St Andre Bessette Council #15829
From the moment of our founding in 1882, charity has been the first principal of the Knights of Columbus. We are men of faith and men of action.
During 2012, in addition to raising and donating more than $167.5 million to charitable needs and projects, Knights volunteered more than 70 million hours of their time to charitable causes.
We undertake these acts of charity because we see those in need through the eyes of faith. Moreover, in the Knights of Columbus, we approach these acts of charity together. Pope Benedict XVI calls this the “practice of love…as a community.”
Our charitable activities encompass an almost infinite variety of local, national and international projects. From international charitable partnerships with Special Olympics, the Global Wheelchair Mission and Habitat for Humanity to our own Food for Families and Coats for Kids projects and other purely local charities, the opportunity to work together with fellow Knights and their families is virtually endless.
Our council generally meets on the 3rd Monday of the month at 7pm in the Parish Center.
Anyone looking for more information should email: Knights.Council.email@example.com
Charity – Our Catholic faith teaches us to “Love thy neighbor as thyself”. Members of the Knights of Columbus show love for their neighbors by conducting food drives and donating the food to local soup kitchens and food pantries, by volunteering at Special Olympics, and by supporting, both spiritually and materially, mothers who choose life for their babies. Knights recognize that our mission, and our faith in God, compels us to action. There is no better way to experience love and compassion than by helping those in need, a call we answer every day.
Unity – None of us is as good as all of us. Members of the Knights of Columbus all know that, together, we can accomplish far more than any of us could individually. So we stick together & we support one another. That doesn’t mean that we always agree or that there is never a difference of opinion. It does mean that, as a Knight of Columbus, you can count on the support and encouragement of your brother Knights as you work to make life better in your parish and community.
Fraternity – The Venerable Michael J. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus, in large part, to provide assistance to the widows and children left behind when the family breadwinner died, often prematurely. The Order*s top-rated insurance program continues to do this today, as do individual Knights, who last year gave more than 10 million hours of their time to assist sick and/or disabled members and their families. In the Knights of Columbus, we watch out for and take care of one another.
Patriotism – Members of the Knights of Columbus, be they Americans, Canadians, Mexicans, Cubans, Filipinos, Poles, or Dominicans, are patriotic citizens. We are proud of our devotion to God and country, and believe in standing up for both. Whether it*s in public or private, the Knights remind the world that Catholics support their nations and are amongst the greatest citizens.
Recent Good Works of Council 15829
-Relocated (2) tabernacles.
-Held a corned beef & cabbage dinner.
-Held a Palm Sunday breakfast.
-Helped with the Annual Fish Fry.
-Installed the outside Stations of the Cross.
-Sponsored a Blackstone girl’s softball team.
-Sponsored a hole in the St. Paul’s golf tournament.
-Sponsored Seminarian Andres Araque.
-Donated funds the St. Paul’s POP fund.
-Donated funds to the Knight’s Global Wheel Chair Mission.
-Donated funds to the Knight’s Military Chaplains Fund.
-Donated funds to the Venture Crew for a Kevlar archery backdrop.
-Hosted the 2nd & 3rd Degree Ceremonies.
Officers for Fraternal Year 2016-2017
Grand Knight-David Buteau
Deputy Grand Knight-Gary Dowrey
Financial Secretary- Jeremy Labonte
Treasurer- Fred Stavinski
Inside Guard-Normand Guerard
Outside Guard-Daniel Gallen
Chaplin- Rev. Dennis Timothy O’Mara
Trustee 1 Year-Warren Boehling
Trustee 2 Year-Eric Matson
Trustee 3 Year-Jim Laren
Saint Andrew Andre Bessette, C.S.C.
9 August 1845 – 6 January 1937
When Alfred Bessette came to the Holy Cross Brothers in 1870, he carried with him a note from his pastor saying, “I am sending you a saint.” The Brothers found that difficult to believe. Chronic stomach pains had made it impossible for Alfred to hold a job very long and since he was a boy he had wandered from shop to shop, farm to farm, in his native Canada and in the United States, staying only until his employers found out how little work he could do. The Holy Cross Brothers were teachers and, at 25, Alfred still did not know how to read and write. It seemed as if Alfred approached the religious order out of desperation, not vocation.
Alfred was desperate, but he was also prayerful and deeply devoted to God and Saint Joseph. He may have had no place left to go, but he believed that was because this was the place he felt he should have been all along.
The Holy Cross Brothers took him into the novitiate but soon found out what others had learned — as hard as Alfred, now Brother Andre, wanted to work, he simply wasn’t strong enough. They asked him to leave the order, but Andre, out of desperation again, appealed to a visiting bishop who promised him that Andre would stay and take his vows.
After his vows, Brother Andre was sent to Notre Dame College in Montreal (a school for boy’s age seven to twelve) as a porter. There his responsibilities were to answer the door, to welcome guests, find the people they were visiting, wake up those in the school, and deliver mail. Brother Andre joked later, “At the end of my novitiate, my superiors showed me the door, and I stayed there for forty years.”
In 1904, he surprised the Archbishop of Montreal, by requesting permission to build a chapel to Saint Joseph on the mountain near the college. The Archbishop refused to go into debt and would only give permission for Brother Andre to build what he had money for. What money did Brother Andre have? Nickels he had collected as donations for Saint Joseph from haircuts he gave the boys. Nickels and dimes from a small dish he had kept in a picnic shelter on top of the mountain near a statue of St. Joseph with a sign “Donations for St. Joseph.” He had collected this change for years but he still had only a few hundred dollars. Who would start a chapel now with so little funding?
Andre took his few hundred dollars and built what he could … a small wood shelter only fifteen feet by eighteen feet. He kept collecting money and went back three years later to request more building. The wary Archbishop asked him, “Are you having visions of Saint Joseph telling you to build a church for him?”
Brother Andre reassured him. “I have only my great devotion to St. Joseph to guide me.”
The Archbishop granted him permission to keep building as long as he didn’t go into debt. He started by adding a roof so that all the people who were coming to hear Mass at the shrine wouldn’t have to stand out in the rain and the wind. Then came walls, heating, a paved road up the mountain, a shelter for pilgrims, and finally a place where Brother Andre and others could live and take care of the shrine — and the pilgrims who came – full-time. Through kindness, caring, and devotion, Brother Andre helped many souls experience healing and renewal on the mountaintop. There were even cases of physical healing. But for everything, Brother Andre thanked St. Joseph.
Despite financial troubles, Brother Andre never lost faith or devotion. He had started to build a basilica on the mountain but the Depression had interfered. At ninety-years old he told his co-workers to place a statue of St. Joseph in the unfinished, un-roofed basilica. He was so ill he had to be carried up the mountain to see the statue in its new home. Brother Andre died soon after on January 6, and didn’t live to see the work on the basilica completed. But in Brother Andre’s mind it never would be completed because he always saw more ways to express his devotion and to heal others. As long as he lived, the man who had trouble keeping work for himself, would never have stopped working for God.
On December 19, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI promulgated a decree recognizing a second miracle at Blessed Andre’s intercession and on October 17, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI formally declared sainthood for Blessed Andre.
Blessed Brother Andre, your devotion to Saint Joseph is an inspiration to us. You gave your life selflessly to bring the message of his life to others. Pray that we may learn from Saint Joseph, and from you, what it is like to care for Jesus and do his work in the world. Amen