RIDGELY — Caroline County Knights of Columbus loaded nearly a ton of food and supplies in pickup trucks, along with a check for $1,000 and $500 in gift cards, and on July 7 headed to Newark, Delaware.
The Knights are members of the St. Joan of Arc Council #12054 from St. Benedict/St. Elizabeth Parish in Ridgely and Denton, Md. They delivered the goods to the Little Sisters of the Poor at the Jeanne Jugan Residence on Salem Church Road in Newark, Delaware.
“The council asked our parish to participate, and we collected items after all masses for two weekends in June,” Past Grand Knight Dan Tuel said. “The items were on a list of goods compiled by the sisters.”
Tuel called the collection a “huge success.”
The council has led the food and supplies drive for the past five years, including during the pandemic. The supplies help provide for the needs of the sisters as they care for the elderly.
The Knights sorted and boxed the items in the parish hall in Ridgely, where they were blessed by Pastor Father Christopher Coffiey.
“I think it’s absolutely wonderful because it shows the values of our parish, the values of our Knights of Columbus and our support to the Little Sisters of the Poor,” Father Coffiey said. “Not only do they minister and take care of the poor of our diocese, they’ve also taken care of a lot of our priests, specifically (the late) Father Hilary Rodgers, who served this parish for a long time. I think a lot of our parishioners still have an attachment to him and realize the good care that the Sisters provided for him.”
Tuel, along with his wife Marlinda, and Knight Mike Campbell delivered the donations to Newark.
“Upon our arrival at the residence, we were greeted with huge smiles by several sisters and staff workers,” Tuel said. Assisting with unloading the items were Mother Mary Michael; Sister Cecile, director of operations; Sister Janet; and Susan Strawbridge, director of development.
The Sisters “are very grateful for what the what the Knights did,” Mother Mary Michael said. “They have been very good to us.”
“The Little Sisters of the Poor have had a special place in the hearts of our Knights council and our parish as well,” Tuel said.
Parishioner Amanda Krow is now in her novitiate with the Little Sisters of the Poor. “The St. Joan of Arc Council supports her financially as she progresses through her vocation calling,” he said.
Recently, the Maryland State Council of the Knights of Columbus recognized the St. Joan of Arc Knights as a “double star” local council, Grand Knight Tom Lough announced.
“That means we achieved 216% of our goal for the year,” Lough said.
“We have worked very hard this year by helping our parish in many ways, such as completing a beautiful outside altar at our Holy Cross Cemetery, hosting many Super Sunday Breakfasts and Friday Fellowship Dinners, and providing support for various charity causes like Choices Pregnancy Center, support for the refugees of Ukraine, and support and encouragement for the seminarians we sponsor,” Lough stated in the Aug. 7 parish bulletin.
“Our parish is very fortunate to have people and volunteers who support us,” Lough stated. “Our council works in many areas which all contributed to us winning the Star Council award. It is the highest honor our council can receive by doing the things we do. We call this Faith in Action. It is awarded based on inviting good Catholic men to join us, who also participate in our charity work. We give back because we care, and one of our highest duties is helping those in need.”