News & Announcements

Coats for Kids Taken to St. Vincent de Paul - Oct 15, 2015

Our annual donation of boys and girls coats was delivered to the St.  Vincent de Paul office.  The coats (12 for boys and 12 for girls) were purchased from our charity funds and will be distributed to needy families later in the month.

Knights Support Sisters of Daughters of Mary, Mother of Mercy - Oct 14, 2015

A day before our October business meeting a member had heard that the refrigerator at the convent of the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Mercy, had failed and all their food was spoiled. He spoked with Sister Jacqueline Oranye, D.M.M.M. (pictured at right), who confirmed that they had no refrigerator and no food. The Santa Maria council unanimously authorized $600 to be used to help the Sisters. The next day he drove all over town until he found a nearly identical new 18 cubic foot refrigerator listed at $579.00 on sale for $448.00. Using his 10% discount as a retired Naval Officer reduced the price to $431.00. He then used the remaining money to buy $175.00 in gift cards for the Sisters to use in buying new groceries. The Sisters were absolutely delighted. Knights in action - this is why we joined!

Mass Mob VIII - Our Lady of Hungary Church - Oct 11, 2015



Council 553 once again organized the South Bend Mass Mob to bring interest, attendance and financial support to Our Lady of Hungary. Fr. Kevin Bauman was effusive in his praise for the Knights of Columbus, and the celebration continued with a pancake breakfast hosted by newly-formed Council 16203 (also attended by State Deputy Scott Cunningham and family). Organizing involved soliciting local media, contacting the parish priest for compilation of parish history and photos to be used on social media, social media "blitz" for several weeks prior to the event (stand-alone website, as well as Facebook and Twitter), and coordination with other organizations and K of C councils to promote attendance.

 photo fbsmall_zpsff3360dc.jpg  @SoBendMassMob

Michiana Down Syndrome Walk - Oct 10, 2015

Knights of Santa Maria Council 553 spent the Saturday morning grilling hamburgers and hot dogs for the regional event to educate and raise money for Down Syndrome awareness at Bethel College. Knights supplied the labor and manpower to cook for the large turnout, with other local businesses also providing labor to serve the food.

Bibles for Gibault - Oct 6, 2015

Upon return from the Gibault Envoy Conference on Sept. 12, Brother Knight Bob Ramesh spread the word about the urgent need for Bibles at Gibault. Through coordination with St. Anthony de Padua School, Bob was able to obtain a donation of 65 gently-used Bibles. Patty Steigelbauer, Associate Director of Development made the trip from Terre Haute to South Bend to pick up the wonderful donation.

Project Search Spaghetti Dinner - Oct 3, 2015

On October 3, 2015, Santa Maria Council 553 partnered with the Project Search Program in South Bend by donating the council hall, food and labor to prepare a spaghetti dinner for the organization to use as a fund raiser. Project Search is operated by South Bend Community Schools and the ADEC Program, and is designed to help high school students with physical and intellectual disabilities transition into meaningful employment with the assistance and while under the supervision of the Project Search organization. While the event was poorly attended with only 45 meals served, Project Search still raised over $400.

1st Degree at St. Pius Council - Sep 22, 2015

CONGRATULATIONS to new brother knights Tom Kramer (left) and Tony Miner, who took their Initiation Degree at St. Pius Fr. Baden Council 4263. Be sure to congratulation them and welcome them to our council when you see them!

30th Annual Envoy Conference, September 12, 2015

The theme for this Annual Conference was “Together we make a difference for the young people in our care.”  I had never heard of Gibault Children’s Services much less what transpires on this campus until I joined the Knights of Columbus.


The program started with registration from 9:30 to 10:30 am. We were welcomed by CEO Michele Madley and Thomas Gawlic PSD, Chairman, Board of Trustees.  Indiana State Council, State Deputy Scott Cunningham briefed us on our role as Knights of Columbus supporting Gibault Services monetarily.


After lunch a campus tour was offered, followed by three presentations. The first stop on the tour was a classroom building. I was met by three staff members and each one explained their role with the students. I was told that Gibault was not a detention home or a place for bad kids. Many of these children have witnessed intense domestic violence, have a care giver who is incarcerated and have unstable home environments.


Depending on the child’s condition there is a professional staff person with the background education and years of experience to work with this child. My meeting with these three staff members was an eye opener and I learned a lot about why there is a place like Gibault.


The first of the three presentations was led by two staff therapists who explained the program that is used to deal with these students. The ultimate goal of this program is a return to normal life.  Secondly, four students from their music program treated us to a guitar jam session.  Thirdly, eight students comprised a panel that was an open questioning session. The audience asked any type of question and most of the students were very willing to answer these questions. Some questions were very personal – why are you here, what are your goals, what do you like about Gibault. This panel discussion hit me very hard. We read about abuse but to hear the experience from these boys and girls is enough to bring tears to your eyes.


Upon leaving campus I was struck with one thought. These young men and women are our step-children. We, as Knights of Columbus, must make sure that we take care of them.  I felt proud to be a member of the Knights of Columbus.


- Bob Ramesh, Gibault Envoy

40 Days for Life - Weekly Hour of Prayer/Silent Witness - Sep thru Nov 2015

During the Fall 40 Days for Life (Sep 23 through Nov 1) members of Santa Maria Council 553 gathered at a scheduled time of 6 -7 pm on Wednesdays (and at other times as members could attend) to pray the Rosary and bear silent, peaceful witness at the Women’s Pavilion Abortuary.

TV Mass Support - Sep 2015

During the month of September, knights and their families of Council 553 provided refreshments to the televised Mass at WNDU-TV, arriving well in advance of the scheduled 10:30 am Mass and remaining afterwards to serve the attendees.

Pro-Life Open House - Aug 31, 2015

Santa Maria Council 553 conducted a Pro-Life Open House on August 31, 2015. Highlighting this event was Monica Kelsey, founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes, as well as a screening of the pro-life film "40". Also present at the event was representatives from St. Joseph County Right to Life and the organization A Haven for Healing - a ministry for post-abortive ounseling. Council 553 was especially pleased to have in attendance the Indiana K of C Culture of LIfe Director, Michael Velasco. Refreshments were served to roughly 48 people in attendance, and a generous free-will offering of $470 was raised for Safe Haven Baby Boxes.

Art Beat South Bend - Aug 29, 2015

Bad weather wasn't enough to put a damper on South Bend's Art Beat celebration in downtown South Bend.  Steve Sommers once again proved our pierogis were a hit, and we thank him and others who supported this effort for making it a success!

1st Degree - July 27, 2015

Congratulations to new council member Justin Hintz, who took his first degree on July 27 before our scheduled social meeting.  Please make sure to introduce yourself to Justin as you see him at meetings and council events.

2nd and 3rd Degree at Elkhart - July 26, 2015

CONGRATULATIONS to members of Santa Maria Council 553 who advanced in the 2nd and 3rd degrees at Council 1043 in Elkhart on Sunday, July 26th. Pictured are (l to r): District Deputy Rick Alexander, Lecturer Liam De Los Reyes, Thomas Golubski, Richard Berger, Jerome Kleber and Grand Knight Scott Gring.

Chris Godfrey's Football Camp - July 14, 2015

Santa Maria Knights again had the honor of supporting the Chris Godfrey Football Challenge, a one-day free football camp run by former NFL'er Chris Godfrey - President of Life Athletes and also a brother knight of Council 553. The football camp, in addition to teaching football fundamentals to kids in grades 3 thru 9, instills good sportsmanship and positive life choices. Council 553 participated by providing breakfast/snack bars to the 125 kids participating in the camp.

The Ability Experience Journey of Hope - July 25, 2015


For the eith year Council 553 has welcomed the young men of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity participating in the Ability Experience Journey of Hope (formerly Push America Journey of Hope) to a spaghetti dinner at the council hall.  This is a cross-country bicycle trek to raise money and awareness for people with disabilities.  Comprised of three 35-member teams from Pi Kappa Phi, these men average 75 miles a day from the west coast to Washington, D.C., stopping in communities along the way to participate in events - such as puppet shows, wheelchair basketball games and dances - aimed to educate people about the abilities of people with disabilities.  Council members prepared and served the dinner to the 35 cyclists and handlers during their stop-over in South Bend.

Mass Mob VII - St. Monica Church, Mishawaka - July 11, 2015


Mass Mob VII at St. Monica Church, Mishawaka on July 11, 2015 was an impressive showing.  According to Msgr. Bruce Piechocki, the Mass is usally attended by 120 parishioners.  This afternoon there were over 240!  Once again South Bend Mass Mob, under the organization of Santa Maria Council 553, brings attention and financial support to a Michiana parish.


 photo fbsmall_zpsff3360dc.jpg  @SoBendMassMob

Knights In Support at the St. Joseph County Fair - July 3-11, 2015

Once again Knights of Santa Maria Council 553 answered the call to support important organizations presenting at the St. Joseph County Fair.  Knights helped fill out the schedule for the Legion of Mary booth under the guidance of Brother Rick Becker, and Knights also participated in the St. Joseph County Right to Life booth.  Thanks to all who came out and gave their time!

First Degree Exemplification - June 8, 2015

The first meeting of the month was a little more than most bargained for as some last-minute scheduling allowed us to bring in four new members.  Participating in the First Degree were Jerry Kleber, Michael Kramer, Kristian Engelsen and Charles Ingram, Jr. 

SB150 - Celebrating The 150th Birthday of South Bend And Celebrating Over 100 Years Of Service To Our Community - May 23, 2015

During the weekend of May 23, 2015 - and including the three weekdays leading up the weekend, members of Santa Maria Council 553 organized, set up, prepared and sold pierogis and Polish sausage as part of the South Bend 150th Birthday "Taste of Michiana." Brother knights and ladies worked tirelessly to promote our enthusiasm as a fraternal organization and our long history in South Bend dating back to 1901. This was a landmark event both from a fundraising endeavor and a social one. Many members and wives participated who had never participated in council functions before.

Mass Mob VI - St. Adalbert Church - May 16, 2015


Graduations, parties and fantastic early summer weather didn't put a damper on Mass Mob VI as mobsters gathered for the 4:30 p.m. Saturday Vigil Mass at St. Adalbert Church on May 16, 2015.

Project Search Spaghetti Dinner - May 16, 2015

On May 16, 2015, Santa Maria Council 553 partnered with the Project Search Program in South Bend by making available the use of the council hall and preparing a spaghetti dinner for the organization to use as a fund raiser. Project Search is operated by South Bend Community Schools and the ADEC Program, and is designed to help high school students with physical and intellectual disabilities transition into meaningful employment with the assistance and while under the supervision of the Project Search organization. As a result of the joint effort, Project Search raised over $900, which they will use to purchase lunch box items in the near term, and fund future projects later in the year. TO show their appreciation, Project Search participants have volunteered to come to the council hall and clean the tables and chairs.

Campaign For The Intellectually Disabled - May 9, 2015

On May 9, 2015, Knights of Columbus Council 553 Santa Maria conducted their second Campaign for Intellectually Disabled Children at the South Bend Farmer's Market to raise money for Indiana Special Olympics. In five hours council members raised $910 for this wonderful program.

50th Annual Lourdes Ball - May 2, 2015

Great food, music and dancing were the product of months of hard work by chair-couple K.C. and Toni Pocius when the 50th Annual Lourdes Charity Ball was held on May 2, 2015 at Santa Maria Council 553.  A wonderful time was had by all while raising funds to help provide a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France for a needy soul.  

Redeemer Radio Shareathon - Apr. 28 - May 1, 2015

The week of April 28 through May 1 was an exciting time around the grounds of Little Flower Parish on Ironwood Dr.  South Bend's very own Redeemer Radio station was having it's first-ever Share-a-thon to raise money to support operations.  Several knights of Santa Maria Council 553 assisted with the endeavor by serving as greeters and bringing ice and refreshments to the new studio.

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson Receives Evangelium Vitae Award at University of Notre Dame - Apr. 26, 2015

At a ceremony held at the University of Notre Dame, Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson and the Knights of Columbus were honored with the annual Evangelium Vitae Medal, one of the nation’s most prestigious pro-life awards.


Click HERE for the full story on the Knights of Columbus Supreme website.


Click HERE  to see pictures from Supreme.  You may see some people you know!

Indiana Knights of Columbus State Convention - Apr. 25, 2015

Click HERE to hear Supreme Knight Carl Anderson's dinner remarks from the Indiana Knights of Columbus State Convention, April 25, 2015.

Indiana Knights of Columbus State Convention - Apr. 25, 2015

Click HERE to hear Indiana State Chaplain Fr. Ted Rothrock's dinner remarks from the Indiana Knights of Columbus State Convention, April 25, 2015.

Brother Rick Podrasky is named Special Olympics Ambassador by Santa Maria Council 553

Brother Rick Podrasky enthusiastically accepted the position of Special Olympics Ambassador to the Indiana Special Olympics.  With so much going on between the state councils and this wonderful organization, Council 553 needed the right man for the job, and Rick will be instrumental in promoting our involvement and support to the year-round mission of ISO.  

Knights Talk Mass Mob On Redeemer Radio - Apr. 17, 2015

SK Bob Zielinski hosted the weekly installment of KnightLife on Redeemer Radio, with Knights of Santa Maria Council 553 sharing insights, history and reflection on the amazing growth of the Mass Mob Movement in our diocese. 


CLICK HERE to listen to the recorded show.

Mass Mob V - St. Casimir Church - Apr. 11, 2015



Truly HE is risen, Alleluia!  Divine Mercy Sunday was the setting for Mass Mob V at St. Casimir Church on April 11, 2015.  Father Peter Pacini welcomed all in attendance and pointed out South Bend's "hidden gem" that is the beauty of St. Casimir Church.  A spaghetti dinner once more prepared by Steve Sommers and Council 553 was served in the adjacent school gymnasium, a historic treasure in itself.  


 photo fbsmall_zpsff3360dc.jpg  @SoBendMassMob

Council Blood Drive - Apr. 11, 2015

Our first council blood drive in recent history was a great success!  16 people came out to donate, and our drive was credited with 14 units of life-saving blood.  Thanks to all who came out and gave their time for this worthwhile cause.

2015 Lenten Fish Fry Series

Thanks to all who came out and supported the Santa Maria Council 553 Fish Frys during this past Lent.  Because of the team effort we were able to raise $284 for the Michiana Down Syndrome Family and Advocacy Support Group, $240 for the Forever Learning Institute, and net $1,883.20 for the works of our council.  Thanks again!

Mass Mob IV - St. Patrick Church - Mar. 15, 2015



What better way to celebrate the Feast of St. Patrick than to have Mass Mob IV at St. Patrick Church in South Bend on Sunday, March 15, 2015.  Once again Fr. Cyril was the celebrant, and he was very effusive in his praise for the Knights of Columbus in spearheading the Mass Mob movement.  All enjoyed coffee and donuts afterwards in the school gym.


CLICK HERE to see media coverage on


 photo fbsmall_zpsff3360dc.jpg  @SoBendMassMob

Ignite Teen Diocesan Retreat - Mar. 8, 2015

The Ignite Retreat at Marian High School is served Sunday morning breakfast by Santa Maria Council 553 Knights on March 8.  Mike Amodei, Rick Becker, Jim Frye, Patrick Hess, Luke Reilander, Aaron Seng, Steve Sommers, Bela Szalay, Andrew Weiss and Frank Verteramo helped to serve 230 teens!


Mass Mob III - St. Hedwig Church - Feb. 21, 2015



Fr. Cyril Fernandes was very excited and enthusiastic in his praise for the Knights of Columbus in organizing Mass Mob III at St. Hedwig Church on February 21, 2015.  The Saturday Vigil Mass wass well attended, and everyone present was invited to a free spaghetti dinner afterwards.


 photo fbsmall_zpsff3360dc.jpg  @SoBendMassMob

Area Catholic Schools Spelling Bee - Feb. 19, 2015

Pictured in the front row (l-r) are winners Courtney Donndelinger, Samuel Thomas, Andrew Orians, Shannon Lanning, Rose Kavanaugh, and Ryan Goffinet.   Back row:  Master of Ceremonies Terry McFadden, Brother Eric Snyder, Mary Dornbos and Suzanne Wiwi.

Mass Mob II - Our Lady of Hungary Church - Jan. 11, 2015



Once again the South Bend Mass Mob effectively doubled the numbers of a sparsly-attended Mass on January 11 at Our Lady of Hungary Parish.  It was great to see  many fellow Knights of Council 553, as well as others who related they had been following the Mass Mob through social media.  Brother Knights were also present from other councils, and many people spoke of planning to attend the next event.  Fr. Kevin Bauman, also a 4th Degree Knight, spoke several times - before and after Mass -of the joy of welcoming so many people to his parish and his gratitude for the leadership of the Knights of Columbus.  All enjoyed fellowship and refreshments afterwards, while taking in the beauty and history of this beloved church. Thanks again to Bart Timm for his many hours spent making this happen.


 photo fbsmall_zpsff3360dc.jpg  @SoBendMassMob

1925 Inaugural Issue of The K of C News (The Birth of THE ANCHOR)



From the files of one our deceased members we found a copy of the first 1925 edition of our council's newsletter, what would eventually become The Anchor. It's interesting to compare the past to the present.