Editor Emeritus - Ed Wilkinson

Knights’ Tradition: Honor What Is Great About America

Fully Catholic. Fully American. That’s how the late NYPD Detective Steven McDonald was described last weekend at the Knights of Columbus’ 112th annual Fourth of July Parade in Brooklyn on June 24.

Det. McDonald was selected to receive the group’s Pro Patria (For God and Country) Award. It was accepted by his wife Patti Ann, and their son, NYPD Sgt. Conor McDonald after Mass was celebrated at St. Paul’s Church on Court St. by Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto, a Fourth Degree member of the K. of C.

In his homily, Bishop Chappetto referred to Det. McDonald as an “icon of virtue” and someone who “embodied all those things great about our country.” He described the late detective as a man of reconciliation, a man who tried to bring about a true and lasting peace, and a man who believed in public service.

The bishop recalled when he was pastor of Our Lady of Snows parish in N. Floral Park, and Detective McDonald came to the school to speak to the students. “He talked about reconciliation and forgiveness,” he said. “He had a great impact. He has given us such a wonderful example to follow.”

“When we’re in pain, we should think of the example of Steven McDonald,” said the bishop, referring to the fact that McDonald was shot and paralyzed and lived in a wheelchair for the last 30 years of his life.

“How he lived each day before the Lord was such a great example! All the suffering that he endured is now being rewarded.”

Bishop Chappetto asked the members of the congregation to be peacemakers and people who forgive just like Steven McDonald, “the man who embodied the country and the faith.”

In her remarks, Patti Ann McDonald said that her late husband was most at peace when he was in a church as she thanked the Knights of the Columbus for the honor they bestowed on him.

Among the concelebrants at mass were Msgr. Joseph Nugent, pastor of St. Paul’s; Msgr. Robert Romano, NYPD chaplain; Father Ed Kachurka, diocesan liaison to the K. of C.; and Father Michael Gelfant, State chaplain to the Knights.

Outside the church, the line of march formed. Sgt. McDonald and his wife joined the contingent from the Police department at the head of the parade. Joining them was Sir Knight Edgar Perez of Baron DeKalb Council in Sheepshead Bay, who was presented the Father John Brogan Award in honor of the late diocesan chaplain.

Perez leads the Knights’ Bikers in Brooklyn that is active in many charitable fund-raising efforts. He also directs the Fourth Degree color guard in the diocese.

Passing out flags along the way, the Knights from different Councils marched along Court St. to St. Mary Star of the Sea Church in Carroll Gardens, where members of Archbishop Hughes Council were grilling hot dogs and distributing cold drinks to the crowd.

For 112 years, the Knights have carried on this tradition to show what it means to be Catholic and American.

Related: Flag Waving in Brooklyn


One thought on “Knights’ Tradition: Honor What Is Great About America

  1. Detective McDonald and Aux. Bishop Ray Chappetto. Both two gentlemen cut from the same Catholic cloth, who devoted their lives to the betterment of the lives of others. On their respective birthdates, God himself was having a good day.