Who do you know who can keep giving for nearly 50 years with smiles on their faces? The answer can be found with a volunteer charitable group of women at St. John the Evangelist Church in Old Saybrook. They are officially called the Father Hussion Columbiettes Auxiliary 2968 of the Knights of Columbus. They are dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Theresa the Little Flower and St. Joan of Arc. Their motto is a blue circle that represents the world, a white cross representing Christ’s love for us, rays that represent their zeal to serve God through the Mediums of Faith, Hope and Charity.
Father James V. Hussion, after whom 2968 Knights of Columbus is named, is the foremost witness of Christian living and giving. He was responsible for building St. John Church as pastor from December 1919 to July 1934. At his death on March 19, 1936, his memorial read, “It was as natural for him to assist the needy and to give as it was to breathe, and he gave without show or reward.”
This year, as in past years, the Columbiettes of St. John Church, began a month-long collection from Feb. 15 to March 26, of small personal care items for distribution to homeless and needy individuals by Catholic Charities, Diocese of Norwich. Organized by June Getchius, Financial Secretary Father Hussion Columbiettes Auxiliary 2968, collection boxes were placed in the churches of St. John’s, St. Mark’s in Westbrook, St. Mary Church of the Visitation and Christ the King in Old Lyme.
Columbiettes packaged the toothbrushes and paste, soap, shampoo, brushes, combs, washcloths, socks into attractive “treasure pouches” for distribution through the four eastern Connecticut offices of Catholic Charities. Mrs. Marylou Zinser coordinated the work.
May 5, Keyla Santos, Catholic Charities project director, and Kathy Capon, MSW, interim Catholic Charities director, brought the Catholic Charities van to St. John Church to receive the items.
“This was the largest collection ever,” Capon noted. June Getchius responded, “Thank you very much for coming today to pick up our donations and for staying for refreshments and to explain the work being undertaken by Catholic Charities. We are very pleased to be able to support your efforts.”
Santos thanked the Columbiettes for all their hard work and dedication to make life better for the individuals and families served by Catholic Charities.
By Jacqueline M. Keller, Catholic Charities Board Member
Photo: Members of Father Hussion Columbiettes Auxiliary 2968 packed Catholic Charities Van with their “treasure pouches” contributions May 5. Shown left: Columbiette Mrs. Marylou Zinser, Catholic Charities Interim Director Mrs. Kathy Capon, MSW. (Photo courtesy of June Getchius)