PERRYSBURG – With 65 Knights of Columbus councils in the Diocese of Toledo, and only eight diocesan
annual awards, any council would be honored to earn just one of the awards.
As a new council, it is an even greater accomplishment to consider the Blessed John XXIII Council 14502
earned five of those honors this year.
The council’s grand knight, Wayne Vreeland, was awarded as the diocese’s Knight of the Year. Tom
Jagodzinski was named Volunteer of the Year, while his wife, Jan Jagodzinski, received the Lady of the
Year award. Kathy and Joe Frederick and their family was named Family of the Year; while Brad Thielen
earned Youth of the Year honors.
The council was only chartered officially on April 11, 2008, with 54 knights listed as charter members.
Among the prominent activities over the first year include establishing the prayer garden at the parish’s
Community Life Center; holding an Easter egg hunt for the youth and a blood drive. The council also
participates in many of the diocesan activities including the Keep Christ in Christmas poster contest,
free throw contest and youth soccer challenge for the youth, as well as support of various charities and
causes for the Catholic community and beyond, including support the active-duty military and their
Through funds raised, the council also provides donations to local charities including a recent $400 gift
to Wood County Special Olympics.
Vreeland, who is now in his second year as grand knight for the council, says there was talk of forming
the council back in 2007. In January of 2008, the actual formation began.
"Our mission is to assist the bishop in what he wants us to do and to assist Father (Herb) Weber in
anything he needs at the parish level," Vreeland said in a brief synopsis of the role of the K of C
Weber serves as the parish’s pastor and is also a member of the council.
The council has grown from the 54 charter members to 66 current members. There are more than 66,000
members in Ohio, and 1.7 million worldwide.
"We work a lot with the St. Vincent de Paul Society," Vreeland said of the council’s work.
The charitable arm of the parish will come to the K of C with requests to help various individuals or
families. The council also helps at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter to provide meals and more for
those families in need.
The council also received the Bronze Footstep award from the diocese for its membership and program
According to Mark Pickard, the state general program director, less than one-third of the 388 councils in
Ohio achieve the honor or better.
Vreeland indicated the annual award winners were judged based on what the nominees had done for the
council, for the community and for the parish. All of the awards are judged on what was done only in the
Frederick indicated his reasons for becoming an active member is because of the council’s "service
to the church and to its members."
He added, "The best way of putting it, is we support the church."
The first council was formed in 1881 and was designed to help the widows and children of the church that
were considered outcasts in that era.
That support has evolved into a very healthy and profitable insurance company affiliated with the K of C.
Frederick also noted the respect and fraternalism which comes with being a member.
Not only locally, but globally, Pickard added, they can go anywhere, look up a local council and find
welcoming arms by someone who shares the came morals and core values.
"It’s a very supportive group," Frederick said.
There four degrees within the K of C. At the first degree, men become members; at the third degree they
are considered knights.
The fourth degree includes the members who wear ceremonial headdress at special occasions including
confirmations and funerals and are called the "Eye of the Order."
On the Net
The Knights of Columbus chapter at Blessed John XXIII Parish recently took five of the top eight annual
awards for the Diocese of Toledo. The awards were presented Monday before the council meeting. Honored
were (from left) Jan Jagodzinsk, Lady of the Year; Brad Thielen, Youth of the Year; Wayne Vreeland,
Knight of the Year; Tom Jagodzinski, Volunteer of the Year; and Kathy and Joe Frederick, Family of the