Knights Celebrate Together, Honor Three
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 12, 2023
ROCKFORD—The Rockford Diocese Chapter of the Knights of Columbus held its 39th Annual Knights of the Round Table Recognition Dinner at Holy Family Church, here, the evening of Sept. 27.
The annual event recognizes three individual Knights for their service, often including a priest among the trio. This year’s honorees are Msgr. Glenn Nelson and Peter Smith of Council 470, and David Jones of Council 8473. Each was introduced by a member of their council after dinner.
“It gives me a lot of confidence (that) there is nobody I’d rather stand with in the midst of these storms that are coming. Brothers, thank you.”
—Bishop David Malloy
Committee chairman Othello Garganera introduced Msgr. Nelson, a 3rd degree Knight who was ordained in 1993 and served in Holy Angels Parish-Aurora (parochial vicar) and Christ the Teacher Parish-DeKalb (pastor). After earning a degree in canon law, he was chancellor for the diocese. He currently serves the diocesan and national deaf apostolate and is vicar general and moderator of the curia for the Rockford Diocese.
David Jones was highlighted by Knight Steve Zalas who introduced him as someone who is “always looking to help his fellow brothers.” His service has spanned both local and state positions and honors, including State Council of Faith chairperson; State Council Silver Rose coordinator; Northern Illinois fourth degree aid to the Master. He is a former district deputy and a former Faithful Navigator to Assembly 198. He has won awards including the State Medallion in 2023 and a 4th degree Distinguished Service Award from the Master in 2020. He is a member of Council 8473 at Christ the King Parish in Wonder Lake.
Peter Smith attends St. James-Rockford and has been a member of Council 470 since 2006. He followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the Oregon Knights at age 18 with his twin brother, Brian, of Council 735-Belvidere, in 1989. 
The Knight who introduced him, Frank Roy, said that “Peter has given his all to both the Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus.” 
In 2012 Smith was named St. James Parish Man of the Year. He is a past grand knight and current council financial secretary and member of the Rockford KC board. He served four years as district deputy for District 49. He is an active member of the 4th degree and currently is Faithful Navigator for Bp. Muldoon Assembly 190. He has chaired or helped with numerous events.
Bishop  David  Malloy spoke following the awards presentations.
“Thank you for what you are and what you do and for the way that you infuse so many necessary things into the life of the Church,” Bishop Malloy said in his remarks. He said he saw the gathering — “being together in this social fraternal manner” — as “another way in which faith is spread, the strength of faith is shared, the challenges of faith are confronted; we gain a great deal from the social aspect of our faith.”
The bishop encouraged their efforts in the year of Eucharistic Revival, saying, “we can try and help and engage something that needs to be much more front and center in our lives. As Knights of Columbus, everything that you’re doing is not an add-on. It is something that has the Eucharist, has Christ, has our faith, and that’s all one … this is really a wise, I think, opportunity to ask yourself, ‘What more am I doing for my faith in the Eucharist?’”
He asked them to pray for the October Synod, saying, “We need to pray about the witness to the world that is the Church.”  He said that the Church “needs witness,” including “people who understand the gift of life, the reflection of God in every human being … and to witness to that and to the goodness of it … “It must be a (positive) witness of love; it must be a witness of service,” he said.
Noting his experience with the Knights of Columbus in the diocese since he became bishop some 11 years ago, Bishop Malloy concluded: “It gives me a lot of confidence (that) there is nobody I’d rather stand with in the midst of these storms that are coming. Brothers, thank you.”
The group heard a few words also from State Deputy Jeff Peters and committee chairman Othello Garganera before the final blessing from Bishop Malloy and the group of priests who were present at the gathering.
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