The women's arm of the Knights of Columbus is the Columbiettes. At St. Patrick's the Holy Mother Mary Columbiettes received its charter on February 16, 1966. Rose Brenna was the organization's first president. There were 24 original members. Today, 80 members give of their time, talent, and treasure in order to give spiritual and material support to Holy Mother Church, to their brother knights, and to their community.
Members become involved for many reasons. Some have been inspired by their husbands.
"I became involved with the Columbiettes because my husband is a Knight, said Rosemary Truglio. "I saw first hand all the wonderful things the Knights do and how the Columbiettes support them. After joining, I realized that the Columbiettes not only help the Knights but also undertake their own projects to contribute to the Church and the community. I have also experienced their warmth and zeal in helping a sister Columbiette."
Meetings are held on the second Monday of the month and a number of good works usually result. Annual fund raisers (including a spaghetti dinner, international dinner, Christmas luncheon, and a card party) enable the Columbiettes to support more than 14 charities. The members also prepare Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets for the local outreach programs, and transcribe alphabet books for blind children. Each year, the Columbiette Community Service scholarship is awarded to two eighth grade girls - one from St. Patrick School and one from Sts. Philip and James School.
One of the more memorable events for Past President Arline Alifano was a square dance. "The square dance was very successful for us," she said. "I'm sure many of the Knights will remember this dance. I have always been very proud to be a Columbiette and to have been one of their presidents."
The Columbiettes also share in one another's joys and sorrows. A special fundraiser was held for one Columbiette who, due to an unforeseen crisis, needed assistance. A successful dinner raised more than $7,000.00 for the family. The Columbiettes also worked with St. Patrick's Outreach Program to give clothing and food to a local family in need.
Some of the spiritual activities of Columbiettes include a Living Rosary, a Memorial Mass, an Advent Service, the Stations of the Cross, and the May Crowning. Prior to each meeting, the Columbiettes gather to pray the Rosary for the intentions of the membership. Columbiette Chaplain, Father Douglas Arcoleo, periodically speaks on religious issues, helping to enrich the members' understanding of the faith.