By RON KUZLIK     5/4/2023

St. Joseph Catholic Church in Santa Ana and San Jose Knights of Columbus Council #14430 have teamed together with a local restaurant to help raise funds for much needed renovations and other various projects around the parish campus.

When St. Joseph Parish Administrator Fr. Saúl Alba-Infante approached the council about the needs of the parish campus, he was overwhelmed.

“I spoke with the KofC about several projects and needs of the parish and they were ready to help,” he said.

Built in 1947, the aging building and facilities make it a place where almost everywhere you go on the property, something needs to be done.

“We have been working to get full air conditioning in the church building,” said Fr. Alba-Infante. “There is termite damage, the tower bell is no longer working and the old organ needs maintenance. The parking lot needs restoration and repainting and lots of other repairs.”

“Fundraising Committee Chairman Gilbert Zamora, Jr. and his brother Knights and sister Lady Knights teamed up with Jules Nguyen, the manager of Zito’s Pizza in Orange with a proposal to have a designated “Pizza Night” at Zito’s, where a portion of the evenings sales would be contributed to the Knights of Columbus and St. Joseph Catholic Church.”

“The commitment from Jules and Zito’s Pizza was great,” Zamora said. “They welcomed the idea with a lot of excitement. They made us feel wanted and were very helpful and professional right from the start.”

Nguyen said that she was touched by the “angels” of the Knights of Columbus.

“Initially, I thought the fundraiser was an opportunity for Zito’s Pizza in Orange to give back to our community, especially with the honor of giving back to a local church. But little did I know, this night would become the most impactful night in my entire working career.”

As a new manager, she didn’t expect such a massive crowd from this fundraiser.

“Seeing that my cashier and I were being overwhelmed, Molly (a member of the parish) plunged in and volunteered herself to bring out food and clear all the tables while Matthew, her brother, also came to our rescue for the entire evening.”

Almost $4,000 in sales were attributed to the fundraiser, which resulted in over $700 being donated by Zito’s Pizza to the Knights of Columbus for the benefit of St. Joseph Catholic Church.

The first Pizza Night on March 9 was complete with pizza, pasta, salads and other Italian specialties of the house.

According to Zamora, 100% of the proceeds from the event will be used towards the completion of a mission-style patio and installation of fencing around the perimeter.

“Our parish relates so well with the Knights of Columbus,” Fr. Alba-Infante said. “All I need to do is call upon them and they are ready to serve the needs of the parish and I can always count on them for pastoral support.”

The next Pizza Night will be Thursday, May 18 at Zito’s Pizza on 1716 West Chapman Avenue in Orange from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. For more information on St. Joseph Catholic Church and San Jose Knights of Columbus Council #14430, go to https://stjosephsa.org/

To learn more about Zito’s Pizza, go to https://www.zitospizza.com/