Knights Share Christmas Spirit


Santa Claus was a welcome guest at the McCloskey #4565 Council of the Knights of Columbus’ Christmas party.

At their annual Christmas parties, two Rockland councils of the Knights of Columbus — Triune Council #2052 in Pearl River and  John Cardinal McCloskey 4565 in West Nyack —  continued their holiday tradition of presenting prolife and other charities with donations to support their good works.

Triune donations

At the Triune Council #2052 Christmas Party: Augustine Paul (accepting donation for the Fr. J.B.M. Upper Primary School), Peg Beirne (Rockland Catholic Coalition). Joe Quattrocchi (Good Counsel Homes), Liz O’Brien (Rockland Right to Life), Karin Lancellotti (Birthright), Cathy McGovern (COPS Barn), Kevin McGovern, Grand Knight, Dee DeFelice, Financial Secretary, Joe Jacob (Little Servants of Divine Providence), and John Rio (Salesian Missions) and Past Grand Knight. Photo by Frank Traina

The Triune party was was held at Toner Hall at St. Margaret’s Church in Pearl River on Dec. 14

Among the local prolife groups receiving gifts from the Knights were the Rockland Right to Life Committee, Birthright of Rockland,  Good Counsel Homes in Spring Valley, and the Sisters of Life. Continue reading

Sr. Nancy Richter Honored at Concert for Life


Chris Bell, Exec. Director of Good Counsel Homes, presents award to Sr. Nancy Richter. Host Steve Possell at podium.

Sr. Nancy Richter, OP, a dedicated prolife leader, who is moderator of the Albertus Magnus High School Pro-Life Club, was recently honored at the annual Concert for Life, at the school on Dec. 5.

Sr. Nancy, a Dominican Sister of Sparkill,  is currently in charge of the Albert Magnus Campus Ministry. She works to foster among her students an appreciation of the sanctity of life at all stages. The Pro-Life Club’s projects include a student-organized  Life Chain outside their school on Route 304 in Bardonia, annual trips to the March for Life in Washington, D.C., and a Christmas fundraiser for Good Counsel. They’ve also been the largest single group in attendance at the Respect Life Sunday Life Chain on Route 59 in Nanuet for many years. Continue reading

Chris Bell, Fr. Andrew Apostoli Honored at Triune Charity Ball

At the podium, Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR, Grand Knight John Rio, and Good Counsel Home's Chris Bell at the Triune Council #2052 96th Anniversary Charity Ball.

At the podium, Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR, Grand Knight John Rio, and Good Counsel Home’s Chris Bell at the Triune Council #2052 96th Anniversary Charity Ball.

The Knights of Columbus Triune Council #2052 celebrated their 96th anniversary with a Charity Ball, held at the Colonial Manor in Norwood, N.J., on June 5. The event honored Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR, and Chris Bell of Good Counsel Homes for their dedicated years of service to so many ministries.

Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Honor Guard

Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Honor Guard

Grand Knight John Rio welcomed the guests and presented the honorees, who were escorted into the ballroom by the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus Honor Guard.

The program opened with the introduction of Fr. Apostoli by Fr. Frank Samoylo, longtime Rockland County resident, now pastor of St. Columbanus parish in Cortlandt Manor, and one of last year’s co-honorees for his work with the prolife movement.

Fr. Andrew is a member and co-founder of the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. He is a frequent host on the Eternal Word Television Network. Ordained in 1967 by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, the famous preacher and TV pioneer of the 1950s, Fr. Andrew  now works to advance the cause of the canonization of the bishop, whom he called a “great man who touched many hearts.”

In his talk, Fr. Andrew described some of the miracles attributed to the bishop, and asked the guests to pray for him to be declared a saint.

Fr. Andrew also spoke of his great devotion to Our Lady of Fatima and urged the audience to heed the Fatima message to pray the Rosary, which he said is “powerful enough to stop wars and bring peace,” and protect the Christian culture now beset by abortion, euthanasia, and attacks on religious freedom and marriage.

Fr. Apostoli, Richard Bruno, and Chris Bell

Fr. Apostoli, Richard Bruno, and Chris Bell

Next at the podium was Richard Bruno, coordinator of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Rosarians, who introduced Chris Bell, co-founder of the Good Counsel Homes for Babies and Mothers, and welcomed Chris’ wife, Joan Andrews Bell, who has been on the front lines of the prolife movement for decades,  and their son, Emiliano.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Good Counsel Homes, founded by Chris and Fr. Benedict Groeschel in 1985 to serve homeless, pregnant and parenting mothers and their babies.

Chris Bell -- A truly dedicated Apostle for Life

Chris Bell — A truly dedicated Apostle for Life

Chris began by thanking the prolife people of Rockland for their efforts to save unborn babies. He noted that over the years from the “rescues” in the 1980s — peaceful sit-ins blocking the doors of abortion clinics led by the Vicar of Rockland Msgr. Harrington  — to today’s 40 Days of Life vigils,  the number of  facilities in the county that provide surgical abortions declined from six to zero.

He also pointed out that Rockland has the lowest abortion rate in all the counties that comprise the Archdiocese of New York and attributed this to prayer and the Blessed Sacrament.

Many women who seek abortion do so under great pressure and despair, Chris said, and told the audience that many of the women who come to Good Counsel seeking help have had previous abortions because at the time, they said, it seemed they didn’t have a choice.

Good Counsel Homes offers them the choice of life for their babies and provides a program called Lumina to help women who have had abortions to heal. God’s mercy is infinite, Chris said, and to share that mercy and love of Christ with those in need is the mission of Good Counsel.

The final speaker of the evening was Rockland County Supervisor Ed Day who presented certificates of appreciation on behalf of the people of Rockland to the Triune Council’s honorees and to Good Counsel Homes on the occasion of their 30th anniversary.


Liz O’Brien, chair of Rockland Right to Life, with Fr. Andrew and Chris Bell.

The program ended with the announcement of the council’s Knight of the Year: Kevin McGovern.

Rev. Gerry Deponai, pastor of St. Anthony’s Church in Nanuet and the chaplain emeritus of the Triune Council, said of Chris and Fr. Andrew, “The Triune Council is deeply honored to acknowledge and honor these two dedicated man of the Church!

Our Church, our nation, and the cause of life have been blesssed with their charisms.”

Photos below courtesy of Frank Traina




Musicians Raise Their Spirit in Song for Good Counsel

Chris Bell, Executive Director of Good Counsel Homes, with honoree Margaret Hamilton, and Rev. Thomas Madden, Pastor of St. Peter's Church in Haverstraw

Chris Bell, Executive Director of Good Counsel Homes, with honoree Margaret Hamilton, and Rev. Thomas Madden, Pastor of St. Peter’s Church in Haverstraw

Music lovers gathered on Saturday, Dec. 6, for the annual Concert for Life, held to benefit Good Counsel Homes, a crisis pregnancy center, which has been helping single mothers and their babies for nearly 30 years. Good Counsel operates four homes, one of which is in Spring Valley.

The master of ceremonies for the concert was Steve Possell, co-host of Radio Rockland’s WRCR AM 1300 “Steve and Meredyth Morning Show.” The event was held at Albertus Magnus High school in Bardonia.  Continue reading

Concert Raises Funds for Good Counsel Home

Mary-Anne and Peter Partridge

Mary-Anne and Peter Partridge

Fr. Frank Samoylo, a longtime Rockland resident, was honored for his prolife work at the 3rd Annual Concert for Life, held this year at Albertus Magnus High School in Bardonia on Nov. 21.

The performers who volunteered their talents for the concert were Peter and Mary-Anne Partridge, Veritas — the Albertus Magnus Honor Choir, the No Boundaries group from St. Peter’s in Haverstraw, and solists Toni Linn Moore and Kiera Egan from St. Gregory’s School in Garnerville.

The featured performer was Monica Peterson St. John.

Steve Possell from radio station WRCR AM 1300 was the master of ceremonies.

Veritas -- the Albertus Magnus Honor Choir -- performs at the Concert for Life

Veritas — the Albertus Magnus Honor Choir — performs at the Concert for Life