Knights join together to work with Carmelites

By Joanna Puddister King and Tereza Ma
JACKSON – On a beautiful Saturday, May 30, Knights from various councils spent their morning in South Jackson at the Carmelite Monestery cutting grass and working on various projects for the cloisered community of nuns that pray for the Diocese of Jackson. But it doesn’t seem like work showing up every other Saturday to work on various projects, “it is very fulfilling,” says Calvin Torregano of St. Jude.

Calvin Torregano of St. Jude gets ready to tackle a project with other Knights of Columbus from around the area on Saturday, May 30.

Torregano set up an app for Knights from various councils to coordinate who can help and when. It has helped the councils chip away at the various projects at the property, built in 1836.
It all began with Father Lincoln Dall about two years ago with a conversation after Mass, says Torregano. Father Lincoln mentioned how many projects needed to be tackled at the monastery and then the idea “blew up” at a Knights convention on the coast.
In the past, individual councils from Holy Savior Clinton, St. Paul Flowood, St. Jude Pearl, St. Joseph Gluckstadt and St. Richard Jackson have worked to replace windows, rebuild a gazebo, to build two handicap accessible ramps, to clean and rebuild a wall and much more. Even the Ladies Auxiliary of St. Joseph Gluckstadt has jumped in to help with various cleaning projects starting three years ago with pressure washing and work inside the Carmelite gift shop. This past year, even a group of seniors from St. Joseph school in Madison came out to help to clean up the grounds. “It is the perfect place for service hours,” says Torregano.

JACKSON – Sister Dona Marie greets Grant Schirmer on his way to do some more trim work around the Carmelite Monestery property. (Photos by Tereza Ma)

For large projects, Victor Gray-Lewis of the St. Richard group of Knights and the Diocese of Jackson helps make sure all of the details are covered for construction. The Knights aim to complete a few projects before the Solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16. Torregano says they would like to finish spreading some dirt, get siding on the garage replaced and painted and a new roof on the gift shop, among others.