Knights and their families gathered to dedicated a memorial cross to deceased Knights of Columbus at St. James the Apostle Catholic Church.
SHEILA REMOLAR PHOTO
Deceased Knights remembered
with a cross
at Fremont's St. James
Brother Knights from different Councils, Assemblies, Chapter Officers, District Deputies, Grand Knights, Council Officers, Columbian Squires and their families gathered April 14 at St. James the Apostle Catholic Church in Fremont. After a memorial Mass celebrated by Rev. Antony Vazhappilly, the assembly gathered at the grotto for the dedication of The Memorial Cross, also known as the Victory Cross, to the deceased brother Knights of Columbus in honor of their lives, contributions and dedication to Christian service.
The Mass started with a beautiful rendition of the entrance hymn "Onward, Christian Soldiers," by the God Our Father Choir. The Color Corps marched gallantly to the song as they processed inside the church. It was a solemn celebration in memory of the deceased brother Knights and in honor of their families. The Gospel reading, along with Father Vazhappilly's homily delivered a powerful message on the Beatitudes and how they affect a person's attitude toward God's call to Christian service. The Mass concluded with another beautiful hymn by the God Our Father Choir called "Ode to St. James," composed by Father Vazhappilly himself with music arranged by Ledina Rhone.
The assembly gathered at the grotto for the Knights of Columbus Council 14541 Memorial Cross Dedication. Grand Knight Bob Tierney welcomed everyone to St. James Parish and facilitated the proceedings. Chapter President Joseph Narvaez and Chapter Vice President TW Starkweather were acknowledged for gracing the memorial Mass and ceremony, as well as the fourth degree assemblies of Eugenio Pacelli of Hayward, San Lorenzo Ruiz of Union City and John G. Littlefield of Fremont. Tierney also thanked the families and friends of the Knights, including the parishioners of St. James, for a well-attended event. Tierney shared how a small group of Knights took Father Vazhappily's idea of building a memorial cross from concept to reality. They built the cross and concrete base from scratch. The project culminated with the installation of the memorial plaques provided by Father Vazhappilly.
The Memorial Cross, was truly a labor of love and now stands as a powerful reminder of the Brother Knights and their legacy of service and dedication. Such was the case with the late Brother Donald Mortensen who was a third degree Knight and charter member of Council 14541. He died in March 2010. He was known for his enthusiasm for the Knights and his council. Even at the time of his illness, he participated with the brothers at their BBQ booth during the parish festival. The joy of working with his brother Knights was seen through his big smile. His name is found on the memorial plaque of the cross.
Color Corps Commander Noel Panlilio awarded Father Vazhappilly a resolution from the city of Union City.
The ceremony continued with the readings courtesy of the Columbian Squires, Nicholas Bontempo and Michael Rhone. After the readings, Father Vazhappilly blessed the Memorial Cross and the rest of the assembly.