SHU's K of C Members Bear Cross in Honor of Holy Week

News Story: March 1, 2010
From left, SHU's Sam Dowd and Quinnipiac's Anthony Allen and Kevin Berghorn made there way with the cross during Holy Week.

On Monday, March 29th, the start of Holy Week, members of Sacred Heart University's chapter of the Knights of Columbus began a remarkable journey bearing a 11' x 5' wooden cross and walking by foot from the university's Fairfield campus to Hamden, Conn.

This year’s expedition included several students who are also part of the Catholic fraternal organization from Quinnipiac University which is located in Hamden.

On Monday at 8 a.m., the Most Rev. William E. Lori, STD, Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport, visited the SHU campus to bless the cross. Following the blessing of the cross, Reverend Peter Lynch, associate pastor at St. Catherine’s of Siena in Trumbull and chaplain of the SHU Knight's council, celebrated Mass for about 30 members of the University Community in SHU’s new Chapel of the Holy Spirit.

Last year during Holy Week, juniors Paul Carrier and Sam Dowd first made the long walk from Sacred Heart University to the Knights of Columbus’ birthplace in New Haven. The two successfully completed their trek despite facing the challenge of torrential downpours, with the rain seeping inside the wood of their 40-pound crosses and increasing the weight.

The walk garnered considerable attention from curious on-lookers to the faithful.

"What the students are doing is really wonderful and last year's walk was an uplifting moment," said Michael Giarratano a professor at SHU’s Isabelle Farrington School of Education. Prof. Giarratano has been part of the Knights of Columbus since its inception at Sacred Heart University about four years ago and serves as its financial secretary.

"Through the walk, we hope it brings more awareness about the Knights of Columbus and what we do -- from community service and outreach to promoting spirituality," added Mr. Giarratano.

Facing rain for the second year in a row, three members from the two councils, Dowd, along with Quinnipiac students Kevin Berghorn, a senior, and Anthony Allen, a freshman, set out Monday morning, and completed four and a half miles when Berghorn and Allen returned to Quinnipiac, and Dowd continued on his own. In the height of the storm, Dowd carried the 80-pound cross for a mile and a half, until the weather forced the walk to be postponed until Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday, Dowd, Berghorn, Allen, along with Trevor Kelly, a freshman at SHU, and T.J. Buzzeo, a senior at Quinnipiac, set out with the cross on the last leg of the planned journey. The ten mile walk into New Haven included a stop at the Knights of Columbus Headquarters building, and ended at St. Mary’s Church on Hillhouse Avenue where the Knights of Columbus was founded 128 years ago.

“I had forgotten the impact of our walk,” said Dowd. “We had a woman stop and buy us breakfast.  There were people who waved and shouted encouraging words out of their car windows. There were even people on the street in New Haven who remembered us from last year. It was rewarding to experience that again.”