New officers of Knights of Columbus Council 7091 of Cypress Gardens and its affiliated Frank J. Durbin Fourth Degree Assembly 2608 were installed in ceremonies conducted on Saturday, August 11 in the parish center at St. Matthew Church. The inductions were followed by a family dinner enjoyed by an estimated 70 knights, wives, clergy and guests.
District Deputy Terry Gallardo of Haines City orchestrated the council induction ceremony in which Sal Porta was installed as Grand Knight. Other newly-installed council officers are Deputy Grand Knight Ken Nelson, Chancellor Andrew Brownyard, Warden Scott Sharak,Treasurer Jerry Melnitzke, Financial Secretary Ruben Sanabria, Recorder Robert Bigg, Advocate Ed Sheehan, Inside Guard Adolfo Arteaga, Outside Guard Jose Masilotti, Three Year Trustee Phil Pierpont, Two Year Trustee George Marhefka and One Year Trustee James Sharak.
In the Fourth Degree ceremony, conducted by Robert Higgins of Haines City serving as the official emissary of the Florida District Master, Adolfo Arteaga took the oath of office as Faithful Navigator. Other assembly officers are Admiral Sal Porta, Captain Tom Habina, Pilot Dan Marino, Purser Robert Pezanowski, Inner Sentinel Andrew Brownyard, Outer Sentinel John Ondrovic, Three Year Trustee James Sharak, Two Year Trustee Jerry Melnitzke and One Year Trustee Scott Sharak.
Father Nicholas O’Brien, pastor of St. Matthew Church, offered special prayers and blessed the newly installed officers in his dual roles as the council’s Chaplain and the assembly’s Faithful Friar. District Warden Tom Berdis also participated in the ceremonials and Father Joseph Bui, parochial vicar of St. Matthew was a special guest.
Before the installations, Father O’Brien celebrated Mass in the church with knights and ladies from K of C’s Columbiettes auxiliary in support roles. Immediate Past Grand Knight Phil Pierpont co-celebrated the Mass in his capacity as a deacon, with his fellow knights and Columbiettes serving as Sacristans, Eucharistic Ministers, Scripture Readers, Altar Servers, Ushers and Choir members. Before Mass, knights welcomed the faithful to St. Matthew Church by serving as Greeters, and after Mass offered special prayers for members of the congregation as Prayer Ministers.
A family dinner catered by Terri Lobb Catering of Bartow followed he installation ceremonies. During the dinner, Porta and Arteaga outlined their goals for the coming year and Pierpont received a plaque in recognition of his service as Grand Knight in the 2017-18 Columbian Year. Father O’Brien also showed a video in which Supreme Knight Carl Anderson focused on the K of C’s world wide charitable giving and initiatives to serve and expand the Domestic Church.