Michigan Family of the Year 2016

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 06/14/2016 Under: Family (253 Hits)      

The 2015/16 Family of the Year honor is awarded to the Phil & Mary Berkemeier family of Queen of the Miraculous Medal Council #609 in Jackson. 

Phil and Mary while raising their nine children; Matthew, Elizabeth, Mary, Thomas, Juliana, Michael, James, Christi and Paul, had some Catholic family traditions which included; Sunday Mass as a family, Daily Mass as much as possible, many Masses in the home including extended family and friends with dinner afterwards.  Anytime a child was hurt physically, spiritually or emotionally they prayed an Our Father over them. When a child was conceived they appointed the God Parents early. They were asked to pray for the baby's development in the womb, good health for the baby, good health for the mother and a safe delivery. Mary & Phil prepared a list of people that needed prayers. During the delivery they used the list. When Mary had a contraction she offered the pain up for someone on the list.  They filled the home with Faith building pictures, cross's, and a kneeler in parent's bedroom as a reminder to turn to the Lord in Prayer.  Post-its notes, some Saturday evenings they would quietly write words of encouragement on a post-it note for each family member and put the note on their head board.  Joke Night was Tuesday nights at the dinner table, this was established to bring humor into the home.  Pep up was once a month. Everyone's name was put in a bowl. A name was drawn each night at the dinner table. If your name was drawn they would go around the table and each person would give a compliment to that person. Some of the best pep ups were when grandma and grandpa were over and they experienced the encouragement. Foot rub night on Sunday nights: "Who touched Jesus in a loving way and how?" Scripture came alive in their home. Each child received a foot rub, on the right foot was prayed for what the child's wants. On the Left foot was prayed for the child's future. When their children went on their Honeymoon they were asked to bring back a gift of a crucifix. In their search they would end up buying a cross for their home as well as Phil and Mary’s. The Symbolic idea is to get them to think of Jesus on their honeymoon. Mary & Phil felt these ideas are inspirations from our loving God.

Phil and Mary’s involvement in their church and community is quite impressive; They serve as Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharistic and Lectors and are on the welcoming committee as well as Conformation sponsors and sing in the Choir.  Phil has served on the Education & Social Justice committees, and the Pastoral commission. He also has been a Eucharistic sponsor.  As a Knight Phil has spearheaded many projects in the 30 years as a member.  He is a PGK and has served as chairman of the both the Right to Life Activities and Family Activities committees. He is a successful recruiter and has participated in most of the council’s projects and has also been recognized as Knight and Family of the Month several times.  Mary and Phil provided 12 years of Catholic education to all 9 of their children and are active in sponsoring and chaperoning youth events and trips.  Phil and Mary have been active in the community serving on the Jackson Right to Life for over 30 years. Phil is also a 36-year member of the Kiwanis Club and served in many capacities on committees in the city and county of Jackson as well as a continuing involvement with the Boy Scouts.  Recently Phil has been appointed to the board of directors of Good Shepard Catholic radio.  Mary while teaching was very involved in and led many programs from room mother to varsity basketball coach to assistant band director. She still found time to volunteer for 40 Days for Life, National Story Telling League, and several other community programs including the American Red Cross as well as helping with council activities.

All the Berkemeier children have been involved since childhood in extracurricular activities from sports to school service programs and helping at Knights of Columbus events.  From elementary school though high school and college and now into adulthood service has been a part of their lives.  Naming all the activities and programs they have and are participating in would take more time than we have here. As Grand Knight Frank Page of council 609 puts it; “Most great Catholic families have one or two members that are giants in prayer, community and Church service, but this family has eleven! The family is not only deserving the award but also can be used as a model to measure the award in the future”.

Congratulations to the entire Berkemeier family.

Flint Water Crisis Needs for the City

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 06/11/2016 Under: All Articles (154 Hits)      

Flint water tower

Brother Knights and Ladies,

With residents of Flint still coping with traces of lead in their drinking water, Msgr. Dunigan Council 695 of Flint has offered to guide and coordinate efforts by Michigan Knights of Columbus councils to help alleviate the emergency.

Council 695, one of two K of C councils within city limits, has posted suggestions on its website, www.kofcflint.org on how councils and individuals can best help with the situation that has plagued the city since April 2014.

 “If councils want to help, we can direct them on how best they can do that,” said Grand Knight Matthew George. “We can also assist them carry out their plans.”

The council already has helped St. John’s of Hartland Council 8169 deliver some 9,200 bottles of water to St. Luke’s N.E.W. Life Center, a location run by two Catholic nuns in an impoverished neighborhood in Flint. Council 8169 members trucked three pallets containing 384 cases of 10-ounce bottles of water to the center on a Saturday in March.

 Since the Flint crisis became national news, councils in Ohio, Idaho, West Virginia and Georgia have inquired of Council 695 on how they can help. Other Michigan councils have joined the effort through other relief agencies.

Council 695 has posted suggestions on its website and listed several Catholic churches and entities involved and affected by the Flint water crisis. The council noted that the water supply appears to be handled adequately by both public and non-profit agencies but major expenses remain in replacing corroded pipes, drinking fountains, plumbing fixtures, boiler repairs, food for lead interaction and baby formula premixed for no water additives, as well as other needs.

The website has names of Catholic churches and Catholic groups councils and individuals can reach directly, and some of their pressing needs. Council 695 also can be reached directly for guidance. Telephone (810) 235-6333 and leave a message or write: Msgr. Dunigan Council 695, 2415 Bagley St., Flint, MI 48504.

Check out the Council 695 website for details. Thank you.

Submitted by George Jaksa, Council 695 recorder and public relations director.

Sounds of Abortion

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 06/06/2016 Under: Culture of Life (210 Hits)      

During the general session on Friday morning of our Michigan State convention, several people asked me about the bb gun sounds of abortion that was played by Brian Cusack of Michigan RTL.  I have found that and a couple others while researching.

Here are some links, all from You Tube, which include Sounds of Abortion and two others that I found interesting.

Sounds of Abortion is the one which was played at the convention.

Glasses being filled are tall glasses, possibly vases used for flowers, being filled with objects similar to bb's.

Oregon Right to Life put together a video beginning with the year 1973 showing the map of the U.S.  As the numbers grow, states disappear.

 Sounds of Abortion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdTjLZPnvKM

 Glasses being filled: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ektNpslOUPM

 Oregon RTL Visualization:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrAaqG2DNM8

 Paul Thorn State Culture of Life Director

 Michigan State Council Knights of Columbus

Traveling Icon Schedule

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 04/18/2016 Under: Church (323 Hits)      

The edited Traveling Icon Schedule is available at

Resources/District forms linked here.

An info letter from State Chruch Director Tom Schmidt is here; Icon info letter.

Also a copy of the Icon prayer booklet is available.


Any questions please call Tom 616-450-4440


Michigan State Council Tiger Day 2016

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 04/22/2016 Under: All Articles (326 Hits)      


SAT, JULY 16, 16 – 7:05 PM

The 2016 Knights of Columbus Tiger Day will be held on Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 7:05 PM against the World Champions Kansas City Royals. As it has been done over the past years all ticket requests must be sent to the State Director of Special Projects and Athletics, Mark Gaworecki. This year once again we have tickets in the baseline box seat area along the right field line and in the mezzanine area. The Lower Baseline Box Seats are $48.00 each and the Mezzanine Seats are $30.00 each. We currently have 200 box seats and 200 mezzanine seats for sale to our Brother Knights for this Saturday night game. This is considered a premium game so the cost of the tickets are above the normal day ticket prices. At this time there are fireworks scheduled for after the ballgame and it is J.D. Martinez Bobble-head Night as well, this is subject to change. The cost of the ticket is what the Knights pay for them from the Tigers.

All ticket requests must include payment in full. Orders,

which do not include payment, will not be processed.

Make all checks payable to the MICHIGAN STATE COUNCIL  Tiger Day on the memo line.

What a great way to spend a warm July weekend evening with your Brother Knights and the 2016 Detroit Tigers. So don’t delay and get your ticket requests in early. You don’t want to be left out. ALL TICKET REQUESTS MUST BE RECEIVED NO LATER THAN FRI, JUNE 17, 16.

 Order ticket on this form: KC Tiger Day tics order form a 

 If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact me

 Mark F. Gaworecki – State Director of Special Projects & Athletics 313-388-6912.



2016 Diocesan Meeting Information

Published by: Dane Jurkovic On: 06/09/2016 Under: All Articles (528 Hits)      



Registration and Meal 6 p.m., Meeting Starts at 7 p.m.

St. Isidore Council 7200, 18201 23 Mile Road, Macomb, MI 48042 


SAGINAW: July 7, Thursday

Registration and Meal 6 p.m., Meeting Starts at 7 p.m.

Fr. Van Rooy Council 2740, 1021 Woodside Ave., Essexville, MI 48732 



St. Ignace: July 8, Friday

Registration and Meal 6 p.m., Meeting Starts at 7 p.m.

St. Ignace Council 2173, St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church, 120 Church St., St. Ignace, MI 49781

Escanaba: July 9, Saturday

Registration and Lunch 12 noon, Meeting Starts at 1 p.m.

St. Elizabeth Anne Seton Council 13863 and Escanaba Council 640, St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 1829 9th Avenue North MI 49829 

Ewen: July 9, Saturday

Registration and Lunch 12 noon, Meeting Starts at 1 p.m.

L'Anse Council 2934, Meeting Location: Sacred Heart Church, 201 S. Birch Street, Ewen, MI 


GAYLORD: July 10, Sunday

Registration and Lunch 10:30 a.m., Meeting Starts at 11:00 a.m.

St. Mary Council Hall, 2763 Wilkinson Road, Gaylord, MI 49735 


DETROIT: July 13, Wednesday

Registration and Meal 6 p.m., Meeting Starts at 7 p.m.

Robert Jones Council 3078, 25160 Outer Dr., Lincoln Park, MI 48146 


KALAMAZOO: July 14, Thursday

Registration and Meal 6 p.m., Meeting Starts at 7 p.m.

Paw Paw Council 3798, 32373 Red Arrow Hwy., Paw Paw, MI 49079 


GRAND RAPIDS: July 15, Friday

Registration and Meal 6 p.m., Meeting Starts at 7 p.m.

St. Charles Council 2084, 505 S. Lafayette St., Greenville, MI 48838 


LANSING: July 18, Monday

Registration and Meal 6 p.m. Meeting Starts at 7:00 p.m.

Fowlerville Council 8605 855 E. Grand River Ave. Fowlerville, MI 48835

2016 Council Officer Training

Published by: Dane Jurkovic On: 04/25/2016 Under: All Articles (411 Hits)      

Planning is well underway for Council Officer Training in dioceses across Michigan. The purpose of training is to better prepare current and future Knights of Columbus officers and directors for responsibilities in leadership positions. All council members are encouraged to attend. The Diocesan Program Directors have secured locations and dates for training along with qualified presenters. Classes are planned for Grand Knights, Financial Secretary, Program Directors, Membership Directors (includes instruction on implementing the retention process), Advocate, Treasurer / Trustee, and Warden/Guard positions. The Financial Secretary training format will be targeted to both new and advance use with time for questions and answers. In addition, the Grand Knight training will contain about a half hour of Member Management. The training materials, manuals and modules are included on the Michigan State Council website at www.mikofc.org available to all members.

The cost of the training is only $5 per attendee. The low cost should enable councils to send several members to training. Since scheduled training may conflict with council meeting and activity dates, members may attend training outside their diocese if it is more convenient. Councils should notify the appropriate Diocesan Program Director at least a week prior to training, although members may register the day of training. Advance notice of councils attending will help to plan for food, materials, etc. Councils may pre-register and send checks made out to the Michigan State Council to Diocesan Program Directors or pay when the members attend the training. The schedule for training in all dioceses is listed.

The complete list of schedule sessions per Diocese may be found under Resources/Mauals and Documentation/Officers Training Manuals or click; Council Officers Training Schedule 2016.

Fortnight for Freedom

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 04/30/2016 Under: Community (235 Hits)      

From June 21 to July 4, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will host its annual Fortnight for Freedom under the theme “Witnesses to Freedom.”  In support of this theme, the USCCB will highlight 14 men and women around the world who bear witness to authentic freedom in Christ.

As faithful Catholic American citizens, we encourage your council to work with your pastors to be fully engaged in this special celebration. For suggestions on simple activities, please visit the USCCB’s Fortnight for Freedom website. Additionally, we encourage you to share the USCCB-produced 10-minute video on the importance of religious liberty that is available on the website. This could be done at a council meeting or as part of a larger parish or community celebration of the fortnight.

You can also order Knights of Columbus religious freedom signs (13”x 20”) for use at any rallies or marches for religious freedom sponsored by your council or held in your area. The signs say “Respect Religious Freedom” (#10041) and “Defend the First Amendment” (#10042).  Order online at Knights Gear or send a Supply Requisition (Form #1) by mail or fax (1-800-266-6340) to the Supply Department. The cost is $10 per 100 signs, which includes shipping and handling.

Knights of Columbus        religious freedom sign
1 Columbus Plaza
New Haven, CT 06510
(203) 752-4000


April Columbian Available Online

Published by: Dane Jurkovic On: 04/04/2016 Under: All Articles (352 Hits)      

The January issue of the Michigan Columbian is made available for viewing in two formats below. A Flipbook version that needs no plugin to read or a PDF version that needs a plugin. We suggest using Foxit PDF reader over Adobe reader.

-- Michigan Columbian April 2016 (Flipbook) --

-- Michigan Columbian April 2016 (PDF) --

Church Program Winner

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 06/18/2016 Under: Church (222 Hits)      

Our Lady of Fatima Parish was established in 1954 by Bishop Albers with Fr. Conklin installed as the first Pastor.  At that time the Parish thought it to be more important to build a School with a temporary Church attached.  The School and temporary Church facilities opened in 1960 for the growing Parish family.  In 1975 Fr. Dunne became the Pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish.  One morning in 2000 Fr. Dunne had a vision of a new beautiful Church and grand community hall connecting it to the school.  Fr. Dunne began to work with his Knights to put his vision on paper and in 2004 Bishop Mengeling approved the concept and the building of the new Church.  Moving forward the Parish Family was faced with the need to raise the estimated 2.3 million dollars for the project.  Rising to the challenge Bishop Zaleski Council 6687 rallied to the parish and went to work.

This parish based Council started to raise funds and organized to help with the building project.  Grand Knight Keith Smith volunteered as the General Contractor for the Project.  Many council members are journeymen in the building trades and donated time and materials for the construction.  Most of the painting in the Church and Father Dunne Hall was completed by the Knights.  Brother Knights also provided two special additions to the church:  the Crucifix above the Altar was a council project providing the concept, local materials, design, and construction; and the Stations of the Cross were crafted by a Brother Knight. 

After crossing many bumps, hurdles, and a couple of mountains, on June 24, 2012 Bishop Boyea opened the Doors of our new Church and offered the first Mass.  The project was truly completed in August of 2015 when Bishop Boyea visited Our Lady of Fatima to dedicate the new pipe organ, fully completing Father Dunne's dream. The final cost for this project was approximately $3,500,000.00.  The efforts of the Knights of Bishop Zaleski Council 6687 contributed over $1,000,000.00 and well over 90,000 man hours in labor for this very important Church project.