Name: Claude Mertzenich
Originally from: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Joined K of C: 1993
Offices held in the Order: Council 4208 Recorder; Chancellor; Deputy Grand Knight; Grand Knight; Trustee; Webmaster. Davis Assembly 0271, Faithful Admiral; Webmaster. District 8 Warden; Webmaster. State Website/Profile Page Chairman.
Hobbies and interests: prayer and spiritual activities, bike riding, walking, fellowship, reading and having fun with my children and family
What comes to mind when I think of the K of C: (1) Charitable service out of love for Christ and His one, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church; (2) Steak fries before summer meetings (http://iowakofc.org/video/decorah-knights-council-4208-steak-fry-monday-10-august-2015), which serve not only as good food but also as a metaphor for unity and fraternity.
K of C projects involved in: I try to participate in all of the activities of Council 4208 (DecorahKnights.tk), sometimes in big ways, sometimes in small ways. I’ve also gotten quite active being a warden for district 8 (District8Knights.tk), and I like doing a lot with the powerful–if underutilized–IowaKofC.org website platform. The patriotic (4th) degree (DavisAssembly.tk) is also very rewarding.
Why Am I a Knight?
By Claude Mertzenich
I was Baptized, Confirmed, and received our Lord’s Body and Blood in holy Communion for the first time during the offering of the holy Sacrifice of the Mass at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish’s Easter Vigil celebration (Madison, Wisconsin) on 14 April 1990 at the age of 27. That same year, I also received the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Matrimony. My wife (Lauri) and I then moved to Iowa, where I took up a new job and we started a family; we have lived in Iowa ever since. I joined the Knights of Columbus in 1993, made the 2nd & 3rd degrees in 1994, and joined the 4th degree in 1997. Lauri and I have six children, two of whom we lost two to miscarriage. Our oldest son is a 4th-degree member of the Knights of Columbus in Wisconsin, and our second-oldest son is a 3rd-degree member. Our youngest son (15 years old) is looking forward to joining the Order at age 18. Not least of all is our wonderful daughter, who is of college age.
So, why am I a Knight? I joined the Knights of Columbus as an outward sign of my commitment to the service of the Lord and to band together with like-minded Catholic gentlemen; I am thankful to Sir Knight Jack Barloon and others for having encouraged me to join the Order. While I have not always been perfect in my service to Christ—as evidenced in part by the fact that I partake of the Sacrament of Confession regularly–I have found in the Knights of Columbus a group of men whose goal it is to be not just the hands and feet of the Lord, but also “the strong right arm of the Church”* via charity, unity, and fraternity (camaraderie). A critical benefit of membership has been Knights of Columbus insurance, which not only helps the member and his family, but also serves as a major source of charitable giving for the Knights; moreover, Knights of Columbus insurance only invests premium dollars in Catholic-friendly businesses and organizations. Finally, I am very pleased to be part of the premier men’s lay apostolate in the world, an organization founded by a priest who has been proclaimed “Venerable” by the Church. Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, please pray for us.