An early Christmas gift was hand delivered to Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio by the Knights of Columbus from Msgr. Sherman Council No. 5103 in Glendale. Members presented him with a “Keep Christ In Christmas” Lionel boxcar.
The train idea came to the Knights as a way of combining their love of Lionel trains and their passion for keeping the Christ Child in focus during this season.
“Keeping Christ in Christmas was always very important to me,” said Knight Frank Kotnik Jr., who originally came up with the idea of creating these trains.
“I didn’t like how the birth of Our Savior Jesus Christ was being so commercialized. I also didn’t like the fact that people were starting to be afraid to say ‘Merry Christmas’ to each other.”
Manufactured exclusively in the U.S., these collectible Lionel traditional boxcars feature an image of the Holy Family, the Star of Bethlehem and an American flag.
Knights have already sold over 300 boxcars across 40 states, and one order from Canada. The cost is $85, including shipping and handling.
“I still have the first Lionel train I was given in 1964,” Kotnik said. “If we are successful, we intend on producing a different ‘Keep Christ In Christmas’ boxcar every year. We also hope to produce a K of C caboose plus first-, second-, third- and fourth-degree boxcars.”
Kotnik was proud to present one of the boxcars to Bishop DiMarzio along with District Deputy James Fennaro, District Deputy Bill Kuil, Past Grand Knight Gerry O’Callaghan and Grand Knight Kevin Powell. It was their way to thank the bishop and continue their work of spreading the true meaning of Christmas.
All proceeds from the sale of these collectible Christmas toy trains will benefit Knights of Columbus charities.
The trains may be purchased through the Glendale Knights’ website, www.glendaleknights.org or by calling Past Grand Knight Joe Falce at 917-972-7409.