Widows Banquet

Widows Banquet


Council: 680 - MILLINOCKET

Project Description:

From his own experience as a member of an immigrant community, Father Michael J. McGivney, saw firsthand the devastating effect on families of the untimely death of a father and wage earner. He, himself, had to leave the seminary in June of 1873 to return home to help finish raising his siblings due to the death of his father. After returning to his studies and his ordination, Father McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus to strengthen the faith of the men in his parish and to provide financial assistance in the event of their deaths to the widows they left behind. In keeping with Father’s McGivney’s original intentions, our Council has honored the widows of our fallen Brothers for over thirty years by inviting them to our annual Widow’s Banquet. This year, the banquet was held at the Association Hall on June 29th. Two weeks before the event, invitations were sent out to the widows of our fallen Brothers. Our Banquet Chair, with the assistance of a few Brother Knights, solicited donations from local businesses for gas cards and gift certificates. A signup sheet was posted at the Hall to invite Brother Knights to join in the Banquet. A week before the banquet, the food was ordered at the local grocery store and flowers for the widows who RSVP’d were ordered at the local florist. Donations were solicited from the wives of Brother Knights to make desserts for the evening’s meal. The evening before the banquet, several Brother Knights set up the Hall with tablecloths on the tables along with candles and flowers. The night of the event, each widow in attendance was given a corsage as she entered the Hall. A social hour was spent sharing appetizers and stories with each other. After the blessing by our Parish priest, a wonderful meal of roasted turkey with all the fixings, in addition to salad, coffee, punch, and dessert was enjoyed by all. After the meal, each widow was introduced and the gift certificates and other donations solicited were given to the widows to the applause of all in attendance. The evening concluded with a takeout container of another turkey meal for each widow as a final gift of the event. As several Brother Knights cleared the tables, collected the condiments, and washed and dried the dishes, many widows and members continued to socialize. It was clear that many did not want the evening to end. This event is the longest lasting tradition in our Council and continues to be one of the most popular events our Council sponsors. We do this because we feel that our family extends, not only to the families of our members, but as importantly to the widows of our fallen Brothers. This, we feel, is in keeping with the original intention of Father Michael J. McGivney’s founding of the Knights of Columbus and we are confident that this annual event would meet with his approval.

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