A Knight to remember in Saugus – Itemlive – Daily Item

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SAUGUS — The town’s council of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal service order founded in 1882, honored past members and awarded special recognition to former Grand Knight Chris Luongo at a banquet Friday night.
The Knights of Columbus has 1.9 million members around the world and states its core values are integrity, professionalism, excellence, respect, and charity. While the Saugus council honored all past Grand Knights responsible for running the council at the banquet, special attention was given to Luongo, the most recent outgoing Grand Knight. 
Board of Selectmen Vice Chair Debra Panetta presented Luongo with a citation signed by all board members celebrating his devotion to charity and the community.
Panetta’s husband, Mark, has replaced Luongo as the council’s Grand Knight while Luongo transitions into his new role as the organization’s district deputy and advocate.
“I met Chris many years ago on Town Meeting. He is heavily involved in community service and charitable work,” Panetta said. “Chris always goes over and above to help others and is a true leader. There is no doubt that Chris will be a phenomenal District Deputy. He truly is an unsung hero in Saugus.”
The council’s Outside Guard Richard Aiello said Luongo did well at a difficult job, “keeping the lights on” during the COVID-19 pandemic. The council has a history of helping local charities and schools. It also provides scholarships aimed at keeping young people active in the Catholic Church.
Aiello said he appreciates that the Knights of Columbus provides an opportunity for Catholic men to “live out their faith” and give back to the religion he grew up around.
“It’s good to give back a little to people in need and the community that helped me,” Aiello said. “We’ve both been here our whole lives. At some point in your life, you feel like you want to give back as you get older.”
Banquet attendees engaged in a cocktail hour, received blessings from reverend Jason Makos and enjoyed dinner, coffee, and dessert. The council also honored Luongo’s wife Louise, who also made significant time and charitable contributions to the organization.
“I’m trying to pick up where they left off,” Debra Panetta said. “They have been phenomenal.”
The council will have a booth at the town Founder’s Day event Saturday, where those interested in joining or learning more about the organization can do so.
Rachel Barber can be reached at rachelbarber@itemlive.com.
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