The Holy Infant Council of the Knights of Columbus (#12523) recently awarded its twelfth annual scholarships totaling $2,500 to four young members of Holy Infant parish. The Knights administer the Father Killeen Scholarship Fund, which funds each of the scholarships. The scholarship recipients were: Mark Boland, Robert Brown, Gabrielle Cella and Lauren Melkus. Each of the scholarship applicants were judged on four criteria: community service, academic performance in high school, character, and a personal essay.
Mark Boland, the son of David and Mary Boland of Orange, was awarded the ninth annual Brian T. D’Orso Memorial Scholarship, named in honor of a Holy Infant parishioner and Amity High School student who demonstrated a particular interest and devotion to community service before he perished in a tragic accident in November 2002. Mark graduated from Notre Dame of West Haven High School in June, and will be attending Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, where he plans to pursue studies in Secondary Education. Thomas D’Orso, father of Brian D’Orso, presented the scholarship award to Mark. This year’s Brian D’Orso Memorial Scholarship was in the amount of $750.
Gabrielle Cella, daughter of Richard and Linda Cella of Orange, received the Mary DeVito Scholarship. This is the seventh annual scholarship awarded in honor of a different member of the Holy Infant parish community, whose contribution to the parish and the community is honored each year on a rotating basis. Gabrielle Cella graduated from Amity Regional High School in June and she will be a first year student at Tufts University in September, where she will major in Mathematics with a minor in Linguistics. The Mary DeVito Scholarship was in the amount of $750. DeVito presented the award to Gabrielle.
Robert Brown is the son of Timothy and Diane Brown of Orange. He received a $500 scholarship from the Father Killeen Scholarship Fund. Robert graduated from Amity Regional High School in June, and has enrolled at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia for the fall. Robert is planning to major in Communications.
Lauren Melkus, daughter of Carl and Gail Melkus of Orange, also received a $500 scholarship from the Father Killeen Scholarship Fund. Lauren is a 2011 graduate of St. Joseph High School in Trumbull. She is enrolling in Endicott College, located in Beverly, Massachusetts. Lauren plans to major in Communications and Journalism.
The annual honoree scholarship is named to honor a member of Holy Infant parish who has contributed their time, talent and/or treasure significantly to their parish and community over a lengthy period of time. For 2011, Mary DeVito was selected as the honoree. Mary has been a member of Holy Infant parish for 40 years. In that time, she has served her parish in a variety of ways: three-time President of the Women’s Guild, and twelve years as its Treasurer; Eucharistic Minister for fifteen years, Lector for twelve years, and two terms on the Parish Council. Mary brings communion to the sick in her role as a Eucharistic Minister. She is the recipient of the St. Joseph’s Medal of Honor from the Archdiocese of Hartford in recognition of her service to her parish.
Previous honorees for whom the scholarship has been named have included Deacons John Hoffman, Joseph Sullivan, Americo Bichi and the late Bernie Hayden. Peggy Brinsmade, longtime religious education teacher and retired Director of Religious Education at Holy Infant, was honored in 2006. Retired Judge of Probate and thirty-year member of the Holy Infant Finance Council Charles Flynn was named an honoree in 2008. In 2010, Diane Raikis, long-time music director of the Holy Infant Folk Ensemble, CCD teacher and former Parish Council President was the honoree.
The Holy Infant Knights of Columbus Council #12523 established the Father Killeen Scholarship Fund in 1999, in honor of the late Reverend Bernard Killeen, the co-pastor of Holy Infant parish from 1982-1999. The scholarships funded by the Father Killeen Scholarship Fund are awarded on a competitive basis to any eligible young person who is a parishioner of Holy Infant, and who has distinguished him/herself academically, with high moral character and a strong record of community service. To date, $28,000 in scholarships has been awarded by the Fund.