Knights of Columbus District Deputy Bill Pokorny, Mrs. Beth Coleman and Worthy Navigator Phil Trojanowski are pictured at the check awards ceremony. Photo courtesy of Jack McAward

The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men’s fraternity with deep devotion for the rosary and the Blessed Sacrament, do far more than support the Church. Their charity work also takes them out into the community supporting students with scholarships, the mentally disabled and other efforts.

For Fourth Degree Knights in the Bishop William Z. Gomes Assembly, that also includes its 21st annual Law and Order Dinner. It’s April 21 at St. Joan of Arc Parish (Greenway Road east of State Route 51).

They’re honoring the Phoenix fire and police departments and specifically recognizing two individuals from each department. The basic principle of the Fourth Degree is patriotism, so supporting agencies that are sworn to protect the American way of life is commonplace.

“Our public safety personnel often hear the public’s complaints. Let’s show them our concern and appreciation for all they do by supporting this event,” an ad in last week’s parish bulletin read.

For event information including ticket prices at the door, read page 3 of the bulletin.

Other assemblies hold similar events throughout the year. The Knights of Columbus Assembly #2833 from St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish in Cave Creek recently awarded funds raised during its latest “Law and Order Awards Dinner.”

The Knights generally split funds among charities designated by the honorees — a member of the Armed Services, a Maricopa Sheriff’s Deputy and a Rural Metro Firefighter — but the assembly made a special exception this year. Knights of Columbus District Deputy Bill Pokorny and Worthy Navigator Phil Trojanowski awarded $2,235 March 28 to the widow of a local sheriff.

Beth Coleman lost her husband, a 20-year veteran, killed in the line of duty earlier this year. Sheriff William Coleman was ambushed while responding to a robbery in progress at an Anthem mall. Read his bio on the “Officer Down” Memorial Page.

Coleman was one of 14 gunfire deaths in the line of duty this year nationwide, according to the website. He was the eighth member of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to lose his life to gunfire since 1922 and the 17th on record to die “End of Watch.”

Coleman’s name will be added to the list of law enforcement and emergency personnel remembered at the annual Blue Mass held at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral in November. Before each liturgy, a bio is read saluting each member killed in the line of duty since the last Blue Mass and a candle is lit in his or her honor. Names are also read of those who passed away of other causes.

The Knights of Columbus are always present at the liturgy. Review photos from last year’s liturgy.

Ambria Hammel is the staff writer for The Catholic Sun. She began reporting for the award-winning newspaper in 2006.


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