Each year, the Knights of Columbus recognize and thank several members of the parish for their service to St. Sebastian and the Greater Akron Catholic community. Four individuals and one family were singled-out for awards at the Knights’ monthly meeting on May 1st.
Kent State University, freshman Julianna Blischak was named the Knights’ “Youth of the Year.” On the Dean’s List at Kent, she is a mass lector and participated in Project Hope and a Honduras mission trip while at Archbishop Hoban. She is also active in community theater at the Weathervane Playhouse.
The Dave Hershberger/Catherine Paparella family was recognized as the Knights’ “Family of the Year.” Dave is a mass coordinator and, during the week, he and his landscaping company maintain the parish lawns, walks and parking lots. He is a former KofC chancellor and one of the council’s current membership directors. Dave and Catherine serve as Eucharistic ministers and their two girls, Marina and Vitadee, are servers. Katherine periodically leads a class of schoolchildren during the Liturgy of the Word, and recently co-chaired the International Festival, the Sanctuary Society’s major fundraising event.
Patricia Clark-Varga was named “Lady of the Year” and her husband Ted was named “Volunteer of the Year.” Pat has maintained the parish bookrack for 15 years and both are extremely active in the pro-life effort with Right to Life of Northeastern Ohio. Ted is a charter member of Council 14255 and has served as an officer every year since the council was founded. He has held the positions of Financial Secretary, Chancellor, Insurance Agent, Trustee, and Director of our Pro-Life committee. Ted is regular lector, and he is an adult server at benediction twice a month. Ted was one of the first council members to attain the Fourth Degree of the Order.
Trevor Bills was named “Knight of the Year.” He is currently the council’s Deputy Grand Knight and is the one of the first to volunteer for any council project. He has organized most of the council’s recent social activities, led the council’s community flowerscape project at the Mull Ave. traffic circle for the past three years, and is a member of the board of trustees for Akron Council Charities, the council’s non-profit foundation.
The Knights of Columbus Council 14255 will have its annual election of officers at its regular meeting this week. All members are urged to attend. As always, any member in good standing is eligible to run for any office.
Regular monthly meetings of the Knights are on the first Monday of each month at 7:30pm in the lower level of Forest Lodge. If you were a member of another council and wish to join the St. Sebastian council, stop by and ask how you can transfer or re-activate your membership.
Akron, Ohio - April 4, 2013 – Stark & Knoll Attorney Orville L. Reed, III is the 2013 recipient of the Sir Thomas More Award. Given in honor of the patron saint of lawyers, the award is presented by the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland and is part of the Akron Bar Association’s Law Week Celebration.
St. Sebastian Council # 14255 and the Monsignor O’Keefe Assembly hosted a Rose Mass at St. Sebastian Church, Akron, Ohio on the evening of March 22, 2013. The Rose Mass, which honors and offers prayers for persons who work in any capacity in the field of health care, was presided over by the Most Reverend George V. Murry, Bishop of the Diocese of Youngstown. He was assisted by Father John Valencheck and Father Matthew Pfeiffer of St. Sebastian Parish, as well as two deacons. Approximately 130 persons were in attendance, including the St. Sebastian Parish Choir and a Fourth Degree turn-out by the Monsignor O’Keefe Assembly.
At the conclusion of Mass, the Knights presented the Dr. Carl E. Krill Award, which is named for a St. Sebastian Parish physician who practiced medicine in Akron for over 60 years, who discovered the link between childhood tonsillectomies and poliomyelitis in the pre-polio vaccine era and who passed away in 2005 at the age of 101. The 2013 honoree was Dr. Joseph A. Congeni, M.D., who is the Medical Director of the Sports Medicine Center at Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron.
Dr. Congeni has numerous professional and volunteer accomplishments in the field of protecting and assisting youth who engage in athletic endeavors. For over 20 years, Dr. Congeni has been a leader in developing neurocognitive tests which are useful in diagnosing concussions suffered by athletes and in determining when concussion symptoms have dissipated, allowing the athletes to return to play. He was one of 12 physicians nationwide who signed an American Academy of Pediatrics Policy statement designed to heighten early awareness of concussion symptoms and their treatment. For 15 years, Dr. Congeni was part of a Joint Advisory Committee of the Ohio High School Athletic Association, which issued strong concussion guidelines in 2010. Most recently, Dr. Congeni testified in support of Ohio House Bill 143, which extends concussion recognition and return-to-play procedures to all youth athletes in Ohio. This legislation, signed by Governor John Kasich, becomes law in Ohio effective on April 26, 2013.
In February 2013, Dr. Congeni was the primary author of an American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Sports Medicine policy statement recommending practices to avoid arm and growth plate injuries for youth baseball and softball pitchers.
In addition, for 25 years, Dr. Congeni has been the volunteer sports physician at Archbishop Hoban High School in Akron, dealing with musculo-skeletal injuries, head injuries and return-to-play issues. He has been a volunteer medical advisor to the Akron-area CYO and has coached CYO athletics for 17 years.
After the Rose Mass, the Knights hosted an hour-long reception for Dr. Congeni and all other attendees.
Council # 14255 is honoring Father Pfeiffer and his upcoming reassignment to another parish by conducting a raffle to help fund the Deacon Terry Peacock Scholarships given annually to two students entering ninth grade at local Catholic high schools and annual stipends provided to St. Sebastian parishioners attending St. Mary’s Seminary to become priests. For a donation of $10, one may blindly draw the name of one parish in the Diocese of Cleveland. If Father Pfeiffer is reassigned to that parish, the holder of that ticket wins a $250 cash prize. Tickets are being sold after Masses during Lent or by contacting Past Grand Knight Bernard Smith at 330-864-5425.
Dads: Have a child in grades K-3?
Moms: Isn't it time for him to get involved?
Are you a young father looking for a way to invest your time in your child’s future? Consider becoming a member of the Knights of Columbus.
In the last few weeks alone, the Knights have sponsored a kids’ free throw competition, a high school scholarship contest, their annual Pro-Life essay contest, and their fantastic President’s Day family bowling event at Riviera Lanes.
There’s a lot more to do – not only for our kids, but for our parish and community, as well. But the Knights need you to help. Why not join us?
An informational meeting for prospective members will be held at 6:30pm this Wednesday, March 6, in the lower level of Forest Lodge. Come see why the Knights are now the largest men’s organization in the parish and the largest Catholic lay organization in the world.