Grand Knight’s Message, October 2017

Adam Struck, Grand KnightWorthy Brothers,

At the beginning of this Columbian Year, we set out to especially focus our attention on membership and charity this year. A quarter of the way through the year, I am proud of all our council is doing in both areas.

To date, we have welcomed eight new Brother Knights into our council, which is halfway toward our quota needed to make Star Council. Within the next few weeks, we will hold membership drives at two parishes: Holy Spirit on October 28-29 and St. Mary’s on November 4-5. We are in need of several Brothers to help at these events as we inform our fellow Catholic brethren of what we are all about as Knights and all the good we do in our parishes and out in the community. If you can help, please speak with either myself or our Membership Director, George Mills.

Two weeks ago, we hosted our annual Mexican Night. Once again, Greg Wolfe did a phenomenal job putting together an enjoyable and ultimately successful evening in which we raised $2,000 for Clara’s House. Your generosity helps Sister Kathy and her staff continue to provide medical care to the poor and uninsured in our community. In that same spirit of charity, at this week’s business meeting, we will again be passing around a sign-up sheet in an effort to put together a team of Brothers to help feed the homeless at Loaves and Fishes at least once per month. With the holiday season approaching, our charitable efforts are that much more essential.

On another note, let us keep in our prayers the victims of the massacre in Las Vegas and the recent natural disasters in Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, and Mexico. It is in times like these, when it appears that the world is spiraling out of control amid violence, disaster, and political upheaval that it is important to turn to Christ for comfort and strength. As Knights, our faith and charity are examples to the world of how to live in God’s love. Through our faith and charity, we can, as St. Ignatius of Loyola said, “Set the world on fire.”

Thank you,
Adam Struck
Grand Knight, Council 953

Annual Memorial Mass

Council 953’s annual Memorial Mass will be held on Sunday, November 5 at St. George Melkite-Greek Catholic Parish, 1620 Bell Street. The Divine Liturgy (Mass) will begin at 10:30 am, followed immediately by the traditional Byzantine Catholic memorial service in honor of our Brother Knights who fell asleep in the Lord during this past year: Eduardo L Maciel, Michael J Stomp and Alvin Miller. All Brother Knights and their families are encouraged to attend. Coffee and refreshments will follow in the parish hall.

Culture of Life Report – October 2017


We are now in the midst of 40 Days for Life, which began on September 27 and runs through November 5. This is an opportunity for us to join with others worldwide in prayer, fasting, and community outreach in an effort to end the horror that is abortion. Here in Sacramento, daily prayer is being held Monday through Friday from 8am to 6pm on the sidewalk in front of the Family Planning Associates abortion clinic, located at 2322 Butano Drive. For additional information, you may visit

St. John Vianney parish and Blessed Sacrament Council 5322 are hosting “The Case for Life,” an event featuring Catholic Answers apologist Trent Horn. This is being held on Friday, October 27 at St. John Vianney Parish Hall, 10497 Coloma Road in Rancho Cordova. The doors open at 5pm, and the presentation begins at 6pm. Tickets are $10 per person in advance or $15 at the door, with the proceeds benefitting the Sacramento Life Center and the St. John Vianney Respect Life Ministry. For additional information, and to purchase tickets, please visit

Retirement Balancing Act

Think of retirement as a three-legged stool. In order to maintain balance, you need all three legs… or there is a real possibility of a crash!

One leg consists of the benefits the government offers you.  Debate rages about the viability of future benefits, and my best advice is to stay tuned to the discussion and make sure you are aware of what is planned for those benefits.  Any change in future promises should be accounted for when we get to the third leg.

The second leg is your company’s pension plan, either defined benefit (such as a traditional pension: you work so many years and the company provides you with so much monthly benefit) or defined contribution (such as the popular 401K plans).  Some of these plans, particularly traditional ones, are under stress, have been frozen or pared back.  Learn how yours works; read the plan description; stay on top of the news coming from the company.  On the 401K side, become a good investor.  Teach yourself the fundamentals of good diversification and know how much you have and when you will need it.

Finally, the third leg is the saving you do yourself, and this is the only aspect you can control completely.

Everyone needs this third leg. It consists of the money you personally set aside on a disciplined basis to help in retirement.  You don’t directly control government benefits and you don’t directly manage your company’s pension plan, but you must manage your money and your life.

Establish a retirement plan of your own. Here at the Knights of Columbus, you can open a retirement annuity for as little as $300.  Consistent and disciplined savings placed into that annuity over time can guarantee you an income that you cannot outlive at retirement. That’s right – guarantee you an income you cannot outlive.  That really will provide you with peace of mind.

As you ponder all the things that may not work out as you proceed toward retirement, think about the one thing you can do to help yourself.  It’s reasonably priced, guaranteed and controlled by someone you trust:  you!

God bless,
Philip De Leon (CA License #OK63623)
(916) 607-1645

Grand Knight’s Message, September 2017

Adam Struck, Grand KnightWorthy Brothers,

Whew! What a busy month it has been. As we pause to catch our collective breath,
let’s stop and look back on all that we have accomplished:

• We kicked off the Columbian Year with our first fundraising event, our annual Tri Tip dinner. As always, Al Piccardo and his sons outdid themselves and gave everyone an enjoyable evening.

• We organized and ran the zippy bun booth at the 86th annual St. Mary’s Parish festival, continuing a multiyear tradition of supporting the parish and serving up one of the festival’s most popular food items.

• We began what I hope will become a new tradition by running the bar at the St. George Parish BBQ. Despite the 108-degree temperature when the social hour began, it was a fun and ultimately successful event.

• We hosted what was almost certainly the only bilingual First Degree ceremony Council 953 has ever held. Six new Brother Knights joined our Council, and several Spanish-speaking Brothers joined a neighboring Council.

We could not have pulled off so many events in such a short period without the many Brothers who generously gave of their time and effort. Their names are too numerous to mention here, but they know who they are. On behalf of the entire Council, and those who benefit from our work, thank you!

One benefit of being the oldest Council in Sacramento (and one of the oldest in California) is that we have a great deal of institutional knowledge. Our oldest members have been Knights for two, three, or even four decades, and many of them have served in just about every capacity imaginable. Their experience and wisdom help guide our Council forward. However, our older Brothers will not always be with us. The future of this Council, or any Council for that matter, lies in our newer members, so it is encouraging that virtually all our
core officers have been Knights for only a few years. Still, so many of our newer Brothers are not particularly active, and I would love to see us change that.

If you are a newer Brother, I encourage you to think about how you can play a more active role in the life of our council. We would love to hear your ideas and get to know you better as a fellow Catholic gentleman. If you have been a Knight for a while, reach out to one of our newer members and invite them to one of our dinners. Remember the second principle of the Order: unity. Whether we have been Knights for three decades or three weeks, this is OUR council, and there is no limit to what we can accomplish united in brotherhood.

Thank you,
Adam Struck
Grand Knight, Council 953

Field Agent’s Corner September 2017

Brother Knights,

The Knights of Columbus was founded by the Venerable Michael J. McGivney 135 years ago and the legacy he left for each of us was the benefits of insurance. But, we are not just any insurance company. Each of our members means more to us than just being a customer. We are an organization that is family centric and based
on brothers helping brothers.

Plus, whether an active brother Knight is a participating member of the insurance program or not, each membership includes fraternal benefits. For example, did you know that each active Knight and his spouse are covered by an accidental death benefit? And each field agent is committed to providing survivor assistance to a
Knight’s widow and family members after the loss of a loved one.

The Knights of Columbus offers a very limited number of products designed specifically for our needs so that each of our insured may have peace of mind during every facet of life. Those products are permanent (whole) life insurance, temporary (term) life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care, and annuities.

The month of September is designated as Life Insurance Awareness Month – a great time for a life insurance check-up. So, if you just want to check to make sure you have enough insurance, update your profile information, verify your beneficiary designations, or you just want to get more information about the a certain insurance product, please call or email me to setup an appointment.

As our General Agent, Todd Cabral frequently reminds us, “We make miracles happen.”

God bless,
Philip De Leon (CA License #OK63623)
(916) 607‐1645

St. John Vianney, Pray for Us.