MOORE, Okla. — What was once an abandoned nine-bedroom house is now a hospice serving the elderly who would otherwise die alone. The transformation was possible thanks to local Knights.
Ronald Larchick, grand knight of St. Mark Council 12108, said the house had the perfect layout to serve as a hospice, but was originally not in great shape.
“The house had sat vacant for a number of years, so landscaping was overgrown,” Larchick said. “There were a lot of things that needed to be done on the house.”
Article originally published in Knightline, a monthly resource for K of C leaders and members. To access Knightline archives,
click here Using their own chainsaws, pole saws, trimmers and trash trailers, the Knights cut brush and trees. They cleared an overgrown flood plain behind the house using equipment donated by the council. Knights also rewired the intercom system and cable television system and replaced old locks with new electronic smart code locks.
In total, Council 12108 estimates that its members put in more than 2,000 service hours on the house — now known as St. John Paul II Dwelling — and donated more than $1,000 worth of equipment.
The home is the newest of three hospices founded by Sister Maria of the Trinity, a religious sister and founder of the Gospel of Life Disciples hospice ministry. At each hospice, volunteers called Life Guards tend to the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of the elderly at no charge to them. For the poor, and for people without family, it is a peaceful place to stay until God calls them home.
When the first hospice opened in south Oklahoma City, Sister Maria said the Knights were the first to step up and volunteer to help the residents.
“They’ve just been good to us,” Sister Maria said. “It’s not any one thing but it’s been several different ways they’ve provided support — moral support, and physical support and financial support.”
Knights and their wives volunteer at the three hospices by landscaping, gardening, providing meals and spending time with residents. Sister Maria shared that one such volunteer went on to become a Knights of Columbus insurance agent, and he now continues his life of service by helping Catholic families protect themselves financially.
The Knights helped Sister Maria in other pro-life efforts as well. They provide Knights of Columbus “Defend Life” signs that she brings with her when she prays daily outside an abortion clinic.
“I just really love the Knights and feel like they’re the best pro-life group that we’ve got going in the United States,” Sister Maria said.
Take a look at the Faith In Action programs to see how you and your council can join Knights worldwide in promoting the dignity of all human life. Let us know how your council is supporting the culture of life by sending your story to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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