Knight of the Year devoted to faith, service
September 5, 2012
By Patricia McGeever
For a man who’s been retired for 25 years, Carvel Steinke works awfully hard. He’s been compared to both St. Joseph and Peyton Manning, the Denver Broncos quarterback. He doesn’t bring home a paycheck for his work. He believes the rewards he receives are much greater. Because of his dedication to helping others and his devotion to his faith, Steinke was recently honored as the Knights of the Columbus “Knight of the Year” for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
“We call him our St. Joseph,” said Sister of the Reparation of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Mary Peter of Steubenville. “He has a work ethic that, sad to say, has been almost lost in this world.”
Steinke met the Sisters in 2000 when they gave a Divine Mercy mission at his parish, St. Philip the Apostle in Morrow. At the time they were a community of two ,but were working on expanding their numbers and establishing their convent in Steubenville. Steinke offered his help. “The good Lord planned it all, I didn’t,” he said.
In the years since, he’s made the four hour drive to Steubenville many times to haul firewood, pews, wire a barn, mow the fields and make endless repairs to one thing or another. He’s taught the nuns many skills to help them carry out the jobs around the property such as how to split logs and take care of tractors. The nuns have relied on his input. “He’s very knowledgeable,” added Sister Mary Peter, “from canning fruits and vegetables to repairing the tractor to how to locate trees around the houses.” She said Steinke is very resourceful, willing to give of his time and meticulous in his work. But it’s his “deep love for the Lord and our Blessed Mother” that the nuns recognized first.
His work with the Sisters is just one of the reasons his fellow Knights of Columbus nominated him for the Knight of the Year award. Bill DeBone, the Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus St. Malachy Council #5128, submitted the nomination. “He’s a great citizen of the church,” said DeBone. “You can’t put dollars and cents on what this man brings to our parish.”
He calls Steinke his “Peyton Manning” because with him around, DeBone said he “always has a coach on the field.”
Steinke admits to being uncomfortable with the attention and resisted the efforts to recognize him at first. “He doesn’t like the glory,” said Ginny Steinke, his wife of nearly seven years. Ironically, it was her first husband, Bill Duvelius, who encouraged Steinke to join the Knights of Columbus in 1987. Duvelius, as well as Steinke’s first two wives, are now deceased.
Steinke has done a lot of work at St. Philip, too, where he attends daily Mass and serves as a greeter and usher. He’s done some major repairs to the church and the rectory, is involved with the parish picnic and fish frys. He wrote a history of the parish in honor of its 40th anniversary. His pastor, Father Ron Piepmeyer, said in a parish full of wonderful parishioners, “Carvel is one of the best.”
Steinke has risen through the ranks of the Knights. He’s served two terms as Grand Knight, which is the top elected official of each local council. He’s completed three terms as Faithful Navigator and continues to be a member of the assembly’s color guard.
Despite all the work projects he does for others and around his own house, Steinke does have some other interests. He likes to hunt and he and his wife enjoy traveling. He knows when he gets home there will always be another project for him to tackle. About those projects, Steinke said if you put everything in God’s hands “he’ll help you do it and you’ll get a lot more done. That’s one thing the nuns taught me. Trust in Jesus.”