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Knights of Columbus

Gate of Heaven, Council #468

Huntington Station, NY 

This segment of our website is dedicated to the events, chaplains and Grand Knights that have brought our council from the year 1899 to the present.  The following segments are taken from the works of John Schling, Neil Dolan and George Seif 

Installment Thirteen 

Grand Knight William Marion (1974-1975) was the 54th Grand Knight in an unbroken line of succession since 1899.  Bro. Bill began his term on the July 1, 1974.  His Columbian year was a profitable-successful one for Gate of Heaven Council.  Keenly aware of our traditions, his administration and committees executed the yearly rituals and festivities demanded of each committee.  From the Nassau-Suffolk Charity Ball, Columbiettes Spring Dinner-Dance, St. Patrick’s Day Parade and many more events. 

At the Council meeting of September 4, 1974, Columbiette former president, Helen Lawrence presented to Gate of Heaven Council, in commemoration of our national Bicentennial, a gift of a genuine replica of the famous “Bennington Flag” which first flew in 1776.  Our own “Betsy Ross” made the flag from authentic patterns.  It is 40 sq. feet, contains 13 stars in a field of blue; the stars, all white, have 7 points. 

On July 1, 1975 a satisfied and justified Bro. William turned the gavel over to Grand Knight Warren Albin (1975-1976). 

Less than 6 months into Bro. Albin’s term, Bro. Dominic Boccard died on December 21, 1975.  He was mourned and well-remembered.  Having membership of 50 years in the K of C, he was buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Huntington.  Dominic made a gift of an acre of property in 1953 on which Gate of Heaven Council built their Hall.  “Over 50 members of the Council were present at his wake at Connell’s Funeral Home on December 23, 1975 where K of C services were recited and led by the Council officers and our Chaplain.  A Mass of Christian Burial was offered at St. Patrick’s Church on December 24, 1975. 

Bro. Albin was our 55th Grand Knight.  We are thankful to him and his Lady Gert Albin.  Bro. Warren fulfilled the duties of his office to perfection assisted by the lovely Gert, sweetheart of our band, Knights of Huntington.  With martial music and fanfare, they prepared the way for the entrance of Gate of Heaven Council into the bicentennial year of America.  A highlight of Bro. Albin’s term was the ordination of one of our own Brothers, Bro. John T. Soister.  He received Holy Orders from Bishop Mugavero on March 27, 1976 at St. Mattias Church, Ridgewood.  Gert and Warren Albin were present representing Gate of Heaven. 

Anticipating our nation’s 200 Birthday, Huntington’s Bicentennial Parade was held on Sunday, June 13, 1976.  The patriotism of Gate of Heaven Council was exhibited under the leadership of Bro. Albin.  Our float was mounted on a long wagon drawn by a team of horses driven by a professional teamster.  It carried the theme “One Nation Under God” prominently displayed.  In the middle of the float was a vivid tableau depicting “Betsy Ross” sewing the first American flag, enacted by Columbiette Helen Lawrence.  Two children on the float were “Betsy’s” attendants.  When the reviewing stand was reached, they tossed a gross of red, white and blue carnations on those watching.  The carnations bore the labels: “God bless America” and “Gate of Heaven Council, K of C.”  Another sign on the float read “Our 76th Year in Huntington.”  The float was rimmed with flowers. 

Thank you, Bro. Tom Brand and the Brand Nursery, for the donation of flowers, tools and labor in the design and erection of this exhibit.  To the 4th Degree Color Corps for flanking it.  To the Columbiettes who participated in the march from the LIRR Plaza, down Rte. 110, to Main Street, then to the Village Green.  Immediately following the parade, “Open House” at the Clubhouse for all members, wives, and children.  Refreshments included cocktail hour, hors d’oeuvres, coffee, cake and ice cream.  God bless America! 

From the hierarchy of the American Catholic Church to the average parishioner in any of the thousands of local Catholic churches, the American Catholic is patriotic unto death.  He or she is effusive in the love of their country.  It broke forth in project, pageant and essay from many members of the many K of C Councils during our Country’s Bicentennial year.  Many pieces printed in The Key over the years by its illustrious editors are works of scholarship, some approaching literature.  One of these appeared in the January 1976 issue in the “Community Activities” column under the joint byline of Bros. Gene McCabe and Henry Rainone, Catholic gentlemen.  The Knights of Columbus is certainly a noticeable positive part of American history. 

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The Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus:

 

Interim Chaplain: Msgr. John E. Steinmeuller (1975-1979) An interim chaplain is a priest who assists a Council without being officially appointed as the Council Chaplain.  We had an interim Chaplain from 1975-1979; Msgr. John E. Steinmueller, STD, SSL, VF.  While he was in retirement in Huntington, he was active in our Council and rarely, if ever, missed a meeting.  Msgr. Steinmueller celebrated his Golden Jubilee as a priest on April 13, 1974 and was awarded a testimonial affair in the Huntington Town House by his former parishioners of St. Barbara’s Church in Brooklyn.  He was a great and revered man of the cloth.  He received his License in Sacred Scripture (SSL) and then went on to receive his Doctor of Theology (STD) in 1925 at Lateran University in Rome; was Professor of Sacred Scripture at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington (1928-1950); was one of the founders of the Catholic Biblical Association in 1936, served as treasurer, president and chairman of its Board of Trustees, through 1971. He was appointed pastor of St. Barbara’s Church in 1950 and became a Domestic Prelate (Right Reverend Monsignor) in 1953.  He was a Consultor of the Pontifical Biblical Commission (1947-1971); and attained the title of Vicar Forane (VF - Deans of Priests) in the Rockville Centre Diocese in 1959.  He was appointed as peritus (advisor/consultant) to Vatican Council II in 1960 by Pope John XXIII.  He retired in 1975.  While in retirement in Huntington, he attended our Council meetings.  Since we were without a Chaplain, Msgr. John stepped forward and offered to provide spiritual attention to our gatherings.  He helped us with his insights and spiritual guidance for 4 years.  We are indebted to his kindness, generosity and loyalty