Grand Knight's Message
News,Events & Letters
About Us
Our Parishes
Photo Gallery
Portage Park Community Fair 2017
Tonti Council 1567
Knights Of Columbus - 773-575-4171
Happy New Year Everyone!

May the blessings of baby Jesus,
be with you and remain with you!

The Christmas party was a great success! Everyone had a good time and there was plenty of food to eat. Thanks to Dominic Henry for coordinating all the arrangements of the evening. I would also like to thank Joe and Dorothy Nalepa for bringing the “Christmas guessing game” for the evening. It was great fun and everyone had a good time playing.
Tom Handrigan and Joe Nalepa presented Fr. Robert Fedek of Our Lady Of Victory with a fourth degree sword. Prior to the presentation a brief history of the sword was given by Joe Nalepa. The sword belonged to the Past Faithful Navigator Edward J. Holowicki of LaSalle Assembly. Brother Holowicki was a founder of the Seminarian Program for the Knights of Columbus. I think Fr. Robert was quite surprised and very happy to receive it as he has been strong supporter of the Knights of Columbus and is very deserving of it.

Everyone had fun singing Christmas carols, and our two servers joined in more than one language. All in all it was a lot of fun and everyone had a great time!
We are all saddened by the passing of our brother Sir Knight Stanley J. Lata on 12/14/2011. Stanley was a member of Tonti for 62 years. We received a letter from his daughter containing a check for $1000 for the Newman Fund. She said that this was one of the final wishes of her father. Makes you proud to be a Tonti member doesn't it? We are in the process of composing a special thank you letter to her. We will ask the State Council to send a Donor Plaque to us In Brother Lata's name, so that we can present it to the family at a future date.
Looking forward in January, we will conduct our annual free-throw contest. This year Tonti will hold two. One will be held At Mercy Home and is set for Saturday 1/28/12, and the second will be held At Our Lady of Victory Parrish on Sunday 2/19/11, after the 11:15 Mass. Immediately following the second contest, Tonti will host the district level championship.
Good luck to all the kids!
I am encouraged by the progress of 2011 and I am confident that in 2012 we will continue to progress in the areas of membership, participation, fundraisers, and all-around family fun. I look forward to working with all our brothers to make 2012 the best year ever for Tonti Council. Have a safe and Happy New Year!
Vivat Jesus
G.K. Kurt Sedlacek


February is rolling in like a storm! Hard to believe 1 month of the year is already over! Next thing you know it will be Easter! We will kick it all off with Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Just don’t party too hard on fat Tuesday as (Mardi Gras) there is a lot of work that still needs to get done.

I hope this message finds you all in good health and staying warm and cozy. The weather sure has been strange enough with all the snow, cold, and rain. It’s no wonder so many are getting sick. Please make sure to get enough rest, eat and drink well, and if you are feeling ill; don’t wait…call the doctor and go in for a checkup!

January was a great month for the council we expect to have about 6 – 10 guys that willbe taking their 1st degree just before our 2/2/12 business meeting. I welcome them all

and their families to the council! Part of this success is due in part to a wonderful
recruitment drive held at Our Lady of Victory and Father Robert Fedek who is an avid supporter of the Knight’s. Many of the prospective men and their wives came to our social on 1/19/12. WOW what a turn out! Not to mention the great and tasty food provided by our own SK Tom Handrigan and SK Joe Arnaud! Between your choices of Tom’s fish fry and tator tots or Joe’s very own and very good gumbo it was hard to go hungry! If you could not make it that night I am so very sorry you missed out. Thanks again to Tom and Joe for all the hard work they did in the kitchen preparing all the food! We also had the movie “Chicken Little” running on the big screen for the little ones who seemed to enjoy themselves while giving mom and dad a few minutes to catch up with the other grownups. I think this is the way a “Social Night” is supposed to be and hope to continue them in the same way! As a matter of fact our annual “Night at the races and dessert contest” is scheduled for 2/16/12 so make sure you put it on your calendar now as it is always have a fun time!

New to the website this month Tonti Council’s our very own Seminarian Matthew Heinrich’s Catholic Blog! An in-depth look into topics of interest to Catholics families with an emphasis on our faith, this month called Mind, Body and Soul. Started last summer during his stay at Our Lady of Victory Matt held several discussion groups regarding some of these issues and we have invited him to continue them thru our website. Please read his blog and feel free to participate by adding comments and let Matt know how you feel on the various topics that come up. We are all excited to help him grow into the fine vocation he chose and wish him well!

God bless, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Vivat Jesus,




March – In like a lion, out like a lamb….so they say. Well
this winter has not been too bad so far and I hope it stays that way!

Many things have happened over the last month. We had 8 new members join our council on 2/2/12 and I wish to welcome them and their families! From Our Lady of Victory we welcome Len Heinrich, David Mendoza, Michael Hill, Robert Skaja, Brian McGovern, and Michael Sexton. From St. Edwards Marty Philbin and from St. Constance Viliam Babjarcik, I again welcome them to our Order. I would also like to thank our District Duty Bob McLoughlin and The Holy Spirit Degree staff for handling the ceremonial portion of our First Degree Celebration, great job guys!
Our social night was the annual “Knight at the races and Dessert Contest” turnout was tremendous and I think everyone had fun! Thanks to all those who participated in either the races or dessert contest without you the night just isn’t any fun. Congratulations to Sue Griggs 1st place, Sandy Sinopoli 2nd place and Judy Sedlacek 3rd place in the dessert contest. Thanks to all who brought in something and better luck next time!
We held our free-throw contest again and this year and we tried something different: we held two of them. For the 2nd year we did one for the kids at Mercy Home and one for our parish kids, this year held at Our Lady of Victory. Turnout was great at both locations. We had 34 total, 6 boys and 6 girls at Mercy Home, and 10 boys and 12 girls at OLV. The same day we held the one at OLV, we also hosted not only our district but our neighboring district free-throw contest as well. As you can imagine we had quite a few kids and parents but all in all it went well. Thanks to Peggy Dietrich athletic director at OLV for helping us work thru the day’s event, and also to Jim Handrigan and the rest of Boy Scout Troop 990 for handling the refreshments for the day. I hope to continue to grow our relationship with them in the future.
This month we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation of our Blessed Mother. We had plans to celebrate at St. Lad’s Parish but due to scheduling conflicts we will be unable to. At this point we can either join our Brothers from Mater Christi Council at St. Pascal’s, or meet at one of our parishes for a small prayer service including the Rosary. TBD at this month’s business meeting with notification to follow…
We are also gearing up for our annual “Art in the Park” so mark your calendars now for Sept. 15th and 16th this is our biggest fundraiser for the year. Help is needed in many different ways and we will discuss it in the upcoming meetings. Please plan to participate in some way, shape or form.



Happy Easter! Welcome to April & Spring!

May the blessing of the Risen Christ Jesus be with you and remain with you all year!

March doings for us knights here at Tonti are as follows.

We were honored to have Joe Pietruszynski, Supreme Membership & Programs Consultant join us for our business meeting to encourage us to forge forward with our membership and council growth, and to speak about the Father McGivney Center for Hope and Healing. It is always nice to have the support and encouragement from those in our order.

Our social gathering honoring St. Pat’s and St. Joe’s was well attended and full of good times had by all. Thanks to everyone who brought “Something to share”!

This April we will hold just the one business meeting on the 3rd Thursday 3/19/12 due to Holy week and Holy Thursday Mass. Please visit the church of your choice and say thanks to God for living in our country!

April also brings the exemplification of the 4th. degree hosted by Christopher Columbus Assembly, on April 21, 2012 at the Marriott Lincolnshire please go if you can and welcome the new “Sir Knight’s”!

Many of you may have seen the report for “Shamrocks for Kids” sent out by FS Jeff Griggs, but in case you didn’t among the several parishes that supported the effort we raised approximately $2,100 to help Father Scott and the kids at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. That is about 10% more than we did last year, and we hope to even better it next year. Thanks to all those who help shake the can!

We also are beginning to help with the baby bottle program to help support the Father McGivney Center and started at St. Lads last weekend with the passing out of bottles that will be collected in the next 5 - 6 weeks. Thanks to Joe Sikorski and Tony Mangiaracina for covering this first of our parishes. More to follow in the future…

In May we will be hosting a major degree at Our Lady of Victory, first time in a while that Tonti has sponsored a major degree and I look forward to it. Please stay tuned for more info!

Vivat Jesus,



I hope that everyone enjoyed their Easter and the great weather we had! April activities in the council were limited to our business meeting that was held 4/19/12 due to Holy Week. I did hold a planning meeting with several of the officers the week before just to make sure we are “on schedule” for the upcoming months and to make sure nothing gets missed going forward.
I also wish to extend my congratulations’ to all new Sir Knights that took their 4th degree on April 21 and to my brother Sir Knight’s from Christopher Columbus Assembly for their great job they did in hosting this year’s event! I am sorry I could not be there due to scheduling conflicts but understand that just short of 150 men were Knighted in the 4th degree. Way to go!
May brings us the crowning of our Blessed Mother Mary and Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s day to all you mom’s out there! I hope that your day is a special one and that you get to spend quality time with friends and family!
May also brings us our hosting of a major degree in sometime. Please mark your calendars for May 2oth 2012 at Our Lady of Victory School Hall. We can use all the help we can get to make this go off without any issues. We hope to get as many new brother knights initiated that day as possible, and will be honored to have the Holy Spirit Degree team bringing in our new brother knights. Please have your candidate their no later than 12:30 PM to get checked in if they are taking their 1st degree. Thanks to Father Robert Fedek and all the staff at OLV for booking us the space and time!
Upcoming events in June and July are the caucus, installation and honors night, this year honors night and the installation will held together and will more than likely be held at an offsite location TBD so stay tuned to our website for further announcements.

Vivat Jesus,



~Click On The Picture To Send The Grand Knight An E-mail~Greetings Brother Knights & Friends,
May was a great month for the council as we hosted for the 1st time in over 20 years (so I was told) a major degree ceremony which went well. There were 9 new men knighted in the 1st degree and 16 that were knighted in the 2nd and 3rd degrees 2 of which are new Tonti members, welcome one and all. The ceremony was held at Our Lady of Victory School hall and gym; I wish to thank Father Robert Fedek for allowing us to have it there, and many thanks to the Holy Spirit Degree team that did such a wonderful job bringing in our new brother knights. I also need to thank all of our guys that came out to help. I heard from many guys that the food from Trattoria Porretta’s was awesome!
June brings us to the close of our fiscal year and a new slate of officers, I have been happy and proud to serve as Grand Knight the past 2 years for this council, and I am choosing to step down but will serve the new Grand Knight in any way I can. My many thanks to all who have helped me these past 2 years, any success I have gained is because of all who have helped. I defiantly could not have done it without you!
I hope that you all are finding this website helpful and informative. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions.
Just go to the page “
Your Thoughts? and add your ideas.

Vivat Jesus,




June has certainly been an emotionally charged month! Starting with the elections of officers to the installation of the same. I am overwhelmed by the amount of private and public support and confidence many of you have showed me. I hope and pray that I can live up to your expectations. I will always do my best to do what’s best for our Tonti Council, The Knights of Columbus and our Parishes.
I would be remiss if I didn’t give credit to my friend and predecessor, PGK Kurt Sedlacek! Kurt has been an exemplary Grand Knight and a true asset to Tonti and the Knights of Columbus. During his administration, Kurt has lead us through our 100th year anniversary, instituted our website, reinstated our social nights as true social and family nights. he also presided and instituted many money saving programs all without reducing the level of financial support we lend to our parishes and charities. He is the balance of diplomat and enforcer the Council needed at a time when change within our council was inevitable. My thanks to Kurt for his continued support as my Deputy and service, along with a JOB WELL DONE BROTHER!
I would also like to thank all our PGKs for their continued service, support, input, and insight. We as Tonti Members should feel proud that our PGKs did not lay back after their administrative accomplishments, but rather showed that just because their administrations were over, they continued to be involved in whatever capacity necessary to continue our ministries and the continued success of Tonti Council. In other words, they are the essence of “you had a great past…but what have you contributed lately”; this is a vital lesson to be learned by all of us! Thank You Brothers and God Bless!

I think the officers that we have elected are ecellent and I wish to thank them for their continued service. We have come along way, but there is always more that needs to be done. I truly feel that our officers are committed gentlemen and present a balanced "thought of mind" to our challenges ahead. Together and with the grace of God we will be succesful.
The agenda for the foreseeable year is quite simple:
· Membership
We can increase our membership drives via the “Father wants you program” in our parishes as well as inviting friends AND their families to our social nights.
· Family
Increasing Family involvement can only help us to not only enjoy each other’s company, but also free up time to participate in the council. Additionally, it demonstrates to all our children, at an early age what it means to be a servent of God ... a Knight.
We will discuss these and other goals at our meetings. Speaking of meetings, our regularly scheduled business meeting for July will be cancelled since it falls on July 5, 2012, the day after the 4th of July. We will see each other at our social meeting on July 19th.
Till then, God bless you and your family!

Vivat Jesus,



August greetings! July is over and perhaps so is the disastrous heat wave. July saw a few events go by; including our officers meetings and Jeff Fest.
At our officers meeting we discussed the coming year and our continuation into the future.
· We set the new calendar for the coming year. As always you can download a copy from this website.
· We decided who was best to lead the directorships of our various ministries.
· We decided to make over the WAKE LIST PROCEDURES. Rather than making all the phone calls, notifications would now be an email event. Of course those of us without email will still receive the phone call. If you do have an email address, please make sure our records are up to date. Remember: Tonti will never share your email address.
· We discussed membership and the next logical step into the “Father Wants You” program as well as a reminder to invite your friends and families to our various social events.
I truly hope that our actions will continue to grow our council spiritually, in happiness, in fulfillment, and in numbers. For these goals to happen we must all do our part!
Once again, Tonti Council participated in the annual Jeff Fest. Eight of our members came out and poured the beer to keep all the Jeff Fest patrons happy as well as ourselves! Ms. Laura Hahn, the Fest’s director expressed her thanks and gratitude. It is these types of events that put us on the map with our neighborhoods, expands their knowledge of the Knights and makes us friends as we move into the future. If you have an event that you feel would benefit Tonti as well as a community organization …. Please bring it to our attention.
September …. A busy month for Tonti! We will have our annual “Art In The Park” fundraiser as well as the coinciding Tootsie-Roll Drive to benefit those with Intellectual Disabilities. Both are work but a good time. Needless to say we will need ALL HANDS ON DECK for these events!
Enjoy the rest of August, don’t forget our social night, don’t forget to bring your friends and family, God Bless All Of You and be safe.

Vivat Jesus,


Happy September! Wow where is the summer going in such a hurry! As the drought continues and temperatures soar, perhaps fall will bring relief.

August has also seen some of our Brother Knights in various hospitals with life-threatening conditions. I do believe our good Lord, through the power of prayer, has kept them with us a little longer! Please continue to pray for our brothers and all who are infirmed.

September brings our 16th Annual Art in The Park! Jeff, this year’s chairman, and the AIP Team have put in many hours in preparations, to insure yet another success! Come September 15th and 16th, we will need all hands on deck to ensure its continued existence as one of the best fund raisers ever. Please be available to discuss your contribution to the cause at our September business meeting. Keep in mind that we will also be collecting for our yearly ID drive as well. Both these events will be a great way to get our new troops involved in the council.

Please be well, have a great and safe time during the Labor Day weekend ... and perhaps say a little prayer for our unemployed!

Vivat Jesus!



Well September, as expected, was one busy month! First and foremost, [as expected], was our 16th Annual Art In The Park. And this year as in the past
has not disappointed! Thanks to our 2012 chairman, Jeff Griggs and his team, AIP has once again shown itself to be our best in fundraising. Jeff brought a fresh outlook to the event, and as in previous chairmen, built on the past to a better future. Speaking of new ideas … we had a 50/50 with the vendors this year which resulted in our ability to purchase 5 wheelchairs for the K of C’s “American Wheelchair Mission”. Our vendors reportedly had a blast playing and seemed genuinely proud when told “WE” [they and our Knights] raised as much as we did to purchase the 5 chairs. This is truly a win for them, us, and of course they recipients of their generosity. Once again Great Job to Jeff and the AIP team!
We also had a small fundraiser at OLV to help St. Mary Of Providence raise some needed funds for their mission. We helped the residence of St. Mary’s shake the can for 2 masses on 9/9/12 and raised an amazing amount of cash! Sister Florine and the girls were very pleased with the results. Our special thanks to Fr. Fedek for hosting the function and the very generous parishioners of OLV for their continued support of Tonti Council sponsored events.
It is also that time again for the Vocations Raffle. The 2012 chairmen, Dominic Henry and his new protégé Mike Sexton are busy and we will have more to report later. Meanwhile, please read our own seminarian, Mathew Heinrich’s, take on the subject. Remember to be generous when you receive your booklets in the mail. Get others involved by offering them a ticket as well. As we saw at AIP, when the cause is just people are PROUD to help! It’s up to you [Us] how successful we will be.
September is also traditionally the K of C’s Tootsie Roll Drive [ID DRIVE] benefiting those with Intellectual Disabilities. Our parishes S.P.R.E.D. groups, several organizations, as well as our Knights have been busy shaking the can everywhere to raise the funds necessary to keep various organizations in our area going. This a worthy cause that demands our attention.

Vivat Jesus,



It is a busy month like September that should give us that inner peace of knowing that we did a little to help make our world a little better. I for one am proud our council and all that are involved in it’s good works. God bless all of you!



HomeGrand Knight's MessageNews,Events & LettersAbout UsOur ParishesPhoto GalleryIN MEMORIAMPortage Park Community Fair 2017