretary, a position he only recently relinquished after thirty years of service. 


Ultrasound machine for Lawrenceville Choice One Crisis Pregnancy Center

On January 22, 2009, the 36th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion on demand, the Knights of Columbus launched a new initiative aimed at providing women considering abortion a new way of viewing the life within them.

Ultrasound exams, which are medically indicated throughout pregnancy for a variety of diagnostic reasons, use ultrasound waves to scan a woman’s abdomen, creating a picture or “sonogram” of the baby in her uterus.  Without K of C support, most pregnancy care centers would be unable to purchase the ultrasound machines, each costing tens of thousands of dollars.

The Knights’ donation of a $40,000 GE Voluson P8 Ultrasound machine to the Lawrenceville Choice One Crisis Pregnancy Center ( www.choiceonesupport.org ), the first such machine in Mercer County and second in the Diocese of Trenton, was made possible after months of fundraising by the Knights’ Centennial Chapter comprising the 11 Mercer County parish-based councils including Hopewell Council #7103.  Hopewell was able to contribute to this cause through funds raised by the generous donation of our parishioners to the Right to Life Rose Sale.

Contact Grand Knight Aaron Vurgason for early reservations for the 2014 March for Life, GK7103@KofC7103.org

Installation of 7103 Officers

The new officers for Council 7103 were installed at a ceremony at St. George's church on Sunday, July 14th with a luncheon following.  For additional pictures from the event, click here.

Hopewell 7103 hosts 3rd Degree

On Friday, June 14, 2013 Hopewell Council hosted the 3rd Degree at St. James in Pennington.  Click on the picture above for more photos from that evening.
Eagle Scout Feted

On Friday, June 14, 2013 Bob Rushnak (PGK), presented two certificates to Nicholas Sieczkowski of Boy Scout Troop 71 for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout at St. Alphonsus Church.  The first certificate was from Supreme and was signed by Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight and the second was a Proclamation from Dan Rossi, New Jersey State Deputy.  The Eagle Scout is the highest rank possible in scouting.



Join our Family

More than a brotherhood.  It's a family thing at Hopewell Council #7103.

Three generations of the DeForte family welcomes practicing Catholics to join the Knights and Columbiettes.  From left to right: Carmen DeForte; Charter/Life Member & Past Grand Knight (grandfather), Mary Jane DeForte; Charter/Life Member of Columbiettes (grandmother) Aaron Vurgason; Grand Knight (grandson), Peg Vurgason; President of Columbiettes (mother and daughter).

Habitat for Humanity

On May 18, 2013, several members of the Council participated on a Habitat for Humanity project in Mercer County.  In the course of 6 hours, the team installed vinyl siding on 2 sides of the home while keeping the rain at bay.  A great team building exercise in addition to learning some new tricks from experienced construction professionals.  a win-win for all!
Bob Rushnak (left), State Chair for the Knights Habitat Committee, organized the event for the day.

Congratulations on your Second Degree

Pictured are (front row) Chris Brenner, Michael Niederer, Werner Graf.  (back row) Octavius LaCross, Michael Zdanowski, Bob Rushnak, Aaron Vurgason, Tony Obidike, and Jeff Sellner.

On Friday, April 26, 2013, Hopewell Council (at St. James) hosted the Second Degree.  For Council 7103, it was one of the best turn outs in year!  Congratulations to our newest Second Degree Knights!
Chris Brenner
Werner Graf
Michael Niederer
Tony Obidike
Jeff Sellner

Work your way to that Fourth Degrees brothers!"


St. George Awards (2013) - Mary Cortina (Sr Citizen), Maryann Wagner (CCD Teacher), Ahearn Family (Family of the Year - Council and State of New Jersey).
Move over, Oscar!  The Parish of St. George and the Knights of Columbus Council 7103 is proud to announce Mary Cortina as Senior Citizen of the Year, Maryann Wagner as CCD Teacher of the Year, and the Ahearns for Family of the Year.  Write-ups and photos below.  Congratulations and thanks to the winners for all their dedication, service, and hard work!  It is truly appreciated by the St. George family and the members of the Hopewell Council (#7103) Knights of Columbus. 

St. George CCD Senior Citizen of the Year (2013) - Mary Cortina

Pictured are Bob Rushnak (PGK), Monsignor Jim, and Mary Cortina

By Bob Rushnak (PGK) on 2/17/13

The Knights of Columbus are proud to recognize a young lady from our parish who had made significant contributions to the Parish of St. George.  The award is called the “Senior Citizen Award” and the selection for this award was made by the St. George Parish Council.  This year’s award will be presented to Mary Cortina.

Mary is an active member of the Social Concerns Committee and is involved with many projects throughout the year.   These members reach out to St. George parishioners, as well as the poor, the sick and the needy in surrounding areas.

For many years, Mary continues to serve as an extraordinary minister by assisting the priests with the distribution of Holy Communion during Mass and bringing communion to the homebound.  She is an active member of the Senior Citizens group, meeting each month in the John Prince center.

You can always find Mary at daily Mass at St. George or find her assisting with the Hospitality Committee after Mass, encouraging parishioners to enjoy the refreshments and meet new church members.

It can also be said that Mary is doing God’s work one stich at a time. There are a number of vestments worn by the priest at the celebration of the Mass.  Each article needs a competent craftsman, skilled in needlework and hemming who can mend and hem the garments. The vestments worn by Msgr. Jim, Father Steve, and our Deacons receive the tender touches of Mary’s sewing talents.  Also, several vestments that were worn by the Knights of Columbus over the years were also products of Mary’s talented sewing skills. 

When we look at the altar, or when we watch the actions of the priest, we are likely to take for granted the altar linen used to protect the altar surface and to beautify the altar during services.  Also, the white cloth spread upon the altar during Mass to hold the chalice, patten and ciboria, as well as the finger towel used to dry the priest’ hands, all need to be laundered and  ironed, and possibly darned if necessary.  When these items need attention, when the altar liners with their flat creases need pressing, it’s Mary Cortina who is one of the proficient people who can be counted on to complete the task. Mary is also a skilled member of the “Pins & Needles” group who meet in the Parish Center on a weekly basis to sew, crochet, quilt and enjoy each other’s company.

Mary has been married to Pat, a long time usher at the 9 am Mass, for over 50 years.  She is a wonderful cook and generously shares the fruits of that talent with others.  Mary is also known as “Nonnie” to her grandchildren and frequently extends her care to them and other family members.

When Msgr. Jim was told that Mary Cortina was the recipient, he said that he was pleased because she was a most deserving parishioner who devoted many years of service to our church.

Therefore, in recognition of her outstanding and valuable service to the Church of St. George, giving generously of her time, energy and talent, it gives me great pleasure on behalf of the parishioners of St. George to present Mary Cortina with the Knights of Columbus “Senior Citizen of the Year Award”.

St. George CCD Teacher of the Year (2013) - Maryann Wagner

Pictured are Jenna Wagner, Bill Wagner, Maryann Wagner, Monsignor Jim, and Bob Rushnak (PGK)

By Bob Rushnak (PGK) at the 5:30pm Mass (2/16/13)

The Parish of St. George and the Knights of Columbus Council 7103 is proud to announce their selection for the CCD Teacher of the Year.  The award is presented to Maryann Wagner.

Maryann has been a Catechist at St. George since 2005.  She is a certified Catechist for the Diocese of Trenton and a valued member of the catechetical staff.  Maryann taught several different grades of religious education classes throughout her tenure.  Each year she inspires her students to live a more faithful life in the Catholic Church.  Over the years her students have been motivated to commit themselves to different ministries in the Parish of St. George.

Maryann brings the joy of her faith to each and every one of her students.  Students who have been in her class are still active in their faith and they make an effort to greet her any time she is present at Mass.  Her enthusiasm for teaching and her willingness to volunteer when needed is truly and inspiration for all.

Last year Maryann, together with her husband Bill and daughter Jenna were selected as Knights of Columbus Family of the Year from St. George Parish. It is truly refreshing to see a family truly living out the promises they made at Baptism to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

Maryann is the Chairperson for “ Soup and Stations”  held every Friday night during Lenten Season. She recruits Parishioners  to bring soup and bread to share with the others before assembling in church for Stations of the Cross.

Maryann has been a chairperson for the Annual Loaves and Fishes,  a program that supplies meals to area residents as part of the Trenton Soup Kitchen. 

Maryann  is also a  member of Hospitality Committee serving refreshments after Masses.

Last evening at the First Soup And Stations, MaryAnn revealed a brand new committee that she will begin as soon as possible.  It will be called ST. George’s Angel’s and will aid any parishioners who is in need for food, transportation to doctor’s office, picking up prescription, general maintenance around exterior of home, and many other worthwhile assistance programs to support those in need.  There will be more information coming in the next few weeks and your participation in this program will be welcomed.

Therefore, in recognition of her outstanding and valuable service to the Church of St. George, giving generously of her time, energy and talent, it gives me great pleasure on behalf of the parishioners of St. George to present MaryAnn Wagner with the Knights of Columbus CCD Teacher of the Year.

St. George Family of the Year (2013) - the Ahearn Family

Pictured are Laura Ahearn, Joanne Ahearn, Monsignor Jim, Michael Ahearn, and Bob Rushnak (PGK)

By Bob Rushnak (PGK) at the 5:30pm Mass (2/16/13)

The Parish of St. George and the Knights of Columbus Council 7103 is proud to announce their selection for Family of the Year.  The award for 2013 is presented to the Ahearn Family.  I will ask Joanne, Michael, and Laura to come up to the altar and to stand  beside our Pastor Msgr. Jim.

I appreciate this opportunity to tell our parishioners about this very special family that Deacon Mike said is, “a most worthy family” to receive this special honor.

In the early years of their marriage after moving into Bucks County Pennsylvania, Joann and Michael made an important commitment to their faith and to their future family.  As parents they agreed to take full responsibility for educating their children. They made a commitment to love and to protect them, and to be the spiritual leaders of their family.  In the years following their commitment, they taught their children to treat others with kindness and respect and to value education.  All five children would attend private Catholic High Schools in Pennsylvania.

Michael Junior, Paul, and Matthew attended Holy Ghost Prep School founded by the Spiritan Missionaries who were dedicated to quality education of college bound young men.  Daughters Christine and Laura attended Villa Joseph Marie Prep School, founded by the Sisters of Saint Casimir.  Both high schools were committed to teaching Christian values, to academic excellence and lifetime learning, and to service to the less fortunate.  Deacon Larry remembers the children as altar servers and singles out Laura as being the most reliable.

Michael Junior would graduate from Lehigh University, Christine would graduate from Carnegie-Mellon University, Paul would graduate from Holy Family University, Matthew would graduate from New York University. and Laura is presently in her 3rd year of nursing at NYU.

Brooklyn born Michael Ahearn attended Bishop McLaughlin H.S., St. Francis College in Brooklyn, and received his MBA from St. John’s.  He is presently employed at Merrill Lynch as a Financial Advisor.

Michael is a passionate supporter of the Catholic Leadership Institute, an organization that seeks to build authentic Catholic leaders using Jesus Christ as their model of leadership.

Joann has always been an active supporter of Michael’s activities and together, they partnered on many of St. George’s projects over the years.  They ran the Giving Tree Project for several years and distributed the gifts that were collected to the various charities. 

Michael was instrumental is starting the Social Concern Committee, a group that is still one of the most active parish activities committed to helping those in need.

Sister Dot spoke of Joann, Michael and Laura about their help in cleaning the church after Mass, as well as straightening the Missals, and they have been doing this for years without ever being asked.

Joann taught CCD in the St. George Religious Education program for many years and daughter Laura was her assistant.  Laura, I might add, was only one of two recipients to receive the Msgr. Ardos Memorial Scholarship.

Michael was always available to serve as an usher at any Mass he attended.  This year when Msgr. Jim asked him to serve as Head Usher at the Saturday evening Mass, Mike accepted with a sense of pride.

A few years ago, Michael approached me during a Knights of Columbus Recruitment Drive and said that he was ready to join our fraternal organization.  Together with his longtime friend John Devlin, the two men completed their exemplifications and are now Worthy Sir Knights of the Knights of Columbus.  John and Michael met many years ago while they traveled back and forth by train to New York where they both worked.

Hopewell Council 7103 is fortunate to Have Michael serve the office of Advocate for our Council.  He is an active supporter of our charity projects and fundraising activities.  He  currently supported the Right to Life March in Washington D.C. and in coordinating bus transportation of parishioners to the site.

Joann, Michael and Laura are faithful attendees at the Soup and Stations during the Lenten Season. And they can always be counted on to contribute to the Lord’s Table Program each year.

Therefore, in recognition of this family’s outstanding and valuable service to the Church of St. George as a fine example of a Catholic family, it gives me great pleasure on behalf of the parishioners of St. George, and for the Knights of Columbus, to present the Ahearn Family, with the Knights of Columbus Family of the Year Award.

Super Bowl XLVII Meatball Sale

Order our homemade meatballs for your Super Bowl Party.  Net proceeds are used to support the charitable of Hopewell Council #7103.  Please click on the Meatball montage below or contact Joe Guerino at 609-970-9360 or Meatballs@KofC7103.Org to place an order.  Our meatballs are not just for Super Bowl parties.  You can order anytime by contacting Joe via phone or e-mail.


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.  Our Brother Knights are proud to say “Merry Christmas” because we know that Jesus Is the Reason for the Season.

2012 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 15, 2012, Monsignor Jim Innocenzi blessed the Nativity Scene on State Street with State Deputy Dan Rossi looking on.  

2012 Christmas Luncheon
Past Grand Knight Bob Rushnak, pictured below with his wife Millie and Grand Knight Aaron Vurgason, is honored for his significant contributions to Council 7103.  This took place at our Council's 2012 Christmas Luncheon held on Sunday, December 16, 2012 at Sal DeForte's Ristorante in Ewing.

Bob with Monsignor Jim.

Merry Christmas from Council #7103

In Memoriam - Tony Muscente

    It is with tremendous sadness to announce that Tony Muscente passed away the morning of December 14, 2012. He will always be remembered as one of the great Knights of this current generation. In 2008 Tony told then Grand Knight Joe Melillo that he had a solution to the council’s financial woes. The idea was simple, to make and sell meatballs. This concept, very unique to any K of C council, has allowed 7103 to be as charitable as we have been ever since. But thinking of Sir Tony Muscente only as the meatball man is very short-sighted. He was an integral part of the organizational effort required for our annual golf outings, one of our most active members, ran our dinners, often handled our post-meeting meals (no better meal than Tony's roast pork or Italian Hot Dogs after a long meeting), was presently serving as Warden, and was Knight of the Year in 2010. As we pray for Tony’s soul in the world beyond this one, we also remember those he leaves behind, especially his wife Joan, his children, and the rest of his family and close friends. Council 7103 is truly at a loss, and we will certainly miss our Brother Knight.  Click here for more photos.

Honoring Eagle Scout Benjamin Nash Granzow

            The Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America.  Since its introduction in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than two million men.  Requirements include earning at least 21 merit badges and demonstrating Scout Spirit through the Boy Scout Oath and Law, service and leadership.  This includes an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads and manages.

          Benjamin Granzow’s Eagle Scout project consisted of building and installing structures for the gardening program at Bear Tavern Elementary School in Hopewell Township.  Ben designed and oversaw the building of two cold frames, two raised beds, a picnic table with attached benches, a handicap – accessible grow bench and an overhang for an outdoor message board.  Ben also orchestrated the moving and installation of a garden shed from the property of a donor.  The project involved fund raising, procuring of supplies and meeting with Bear Tavern PTO representatives, the school principal and head of facilities for the school district, as well as attending a Board of Education meeting, in order to obtain all of the necessary approvals for the project.

Photo:  left to right  Bob Rushnak, Past Grand Knight, Boy Scout Benjamin Granzow, Msgr. James Innocenzi, Chaplin of Hopewell Council

2012 Mass for Deceased Knights

Monsignor Jim Innocenzi led the Mass for Deceased Knights on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at St. George Parish.  This Mass is in remembrance of our brother Knights from the Chapter and Assembly councils who have passed away over the past year.  



After Mass and prior to the Chapter & Assembly Meeting, dinner was provided to all courtesy of the Scavo Family, in memory of their father and fellow Knight, Vince Scavo, who passed away last year.  Vince was the owner of Dominick's Pizza in Washington Crossing, Pa.and 4 other locations.




2012 Shield Awards


The 3rd Annual Shield Award was held on Tuesday, October 16th at Sal DeForte's Ristorante in Ewing.  The restaurant was once again packed for this special event!  Hopewell Council #7103 provides this recognition awards dinner to acknowledge our "hometown heroes" and their outstanding service to our community.  Click here for more information and pictures.

(front row)  Msgr. James Innocenzi, Chaplain Hopewell Council #7103 Knights of Columbus;  Hopewell Township Police Officer Michael Toth; Janet Crum,  EMT Union Fire & Rescue Squad;  Kurt Pederson, Firefighter Union Fire & Rescue Squad; Bob Rushnak (kneeling), Past Grand Knight of Council #7103 & Chairman of the Shield event.

(back row)  Chief George Meyer, Hopewell Township Police Department; Chief Matt Martin, Chief of Emergency Services; Annmarie Soganic, Deputy Chief of EMT, Union  Fire & Rescue Squad; Chief Erick Burd, Union Fire Company & Rescue Squad; and Aaron Vurgason, Grand Knight, Council #7103.

Our Lady of Guadalupe coming to St. George on April 14-15

Hopewell Council 7103  is fortunate to be able to bring the Icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of the Americas, to St. George Parish on the weekend of April 14-15.



Our Lady of Guadalupe Marian Icon with Fourth Degree Honor Guard
By Carl A. Anderson, Supreme Knight

For nearly 500 years, millions of people have shown great devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, struck by her words to Juan Diego, “Am I not your Mother?”  From her first appearance at Tepeyac in 1531, she has bestowed on humanity a tender motherly concern, and this remains an important part of her message today.  If we approach Our Lady of Guadalupe as our mother, then she is not only a mother to us, she is a mother to everyone.  That means that we are all one family, despite our different countries and cultures.

Blessed John Paul II referred to this fact when he wrote in Ecclesia in America: “The appearance of Mary to the native Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac in 1531 had a decisive effect on evangelization.  Its influence greatly overflows the boundaries of Mexico, spreading to the whole Continent.  America, which historically has been, and still is, a melting-pot of peoples, has recognized in the mestiza face of the Virgin of Tepeyac, ‘in Blessed Mary of Guadalupe, an impressive example of a perfectly inculturated evangelization.’  Consequently, not only in Central and South America, but in North America as well, the Virgin of Guadalupe is venerated as Queen of all America”

He also wrote that the “renewal of the Church in America will not be possible without the active presence of the laity.  Therefore, they are largely responsible for the future of the Church”.

So we must ask ourselves, what is the meaning of Our Lady of Guadalupe today?  Does she play the same role in our countries’ history as she has for nearly 500 years?  How do we respond to the great commandment of our Lord (love our neighbor as our self)?  This is the real message of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s motherly concern for each of us - that each person is actually a member of our family.  And as Pope Benedict XVI told us in his first encyclical Deus Caritas Est  (God is Love):  In a family no member must go hungry or lack the necessities of life. 

With this truth in mind, the Knights of Columbus has embarked on a pilgrimage with Our Lady of Guadalupe, bearing her image from council to council, from parish to parish, to spread her message and her love.  Through this Marian Prayer Program, we have a chance to gather as a family before the mother of humanity and offer our prayers and intentions.  I know that this will be a time of grace for all our members and their families, and I pray that Our Lady of Guadalupe will bring us closer together as an Order, as a Church, as a community and as a world in need of her words of peace and unity.

Msgr. Eduardo Chávez Sánchez
Postulator of the Cause of the Canonization of Saint Juan Diego

The Virgin of Nazareth, the Woman of Tepeyac, is the Mother of God and our Mother.  She is one of us in blood and nature, and through her humanity has given us her Son, Jesus Christ.  In this “sacred house,” Our lady gives us freedom from all oppresses: sin and death.  In this temple in this living Church we are truly set free for life in God. 

The Virgin of Guadalupe’s mission is the essence of evangelization.  She is the first disciple and missionary of God’s love.  In bringing together peoples of the Old World and the New World the Madonna of Tepeyac is a symbol of the fraternity that should exist among all of the earth’s races: in her mestiza face – so sweet and serene – we are all her children.  All human beings in Jesus Christ are Mary’s children, Mother of the Church, Model of the Church.  

In 2007, in Aparecida, Brazil, Pope Benedict XVI gathered with the bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean for the Fifth General Conference.  Present among them was the successor to the first Bishop on Mexico, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, the Archbishop Primate of Mexico City.  The final document of the conference included a statement fill with the dew of Tepeyac.  Mary it said “because she gave birth to the Savior of the world brought the 
Gospel to our America.  In the Guadalupan event she presided with the humble Juan Diego at the Pentecost that opened to us the gifts of the Spirit.”  Moreover, the bishops joyfully proclaimed “All those baptized are called to ‘begin anew in Christ’ to recognize and to follow his presence with the same reality and freshness, the same power and affection, persuasion and hope we were found in his encounter with the first disciples on the banks of the Jordan 2,000 years ago, and with the ‘Juan Diegos’ of the new World.” 

The message of Guadalupe contains all that is needed for the true freedom to love fully as Jesus destroys the chains of sin and we walk together as brother and sister.  Let us go forward to build one people, one culture of life, one civilization of God’s love from the hand of Our Lady of Guadalupe who has promised that she “holds us in the crossing of her arms and the hollow of her mantle.”

Our Lady of Guadalupe asked her messenger Juan Diego (now a saint) to go to the Bishop with her request for a “sacred house” to be built on Tepeyac.  She wanted her appearance to be seen within the context of the Catholic Church, which was founded by her Son as the sacrament of salvation for the entire world.  She continues today to lead us to Jesus Christ, the foundation of the Church, and to proclaim that we are one people in the family of God.


Click on the appropriate Calendar to access our 2010-2012 Archives to review all our activities, including our Annual Golf Outings, Shield Awards, Christmas Luncheons, Knights of the Month, raising funds for Alzheimer's Relief and much more.



Life is Beautiful by Deacon John Grant


Shield Award
St. Alphonsus Church, Hopewell, NJ
St. George Church,
Titusville, NJ

St. James Church
Pennington, NJ
Knights of Columbus
World Day of Prayer for Peace