Knights of Columbus Council #15295 - St. Mary's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Background and History
The Knights of Columbus was founded in New Haven Connecticut by Father Michael McGivney in 1882. The organization grew rapidly and spread across the country; the first Oregon council was founded in Portland in 1902. St Mary’s Cathedral formed its Knights of Columbus Council in 2011 with the aid of members from the St. Cecilia Council of Beaverton. By 2014, the Cathedral Council had 60 members.
The Knights of Columbus is a men’s organization, but there are numerous opportunities for Knights members’ families and friends to join in with service activities and social gatherings. Many men join the Knights and then stay on for life, which is why the organization sometimes has the appearance of being populated by older men.
In Oregon, about 300-400 men join each year into 93 Councils. Each Knights Council has a leadership group of 15 officer positions, with others serving as regular members who participate as they are able in Knights-sponsored activities. Monthly meetings, of about an hour duration, are social gatherings along with business matters that include presentation and discussion of plans for undertaking service projects, fund-raising efforts and fund donating opportunities, and activities related to maintenance of the organization.
A unique feature of the Knights of Columbus—which derives from one of the purposes Father McGivney envisioned for the organization—is that it has a very large, well-run insurance program, making available life insurance and numerous other types of insurance, along with advice and planning for those who want to receive such counsel.
What does it mean to be a Knight at the Cathedral?
Members volunteer their ideas, time, and labor when their busy schedules permit. Common activities of our council include: providing food and beverages for social events at the Cathedral (pancake breakfasts, barbecues, Lenten suppers); construction, painting, and clean-up; donating to charities and charitable causes; helping with up-keep of the Cathedral and its school. Members also assist each other in prayer, moral support, and aid during difficult situations through friendship and service. Membership begins with filling out a simple form and then attending an “exemplification” which is arranged to take place as frequently as individuals show interest, increasingly provided as an online event watched along with one or more of the experienced members.
A list of many of the projects, activities, and funding support provided by the Cathedral Council that are ongoing through this year is displayed below. Although the list is not comprehensive, it illustrates the types of projects which members can participate in as they may have the opportunity, talents, and resources to contribute. Most of the officers, and about half the other members, routinely donate time to the special projects, together adding up many hundreds of hours of contributions through the year. Several of the Knights also serve in various liturgical roles, such as lectors, greeters, and ushers.
Cathedral Knights of Columbus Council has given special attention to supporting children’s programs. In addition to assisting the Cathedral School, support is shown to cub scouts and boy scouts as well as the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) and their facility at Camp Howard. Another area of attention is obtaining and serving food for the homeless and to others living with limited resources. The Council also endeavors to support seminarians, clergy, and religious (such as the women at Our Lady of Peace Retreat House) who provide the firm foundation for our Catholic way of life.
List of Officers
Grand Knight: Hector Nunez
Deputy Grand Knight: Jason Heym
Treasurer: Bill Kehrli
Recorder: Brian Wolf
Warden: Mladen Baricevic
Chancellor: Tim Ferkel
Advocate: Nathan Jimenez
Inside Guard: George Gurney
Outside Guard: Kevin Redden
Trustee, three year term: Mark Boshears
Trustee, two year term: Dan Bush
Trustee, one year term: Alan Sanchez
Financial Secretary: Greg Wilhelm
Chaplain: Msgr. O’Connor
How to Learn More
There are many ways to find out more about the Knights at Cathedral. You will typically see Knights at the weekend masses wearing their red Knight shirts. Just walk up and we would be more than happy to talk to you about the organization and answer any questions you might have.
Another option is to attend one of our monthly meetings to meet our members and see us in action. Be sure to reach out to the contact email below ahead of time to confirm the location as occasionally we will meet at member’s homes.
You can also email us at the contact email listed below with any questions or requests.
Meetings of the council are every first Tuesday of the month. The meetings are generally held in St. Joseph’s Hall and begin at 6:30pm with social time including light refreshments, with the formal meeting beginning at 7pm. Meetings typically end by 8pm. Monseigneur O’Connor and his seminarians attend most meetings. Meetings are not mandatory but are highly recommended for building the brotherhood within the organization. The meetings consist of the following:
- Requests from Monsignor for assistance
- Reviewing status of ongoing projects
- Financial reports
- Reports from Directors including Community, Membership, Family, Soccer Parking and Programs
- Requests for new donations to worthy causes
- Proposal for new activities, events or ideas for promoting our Catholic faith
The primary source of funds for our Council is unique: it has come from managing the Cathedral’s parking lots. The Knights organize paid parking for visitors to the Timbers and Thorns games that take place just three blocks away at Providence Park, and provide security (preventing unauthorized parking) when the Cathedral has Mass or other events that overlap with home games. Other sources of funds include free-will donations from Cathedral food service events and members’ dues ($30/year).
As a result of our fundraising, we are able to financially support many causes including:
Clergy and Seminarian Funding
- Annual Cathedral Pastor Fund
- Annual Seminarian Direct Support
- Annual Seminarian Pennies for Heaven Donation
Other Funding & Work Service
- Annual Father Taaffe Homes Donation
- Cathedral Parking Lot Striping Donation
- Cathedral School Physical Education/CYO Supplies Donation
- Scout Support
- Coats for Kids Donation
- Wheelchair Mission Donation
- Mother/Child Center Donation
Most of these are recurring and members are welcome to contribute as their time permits; activities typically involve 1-3 hours of service on a single day. There are morning, daytime, and evening events that give opportunities for those with busy schedules.
- Our Lady of Peace (OLP) Barbecue [since August 2011]
- Cathedral Parish Barbecue and/or Young Adult Barbecue [since October 2011]
- CYO Table Sponsor [since October 2013]
- Cathedral School Benefit Evening Sponsor [since April 2013]
- Boy Scouts Awards Mass Assistance [since January 2012]
- Cathedral School 8th Grade Student Award [since June 2012]
- St. Patrick Benefit Dinner Assistance [since March 2015]
- Chrism Mass Food Service for Priests [since March 2013]
- St. Andrew Nativity School benefit lunch [since June 2013]
- Northwest Family Services benefit dinner [since March 2014]
- Council Campout and Barbeque
- Timbers and Thorns Parking [since May 2011]
- Lenten Simple Suppers on Fridays [since February 2012]
- Lenten Food Collection [since March 2014]
- Potluck in the Park [since January 2014]
- Cathedral Pancake Breakfasts [since November 2011]
- Bingo Night [since June 2022]
- Council Meetings at Cathedral or a member’s home [Since March 2011]
- Safety Monitoring, Greeting, Ushering, Lector Ministry for Sunday Mass [since April 2011]
Contact St. Mary’s Knights of Columbus Council #15295: [email protected]