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Norwalk Knights Of Columbus Continue Tradition Of Helping Those In Need

St. Matthew Knights of Columbus and Catholic Daughters serve Thanksgiving Dinner to Homes for the Brave residents Photo Credit: Contributed
St. Matthew Knights at the annual Thanksgiving Mass at St. Matthew Church Photo Credit: Anna Mastrolillo
Knights of Columbus hand out coats at the annual Coats for Kids initiative in South Norwalk Photo Credit: Contributed
St. Matthew Knights build creche at St. Matthew Church Photo Credit: Scott Criscuolo
District Deputy of the Connecticut State Knights of Columbus George Ribellino helps Lazandro Jaurez, 10, find a new coat during the Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids program Friday, Nov. 24, at St. Joseph Church in South Norwalk. Photo Credit: Contributed
St. Matthew Knights of Columbus in procession for Thanksgiving Mass at St. Matthew Church Photo Credit: Anna Mastrolillo

NORWALK, Conn. -- Norwalk’s Knights of Columbus St. Matthew Council 14360 has many traditions, but helping veterans and children in need is at the top of the list.  

First, Council 14360 and students at All Saints Catholic School sponsored a donation drive for the veterans at the Homes for The Brave in Bridgeport in honor of Veterans Day. Homes for The Brave is a facility in Bridgeport that takes care of veterans who are working to get back to regular life after serving in the armed forces.  This was the fourth consecutive year that the council and school has run a drive for Homes for the Brave.  

The council celebrated Mass on Thanksgiving Day at St. Matthew Church in Norwalk.  Knights in full regalia as well as members of the council were in the procession along with other ministries and organization of the parish.  In addition, Council 14360 and Catholic Daughters of the America’s St. Matthew Court 2640 provided and delivered a full Thanksgiving meal for the residents of Homes for the Brave for the fifth consecutive year.  

In addition, Grand Knight Scott Criscuolo along with Past Grand Knight George Ribellino helped serve the meal along with Ribellino’s wife and Catholic Daughters member Heather and daughter Mia.  

“Our men and women both loved the food and we could not be more appreciative. What a blessing St. Matthew Council 14360 and Catholic Daughters Court 2640 have been to us. Your Thanksgiving visit and the meal you delivered was a wonderful blessing,” said Homes for the Brave CEO/Executive Director Vince Santilli.

For the third consecutive Black Friday, some members Knights of Columbus Council 14360 spent part of their day helping those with limited funds to stay warm and happy this winter along with Brother Knights from Norwalk Council 46 and New Canaan Council 2287 and Westport Assumption Council 3688.  In addition, K of C Bishop Fenwick 4th Assembly 100 joined forces to supply coats.  

Brothers handed out coats for children in need at St. Joseph Church in South Norwalk as part of the Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids initiative. The coats were purchased by the three K of C Councils with money generated from the council’s respective fundraising activities.

The Knights of Columbus launched the coats initiative, which is designed to keep kids warm in harsh winter climates, in 2009. With many families with young children struggling in tough economic times, there was a clear need to provide warm winter coats to children in their communities. And so, the Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids program was born.

Since the program’s inception, the Knights of Columbus in the United States and Canada has given away more than 370,000 coats to children in need. Approximately 2,000 local Knights of Columbus councils have participated in their communities around the world. 

“This is the third year that local Knights councils collaborated to give away coats. This year we gave over 140 coats. It is an honor to help children keep warm this winter,” said Ribellino.

Lastly, while some of the Brother Knights were handing out coats, the council split up to help Pastor Msgr. Walter Orlowski and the parish family of St. Matthew for the annual post-Thanksgiving church cleaning and the assembling of the creche for Advent and Christmas. Led by Criscuolo, the Knights helped clean the altar, vacuum and dust the church, clean windows and bathrooms and assembled the creche.  

"It's a great event to get together with Knights and parishioners to clean our beautiful church and get ready for the season of Advent," said Criscuolo.

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