Awards, awards, awards galore! That’s what’s been happening with the Archbishop Blenk Knights of Columbus (KC) Council #1905 in Gretna.
Grand Knight Albert Chauvin, as well as the directors, members and Auxiliary are proud that the Louisiana State Knights selected their council for such recognition. Locals are proud, too, of the always visible, always helpful workers that are the KC guys from #1905!
When our world was paralyzed with the pandemic in this last year, KC #1905 stepped out in the community to help. Spirits were way down.
The Knights, with the help of local businesses stepped up to cook and serve 100 plates of Jambalaya, Salad, Garlic Bread and Cake to the overworked West Jefferson Medical Center’s Emergency Room, Lab and Radiology departments. From West Jeff, “The food was amazing!”
“With the help of Captain Russell Lloyd, we were also able to serve 100 plates to our great Gretna Police Department for the officers, department personnel and EMS personnel for both the day and night shifts,” the “Head Chef” at the council, Glenn Esteve said. A past Grand Knight and current Program Director, he currently serves as District Deputy for Council #1905.
Gretna Police Department sent the message, “From today’s donation – thank you all again, it was all delicious and very much appreciated!!”
KC 1905 Received a Certificate of Recognition from Mayor Belinda Constant and the Gretna City Council for volunteering at the recent 2021 Bayou Classic National BMX Race.
“A week before the City of Gretna’s BMX Bayou Classic Nationals 2021, Recreation Director, Amie Hebert asked us to help with the event by grilling hamburgers and hot dogs. We invited St. Cletus Council #8615 to join us in this project. We ended up also cooking 56 pans of Shrimp Jambalaya for the race weekend,” Esteve said.
But, certainly the most heartwarming award of all was recently presented to Michael C. Arnold Jr. He was honored for serving 47 years as Financial Secretary and concluding his final appointment to the office. A member for 53 years, he joined the KC on May 30, 1968, served for four years as treasurer before being appointed as Financial Secretary where he has served under 32 Grand Knights!
And, #1905 never stops working! The latest project is to send a load of collected toiletries to Louisiana troops serving in Afghanistan. They collected enough items, but came to realize the projected shipping cost overseas is quite expensive. They could use donations to help defray the cost of shipping.
At the KC State Convention, held virtually this year, Council #1905 received awards for the 2020-2021 Columbian year, including the Louisiana State Deputy’s Award. Only 6% of all Louisiana councils, 20 out of 284, earned the award that recognizes outstanding achievements and #1905 finished 9th in the state overall.
The council was also recognized for its generous contribution to the State Council’s Youth Expansion Program that supports youth programs, cash scholarships, youth contests, seminarians and right-to-life events.
“In August 2020, Rick Valladares, 2019 Grand Knight was presented with the State Community Award for hours worked at the Gretna Heritage Festival by Louisiana State Council Program Director Mark Carver.
“We also received the State Faith Award for our Church programs for the 2019-2020 Columbian year that included work at the St. Joseph Altar. Council #1905 will proudly represent Louisiana in the KC International Competition in the “Faith” category,” Esteve said.
“In August 2020, improvising, the monthly Family Socials became a “Drive thru Dinner.” In October 2020, we participated in the “40 Days for Life” Campaign,” Esteve said.
A Big Award! From the Supreme (National) Office Council, #1905 received the Star Council Award, the marker of a high preforming KC unit and the goal to which every council, district and assembly should strive.
A Special Award! The Star District Award that recognizes outstanding achievements in membership, insurance and overall excellence by the councils within the territory of a district deputy was presented to District Deputy Glenn Esteve.
KC 1905 sponsored “The Silver Rose Program” at St. Joseph Church where Mayor Constant carried the rose in the procession. Annually, Silver Roses are stewarded by KC councils along routes from Canada, through the U. S., to Mexico. Every stop the Silver Rose makes throughout the pilgrimage is a rosary-centered occasion to pray for respect for life, for the spiritual renewal of each nation and for the advancement of the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
At Christmastime 2020, #1905 provided 73 needy children of Gretna with warm coats. The Knights and their dedicated, hard-working Auxiliary members, prepared and served over 230 meals via drive-thru for the annual “Senior Citizen Christmas Luncheon.” They also sponsored a “Keep Christ in Christmas” billboard on Franklin Ave. in Gretna.
At St. Joseph Church in 2021, the council provided help for the “Take-out Altar” by frying fish and cooking Mac & Cheese for 300 at the St. Vincent DePaul Society Fish Fry Dinner.
“We honored the Seminarians we support with a gift of $1,000 each and presented the four church parishes we serve, St. Joseph, St. Anthony, Infant Jesus of Prague and St. Martha with $1,000 each. Our girl’s CYLA, Catholic Youth Leadership Award winner received $500 and we recognized our Catholic Citizens Essay winner who won state for her age group and was runner-up on the international level.
“2021 marked the 89th Annual Palm Sunday Procession and Mass sponsored by Archbishop Blenk Council #1905 KC. This event started way back when, when each KC member had to sign a book stating they had made their “Easter Duty” by going to confession and receiving Holy Eucharist. They decided to attend Palm Sunday Mass as a group and each sign the book after Mass. Every Palm Sunday, the group and parishioners process along Huey P. Long Avenue from the Jefferson Memorial to St. Joseph Church.
The KC’s are always looking for new members. Since 1882, membership in the KC has been open to men 18 years of age or older who are practicing Catholics in union with the Holy See, the practicing body of the Catholic Church in Rome. Practicing Catholics accept the teaching authority of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals, aspires to live in accord with the precepts of the Church and is in good standing in the Church.
“Become an online KC member for free, now through June 30, 2021. Enter Promo Code MCGIVNEY2020 for 12 months of free online membership. To signup, go to https://www.kofc.org/secure/en/join/join-the-knights.html