HISTORY OF FATHER ROSENSTEEL COUNCIL #2169
The story of Father Rosensteel Council, from the impressive Catholic tradition of its location and the personalities of its organizers to its numerous religious and fraternal achievements, is both unique and a credit to all who have helped make it so during the past seventy-five years.
Its location, called Forest Glen today, is in the heart of the Josephs' Park section of Carroll Manor. Donor of the site of the original St. John's Church--called Rock Creek Mission at its dedication--was Daniel Carroll, brother of the Pastor and a member of the Constitutional Convention. Father John Carroll, first pastor of St. John's, was later Prefect Apostolate, First Bishop of the United States, and First Archbishop of Baltimore. Tradition tells us that Father Carroll was reading his breviary under the trees in the church yard when his cousin, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, brought him the news that, with Benjamin Franklin and Samuel Chase, he had been selected by the Continental Congress to be part of a commission to induce the Canadians to join the Revolution. Charles was later one of the four Marylanders and the only Catholic to sign the Declaration of Independence. Within a stone's throw of the place where Council meetings are held, many of the great and illustrious in our Nation's history are laid to rest, including the mother of Father Carroll, and his sisters Elizabeth, Ann and Eleanor. Surely a more suitable and historical spot for the organization and development of the Knights of Columbus would be difficult to find.
The founding of the new Council in 1920 bears some resemblance to the organization of the first Council in New Haven, Connecticut thirty-eight years before. Those who had a hand in the preliminary work were comparatively few and widely scattered. Most of those who were active in the organizational work were members of various Councils in the District of Columbia. All sections of the lower half of Montgomery County were represented, including Forest Glen, Silver Spring, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Colesville, Wheaton and other outlying districts. A few of those who were the prime movers in getting the organization work underway include Frank L. Hewitt, Joseph P. Sullivan and William J. Jouvenal of Silver Spring; J. C. Neil Clark, John T. Culver and his brothers Preston and Roy, Forest Glen; Andrew J. Cy Cummings and his brother James, and the brothers Michael P. and Doctor William J. Callahan, Chevy Chase. Special mention must be given to Father Charles O. Rosensteel, Pastor of St. John's Church, for his initiative in organizing the Council.
Through the untiring efforts of these Brothers, the Charter of Forest Glen Council was issued on December 15, 1920, and on this date the first meeting of the new Council was held. Officers were elected, and the new Council known as Forest Glen Council, Number 2169, Knights of Columbus commenced to function as a Council of the Order. At this organizational meeting, dues were set at $8.00 per year and it was decided that meetings were to be held at 8:30 pm on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Thus, the first regularly scheduled meeting of the Council took place on December 22, 1920. The First Grand Knight and supporting Officers were:
Grand Knight - Frank L. Hewitt
Chaplain - Rev. Charles O. Rosensteel
Deputy Grand Knight - Harry McHenry
Chancellor - Joseph C. Cissell
Warden - William Sherman
Recorder - Francis Yates
Financial Secretary - George Preston Culver
Treasurer - John T. Culver
Advocate - Frank Hardy
Inside Guard - Joseph P. Sullivan
Outside Guard - Emory Eslin
Lecturer - Marion Curran
Trustees - James P. Raney, Robert M. Curran, William J. Jouvenal
The first meeting and all subsequent meetings of the Council, up to the end of 1926, were held in St. John's Parish Hall, which at that time stood in the rear of the cemetery. Here also, the First, Second and Third Degrees were exemplified. Many festive scenes come to mind, and minutes report that numerous outstanding affairs and events were conducted, including the silver-tongue oratory of famous visitors to this original Parish Hall.
The "Old" Hall is no longer standing, but its timbers were sound. In 1944 the Parish Hall was dismantled and transported to Four Corners, where it was reassembled, using most of the original materials. Thus was established the new mission Church of Saint Bernadette in Woodmoor, ensuring that the old timbers continued to be of service to God and His Holy Church.
From the beginning, the members of this new Council were committed, enthusiastic and very active. The first social event they organized was the Communion Mass held on Palm Sunday, March 20, 1921, after which the Knights' ladies served breakfast. Fifty-three members attended. Membership was of primary concern then as now, and many recruitment devices were tried, including open meetings and drives at various churches, to bring in new members. Anyone joining during the first year of operation was considered a Charter Member, and their names are included on the Council Charter, evidencing that membership reached 78by the end of 1921. Still, it required nearly ten years to break the 100 member barrier.
These small numbers were very productive, however. Much of the current Council structure was developed in the first couple of years. By the first summer, it was voted to hold only one meeting in the months of July and August; in November, a Lecturer was appointed for the first time and the second meeting of each month was designated a "Social Meeting" under his charge. The Council's first By-Laws were drawn up by June of 1922 and approved after amendments directed by the Supreme Council in November, 1922.
Fund-raising was not neglected. In September, 1922, the Council held a four-day carnival which netted over $1500, a huge sum in those days. The success of this first of what became an annual event lasting into the nineteen-fifties led to the initiation of a building fund financed primarily by its proceeds.
In August, 1923, a Building Committee was named with the instruction to investigate the possibilities of building a Council home. The Council's continued success led to the formal decision two years later to build the first permanent home for the Council and a club house for all members. In order to conform with the law and comply with a policy established by the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus, a corporation was formed on August 10, 1925, called the Forest Glen Knights of Columbus Building Association, Inc., to obtain, hold title to, and operate the property. With the creation of this corporation, so came in to being what is commonly referred to as "The Building Company." Three members were initially elected to serve as directors. That same year a lot was purchased at 8500 Georgia Avenue, and a low bid of $15,806 was accepted from Br. Charles Gaskins, who finished the construction by early Spring, 1926. One of the few disappointments with this building was the impossibility in 1927 of having a telephone installed.
When the Archbishop of Baltimore directed Father T. A. Calnan, a member of the Council, to form a new parish in Silver Spring, the Council Hall was offered for use. Father Calnan accepted and celebrated the first Holy Mass of his new parish on July 6, 1930. In 1931 the Hall was purchased by the Archbishop of Baltimore for $21,000 and it became St. Michael's Church. The Council, however, continued to meet there for another year.
Throughout this period, the Council members maintained the pace of fraternal and charitable functions. The first of many Christmas parties for community children was held in 1925 at the National Guard Armory. The annual Communion Breakfasts continued to be popular, due partly to the many prominent speakers who attended. Many Knights helped Father Rosensteel with his annual picnic and festival along with which was a jousting tournament which was held on part of the ground now owned by the Knights. In 1928 the council began to join actively in the layman's retreat movement at Manresa. For many years one week-end was reserved for members of our Council. Council picnics drew families who brought their own lunches; the Council provided lemonade.
In 1926, the Council voted to begin a monthly news letter. This news letter, after a slow start, became the Forest Glen Knight and evolved through many formats into our current Council monthly Knight Life, which at it’s peak circulation in the late 1990s, was now professionally printed and mailed to some 1500 recipients. As of 2015, printing and physical mailing has been scaled back with increasing emphasis on electronic delivery, primarily e-mail. In that same decade, other Council organizational changes were made, some of which endure as is to the present time. In 1927, dues were raised a whole five cents a month, up to $10.20 per year, the first of only seven dues increases over seventy five years. The next raise didn't happen until seventeen years later in 1944; the last, to the current $56, occurred in 2010. In 1930, the Council year was changed from October-September to the current July-June system. Finally, in August, 1931, meeting nights were changed to the first and third Tuesdays of each month.
After the sale of the original Council home, consideration was soon given to construction of a new one. In March of 1931, the Council voted to purchase two lots at the present location from Father Rosensteel for the sum of $600 and to begin drawing up plans for a new home. Two months later, Father Rosensteel invited the Council to return rent free to the Parish Hall in back of St. John's Church for meetings and other Council activities. By August, title searches had been completed on the property, deeds had been acquired, and the bill to Father Rosensteel was paid. In November, 1933, plans for the new building were given to builders for bids. It was hoped that by using materials from the old barn on the property, the cost could be held to $2000. There were some difficulties in financing, as the Council itself was not deemed credit worthy because of lack of proper security, though the lenders would lend reasonable amounts to up to five responsible men. Ultimately, the Building Company was authorized to proceed with construction of a new hall for up to $5000, including a loan of up to $1000. By June, 1935, $2000 in donations had been received, and construction was in progress. William J. Jouvenal, Founding Member, donated and carved the cornerstone. Brother John Culver moved that the new hall be named "Rosensteel Hall" in honor of our Founder and Chaplain. The first meeting in this new hall, the "House" portion of the present facility, took place on September 17, 1935. Two and one half years later, at the meeting of May 17, 1938, Father Rosensteel presented to the Council the deeds to the lots adjoining the Council Hall in recognition of the efficient work of Brother Leo Koepfle as Grand Knight.
The Forest Glen Council No. 2169, thanks to Father Rosensteel, enjoyed a close relationship with St. John's Parish, especially the "New Church" which Father Rosensteel had built in 1893. In 1934 the Council built a replica of the First Church in Forest Glen on the site in the cemetery facing our present home on Rosensteel Avenue. Over the years, the Knights have refurbished and repainted this Chapel several times, the most recent being in 2007. Unfortunately, the Chapel was severely damaged during a violent thunderstorm on June 5, 2008. The storm damage also revealed significant structural deterioration, and so the Chapel had to be almost completely rebuilt by the Archdiocese of Washington. As of October, 2015, the interior furnishings have not yet been restored.
The building of the replica Chapel was to commemorate the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Archbishop Carroll, the first pastor of St. John's. At the same time a celebration was held for Father Rosensteel to commemorate the golden jubilee of his ordination. In September, 1933, the Council first considered changing its name to honor Father Rosensteel, but delayed any action until he agreed. Then, in 1934, the Council was instructed by the Supreme Council that Councils were not allowed to be named after any living person. The idea persisted, however, so that immediately after word was received of Father Rosensteel's death, PGK William V. Jouvenal formally moved on July 7, 1940, to change the Council name to Father Charles O. Rosensteel Council No. 2169. At the same meeting PGK Lester proposed having the name of Leland Avenue officially changed to Rosensteel Avenue.
In the years that followed construction of the new home, the Council flourished. The spirit of Knighthood, fraternalism and charity was much in evidence. The cooperation and physical effort put forth by members during this period has never been exceeded. Turkey raffles, pitch parties, carnivals and horse shows were a few of the many schemes used to raise funds for Council operations. During World War II there was a weekly party held by the Knights for those servicemen stationed at Walter Reed Annex. With a total membership of only 250, the Council put on a most successful carnival one year that netted $7,500.
The growth of Forest Glen Council mirrored the growth of Columbianism throughout Montgomery County. Many members of our Council, with the guidance of Father Rosensteel himself, formed the nucleus of the membership of Montgomery Council in 1921and Rock Creek Council in 1938.
In 1945, under the leadership of Grand Knight John McKain, the Council celebrated its Silver Anniversary. One of the many events of lasting memory was the formal celebration held at the Indian Spring Country Club. This function was directed by Marcel DuBois who was assisted by a very able Committee of G. Fendal Coughlan, Vincent Marean, Walter Scott, Wilton Schrider, Hubert O'Boyle and Albert Reising.
In 1946, the officers of the Council, after consulting with the general membership, felt that the complete structure and responsibility of the Building Company should be revised, since the accepted method of intermingling financial matters that pertain to the Building Company operation of the physical property with other Council finances had placed upon the Grand Knight and the officers of the Council a burden that detracted from the duties they were elected to perform. Accordingly, a separate and distinct fund was created for the Building Company apart from the regular Council fund. To establish this fund, the Council turned over to the Building Company $30,000 in government bonds. Future financial support for the Building Company fund was to come from three sources, namely, (1) 33 1/3 % of the monthly Council dues was to be apportioned to the fund, (2) 50% of all contributions received from all Council affairs to be turned over to the fund and (3) all contributions for the use of the hall to be turned over to the fund. In turn, the Building Company was to be responsible for all repairs and maintenance of the property, and pay the necessary expenses thereto, such as taxes, insurance, utilities, amortize the mortgage and employ a custodian. At the same time, the number of members serving on the Building Company was increased from three to nine. In 1956, the membership was increased again from nine to twelve. Today, the Building Company Board of Trustees consists of six members who are elected to three-year terms each and the Grand Knight and Deputy Grand Knight of the Council who serve ex officio.
In 1947, the Council again felt the need for expansion, and the Building Company, with careful planning on the part of its members, presented to the Council blueprints and a contract for an addition to the existing building at a cost of $64,500. The addition to the north side of the existing building consisted of a cavernous gymnasium or basketball court that could also be used for other large affairs. Brothers Victor Miller and Donald Johnson worked on preliminary sketching, construction costs and architectural supervision. The Building Company members who directed this project consisted of John Ryall as President with Marcel DuBois, Anthony Scullen, Albert Reising, John Collins, Francis Fowler, Frank Duane, Eugene Ruppert and Leo Koepfle. The New Council Home was dedicated on November 5, 1950. In attendance at this ceremony were State Chaplain Rev. William F. Sauer and State Deputy John J. Schwartz.
An adjoining lot was purchased in 1952 giving the Council approximately two acres and the entire 9700 block of Rosensteel Avenue. During the following six years many improvements were made in and around the Hall, the land was cleared and graded, and the present parking facilities installed. In addition, the area was landscaped with shrubbery and a picket fence installed. In October, 1953, the Boys Club offered to purchase the property for $85,000. This offer was turned down, because the Building Association and Trustees realized that they could not purchase or build any similar facility for that amount of money.
The nineteen-fifties were an incredibly busy time for the Council. The Order's Five Points Program--Catholic Activities, Council Activities, Membership, Publicity, and Fraternal Activities--became the Six Points Program with the addition of Youth Activities, and Fr. Rosensteel Council participated enthusiastically in all. The first Maryland Squires Circle was chartered at Fr. Rosensteel on March 4, 1951, and the Ladies Auxiliary, the MaryKnights, was founded in 1960. In between, there were carnivals, family parties, "Dinty Moore Dinners," Corporate Communion Breakfasts for members and sons and for members and daughters, Squires vs. Knights basketball games in the gymnasium, golf tournaments, blood drives, picnics, children's Halloween and Christmas parties, CYO basketball (including some huge tournaments), dances for over 500 teenagers, ladies nights, football nights, a quartet of singers, car raffles, Easter parties with pizza(!), bowling, and of course the usual list of charitable donations.
There were many notable Council firsts during this decade. In 1957 the first Club Room and Bar was constructed by the Building Company in the "House" section of the Hall and opened for the members and guests to socialize on other than just meeting nights. A contest resulted in its being named "The Knights Room" in March of that year. Friday was the favorite night for meeting members and friends. The room had a limited seating capacity for approximately 60 people. Special events such as shrimp and crab feasts were very popular and were always a sell out. In September a color TV was installed just in time for the World Series and the first color broadcasts of football games. Because of tax reasons, the Council took over operation of the Knights Room from the Building Association in March of 1957.
In September, 1953 Father W. Joyce Russell became Chaplain and remained an active supporter and much loved member until his death in 2001. On February 16, 1956, the Emerald Room was opened. The July, 1956, issue of the Knight Life was the first in the new format that continues with minor changes to the present. The Prayer Our Lady Queen of the Knights was printed for the first time in 1956 (It was officially adopted for praying at each meeting in December, 1964.). The Council voted to keep Schlitz in the bar and not switch to Budweiser. Personal member name badges were sold for the first time in 1957. The plaque honoring deceased members was installed in 1957. The Squirettes of Mary were founded in June, 1956, the only such group in Maryland. District Deputy Hugh J. Gownley, PGK, inaugurated the Policeman of the Year Award Program in December, 1957. A First Degree in April, 1958, included the Council's first active Squires to become Knights. The first ever Anthracite Dance was held on January 24, 1959. PGK Frank Marx became the Council's first TV personality, appearing in the audience on the February 4, 1959 Jack Paar Show. Ossie Howland became the first Grand Knight to have his picture included with his monthly Knight Life column in May, 1959. Holy Cross Hospital was first proposed in 1959, and Father Rosensteel Council has been an active supporter ever since. And finally, the Joseph P. Kennedy Institute was founded in 1959, and Father Rosensteel became one of its first supporters by donating $500 in December.
The Squires and Squirettes have unfortunately been disbanded (although reincarnated as the Squires and Roses in 2010), the Anthracite Dances are just a fond memory, Frank Marx has given up his TV career, and there is now Bud in the Knights Room. The remainder of these programs are being proudly maintained.
By 1960 the need for further improvement of the Council Home became readily apparent. There was even a motion made in March to sell the Council property for $150,000. A committee, under the leadership of PGK Hugh Gownley, undertook a management study and presented the Council with a seventy-eight page report containing thirty-nine suggestions for improvement. Further information was gathered and studied and in 1961 the Planning Committee and Building Company presented plans for a major renovation to the Council. This included installation of a second floor across the entire basketball court section of the hall, a new Knights Room and a small party room on the first floor. The original "house" was converted to office space and a committee meeting area now known as the Jouvenal Room. The last dance held in the "old Rosensteel" was held on June 10, 1961, in honor of Grand Knight Elect James Lynn, and construction began on July 1. Delays occurred when the builder went bankrupt during the last phase of construction and many subcontractors went unpaid. However, the bonding company enabled the building completion and satisfied unpaid claimants, including a mechanics lien on the building. Finally, the dedication of the facility much as we have it today took place on December 10, 1961. The cost of the improvements was $105,000 which included a complete air conditioning system.
A chronicle of the sixties would contain another long list of program innovations and building improvements, and works of charity. In June, 1961, the Knights Room Kitty was inaugurated, with the first drawing on July 1. In February, 1962, shuffleboard was introduced to the new Knights Room downstairs. On July 18, 1962, the weekly Wednesday night Bingo program was started. It was a struggle at first, but it was returning a profit after eight months; today it ranks among our greatest sources of income. The Past Grand Knight cocktail party and buffet on Sunday, July 22, 1962, was the first not held as part of a regular social meeting, and so was the first open to the members' families. Draft beer and a cash register were installed for the first time in the Knights Room in 1963. Building improvements included paneling in the lobby and Columbian Room, partitioning off the Emerald Room from the Knights Room, donation of the lobby chandelier by the MaryKnights, and the remodelling of the Knights Room with construction of "Holford's Horseshoe" bar.
On Sunday, June 14, 1964, the Montgomery County Historical Society presented a historical marker to Father Rosensteel Council which commemorates the spot on which Daniel Carroll once lived. The Honor Guard of the Archbishop O'Boyle General Assembly was present and the Council's Chaplain, Father Godfrey was an honored guest.
Rosensteel Hall renovations continued throughout the seventies with only a few major projects and many smaller improvements. These included the addition of the chandeliers in the Columbian Room, the brick veneer on the front of the building, new air conditioning, carpeting, kitchen renovations, and so on.
The cornerstone from the first Rosensteel Council home was salvaged when the Landmark Building at the corner of Georgia and Wayne Avenues in Silver Spring was demolished in November, 1974. For the past twenty years, the former Council home had been operated as a Super Surplus Store but was acquired recently by the County for widening of Wayne Avenue. The cornerstone was salvaged by the family of Rosensteel Council's first Grand Knight, the late Frank L. Hewitt, who had been Silver Spring's first postmaster and founded the Frank L. Hewitt insurance and real estate firm. Documents contained in the cornerstone were poorly preserved according to John P. (Jack) Hewitt but the yellowed and brittle papers were laminated and presented to the Council. Among the items recovered were an official bulletin published by the Maryland State Council in April, 1927, a roster of Rosensteel Council members, the driver's license of Maryland Congressman Frederick Zihlman who spoke at the dedication, and other memorabilia.
The tendency toward precedent setting innovations so evident over the past two decades continued unabated during the seventies. Friday night kitchen crews became a regular staple of family activities. The first annual KC/Rotary Oyster Roast was hosted in 1971. The Council reached the one thousand member mark in 1972. The 1974 Council picnic was the first of twenty-two consecutive picnics held at Walter Reed Annex (except for the 1975 edition, which was the only one ever held indoors at "Rosie" due to rain). The first annual Nuns' Appreciation Night provided dinner and entertainment for sixty-four Sisters in 1974. Gifts of a wheel chair and crutches enabled Gene Pitman to start the first Council Loan Closet in 1979.
While the previous three decades produced tremendous growth in construction and programs, the eighties saw all that and more. Now began the Council's era of service awards. Over the years since its inception the Council had received occasional membership and service program awards from the Supreme and State Councils. When the Order's "Surge for Service" awards program was begun in 1971, Rosensteel Council lost no time in beginning to garner its fair share of Columbian Awards for participation in all program areas But it was the incredible Community Activities programs led by Brother Gene Pitman and that began with the distribution in January, 1980, of two full boxcars of donated canned spaghetti to the area's needy families that earned national recognition for the Council. Then in September, Brother Pitman initiated the McGivney Charity Program to aid the elderly. This program included the distribution of hundreds of furnaces and heaters in 1981 and two truckloads of cheese, one of dry milk, and one of butter in 1982, along with direct financial and manpower support of several area homes for the elderly. These programs earned the Council several significant awards, including a First Place at the 1982 Supreme Convention. In 1984, the Freedom Foundation awarded its George Washington Medal to Father Rosensteel Council. This award, which is not necessarily made every year and is normally won by individuals, had had only one other organizational recipient (Special Olympics) in its history.
Early 1984 saw the last major addition to the Council Home, with the construction in the northwest corner of the area known as the MaryKnights Room upstairs and the Game Room downstairs. The Knights Room and Emerald Room were also remodeled into their present configuration at about that same time. Remodeling of the Columbian Room began in 1991, and the finishing touches in the lobby in February, 1995, brought Rosensteel Hall to the beautiful state you see today.
For tax reasons and because of Supreme Council policy, the Council has worked in cooperation with the Building Association, a state regulated corporation, since 1925. In the nineteen seventies, due to laws applying to non-profit tax-exempt organizations, the Council took over direct control of all the Knights Room and catering operations, removing revenue generating capabilities from the Building Company. This led to the last major innovation in Council organization, the chartering in 1987 of the Father Rosensteel Knights of Columbus Clubhouse Association, Inc. So now there are two corporations supporting the Council; the Building Company owns and maintains the property, and the Clubhouse Association, operating as tenants of the Building Company, runs the business aspects to generate outside revenues and pay many of the operating expenses. At the same time the Council itself and all superior Councils are relieved of tax and legal burdens of such operations.
Membership continued to grow during this period, hitting a high point in the mid-nineties of about 1350.. During the term of Grand Knight Dave Morgan in 1987 (in fact largely during a single First Degree that September) the Council brought in seven men who would in the next decade, starting with Ray Dunn, serve as consecutive Grand Knights
In the fall of 1989, Grand Knight Olie Dangerfield conceived of the “Cookies Around the World” program. What began as a small local effort through contacts with personnel at Andrews AFB, soon became a nationwide phenonmenon with packages of cookies reaching service members deployed to even the most remote locations in the Middle East following the liberation of Kuwait in Operation Desert Storm.
To spur interest in the annual March for Life in Washington, Grand Knight Dangerfield and Brother Chuck Suraci in January 1990 instituted the “March for Life Kickoff Rally,” with several noted pro-life speakers, including Bishop Leonard Olivier and March-for-Life founder and president Nellie Gray. This program has continued to this day in various formats featuring a variety of notables such as Cardinal Hickey, presidential candidate Alan Keyes, then Supreme Secretary Carl Anderson, US Representative Chris Smith, Priests for Life National Director Father Frank Pavone, and entertainer Tony Melendez. In twenty-five years this event has been cancelled only once due to deep snow following the famous “Blizzard of ‘96.”
The Council was honored in the year 1990 to have our own Past Grand Knight James Olivarri elected as the Maryland State Council State Deputy, the first and only (so far) Fr Rosensteel member to achieve this honor.
Grand Knight Joe Marks ran the first ever “Thanksgiving Smoker” as an informal relaxation party on Thanksgiving Eve in 1994. It was a smashing success and has continued and grown every year since. Later in his term, the By-Laws Committee, chaired by the Deputy Grand Knight, made extensive updates to the By-Laws of the Council, the Building Company and the Clubhouse Association, which were presented to the membership and enacted at the July and August Council meetings. Except for changes to Council dues, these By-Laws have remained unchanged for the next twenty years.
Most of the year 1995 was dedicated to planning for the Council’s seventy-fifth anniversary celebrations that December. Events included a Council Mass and breakfast and a gala dinner-dance that managed to fit 299 guests into the Columbian Room.
In the spring of 1996, the Council officially entered he information age when Grand Knight John Fox set up the Council’s first web site as well as the Maryland State Council’s first web site. Responsibility for these first, and admittedly rather primitive, efforts has been passed on to others who have developed them into increasingly sophisticated resources. The Council has also moved into increasingly effective use of email and the various social media available in the computer age. Surely, cell phone apps are on the way soon.
The Council’s celebrated pro-life principles were embodied in the person of Immediate Past Grand Knight Russell Sutton when he oversaw the culmination of his goal of installing a Memorial to the Unborn next to the entrance to the replica Carroll Chapel on behalf of the Council and of the Maryknights in October of 1997. Each October thereafter, the Council has held a candlelight procession from the Council parking lot to the Memorial (led by the Color Corps of the Cardinal O’Boyle Assembly of the Fourth Degree) with an on-site praying of the Rosary.
Under the auspices of Grand Knight C. Michael Koon, the Immaculate Conception Shrine to Mary was dedicated on June 12, 2009. Enhancements to the shrine were done over the next couple of years. Then in 2014, Grand Knight Frank Cavaliere instituted regularly scheduled recitations of the Rosary at the shrine every Friday evening at 5:30 PM. That practice is now well established with a dedicated core of participants with a varying crowd of others providing adding numbers to the group.
Also in 2009, Grand Knight George Carter added to the Councils lineup of food-centered social activities by starting the monthly all-you-can-eat breakfasts on the first Sunday of each month. This venture proved to be an immediate and on-going popular success.
While those may be the high points so far, the award-winning tradition had been set, and it continues proudly into the 21st Century.
We are now half way through the second decade of the 21st Century, and it is perhaps too soon to attempt to characterize that decade. But it is already apparent that there will be much for future historians to record. As ever, we have new programs being tried and new problems to overcome. There is still much to do.
This narrative barely scratches the surface of the history of Father Rosensteel Council. More details concerning officers, chaplains and various programs and activities are set forth elsewhere in this 90th Anniversary Program. The true history perhaps cannot be written for it lies in the hearts and spirit of the dedicated members who have fed the growth of brotherhood, fraternalism and charity. It lies in those new and lasting friendships fostered by the activities of the Council. In looking back over ninety years of Council history, we find much to honor and a firm basis on which to shape our future.