There is no better way to experience love and
compassion than by helping those in need,
a call Knights answer every day.
Service Program Directors of Council 8157
The directors listed below are appointed by the Grand Knight and the Officers. Their term runs through the fraternal year starting in July 2014 through June 30th, 2015.
Sorted alphabetically by last name.
Youth Activities Co-Director
Today's youth, the leaders of tomorrow, are looking for a challenge, for responsibility, for faith and trust. Yet, despite their commitments and dedication, the youths of the world are often condemned because of the uncontrolled action of the minority of the young people. As Knights of Columbus, it is our responsibility to provide youth with the means and opportunity to become personally committed and involved in meeting the challenges of our times. To this end Larry and his co-director Art Senato sponsor the annual free throw contest to get youth in the community involved. In addition each year Larry accompanies youth of the parish community on an annual trip to Washington D.C. to "March for Life. Each year in December Larry participates in the "coat drive" by sleeping along with youth of the parish in a cardboard box in the church courtyard to show their support for the homeless, in addition to collecting coats for the needy. Larry and Art are also instrumental in organizing the "breakfast with St Nick" held each year in the gymnasium at the Community Center.
Council Activities Director
Many of the activities of the Knights of Columbus sound demanding and certainly many are; but that does not mean that others can't be just for fun. Members of our council are friends, neighbors and acquaintances who are just as interested in athletic, cultural, and social activities as you are. Each year the Council Activity Director schedules, sets up and handles all the logistics for the annual gala Appreciation Dinner held each year in January. In addition the Council Activity Directors sponsor the Awards ceremony each year in August to recognize all those who have served the Council with distinction the past year. Andy served as Grand Knight from 2010-2012. He was voted Knight of the Year 2012-2013. and has earned statewide recognition as the top recruiter in Texas in 2013. He serves as a member of our Degree Team and is a member of the Member Retention committee. Andy joined the Knights in 2008 and he and his wife, Susan and daughter Madison, live in Cedar Hill.
A growing council is a vibrant and exciting council spurred on by new ideas and new lifeblood for the many and varied activities of the council. Without new members the council becomes stagnant and as time passes slowly drift away from it's mission. The duties of the membership director include recruiting new members through direct contact with prospective candidates as well as encouraging everyone in the council to prospect for new members. The director must then follow up on prospective candidates after they have signed their application for membership to assure they are voted upon and approved by the council at a regular business meeting or an Officers and Directors meeting. In addition the director must then insure that each approved candidate attends a 1st Degree ceremony where he is officially declared a Knight of Columbus. Tom joined the Knights on Nov. 13, 2007 and took his major degree on Jan. 20, 2008, dates that he can recite off the top of his head. He ironically was invited to join by the council’s membership director at the time, Bill Dover, and is now the council’s membership director himself. Tom moved from the office of Warden to that of Chancellor with the beginning of the new fraternal year on July 1, 2014. He is the leader of our Degree Team since its start in August 2012. He was voted Knight of the Year in 2014. Tom and his wife of 39 years, Helen Beggane, are familiar faces in the choir at 5:30 Mass on Saturdays, and Tom also serves as a lector.
Mike took both his first and major degrees early in 2005 and advanced to the Fourth Degree on Sept. 27, 2014. His list of council and Holy Spirit activities includes serving as our council’s Pro-Life Director and doubling that up under the parish’s outreach ministry, being both a Eucharistic Minister and lector for Masses (usually the 5:30 Sunday Mass), a youth catechist, involved in RCIA and Holy Spirit’s ACTS retreats. And he’s the organizer for the annual Hike for Life, which is held every October at Armstrong Park in Duncanville. He is member of the Awareness committee where he serves as a Contributing Writer about our Pro-Life activities. Mike has been deeply involved in the Catholic faith since his youngest days in Jersey City, N.J. His parents were Catholic missionaries and would take Mike and his five siblings across into New York City to help at homeless shelters, hold block parties and participate in other outreach activities. “It’s all I’ve ever known,” he said. He and wife Karen moved to Dallas in 1997 in connection with his job as a distribution manager. They celebrated their 23rd anniversary on Sept. 14. They have four children – Meghan (21), Jennifer (19), Kaitlyn (15) and Sean (7).
Community Activities Director
In his capacity as our director of community activities, Dan Murphy oversees the annual cookout at the V.A. hospital. Not coincidentally, he has organized the parish’s annual Veterans Day dinner and program for seven years. Dan is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and was active military 1975-95, so activities with and honoring veterans are special to him. After retiring from the Navy, he coordinated R.O.T.C. programs at area high schools through 2012-13. Dan joined the Knights in 1998 and was our Grand Knight during the fraternal years of 2002-03 and 2003-04. The parish’s Lenten fish fries started during Dan’s term as Grand Knight when Father Tim Heines sought an alternative to the soup suppers that had been held. His wife Pat is a hospice field nurse for Lion Hospice Care. The Murphys live in Dallas and have been married since 1975.
Baseball Concessions Director
Allen Reitmeier is the Knight who coordinates all the activities involving the operation of the concession stands. Allen, the recipient of the 2010 Knight of the Year award has been a Knight since November 2007 when he was invited to a Knights of Columbus insurance meeting where Bob Foster handed him his first Form 100. Allen became an active Knight right away by helping with the baseball concessions and finally taking it over in the Fall of 2008. Allen was instrumental in attaining the Cedar Hill concessions and has been the main contributor to its success. A lot of hard work goes into planning, running and organizing this highly successful money-maker and is one of the key reasons for the success of our Council. Allen also started the Awareness committee to increase communication in our council. In just over three years this project became an enormous success producing thirteen newsletters and dozens of articles, some published in the Texas Catholic and Columbia Magazine. What started out as a simple tool of communication has blossomed into a media mecca where everyone can read about all of our service program activities, upcoming events, etc., and this has been instrumental in new member recruitment. Allen is a Newsletter and Website Copy Writer, and he manages our Email List database.
Knight Hands Director
Allen started the Knight Hands service program to assist anyone in need in the Holy Spirit Parish area who is in need of minor repairs and small projects around the house. As of February 2015 Allen and his crew have completed one hundred projects since its start on May 25, 2010. Some of the jobs he and his crew have completed are: fixing roof tops, fence repair, painting walls and ceilings, bathrooms, installing lights, mowing lawns, installing and fixing doors and windows, trimming driveways, cabinetry in the Sacristy, built twelve cloth hangers, wheel chair ramp, has built two wonderful games for the Fall Festival and has even paid bills for some of the needy. Allen is also the Baseball Concessions Director, the biggest fund raising operation for our council. Allen somehow makes time to pick up meals on wheels from the Senior Center in Duncanville and delivers them to twenty two regulars, every Monday. He is a member of our Degree Team. Allen has been married to his lovely wife Linda for forty four years and has four grown children, Sarah, Paul, Leanne and Sherry who each have two children of their own.
Awareness Committee Director
Jorge is the editor of the council's newsletter, Knights Life, and our website editor and administrator. He also manages our web calendars and our email marketing campaigns. Along with six other council members in the Awareness Committee they serve as the Public Relations unit of the council. Jorge discovered his appetite for art and creativity at a young age, soon after emigrating from Ecuador to New York City and reuniting with his parents and siblings. Jorge has owned his own print broker and web design business since 1990, his clientele has included high-profile national political campaigns for 16 years. After handling the Public Relations for Holy Spirit’s Fall Festival two years in a row, he joined the council’s Awareness committee soon after joining the Knights then turned his attention to creating this new website for our council. Inspired by the fact that his father was a natural illustrator, Jorge attended the New York School of Printing in New York City where he studied pre-press and graphic design. Kathie, his wife of 37 years, is a psychotherapist in private practice. They moved from New York to Texas in 1981 and began attending Holy Spirit in 2010. They have three grown children, Jorge Jr., Javier and Rafael.
Jim joined the Knights in February 2012 and became a Fourth Degree member in September 2014. He is a charter member of 8157’s Degree Team, now serving as Retention Director while holding the office of council Warden. Jim also serves as the council’s Lecturer, a role that he takes very seriously; working on each talk for several weeks. The Russell's have been active in Holy Spirit life since dropping in on a Mass during the second week of the parish’s existence in the spring of 1974. They have been Holy Spirit choir members for about 35 years. Mary teaches a second-grade Faith Formation class. Jim retired in 2011, and Mary is a part-time music teacher at St. Joseph Catholic School in Waxahachie.
Youth Activities Co-Director
Art is a New Yorker by birth and north Texan since the Air Force sent him to Carswell AFB in 1955. Art participates in many council activities including the free-throw contests, catechist dinners and the winter blood drive to name a few. He was front and center for the spaghetti dinner on Feb. 23 2014 that helped the youth fund their mission trip to Chattanooga, Tenn., later that summer. He’s also part of our Degree Team, serving as the Outside Guard. Art served in both the Air Force (1952-56) and the Army (1958-77) as a helicopter and airplane mechanic. His main stops abroad were Germany and North Africa. He retired as a sergeant E-7 and decided to continue to make his home in north Texas. He has lived in Arlington since 2001 and became a Holy Spirit parishioner (and member of our council) in 2005.
Church Activities Director
Jim coordinates with the Community Life Director of the parish to obtain access to and use of facilities as needed by the Council. This is usually done a year in advance. Jim also schedules Corporate Communion - a quarterly celebration of the Eucharist by Knights as a group. Jim makes sure the Council is involved in the RSVP Program that supports seminarians. Jim wasted little time becoming involved after joining the council in April. He worked the concession stand counter during the youth baseball World Series, cooked during both the parish’s 40th anniversary picnic and the Vacation Bible School finale and helped with the set-up for the Fall Festival rummage operation. Jim is in his second go-round as a Knight. He initially joined years ago when he was a student at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. He’s retired following 20 years in the U.S. Army and another career that culminated with him working for a manufacturer of scientific lab equipment. He retired from the Army in 1989 as a major. Jim grew up just south of San Antonio in the small town of Jourdanton. He met his wife of 45 years, Sharon, on a blind date at a fraternity party. Sharon works as a nurse for a neurological practice in Mansfield. They have three grown children – Jennifer, Tracy and Corey along with four grandchildren – Tracy’s Ethan, Madeline and Eli plus Jennifer’s Addison. The Stavinohas live in Cedar Hill.
Health Activities Director
Pat Stepniewski has been handling health related issues for the Council for many years. The most visible manifestation of his dedication to health and the welfare of the community is his work in scheduling and coordinating the bi-annual Bea Bates Memorial blood drive. During this blood drive held in the dining room of the community center, Carter Blood Care receives the gift of life from more than 130 people annually. In addition, Pat secures tickets and makes all arrangements for the Knights and their families to attend a Texas Rangers baseball game each year at a reduced price - and as a group.