Being a Columbiette always was a family affair for Jaclyn Carney.
The parishioner of Our Lady Star of the Sea on Staten Island became the youngest president in the 65-plus year history of the New York State Council Columbiettes when she began her two-year term July 1.
Mrs. Carney, 40, was elected at the annual Columbiettes state convention at Honors Haven Resort and Spa in Ellenville June 1. The Columbiettes are a Catholic women’s organization comprising affiliated auxiliaries of Knights of Columbus councils.
Mrs. Carney is a second-generation state president as her mom, Micki Magee, served as state president, 2006-2008. Her sister, Lori, was a past chapter president on Staten Island, and her dad, John, is a past grand knight of the Knights of Columbus.
Last year, Mrs. Carney married William Carney, a fourth-degree member of the Knights of Columbus, and her in-laws, John and Judy Gridley, are part of the Knights and Columbiettes.
“It brings our family closer,” Mrs. Carney told CNY.
Her family set the foundation, as did the opportunity to be a charter member of the Mother of Divine Mercy Squirettes, the Columbiettes youth group for girls ages 10 to 17, formed by the Staten Island Chapter Columbiettes.
“When I was a Squirette, the ladies there were also a role model to me becoming a Columbiette,” Mrs. Carney said. “It’s very important the young girls experience giving back to our community, and when they get of age to join the Columbiettes and continue doing what we do.”
Mrs. Carney joined the Columbiettes when she was 17. She served as president of Staten Island Auxiliary 1662 and later served in officer positions, including president, of the Staten Island Chapter Columbiettes. She’s been a member of the state council board since 2014.
“We raise money for different charity groups,” Mrs. Carney said. “On Staten Island, it’s for the charities on Staten Island. With the state, we support statewide charities. We support seminarians in the seminary programs and retired nuns. When sisters retire, they do not have an income to help them, and we help them.”
Debbie Emigholz is a parishioner of Our Lady Star of the Sea and president of the Henry Stolzenthaler 1675 Columbiettes.
“Jaclyn is a wonderful Catholic woman who has been very active with the Columbiettes,” Mrs. Emigholz said. “It’s a well-deserved and well-earned position. We look forward to all the great things she’ll do. She’s a pleasure to work with and a dedicated Catholic and Columbiette.
“We do great work and it’s a great bunch of ladies. People will bring us needs of individuals and families. When you can run a fund-raiser and have a little impact on those families, it’s the most rewarding part of being a Columbiette, to ease the burden of a family struggling.”
The New York State Council Columbiettes has more than 5,800 Catholic women age 18 and older as members. Eight chapters of the 80 Columbiette auxiliaries are located in New York—Staten Island, Hudson Valley, Westchester/Putnam, Brooklyn/Queens, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Capitol and North Central.
“We hope to have more auxiliaries throughout the state of New York, so all of the auxiliaries can experience what we do by the charity that we give back to our areas,” Mrs. Carney said.