Altar Society’s Grumpy Old Men

Published 11:40 am Saturday, November 2, 2019

By Jeanette Boehme


In the heart of Orange, Texas, lurks a group called “The Grumpy Old Men.”  This is a loosely organized band of Saint Mary Catholic Churchmen who are a segment of the Knights of Columbus, Council #1680. 

They are industrious, funny, and always ready to step up to assist the Church in any way needed.  Those Knights, bearing the “Grumpy” descriptive title, know it is used with great affection and admiration.  They can be recognized by their red aprons.  

The “Grumpy” group started years ago while lending a hand to Saint Mary School in preparing for its Spring Festival by readying the grounds, stage, and booths for that fun-filled weekend.  

While working in the hot, Texas sun for many hours preparing for the Festival, there were probably a snarl or growl, or two, from those tired, hard-working men.  When an inquisitive passer-by asked who they were, one of them quipped, “We are “The Grumpy Old Men.” Thus, their name was born.

For their hard work, they were rewarded by the Church Altar Society ladies.  They made them red aprons with their label, “Grumpy Old Man”, emblazoned on the front. 

The Knights, and the part of them known as “The Grumpy Old Men, help with many other Church functions, cooking, making needed repairs, and various other odd jobs.  What a blessing they have been to the Church over the years. 

Since most of the “Grumpy” men have wives in the Church’s Altar Society, these wonderful men do all the heavy work of getting the Parish Hall ready for the Altar Society’s Annual Holiday Gift Shop, which is held every November.  They, and the rest of the Knights are working hard helping with the Gift Shop again this year.  

The Knights are preparing the delicious food for the Luncheon that will be held during the Gift Shop.  The two bands of men, the KC’s and the “Grumpys”, make the Gift Shop possible.  

The public is invited to attend the Holiday Gift Shop and Luncheon.  The Gift Shop hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, November 14. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  

There will be shopping available for Christmas items, jewelry, a Silent Auction, delicious baked and cooked goods and much more. Come and you can meet a “Grumpy Old Man” in person.

It can be said that these Knights and “Grumpy” men may be tied to “apron strings”, but in a wonderful way.  They truly believe God’s words, “Be doers of the word and not hearers only.” James 1:22