Knights of Columbus at TCU recognized for outstanding achievements
FORT WORTH — Abe Salinas was still a high school student in 2017 when a series of April 29 tornados touched down in rural east Texas near his Edgewood home. Hardest hit was the neighboring community of Fruitvale where an EF3 twister leveled homes, damaged the high school, and sent several residents to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
But that’s not all the Texas Christian University senior remembers about the tragedy.
“After Sunday Mass, the Knights of Columbus discussed how they planned to help out the people there,” Salinas recalled. “They were going to rebuild a church and offer food, clothing, and shelter to homeowners.”
The young parishioner knew, at that moment, he wanted to join the fraternal organization.
“Growing up, I was taught helping others is the key to living a good, faith-filled life,” Salinas said. “I realized being a Knight was a great way to do that.”
Today the marketing major is a proud member of Council 17039 at TCU — a thriving chapter with 52 members that recently received a Four Star Council Award by the apostolate’s Supreme Council. To receive the honor, a council must put faith into action by offering programs that center around faith, family, community, and life as well as meet a membership recruitment quota and offer financial seminars.
The TCU Council — formed by underclassmen in 2018 — exceeded criteria for the award four times over. It is also a repeat honoree.
“As rare as it is to be a Star Council, it’s even more rare to be named a Four Star Council,” praised Gabe Gutierrez, TCU’s director of campus ministry. “These guys are doing a great job of being leaders in our community.”
In addition to serving as ushers at the Sunday 11 a.m. Mass on campus, the college-aged Knights sponsored a Palm Sunday blood drive, raised money for needed wheelchairs, and participated in the annual March for Life in Austin. Reaching out to fellow students, the men combine faith and fun by inviting others to football watch parties, Top Golf outings, and a Lenten crawfish boil.
“Our community events show we are involved in the Church but also life,” asserted Salinas, the Council’s Grand Knight. “We have fun but stay connected to God and let people know that can be done easily.”
There’s always time for Jesus — even during the busy college years.
“Students can falter but there is always grace from Jesus to pick you back up,” he added. “That’s something we want to share with others on campus.”