Dubuque is Iowa’s oldest city and is among the oldest settlements west of the Mississippi River. It is also home to the first Knights of Columbus Council in Iowa and now to the newest.
Supreme Knight Carl Anderson has stated on several occasions that “we must have a Knights of Columbus presence in every parish.” Therefore, Councils serving more than one parish are urged to implement the Parish Round Table program in each of the parishes they serve. As one of the parishes that encompass Council 510, Saint Columbkille has long been served through a Knights of Columbus Round Table. However, this status began to change in 19 July 2013.
It was on this date that the Chaplain for Council 510, Father Gabriel Anderson, who is also Pastor of the linked parishes of Saint Columbkille and Saint Joseph the Worker, called a meeting of several Knights to begin the process to form a Council at Saint Columbkille. An organizational meeting was scheduled for 7 August 2013 where a dozen Catholic gentlemen gathered and submitted a signed Form 100 to join, reinstate, or transfer to the new Council. A second organizational meeting was held on 28 August 2013 and resulted in over 20 men indicating they would be joining the Council. By 10 September 2013, the total number was at 40.
As the recruiting continued, 16 of the Catholic gentlemen who had shown interest needed to participate in a First Degree Exemplification in order to join the Knights of Columbus. This statistic hits home the belief by Supreme Knight Anderson that “we have nothing less than a moral obligation to offer every eligible Catholic man the opportunity and the privilege of membership in our Order.” Two of the new Knights are Father Hilary Aidoo, Associate Pastor of the linked parishes of Saint Columbkille and Saint Joseph the Worker, and Deacon Bill Biver.
These Brother Knights joined the Order through a First Degree Exemplification on 25 September 2013. From left to right: Father Hilary Aidoo; John Freund, Sr.; Lowell Ware; Deacon Bill Biver; Chris Huseman; Dan Welsh; and Joel Allen. Joining them for the photo was Father Gabriel Anderson, Chaplain of Council 15813.
A charter organizing meeting was held on 25 September 2013 where Tom Ochs was selected as the Charter Grand Knight. The 46 Knights currently committed to the Council shared at this meeting they want a Council with a personality notable in its spirituality. They also hope to reach their goal of at least 62 Knights listed on their charter so the recruitment continues. Another First Degree Exemplification is scheduled for 13 October 2013.
Charter Officers of Council 15813 are, left to right: Mark Hoeger, Outside Guard; Jeff Nieland, Field Agent; Ken Sedlacek, Inside Guard; Al Schroeder, Chancellor; Brad Markham, Recorder; Dick Bergeson, Two Year Trustee; Vince Meis, District Deputy; Tom Ochs, Grand Knight; Paul Freisinger, Warden; Mike Demoully, Deputy Grand Knight; Travis King, Treasurer; and Father Gabriel Anderson, Chaplain.
Archbishop Michael Jackels has also joined the new Council 15813 by transferring his membership from a Council in Wichita, Kansas.
The Iowa Knights of Columbus welcomes Council 15813 to the ranks of the world’s leading organization of Catholic laymen.