Hopewell Council #7103
Knight of the Month - Michael Zdanowski

 September 13, 2010, St. George Church, Titusville, NJ 

          Hopewell Council #7103 of the Knights of Columbus is proud to nominate Michael Zdanowski as Knight of the Month.  His story is an inspiration to all of us because of his unselfish love and devotion in caring for his parents.  All his life, he looked up to and relied on his parents for guidance and help.   He reached out for their help as he grew up.  Watching parents age, or become ill, is one the hardest things a child can go through.  In his eyes, Michael always wanted to see his parents young, active and alert.


           His Dad had a stroke and was hospitalized for months with complications due to pneumonia.  When his father returned home, Michael cared for his every need.  At the same time, his Mom was developing her own health problems.   She couldn’t remember the simplest things. The beginning stages of dementia were setting in and there was no way she would be able to make decisions for herself.  Michael would also have to care for her.


          Faced with the responsibilities of caring for the numerous and sometime difficult demands of his parents, Michael sought direction in quiet prayer.  His love for his parents and his faith in God inspired him to make a commitment to devote the next ten years of his life to caring for his parents.  Michael believed that the foremost duty of any child is to take care of his parents, and to provide for those we love when they can’t provide for themselves.


          The roles soon became reversed, as his parents became the children, and Michael became the parent. He knew that his journey might not be showered with blessings and ease.  There would be difficult tasks, household chores, and tough decisions which would place him, the caregiver under severe stress.  Ultimately, he would have to sacrifice his own lifestyle.  Taking care of parents can be challenging and difficult at times, but, Michael considered it an honor and privilege.


          Michael’s involvement with the Knights of Columbus was important to him.  Without prayer, without accepting our Lord and Savior, the 3 ½ years he had caring for his parents may not have happened.  The many years he spent with the Knights exposed him to a much deeper understanding of his own faith.  His interaction with brother Knights, who had similar values and beliefs, strengthened him during a time of adversity.  Michael not only learned The Fourth Commandment, to Honor Thy Father and Mother,  but he now practiced it. He considered his role as caregiver, as a loving son, an opportunity for him to share their remaining time. 


          When God called both of Michael’s parents to be with Him, Michael’s job was not finished.  Every so often in our lives, we are called upon to do good deeds, to do what is fundamentally right.   We don’t do it for the award, for the glory, or for the recognition.  We do it because it is the correct thing to do.  When Michael accepted the responsibility of caring for his parents as something greater than his life, he became a beacon of light and a role model for others to follow. 


          Michael Zdanowski’s history with the Knights of Columbus goes back many years.  On the Council level he served for years as our Membership Chairman.  He was Past Grand Knight, Past Chapter President, Past Faithful Navigator and District Deputy for five years.  He was also a member of the Second Degree Team in Mercer County and Captain of the Third Degree Team.  During the time he was caring for both parents, his time with the Knights was limited to Council activities only.  In the months ahead, and as the pain of loss lessens, we know that Michael will find the time to ease himself back into activities with the Knights of Columbus.


          The Hopewell Council of the Knights of Columbus presents Michael Zdanowski with this certificate, designating him Knight of the Month, knowing that it will be accepted with all modesty, humility, and in loving memory of his parents -who are so very proud of him right now.


Bob Rushnak, Grand Knight of Hopewell Council 7103, Knights of Columbus