2020 Tootsie Roll drive collects over $1,500.00 in donations

The council was able to collect over $1,500.00 in donations from the 2020 Tootsie Roll drive which was nearly twice as much as last year.

Brother Knights, a big thank you to everyone for a very successful tootsie roll drive! Special thanks to Jim Freeman for the great leadership and organization as well.  Thank you all, God Bless You, and may God Bless all of the wonderful children who will benefit from the funds collected to improve their lives.


Star Council awarded to Council 1232

Knights of Columbus Masconomo Council 1232 of Manchester by the Sea, Massachusetts has been awarded the distinction of Star Council, the international organization’s top honor for local councils.

The Star Council award recognizes overall achievement and excellence in the areas of church and community service programs and a vital, thriving membership, joined to a strong Knights of Columbus insurance benefits program. Masconomo Council was hailed for sponsoring effective Catholic faith formation programs and volunteering its members’ time through service-oriented activities benefiting families locally, nationally and internationally, particularly those in the Middle East.

This Star Council honor was bestowed upon the Cape Ann council by the Supreme Council of the international Knights of Columbus based in New Haven, Connecticut. Masconomo Council 1232 shares its elite status with only 5 per cent of the 280 local Knights of Columbus councils in Massachusetts. They were each honored for their comprehensive program planning, participation and charitable giving.

Council 1232 Grand Knight Bill Busta thanked Knights’ leadership for making this the third time in five years that his council has been so honored by the Supreme Council, the Knights of Columbus governing body. It did so on the recommendation of the Massachusetts State Council. That action reflected its view of a Masconomo Council alive and thriving to support its Church, its priests and parishes, as well as its Cape Ann communities and our country at large.”

Grand Knight Busta noted, “For more than 112 years the Manchester by the Sea – Essex brother Knights of Masconomo Council 1232 have exemplified the highest ideals of charity, fraternity, unity and patriotism. Its current membership is the acknowledged key to the Star Council honor. Equally important are the contributions of this group’s past leaders who inspired a perpetual, solid commitment to service. That cadre of leaders includes recent Past Grand Knights Jeff Mastendino, Tom Finn, Arthur Sheehan, Richard Sullivan and Roger DiNapoli. We are in their debt.”

In the current fraternal year 2019-2020, Masconomo Council 1232 is engaged in a variety of activities including soliciting funds for and distributing scholarship awards for local students receiving the Father Jack Gentleman Memorial Scholarships. It has organized coat drives, sock drives and food drives to benefit those in need in this extraordinary COVID-19 pandemic year. In October it extended hands for the iconic Tootsie Roll can drive benefiting special needs individuals. It has aligned its membership to fundraise and advocate for Christians at risk in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world. A garden shed was built by Knights in Manchester by the Sea to support Christians in need of humane aid in refugee camps in Syria and Iraq. Cape Ann’s Open Door Food Pantry lauded Council 1232 for its ongoing food drive to benefit neighbors who need a helping hand. And first and foremost, members of Masconomo Council 1232 assist local parishes in Manchester by the Sea, Essex, Gloucester, Marblehead and Beverly as Eucharistic ministers, lectors, ushers, and hospital visitors. They also support faith formation programs and nurturing vocations and seminarians’ training.

To be eligible to qualify for the Star Council Award, a council must qualify for the national Father McGivney, Founder’s, and Columbian awards. “That is a very high bar to meet,” said Grand Knight Bill Busta.

Busta noted, “Our members include veterans, heads of families, students, retirees, businessmen and professionals from every walk of life. They are proud to be part of an organization dedicated to service and charity. They are proud to follow the lead of its founder Father Michael McGivney, a young priest committed to service for those in need, a young priest committed to holiness. Next month that young priest will be beatified- the penultimate step toward sainthood. Few men belong to organizations founded by those who aspire to be saints.”

For more information about Masconomo Council 1232 Knights of Columbus is available on the group’s website, www.kofcmasconomo1232.org

Tootsie Roll Drive

Masconomo Council 1232 Knights of Columbus Annual Campaign for People with Intellectual Disabilities Set for Columbus Day Weekend October 10th.

On Saturday October 10th brother knights of Masconomo Council 1232 Knights of Columbus will spread throughout Manchester by-the Sea, Essex, and Hamilton for the Order’s Campaign for People with Intellectual Disabilities commonly known as “the Tootsie Roll Drive”. Tootsie Rolls will be exchanged in thanks for cash donations placed in canisters held by Knights.

Between the hours of 9:00 am and 2:00 pm, Knights will solicit donations at convenient locations throughout the area including Crosby’s Market, Cape Ann Savings Bank, U.S. Post Office, Dunkin Donuts and Santander Bank among others.

Grand Knight Bill Busta noted, “Since 1970 the “Tootsie Roll drive” has collected and the Knights of Columbus has nationally distributed millions of dollars in support of people with intellectual disabilities. Most of these funds have been focused toward children and Special Olympics. The cause touches all communities; the need grows enormously. Year after year Manchester residents and shoppers from throughout the area have dug deep into their pockets and given generously to this cause. Locally a portion of those funds collected have purchased specialized software, prosthetics and assistance required by area children to improve their sight, hearing and mobility. We thank contributors in advance of the drive and wish them an enjoyable fall.”

Beatification of Father McGivney

Beatification of Father McGivney to take place Oct. 31 in Hartford, Conn.

The beatification ceremony for Father Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, will be celebrated Oct. 31, 2020, in the Archdiocese of Hartford, Conn. Father McGivney is pictured in an undated portrait. On May 27 the Vatican announced Pope Francis had approved a miracle attributed to the priest’s intercession, clearing the way for his beatification. (CNS file)

HARTFORD, Conn. — Fr. Michael McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus, will be beatified during a special Mass Oct. 31 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford.

On May 27, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis, who met with the board of directors of the Knights of Columbus in February, had signed the decree recognizing a miracle through the intercession of McGivney, clearing the way for his beatification. Once he is beatified, he will be given the title “Blessed.”

Details of the beatification ceremony have not been released, including what COVID-19 restrictions might still be in place in the fall, such as limiting congregation size, social distancing and the wearing of facial coverings. The Vatican Congregation for Saints’ Causes announced the date for the beatification July 20.

The miracle recognized by the Vatican occurred in 2015 and involved an U.S. baby, still in utero, with a life-threatening condition that, under most circumstances, could have led to an abortion.

That baby, Mikey Schachle, is now 5. His parents, Dan and Michelle Schachle, of Dickson, Tennessee, prayed to McGivney to intercede with God to save their son, still in his mother’s womb, who was given no hope of surviving a life-threatening case of fetal hydrops.

McGivney (1852-1890), the son of Irish immigrants, was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, and was ordained a priest in 1877 for what is now the Archdiocese of Hartford. He founded the Knights of Columbus at St. Mary’s Parish in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1882.

He originally started the Knights as a service organization to help widows and orphans. At the time, McGivney was an assistant pastor at St. Mary’s Parish. He is buried in New Haven.

The fraternal order for Catholic men has become the largest lay Catholic organization in the world with 2 million members and sponsors a wide range of educational, charitable and religious activities.

McGivney, who will be the first American parish priest to be beatified and has long been a hero of working-class Catholics, can be viewed as a martyr of a pandemic. When he died of pneumonia complications at age 38 in 1890, it was during an outbreak of influenza known as the Russian flu in Thomaston, Connecticut. Some recent evidence, according to the Knights, indicates the outbreak may have been the result of a coronavirus.

“Father McGivney has inspired generations of Catholic men to roll up their sleeves and put their faith into action,” Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said. “He was decades ahead of his time in giving the laity an important role within the church. Today, his spirit continues to shape the extraordinary charitable work of Knights as they continue to serve those on the margins of society as he served widows and orphans in the 1880s.”

He added, “Father McGivney also remains an important role model for parish priests around the world and left us a transformative legacy of effective cooperation between the laity and clergy.”

After the announcement that the priest would be beatified, Anderson told Catholic News Service in an interview: “We’ve been praying for years for this to occur, and finally this day has arrived.”

The initial work on his sainthood cause began in 1982 on the Knights’ centenary. His cause was formally opened in Hartford in 1997, and he was given the title “servant of God.” In March 2008, the Catholic Church recognized the priest heroically lived the Christian virtues, so he was given the title “venerable.”

Generally, two miracles attributed to the candidate’s intercession are required for sainthood — one for beatification and the second for canonization.

Full Article

2020 Scholarships and Awards

Masconomo Council 1232 Knights of Columbus has awarded scholarships to these deserving seniors.

Christina Bullock, University of San Diego and College of Charleston

Madeline Carvalho, James Madison University

Benjamin Flood, University of Tampa

Sofia Gillespie, Boston College

Isabella Leonard , UMass Lowell

Mason Paccone, FSU or University of Miami

Cagney Pallazola, Providence College or Elon

Sophia Pallazola, Sacred Heart University

Max Ellwell, WPI

Alanna Fitzgerald, Umass Amherst or Umass Lowell

Elizabeth Athanas, Springfield College

Open Door annual awards breakfast

Fred and Valerie Johnson of Manchester by the Sea honored by the Open Door Food Pantry and receive the Helen Muise Award for outstanding volunteer service to benefit Open Door activities

Julie LaFontaine, executive director of the Open Door presented the awards and said, “Nothing would get done without the dedicated volunteers and staff members who are committed to nourishing our neighbors on Cape Ann. Volunteers like Fred and Valerie Johnson show up every day and get the job done. The Gloucester Food Pantry and Open Door is indebted to them for their service.”

The Johnsons are parishioners of Sacred Heart Church, Manchester by the Sea. Nearly two years ago Fred, a Fourth Degree knight and financial secretary of Masconomo Council 1232 Knights of Columbus Manchester by the Sea, proposed the Council coordinate an ongoing food drive at both Sacred Heart and St John the Evangelist, Essex to benefit the Open Door Food Pantry. As the drive’s catalyst, Fred Johnson has been the weekly collector of food at both churches headed for the Gloucester food pantry weigh-in. From its inception to the close of the third quarter, 2019, parishioners of Sacred Heart and Saint John have contributed more than 2, 224 lbs. of food. Beyond that food drive, Fred and Valerie Johnson are involved in numerous Open Door Food Pantry endeavors to improve the quality of life on Cape Ann.

On behalf of Council 1232 Knights of Columbus, Grand Knight Jeff Mastendino congratulated the Johnsons for the well deserved recognition of their dedication to community volunteer service.

Open Door Food Pantry once again expresses its thanks for the generosity of Sacred Heart- Saint John’s parishioners in their contribution of non-perishable food items for the food drive sponsored by the Knights of Columbus since the spring.

More than 591 pounds of food have been donated to date. That is most appreciated. Please keep giving and increase your donation if you are able. Summer is past; autumn is here. The harvest season is associated with plenty. For most this is a season of plenty. But for some of our neighbors on Cape Ann, this is a season of want. For those who are forced to stretch a dollar to its limits it is a time of hunger and need. Hunger does not take a holiday. The nutritional need for families is greater now than ever.

Remember to please help Open Door feed those who rely on the pantry for their “Daily Bread”. Fill our baskets to the brim with food desired by those who need it most. What kind of food? The kind of non-perishable items you would want–peanut butter, canned meats, fruits and vegetables, condiments, pasta, tuna, cereal, soups, cookies and crackers to name a few.

Because our giving is fast approaching the 1,000 pound threshold, our parishes will soon qualify for a cash reimbursement from the national headquarters of the Knights of Columbus as part of its Food for Families program to encourage future generosity. Thanks again for your giving spirit.

Please help pay it forward weekly. Drop food donations in the basket and your Knights will do the rest.

Thank you and God bless your caring.

Jeff Mastendino, Grand Knight

ALPHA begins at our parish this spring

The ALPHA Program will begin on Tuesday, February 25th at 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm. We will begin with a dinner, watch a video and then break into small discussion groups. Our ALPHA program will run for 10 weeks.

Bring your appetite, your questions and ask anything about life, faith and God. Come join us.

2019 Winter Coat Drive

The Masconomo Council 1232 Knights of Columbus, Manchester-by-the-Sea asks parishioners of Sacred Heart, Manchester- by the Sea and St. John, Essex, as well as all residents of Cape Ann, to donate new and slightly used coats, jackets, windbreakers and foul weather gear for men, women and children of all ages to be given to those in need through Catholic Charities.