Grand Knight's Report

SK Chris Keplinger

No word has maybe been used more in the past 6 months than pandemic.  Questions soon turned into fear and reasonably so. Blast this pandemic! In short term we learned to be socially distant and buy everything online. We even had to figure out TV Mass times or watched on YouTube. As if this wasn't enough, we have experienced national outrage over racial equality and continued economic uncertainty. Where do we go from here?

My brothers all, our sword is prayer and our shield good works. We have the tools to fight injustice and overcome our fear so that some day we can look back on this moment and be better men for it. I heard recently at a conference that the phrase "the good ole' days" only fits the name after having lived through those times.

This quarantine life is not "the new normal", but for myself I have found so many new ways to celebrate life and experience happiness in the midst of a tremendous challenge. In the past two weeks I have slept in a tent 6 nights, walked over 20 miles of national parks, prayed at the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton,   attended a 4 day virtual gaming convention, and watched the annual G.K. Chesterton conference. Were these experiences the same as a "normal" vacation? Our answers may vary, but I grew closer to God and my family which I have to consider a victory.

I challenge you this month to pray for those, maybe even yourself, who can't see the light at the end of this tunnel. I also ask that you find ways to remain true to your promise of charity, the first virtue of our Order. This quarantine life is temporary, but the needs of the less fortunate are ever growing. 

In this month's Accolade, please be sure to read over the various programs that we will be running in the coming weeks. These are bold steps we are taking to ensure the council can continue to be a beacon of light for the community. As brothers, we need to work together to accomplish this mission.

Vivat Jesus!

Installation Thanks

On, Thursday, July 23 we conducted the Installation of Officers for the 2020-2021 fraternal year.  We still plan to hold a special celebration after restrictions are lifted. This was our first attempt at the virtual ceremony and Worth District Deputy, Terry Reinhart elegantly and graciously ran the show. Special thanks also to brother Tony Salvemini, who attended the installation as the representative from the State Council. Everyone had a great time and flashed their medals on the screen as we formally took up our responsibilities. I am grateful for the large number of members who attended, further proving the awesome group of men here at Sacred Heart Council. 

A very PEACHY Fundraiser

Who doesn’t love fresh, local, tree ripened peaches and supporting the council? NewFruitMarkets and Sacred Heart Council are teaming up to offer a peach fundraiser.  The process is very simple and 30% of the sales go directly to the council. Our goal is to reach 200 orders! If the plan goes well we will be working on a number of Apple delivery dates through the fall. These funds are crucial to being able to maintain the hall while most other revenues are not available.

#1 Order your peaches August 4th - August 20th.

#2 Pick up at Boswell Hall: Saturday, August 22nd between 10:00am and 2:00pm.

Click HERE to get started.

Housebound and need your order delivered? If you live in the Bowie area, please contact me at and I will arrange a time to drop your order off on August 22nd.

View the FLYER

Family Program

Into the Breach - Trailer

Last year we made some progress in reflecting upon the Into the Breach series published by the Knights of Columbus. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 we were cut a bit short. The series speaks to prayer, brotherhood, family, and faith.

The videos are only 12-15 minutes in length and hopefully by watching these encounters together we will become better men, fathers, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. There is also new study guide material available to make our experience more complete.

Beginning Tuesday, August 11 at 8 PM we will kick-off a 12-week video study. Members and family/friends are welcome. Each week I will send out the video link and the questions that we will discuss for the following week. The complete video schedule will be posted on the website. At the conclusion of the video study we will offer an an 8-week deep-dive into Bishop Olmsted’s Apostolic Exhortation to Catholic Men.

Community Program
sarah house

Sarah's Meals

Where: Boswell Hall

When: Wednesday, August 5

On August 5, we will be preparing and delivering a baked ziti meal for 20 guests. Prep work will begin at Boswell Hall at 11 AM. The meal will then be delivered (contactless) to Sarah’s House near Fort Meade. If you can assist with prep, cleanup, or delivery please call me at 301-466-6917.

Sarah’s House is a supportive housing program offering emergency shelter and project-based supportive housing with an array of other services for families experiencing homelessness in Anne Arundel County.

Veteran Support

On behalf of Worthy Sir Knight and US Army Veteran Claudio Poiani, we are providing the following message:

The DAV is here to serve and although we cannot guarantee you ‘success,’ we can guarantee that we will provide you the best advice and counsel possible and assist you in every way we can.  So, dig out your DD-214 and copies of any VA letters and documents that you have in your possession to support a strategy for the way ahead and come talk to me at the DAV Home, so that I can define a venue that best supports you. If you don’t have everything in one spot, or can’t readily put your hands on all your documents, don’t let that prevent you from meeting with me.  You and I can still establish a starting point for your claim while we work together to provide evidence to support it.

For your information, I am one of SIX DAV Certified Chapter Service Officers (CSOs) attached to DAV ‘Omaha Beach’ Chapter #7 in Bowie that provide services to veterans both on a walk-in and appointment basis between 6:00 PM and 9: 00 PM on Mondays. We normally look forward to meeting with you in person to listen to your story and assist you in designing a strategy that best serves your needs.  So, what does that mean?  Because of COVID-19 we will for the most part communicate via telephone phone, teleconference and by e-mail. However, will meet as necessary to sign documents and pick-up paper work. Please note that masks are required wear during all in-person meetings.

Basically, step one is to arrange a time to discuss your particular circumstances, look at your past paperwork, learn more about you, your background & experience in the service and your health history & disabilities.
The ‘Omaha Beach’ Chapter 7 Home is located at:
8205 Laurel Bowie Road
Bowie, MD  20715
If interested, you may reach me at:
Claudio Poiani, CSO: Chapter Service Officer
Phone: (301)502-5736 (c), (301)249-8270 (h)
Re-opening Plan

Over the past few weeks the BA and CWC have been very generous with their time and support for our goals of re-opening the hall for business and council events. While I am providing a number of details here, I want to remind all members that we will evaluate decisions as the situation evolves and the health and safety of our members and the community are a top priority.

First, all members going to the hall for council business are expected to wear masks while inside the building. Where possible I am also asking that everyone remain at least 6 feet apart at all times. If you are sick or have flu-like symptoms you should not come to the hall. All members upon entering the building may be screened with verbal questions to ensure safety prior to entry on meeting nights.

Additional precautions are also in place. The kitchen is not available for use without express permission from myself AND the hall manager. Rental of the property is limited to the Cardinal Room only to limit exposed areas and to protect the council chamber.

The building association has installed hand sanitizer stations, provided signage on all doors, implemented a more aggressive cleaning policy, added a doorbell system to limit access, and contracted to have the air handler system cleaned out.

It is my hope that with these safety measures we can once again start using the facility, albeit in a limited capacity.  I appreciate everyone's patience and support.

Council Meetings

Our next officers meeting is on August 13 and will begin promptly at 7:30 PM.  All members are welcome, but all program chairmen and council officers are expected to attend. The meeting will be offered in-person AND via virtual meeting. We will be discussing in detail the calendar and a proposed budget.  The budget will be published in a special Accolade article next week so that it can be voted upon at the membership meeting on August 27. The membership meeting starts at 7:30 PM. The worthy lecturer has promised some fascinating information about Minnesota!

Bingo Update

The Bingo program has been postponed until January 2021 for the health and safety of our patrons and volunteers. We are actively looking into fundraising programs to engage our loyal group of men and women who I know miss this weekly night of good food and fellowship. 

If you have any questions about the Bingo program please contact Joe Massimini, or Steve Dobrosielski, .

Neumann News

St. John Neumann Assembly #1763

The St. John Neumann Assembly is off to a great start as we welcome our first new member of the fraternal year - Grand Knight Chris Keplinger. Our goal is to recruit 11 new members during the current year. For anyone who is interested in becoming a member of the 4th degree, please contact me or our Faithful Admiral Bill Sapero. 
Our installation of new officers will take place virtually on Wednesday August 5, 2020 at 7 pm. Our August meeting will take place on Thursday, August 20, 2020 and begin promptly at 7:30 PM.  All members of the assembly are welcomed.

Mike Mitchell FN, PGK

Sick and Memorial

If you know of a Brother Knight who has recently deceased, please email Don Tallmadge at  Please email all other prayer intentions for members and relatives to  Prayer intentions will remain on the website for a period of one month.

List of Council Officers 2020-2021

Grand Knight:  Christopher Keplinger  301-466-6917

Deputy Grand Knight:  Michael Mitchell  293-628-1291

Chaplain:  Rev. Father Paul Sparklin  401-721-5770

Associate Chaplain:  Rev. Deacon David Barnes  443-292-8400

Chancellor:  Lee (Bud) Dumais  240-687-6920

Warden:  Jonathan Collum

Financial Secretary:  Don Tallmadge  301-218-4623

Recorder:  Joe Massimini  301-464-4656

Treasurer:  Bob Heverly

Advocate:  George Riddle  410-972-5285

Lecturer:  Naciem Yousif  240-476-1159

Inside Guard:  Calvin Blake Jr.  240-770-7704

Outside Guard:  Ray DeVous  301-641-8054

Outside Guard:  Jonathan Tallmadge  301-218-4623

Trustee, First Year:  Ralph Bonuchelli  301-464-3630

Trustee, Second Year:  Bill Sapero  410-721-9163

Trustee, Third Year:  Matthew Warehime  443-506-9877

Sacred Heart Council #2577 of the Knights of Columbus was established on June 21, 1925. The Accolade is the official monthly publication. Please send all correspondence to the Grand Knight @ Boswell Hall, 6111 Columbian Way, Bowie, MD 20715. 

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