K of C women's auxiliary 'Columbiettes' form first Mass. Chapter in Weymouth

BRAINTREE -- Sometime before the COVID-19 pandemic, Susan Rosso wanted to join the Knights of Columbus. She noticed Grand Knight Michael Moody of Catholic Weymouth Council 729 recruiting new members after Mass, and asked him if she could become a Knight.

Admittedly, she didn't know much about the Knights of Columbus -- particularly their all-male membership.

"He very diplomatically told me that I had to be a man," Rosso recalled in a Dec. 1 interview. "At that point, I thought, 'Ok, I'm not a man, but I can still somehow be involved.'"

On Nov. 4, after almost a year of planning, 90 people attended an installation ceremony for the Catholic Weymouth Columbiettes, of which Rosso is president. The Columbiettes are a women's auxiliary of the Knights of Columbus, founded in 1939. They are present throughout the U.S. and Canada, but until Nov. 4, there were no Columbiettes in Massachusetts.

"I have felt over the years that something was missing from my life," Rosso said. "When I volunteered with our Knights, I knew right away what was missing. The Columbiettes have filled that void in my life. I feel it is such an amazing opportunity for women to come together and become involved and share their time and talents on many different levels, whether it be ideas, cooking, planning events, spiritually, or socially."

There are currently 30 Catholic Weymouth Columbiettes, ranging in age from 25 to 93. The mission of the Columbiettes is to provide spiritual, social, and economic support to its members and to the Knights of Columbus, to promote the civil rights of Catholics, and to promote Catholic values within the family and society.

"We are here to serve our parishes, community, and those in need," Rosso said. "Since we are so very newly formed, we are exploring many avenues which can benefit from our Columbiette sisters."

In particular, she wants to support Father Bill's and MainSpring, a Brockton-based charity providing shelter and resources to those facing homelessness on the South Shore, and "perhaps something with our military and veterans."

The process of founding the Catholic Weymouth Columbiettes began in December 2022, when Moody spoke with Knights of Columbus District Deputy Gordon Johnson about the lack of Columbiettes in Massachusetts.

"From that point on," Rosso said, "I recruited a team, most of which I did not know."

The team met once a month to lay the groundwork for the Catholic Weymouth Columbiettes, culminating in the installation ceremony on Nov. 4.

"We are very blessed to have such support from our pastor, Father Huy (Nguyen) and from our Knights of Columbus," Rosso said. "Without them, we would not have this opportunity to bring the Columbiettes to Catholic Weymouth."