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A Conventional Match

8/1/2018

by Joe Pappalardo

Rick and Enid Muñoz, couple who met at 1999 Supreme Convention, have been married for 19 years

The Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention is the last place a young man would expect to meet his future wife. It’s an event for an all-male organization, and while families often attend, it’s certainly not a Catholic singles event.

But for Rick and Enid Muñoz, such a miracle occurred at the 1999 Supreme Convention in Minneapolis, Minn. It all started with a well-timed cigar break for Rick — then Virginia state delegate — outside the States Dinner. Around the corner walked Enid and a friend, who began the fateful conversation.

“You here with your wife?” the friend asked.

Rick held up his bare hand.

She pointed at Enid, saying, “She’s single, too.”

Enid had come to the event with her father, who had helped establish the Knights of Columbus in the Dominican Republic and was serving as the territory’s very first state deputy. Enid had prayed that her future husband be smart, a hard worker and a Knight of Columbus. She didn’t know it yet, but Rick was all of those things.

Standing outside, Rick commented that he wished he had a Cuban cigar, but the women suggested he try Dominicans. Enid later invited him to a hospitality event shared with the members from Puerto Rico, and he brought her to the Virginia delegates’ event in turn.

After the convention ended, Rick and Enid went back home to Virginia and the Dominican Republic, respectively. But Enid had managed to leave a message for Rick before he left the hotel — a box of Dominican cigars.

He emailed her using the address on her card. The thank you message grew into a much longer letter, and it received an equally long response. They chatted by email for a few months, and before long the couple were conversing over international calls.

Encouraged by Enid, Rick changed his travel plans from a solo Aruba vacation to a Dominican Republic visit with her family. Enid stayed with Rick’s mother during her visits to America. It was not long after that Rick’s family learned he would ask Enid to marry him. And, afraid that his mom wouldn’t be able to keep the secret, Rick proposed before he even had a ring purchased. Enid said yes.

They were married in November of 2000, less than two years after that providential encounter at the convention.

For the newlyweds, there was no difficulty continuing their involvement with the Knights. Rick knew all the degree ceremonies by heart. The birth of their son in 2001 marks the only time Rick missed a scheduled third degree ceremony, a commitment he makes several times a year. Rick would even bring their infant son in a baby carrier to witness installations of district officers.

Rick said he was worried getting married would mean decreasing his involvement in the Knights of Columbus, as he’d seen with some of his peers. Enid ensured the opposite occurred. She translated Columbia magazine into Spanish from 2001-2016, serving in the role while wife to a two-time grand knight and three-time Virginia delegate.

Before his service to the Knights, Rick was skeptical of joining. His father had told him the Knights were just a “drinking club,” so as an adult Rick instead sought out service opportunities with a Jewish Community Center.

“I was an active Catholic and a single guy looking for something to do that involved volunteer work,” Rick said.

A chance encounter with a grand knight who recognized Rick’s strong faith was the turning point. Rick joined a local Virginia council, starting on a path towards the 1999 convention, and ultimately, his wife.

“It’s been a Knight’s journey,” he said.

Rick and Enid have been married for 19 years and live with their son in Virginia.

Rick is also the first owner of the kofc.org domain, which he used for the second ever council website in 1996. He offered it to the Supreme Council and it became the official national site in the 1998-1999 fraternal year.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2018. It has since been updated to reflect Rick and Enid’s current years of marriage.