St. Joseph’s Residence cookout – Fall 2017

Frank Salazar and Larry Balagna

Frank Salazar and Larry BalagnaService to our Catholic community was on display on Saturday, Oct. 14, when more than a dozen Council 8157 members prepared and served what has become the annual fall luncheon to about 100 residents, relatives and staff members of the St. Joseph’s Residence home in Oak Cliff that’s operated by the Diocese of Dallas.

Richard Hohman, the home’s assistant director, is a KC member living in Irving. He spoke on behalf of the Sisters who operate the home (and live there) and the almost 50 residents.

“It makes me proud to witness the Knights of Columbus Duncanville council continually bring joy and nourishment to the residents,” Richard said. “Year after year, your group offers a fun-filled afternoon by providing a picnic feast for the residents, families and staff at St. Joseph’s. It never ceases to amaze me the generosity and kindness the Knights bring not only to us but to many surrounding communities.

“The residents know these Knights and can’t wait to see them again and again. The Duncanville council is so well organized and efficient, the food service goes on without a hitch. There is ample food, refreshments and desserts that even the hungriest residents get their fill.”

Efrain Ochoa and Billy CallendarOn hand from our council were Grand Knight Jim Richardson, District Deputy Andy Goza, Al and Allen Alonzo, Larry Balagna, Billy Callender, Mike Fitzgerald, Tony Gonzalez, Jeff Miller and wife Frances, Jose Montoya, Efrain Ochoa, Jack Ramsden, Arthur Rodriguez, Frank Salazar, Art Senato and David Ybarra. Jorge Ruiz reported for duty at the parish community center on Saturday and, upon recognizing that the luncheon would be adequately staffed, volunteered elsewhere that day.

The home opened in 1955 and is the only Catholic senior assisted-living center in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The diocese operates the home with the assistance of the Sisters of the Bethlemite Order, four of whom live at the home. Sister Carolina Sanchez Botero has been the home’s director since 2007, having left her native Colombia for the United States in 1963.

“This isn’t an institution; this is our home,” Sister Carolina said. “We do not want a home that isn’t a happy home.”

Our council has been providing a cookout around Mothers’ Day for many years at the home and recently added the fall event to our calendar. Billy, Efrain, Jack and Jose manned the grill out back to whip up dozens of hamburgers and hot dogs while the others set up the serving line and got the drinks and condiments in readiness. Mike prepared his signature baked beans and cookies at home. The luncheon was served after Father Ben Molina from St. Elizabeth of Hungary celebrated Mass in the home’s chapel and then asked the blessing.

“From all the residents, families, staff and especially the Sisters, we cannot express our appreciation enough to the Duncanville council for everything you do,” Richard added. “A huge thank you to these dedicated men and lady volunteers who give up their valuable time to bring a smile, laughter and a wonderful afternoon to the seniors at St. Joseph’s Residence. This is truly a giving and sharing moment that is a testament of our faith and service to our Lord. God bless you guys.”