Photos by James A. McBride
MERCHANTVILLE – In morning Mass here at St. Peter Church on July 13, with the pews filled with members of the New Jersey Knights of Columbus and their families, Bishop Dennis Sullivan reminded the Knights of their duty, to be men “united in action, generous with their talents, for the greater glory and benefit of all humankind,” advocates for the poor and pro-life cause.
The occasion was the Installation of Officers and District Deputies of the New Jersey State Council Knights of Columbus, for the 2013-14 year.
Andrew “Andy” Lipenta, a member of St. Peter Church’s Knights of Columbus Council 6735 since 1985, was installed as State Deputy, with Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Charles J. McDonnell of Newark, State Chaplain; Msgr. Michael P. Mannion, associate state chaplain; Bruce DeMolli (Diocese of Paterson), state secretary; Robert E. Hatler (Archdiocese of Newark), state treasurer; Vincent P. Tavormina (Diocese of Metuchen), state advocate; James Stoever (Diocese of Trenton), state warden; and 71 district deputies.
The newly-installed received their Jewels of Office and pledged to bring honor and dignity to themselves, and the Knights of the Columbus.
In his homily, Bishop Sullivan gave thanks for the new officers and district deputies for their “wonderful contributions” to the church, and told them to “be not afraid,” as Jesus instructed his disciples in the day’s Gospel passage from Matthew.
As State Deputy, Lipenta will be responsible for the general welfare of the 64,000 members and their families, in 350 councils throughout the state of New Jersey, for the next two years.
As a Knight of Columbus at St. Peter’s, Lipenta has served in many positions of distinction, including Grand Knight, District Deputy, and as Faithful Navigator of the Bishop Justin J. McCarthy Assembly, Cherry Hill. He was appointed District Master, Fourth Degree and served from 2008-11.
A graduate of St. Peter School, Bishop Eustace Preparatory School, Pennsauken, and St. Joseph’s College, Lipenta worked in industrial sales and marketing for 45 years, and retired as vice president of marketing three years ago, after 32 years of service with Electro Magnetic Products, Inc. in Moorestown, where he still does part-time consulting.
A lifelong parishioner of St. Peter’s, he serves on the Parish Pastoral Council, is the schedule coordinator for Eucharistic Ministers and lectors, and was a recipient of the Diocese of Camden’s Bishop DiMarzio Liturgical Ministries Medal.
The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest growing Catholic, fraternal, family benefits organization. It has grown to more than 14,000 councils and 1.8 million members throughout the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, Guatemala, Guam and Saipan..
The organization began in 1882, when a young priest, Father Michael J. McGivney, saw the need among the poverty-stricken Irish immigrant families of New Haven, Conn. His service to his parish families and his desire to protect and improve the lives of his parishioners, compelled him to start a fraternal organization whose primary principle was charity, while pledging to protect their families and their country.