Knights of Columbus host 20th pancake breakfast

Posted on: January 15, 2016 12:00 pm
Tags: Events, Uganda,

Carl Biery preparing batter at the 2015 pancake breakfast

Since 1996, the Ludlow Knights of Columbus have hosted a pancake breakfast to benefit the Covington Sisters of Notre Dame mission in Uganda.  The SND mission, just one year older than the pancake breakfast, is located in a remote area of Uganda and is comprised of nursery, primary, and secondary schools, as well as a subsistence farm and congregational formation center. 

According to Carl Biery, member of the Ludlow Knights and pancake breakfast co-chair, the event began at the request of the late Ed Monahan. Monahan was a Grand Knight with a special connection to the Sisters of Notre Dame--his daughter, Sr. Marla Monahan, served as Covington Provincial from 2005-2014.

The event originally benefitted the Catholic urban schools in Covington, as well as the mission in Uganda. Sr. Marla explained, “My father recognized, I think, the African proverb that it takes a village to raise a child. He wanted to recognize that we have children in need both at home and in other lands.”

Mr. Monahan did all that he could to recognize need and the importance of education. “When the breakfast was first begun, he would contact local politicians because he felt that they had an important role in the life of the city. He wanted them to be aware of our responsibility together to make sure that these children were receiving a good education, so that they could live the life God wanted them to live,” Sr. Marla explained.

Ed Monahan died on September 18, 2001, just a few weeks before the Knights’ sixth pancake breakfast. He remained committed until the end, telling Sr. Marla everything she needed to make sure would happen at the upcoming breakfast. She joked, “He told me the day before he passed away, ‘After I die, it’s okay with me if you don’t do this anymore.’ But he was still telling me what to do for the next one!”

Today, the Knights of Columbus continue the tradition under the leadership of Carl Biery, Wayne Brown, and Mike Young. Sr. Mary Margaret Droege, Director of the Sisters of Notre Dame Uganda Mission Office, expressed her gratitude for the Knights’ work and noted the ease of the event.

“The Knights of Columbus are always friendly,” Sr. Mary Margaret shared. “They wear a smile and seem to enjoy working together. Plus, they take care to get all of the food and work to get as much donated as possible, thus eliminating expenses.”

Biery also acknowledged the dedication of his fellow members. He said, “My favorite aspect is seeing how many Knights turn out to work. We host a lot of events, but this one seems to draw more workers. And we don’t even have to call them. They just show up!”

Not only are the workers committed, guests attend the pancake breakfast year after year, too. Some are friends of the Knights of Columbus, others come in support of the Sisters of Notre Dame and their mission. Still, some regulars simply cannot pass up a laidback Sunday breakfast.

Sr. Margaret remembered one family in particular that took advantage of the casual ambience. “Through the years, people who come seem to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. For several years, one family brought the Sunday paper with them. After the meal, they sat back and enjoyed a leisurely reading of the paper together.”

When asked what he attributes to the event’s longevity and success, Biery did not have to think before responding.

“This is what the Knights of Columbus are all about—charity. When we can do a charitable event that we really enjoy, that we can feel good about, we don’t hesitate,” Biery said. “This is one event we still feel really good about after twenty years. Everyone just feels warm and fuzzy.”

Ed Monahan would be proud.

The 20th Annual Uganda Mission Pancake Breakfast is on Sunday, February 21, 2016. It runs from 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. in the Notre Dame Academy cafeteria, located at 1699 Hilton Drive, Covington, KY 41011. For more information, click here.

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