Family Fully Alive Articles


 

Father and Son – and Knights

Nebraska family shares K of C connection

By Gerald Korson

For Joe and Kara Boro of Springfield, Nebraska, the Knights of Columbus is something of a family affair.

Joe’s father, Ted Boro, joined the Order while Joe was still in school, a few years after the family moved to Springfield and began attending St. Joseph’s parish. Ted soon made a commitment to St. Joseph Council 10894, became a Fourth Degree Knight, served in the honor guard, and was elected to a term as grand knight in 2006.

“Joe and I were as close as a father and son could be,” Ted recalled. “When Joe was a very young boy, we did everything together — going to church, fishing, hunting, sports, and whatever the day brought.”

Joe’s mother, Sheri, is not Catholic, but both parents supported his formation in the Catholic faith.

“My parents would take me to church every Sunday, and my dad did a fantastic job teaching me how to start my relationship with God,” Joe said. “He taught me how to pray and made sure I did so every night before bed.”

Joe and Kara Boro are expecting their first child in May. Shown with them is Joe's father, Ted.

His parents also provided a profound witness in their love and care for Angela, the youngest of his three older sisters. Angela was born with hydrocephalus, a condition in which cerebrospinal fluid builds up in the brain. “When she was born, she was not expected to live through the night,” Ted said of his daughter. Yet Angela did survive despite severe disabilities — and, due in no small part to the love and care of her family, is now 35 years old.

Angela is unable to walk, talk, or feed herself, and has limited vision. Yet she hears well and recognizes voices and sounds. “She listens, smiles, and laughs when she hears voices she recognizes and likes,” Joe said. “She is quite a miracle to our family.”

Joe spoke of the impact Angela has had in his life.

“I was able to grow up watching tremendous love and care given to my sister,” he said. “I learned what sacrifice was at a very early age as my family had to make many adjustments to make sure my sister Angela had the proper care.”

Ted’s activity in the Knights of Columbus eventually inspired Joe to join as an adult. His membership in St.  Joseph Council 10894 is “a blessing,” he said.

Ted was understandably proud. “I knew that Joe would join the Knights when he became old enough,” he said. “It was something that we both wanted to be a part of as father and son.”

Joe, 33, said he always had a sense of his vocation to marriage. By his late 20s, he was praying that God would bring his future wife into his life. His sister Janet set up a blind date with a co-worker named Kara. The two hit it off immediately and in 2012 they were married at St. Joseph Church. “Thank God for answering my prayers and for a pushy sister,” Joe said, recalling the events.

Joe has a busy day working as a roaster for a wholesale coffee distributor, but leaves time for family, faith and service. He is youth director for St. Joseph Council, where he and Kara organize activities such as the annual Free Throw Competition. He is active in parish ministries and for the past six years has taught fifth-grade religious education.

Father Matthew Gutowski, pastor of St. Joseph and a fellow Knight, has high praise for Joe’s work with young people. “Joe is famous in the parish for playing the Easter Bunny for our kids when the Knights hold our annual Easter egg hunt,” said Father Gutowski. “Each year Joe has his fifth-graders make rosaries and asks me to come to the classroom to bless them. It is wonderful to see Joe teaching them devotion to Our Lady.”

Kara, who is not Catholic, supports Joe’s participation in the Knights of Columbus. “Joe’s involvement in the Church, specifically his involvement in the Knights of Columbus, does impact him on many levels,” she said. “He has a strong connection and devotion to his faith and his family, and there isn’t anything he wouldn’t do for someone in need.”

For their work with youths, Joe and Kara have been honored as the council’s Family of the Month each of the last two Januarys. Now they look forward to raising a family of their own. Their first child, a daughter, is due in May.

Amid the excitement and anticipation of parenthood, Joe knows where to seek the strength he needs to fulfill his role.

“I know my wife will be an incredible mom, but a person worries if they will be a good dad. Will I find a good balance to be a good husband and dad at the same time? Will I do a good job teaching her our faith? Will I be overprotective? It is a constant carousel in my mind filled with excitement and worries,” Joe said. “But we keep praying, and I know if I trust the Lord and continue to ask for his help, there will be nothing we can’t handle.”

Gerald Korson, a veteran journalist in the Catholic press, writes from Indiana.