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Family of the Year 2014 - Presented by the Knights of Columbus

Dear Parishioners,

Each year the Knights of Columbus Archbishop Elder Council nominate a “Family of the Year.” The purpose of this is to give beautiful examples of Catholic family life in our parish. Of course each year most of these families feel unworthy of this honor, and most of the time I have to cajole the families to accept this honor. The Pappalardo’s were quite humbled by this, and of course do not want to bring attention onto themselves, but to Jesus Christ who has blessed them with their beautiful family. I am most honored to be able to honor them this weekend as the 9:30am Mass as the Knights of Columbus Family of the Year. May God continue to bless Jim and Anita, and their five sons, each in their own way have generously served our parish and community. May the Lord bless all our families as we all travel the road to our heavenly homeland. Here are a few words of thanks from the Pappalardo family.

Dear Knights of Columbus,

We humbly thank you for this honor, but can only accept it on behalf of all of our friends and neighbors from St. Gertrude parish who have helped us over our 21 years of marriage. As you may know, we are blessed with five sons, ages 11-18. Joe 
is attending Hillsdale College in the fall, Eddy and Will are at Archbishop Moeller High School, and John and Dominic attend St. Gertrude School. We love Catholic Education and are so grateful for the firm foundation our sons have received from the wonderful Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, the Dominican friars and novices, and dedicated faculty and staff at St. Gertrude’s. We pray that many new families joining our parish will consider the wonderful gift of Catholic education and enroll your children in our beloved school.

Originally registered at another parish, we switched to St. Gertrude in preparation for enrolling at St. Gertrude School when Joe was two-years old. We heard of the solid Catholic Dominican traditions of the parish, the presence of the young Dominican novices, the friars and sisters, and the wonderful solid families of the parish, and we knew that we wanted this for our growing family. To say the least, the parish and the school has been such a blessing to us. To meet other young moms and learn more about how to raise these boys, Anita joined a new Familia group. These beautiful women led her back to the riches of the Church in the sacraments, particularly confession and the Eucharist. We immediately took a Natural Family Planning class which opened our eyes to God’s creative power and our marvelous participation in bringing forth new life. Jim generously gave early morning hours to attend men’s Familia meetings which helped balance work and family life. Recently, we accepted an invitation to attend weekly adoration together which will further strengthen our marriage.

Our involvement in Boy Scouts is a great blessing with the wonderful leaders who adopt our boys as their own. Jim has enjoyed his time as a scout leader and continues to be impressed with all of the countless hours the other scout leaders and families share with St. Gertrude. Our sons also enjoy an engaging and fun Youth Minister, and serve at the altar and lector.

Throughout the years, others have invited us do small tasks such as frying egg rolls at the festival, refilling candles once a week, helping those in need through Ladies of Charity. As a result, many wonderful friendships are made and our “family” continues to grow.

For the past three years we have served on the Development Committee that was formed under the guidance of our pastor and Jeff Plate to begin to address the debt that is still owed from the previous two Capital Campaigns. We are happy to report that much progress has been made to address the debt, and we are looking forward to serving as an Ambassador Couple in the fall when the Public Phase of the Debt Elimination Challenge will begin.

We are only representatives of the many more deserving families as we draw on their faith, love and support. Since we have been given so much, it’s only natural to give back through service, sacrificing a bit of time and tithing. May God bless all of you in the parish for all you have done for us!

― Anita and Jim Pappalardo