State Deputy’s Quarterly Message
From the Desk of
Tom Burke (Wife: Cindy)
It has been a very busy month, the Councils and District Deputies worked very hard to complete and submit the Affiliate Member lists during February. I saw them transfer off your rosters and move into the West Virginia’s Affiliate Council #97047 roster, 400+ members. I would like to thank everyone for their efforts. Your updated roster will allow us and Supreme a new membership list for next year’s billings.
The Weston Council hosted our annual State Free-throw Championships with Community Chairman Joe King and Free-throw Chair Chris Todd and Jim Mehr assisting. We had a State Champion in every class.
The Martinsburg and Charleston Councils held events that closed off the Diocesan Year of St. Joseph and continued our Icon of St. Joseph’s journey around the State.
Many Councils participated in the Ukraine Relief Efforts with donations through their parishes or through the Supreme Charities matching fund. The Knights have donated nearly $9.5 million to the relief efforts. I received a letter from my counterpart the State Deputy of Ukraine, Youriy Maletskiy, thanking us for our assistance and reminding us of the WAR’s impact and that the needs will continue. I also saw where our Brother Knights from Poland, Ukraine Councils and other provided direct assistance. I would like to thank all who donated and participated in the Masses and the Novenas for the Consecration of Russian and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
I traveled to Wheeling, and before meeting with Bishop, I had lunch with new District Deputy Snyder at the St. Alphonsus Fish Fry, which was great. I was pleased to present our annual Catholic School donation ($11,000) to Bishop Brennan and the Diocesan Superintendent of Schools, for which they were very thankful.
The following Sunday, I traveled to St. Joseph’s in Martinsburg to observe our first Hispanic degree, which followed their Spanish Mass and then followed by a receptions for our new Brother Knights and their families. The degree team was led by Brother Miguel Pellegino with assistance from Hispanic Chairmen Heriberto “Ed” Rodrigues (WV) and Willians Castillo-Vallenas (MD), Supreme Representative Chris Gonzales, Deacon Luis and Fr. Thomas Gallagher. From the Mass and degree to the reception it was truly a beautiful and special event. We had three other potential members expressed interest and hopefully will join soon. March 29th was Founder’s Day, our 140th Anniversary, and JoAnn and I attended a dinner event hosted by the Clarksburg Council, which included a video presentation on Fr. McGivney and speaker on our founding principal of Charity.
March and April found many councils conducting or assisted with parish Fish Fries, collecting can-goods, “40 Cans for Lent” and/or raising funds/filling baby bottles with loose change for the needy. Seminarian Support raffle tickets are being sold at events across the State. With Good Friday and Easter approaching, Councils have held Holy Hours, family prayer nights and participated in Stations of the Cross.
Finally, a Council and Member Knight Reminder:
• Convention delegates, room reservations, Council ads and registration
• Degrees, recruit a new member at kofc.org/joinus free code McGivney2020
• Council reports and Safe Environment training.
• Council Officer nomination and election are to be conducted in May
• Continue to pray for the victims in Ukraine
JoAnn and I wish you and your families a HAPPY and BLESSED EASTER and if you are traveling, please stay safe.
, Deputy AWARDS are due to chairmen by MAY 1st
Tom Burke (Wife: Cindy)
Tom Burke (Wife: Cindy)
Tom Burke (Wife: Cindy)
The month of July closed with several events, and August was kicked off with the virtual 139th Supreme
Convention in Elkins. JoAnn and I hosted the delegates, as we with our other delegates IPSD Paul, Delegates
Mark Joseph and Sam Gross and their wives with State Chaplain Fr. Rice watched the two masses and three
business sessions on the big screen at the West Virginia Wood Tech Center. I hope you all took the time to
watch it on EWTN. The highlight of the opening session was Supreme Knight Kelly’s annual report in which
he thanked Carl Anderson, PSK for his twenty years of service. Our theme was “Called to Creative Courage”,
the Supreme Knights said it called us to duty as St. Joseph did for his family. He reported our accomplishments
and announced the new Icon program of St. Joseph and our support of the National Eucharistic Revival, which
starts next year. During the award session the major awards were announced for Faith, Family, Community and
Life, as was the membership award of which one was to West Virginia IPSD Paul Niedbalski for achieving
Circle of Honor. Our delegation gathered for the States Dinner at the Appalachian Grill on Wednesday evening
to close out the event.
We closed out July with a strong showing by our jurisdiction in membership; we need to keep up the good work.
The State’s first two virtual degree went very well, as it was held by the Clarksburg Council with four
candidates signing on and one taking it in person. I also joined the Charleston St. Michael the Archangel
Council for a spaghetti dinner and the Hurricane Council for Mass and the degree of Charity, Unity, and
Fraternity, where six new Knights joined their Council.
We held several pray services with the Silver Rose, Chairman Bob Hammer leading the efforts that included a
services with our newly created Hispanic roundtable in Martinsburg, at the Stone for the Unborn in Elkins and a
Saturday rosary in Buckhannon before Mass. In the July issue of Columbian, I was pleased to see the
Shepherdstown Council #13887’s support of Autism was highlighted, congratulations.
Brother Mike Arndt, Community Chairman, has sent out the invitation to participate in the Coat for Kids in a
buy one get one offer, and reminded Councils that the need to order their Boxes of Joy kits, which we heard of
at our spring Convention and Org-meeting.
As Charleston Council #12630 is getting ready for the State’s fifth food packing event, I couldn’t help but thinks
during the recent Sunday homily on the miracle of the loaves and fishes, how we packed nearly a quarter of
million meals for those in need through this program and will add to that total in October on the Day to Stop
World Hunger. Councils can assist with packing and/or by donating to reach their goal of 100,000 meals.
We have Delta Church drives in the planning stages around the State in late August and September. They will
provide us the opportunity to offer the gift of membership to all catholic men to serve their church, assist their
communities, grow in their faith, and protect their families. Reach out to your neighbors and fellow parishioners
to ask them about membership and JOIN US at kofc.org/joinus.
Congratulations go out to Brother Sir Knight Mike McDougle, PSD, as he was appointed Vice Supreme Master
of the Fr. Edward Sorin Province (WV, KY, IN), starting September 1st
. Let us remember our patriotic events,
which are carried out by our Assemblies throughout the State.
As we begin our new fraternal year, I would like you to join me in “Growing the Order” in West Virginia stronger, with all Councils active. I am blessed to have the honor to help lead us on this endeavor. I look back on my service as a Knight, beginning as a charter member of the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Council #7442 at Sacred Heart parish in Willow Springs, Missouri, and as your previous Membership Director, the Grand Knight of the Elkins Council and most recently as WV-State Secretary. I have been asked, why I joined the Knights, and I like many of you answer that question quickly saying to serve my parish and community, to grow in my faith with likeminded Catholic men and to protect my family. JoAnn and I look forward to the next two years to meet and visit with many of you and your Council members, to help strengthen our commitment to service and evangelization across the Mountain State. In growing, we need to recruit more men, we need our current Knights to become more active in programs and support of their Parish Priests and to grow individually in our faith and love of God and our fellow man.
The journey has begun as I was elected and then installed at St. Mary’s church in New Haven. The other State Officers will be installed at the organizational meeting in Elkins. Each District Deputy will install your new Council officers this summer. And then the fun begins with projects across the State, I hope to join you for some of your projects and invite you to join with some of the State-wide initiatives.
I hope to write a brief monthly letter “From the Desk of the State Deputy” to keep you informed on my journeys and the events and activities happening around the State. I will keep you informed on our progress in our strategic goals, membership, and upcoming opportunities.
Thus, let the journey begin:
• My State Pin asks St. Francis of Assisi to pray for us and make each of us “An instrument of Thy peace.”
• My first assignments were to appoint the District Deputies and State Chairmen, just as Councils do annually. I hope each of you reach-out to them for information on programs and growth.
• My first trip as WV-State Deputy-elect was to Supreme Officer in New Haven with JoAnn and our daughter-Cathy to be installed and share our vision of the year ahead with them.
• A second meeting in Elkins, the WV-State Organizational meeting for building our Leadership team, district deputy training and installing our State Officers.
• I hope to visit your Council, invite me to an event, I will try to make as many as I can, and keep you abreast of my journeys.
• This summer brings us the “Silver Rose Run” in later July, the feast of the patron Saint of Grandparents on July 29th and remembering Fr. Michael J. McGivney and Knights Family Week in early August.
After the Organization meeting, I hope your District Deputies and Councils schedule a District Meeting and I, along with them, will schedule several multi-district meetings to continue to encourage our growth to make West Virginia STRONG!
Tom Burke (Wife: Cindy)
Worthy Grand Knights.
I hope that your are sake. please continue your precautions.
This is what is new.
1}Although our state convention is cancelled on-site this May in Elkins, Supreme is REQUIRING a virtual convention. This online or telephone convention will be held on Saturday May 16th starting at 9 AM
2)Supreme is testing programs this week and will inform us of which one to use next week.
3)The meeting will be basic. It will cover State officer reports, State Officer elections, Supreme Convention delegates, and resolutions. Other items normally taking place will be held until ORG meeting in July.
4)I have asked 3 Past State Deputies to act as an oversite committee to insure our convention and postponements are correct. They are Scott Nale, Darrell Capral, and Dick Sepkowski
I will keep you updated as soon as I hear anything else
Paul Niedbalski State Deputy