Wives Work Hard Behind the Scenes
The Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention takes a lot of planning and organization each year to handle some 2,000 people coming from all parts of the world. There are groups to meet and transport from the airport, hundreds of delegates to register at the hotel, dozens of tours to arrange for family members, and a variety of hospitality events to stage, with singers and entertainers. And many services must be available not only in English, but also in French, Spanish and Polish, the languages of the international Order.
As with most Knights of Columbus events, at the convention in Denver, a lot of the “manpower” is supplied by women – by wives of Knights who stand not only behind their man but also beside them and on the front lines.
District Deputy Robert Buljung, who is organizing the tours of Denver and the surrounding area, summed up the feeling of all Colorado Knights: “She is my godsend,” he said of his wife Bernadette. “I could not do what I do as a Knight without her help on all my projects. I can say that just about all the wives are the same. They really step up and support the Knights, and we try to give them the recognition they deserve.”
Bernadette Buljung said, “I am very proud of our state Knights, they work so hard. I am also proud to be working at the convention. I want the world to know how delighted we are to welcome them here.”
Handling a portion of the 200 convention volunteers is Carol Brom and her daughter, Kathy Brom. Carol’s late husband, James, who died in 2001, was Colorado state deputy from 1997-1999. Mother and daughter have remained active and committed to the Knights over the past 10 years.
“We are coordinating the hospitality volunteers and the greeters at the hotel and airport,” Carol said. “It has been a time commitment over the last two years, with all the planning meetings that I attended. I had to travel four hours round trip to each meeting. But it was worth it because the Knights have been so good to me over the years. They have not forgotten us, just like Father McGivney would want – taking care of widows and children.”
Kathy Brom added, “I grew up with the Knights. I have all these KC aunts and uncles, and now my son has all these grandfathers and grandmothers. We are like a big family.”
One of the main sources of volunteers for the convention is the Colorado Knights of Columbus Ladies’ Auxiliary, which has 45 members staffing the event.
“We work hand in hand with our men; that’s our mission,” said Dolly Castle, past auxiliary president, “and we also do a lot of things on our own.” Recently the auxiliary raised more than $5,000 to help purchase an ultrasound machine through the Order’s pro-life Ultrasound Program. “We are very proud of that, and we’re going to do more,” Castle said.