The St. Thomas of Villanova Council
After the Archdiocese announced a new Parish in Newmarket 30 years ago, & while meeting & holding Mass in the local Catholic School, a small group of dedicated Catholic men received a formal Charter from the Ontario State Council in March 1991, establishing the Knights of Columbus St. Thomas of Villanova Council #10586. They were spearheaded by Grand Knight Bill Dionne, Deputy Grand Knight Jack McDermott & Chaplain Fr. Matt Robbertz, together with at least a dozen dedicated Knights to serve as "the right hand of the Pastor" in building St Elizabeth Seton & the new Parish community, both spiritually & physically, along with the Catholic Women's Guild [many of whom were spouses of Knights]. Membership has grown since then to well over 100 Catholic men, who are now involved in numerous Parish Ministries & charitable fundraising activities such as "Bringing Christ Back into Christmas" through the sale of Christmas trees & Christmas cards, & in the early years selling Car Raffle tickets in aid of the Arthritis Society of Ontario.
Also among other recipients of its many past donations: the ongoing maintenance of parish property, the Rose of Sharon, Community Bread, St. Vincent de Paul Society, K of C Boys' Summer Camp, Marygrove Girls' Camp, the Right to Life organizations, Basketball Free Throw. as well as helping needy individuals through student bursaries & funding for urgent medical requests. Our local Council is also recognized for its annual Mother's Day Breakfast, has organized the Parish Picnic & Yard Sale, participated in the Newmarket & East Gwillimbury Santa Claus Parade, as well as the laying of the K of C Wreath at the annual Remembrance Day Ceremonies each November 11th at the Cenotaph in Sharon.
The Knights of Columbus, St. Thomas of Villanova Council, continues to provide Christian service and ongoing Community involvement through its avowed principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity & Patriotism. There are currently more than 56,000+ Knights in Ontario alone, more than any other Canadian province.