Knights, Sisters Display A Mutual Admiration
by Ed Wilkinson
The Knights of Columbus and the Sisters of Life have a lot of common. One similarity is that they have a great admiration for each other since they are both committed to the goal of preserving the dignity of human life, especially the unborn.
To show how grateful the Knights are to the Sisters, the Archbishop Hughes Council in Dyker Heights recently invited them to dinner at its Brooklyn headquarters to show their appreciation for what the relatively new order does.
Grand Knight Camillo Casano said he got the idea after visiting the Sisters at their annual Christmas party for pregnant mothers in Manhattan.
“They do a beautiful job. We were touched to see the love and the warmth that they share every day,” said Casano. “We just felt we had to do something for them.”
Casano adds that the Sisters do everything with a smile and a seemingly boundless energy.
Seven Sisters of Life, who minister to young pregnant women in Manhattan, responded and arrived at the Council, where they were greeted by a Fourth Degree color guard who escorted the women into the dining area.
“We’re honored to be honored,” said Sister Magdalene Teresa. “The Knights have been a great blessing to us.”
A contemplative active order that was founded by Cardinal John J. O’Connor in 1991, the Sisters of Life reach out to women who are pregnant and need help and who might be considering an abortion.
“We connect them with material resources, we journey with them through their pregnancy, providing them with emotional and spiritual support,” said Sister Grace Dominic, who addressed the gathering.
“We see a facet of God in every child that comes into this world,” added Sister Magdalene.
The Sisters of Life, who started with a small band of five nuns, have expanded to 75 today. Mother Agnes Donovan, the first Mother Superior, continues to serve in that office today.
The Sisters of Life work in the Respect Life Apostolate of the Archdiocese of New York as well as conduct retreats and provide a respite house for pregnant women. Their motherhouse is located in Rockland County.
“What is needed more today than ever is the culture of life,” said Sister Monica Faustina. “People need hope, people need to be reminded of their own dignity as human beings.”
One highlight of the evening was a specially made buttercream cake, done in the blue and white colors of the order, with a photo of the Sisters emblazoned on it. (See photo here.)
Following a blessing by Father Guy Sbordone, chaplain at Archbishop Hughes Council, the Sisters, Knights and guests sat down to a five-course meal prepared by the Council’s resident chef, William Kelly, and his kitchen crew, Frank Marzigliano, Mike Signorelli and Paul Esposito.
For a few hours, the men of Archbishop Hughes and the women religious sat down with each other and told each how much they admire one another. Just another aspect of the culture of life!
The next day, the Sisters would be back to doing their daily ministry of accompanying women in need. The Knights would go back to their jobs and families.
They returned to their regular schedules with a better understanding of what each is all about.
Said Sister Grace, “We couldn’t do our work without the support from our friends, particularly the Knights of Columbus.”