Local Councils in Action

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 07/19/2019 Under: All Articles

To promote the activities of our local councils around the State, various council programs will be posted here.

Send your stories of worthy council programs along with pics to g.merritt@mikofc.org.


  St. Augustine Cathedral Council 15439 Kalamazoo

 Kazoo clergy dinner 19

 On Thursday evening September 12 St. Augustine Cathedral Council 15439  hosted the Kalamazoo Diocesan Knights of Columbus Priests and Clergy Appreciation Dinner. The annual event takes planning and execution from many of the councils in the diocese.  

Several priests from around the Kalamazoo Diocese were in attendance including his Excellency Bishop Paul Bradley, his Excellency Bishop Emeritus James Murray, Very Rev. Robert Creagan, Rector, St. Augustine Cathedral.

MC of the event, Jordan Berry made a special point of how our priests are always so amicable to our requests and generously give of their free time which is at a premium with all their responsibilities.

Our State Deputy during his remarks praised our priests for their service. He reminded us we need to thank our priests and bishops regularly. He also challenged us to live up to the principles we promote and to help recruit those we know that aren’t attending Mass regularly, especially our brother Knights. The Bishops of Michigan have requested that we help fill up the pews.

Bishop Bradley commented that being a Knight is a humble way to serve our church. The Knights are a strong example of the responsibility of our Faith and our power is in the way we take of our Faith seriously.

Before Fr. Cragen led us in closing prayer he introduced the Director of Vocations Fr. Jose Haro and reminded us the we are all called to promote & recruit vocations.  


Fr. Casimir Szyper Council 6657 Posen

South Dakota has Sturgis, Wisconsin has Oshkosh and Northeast Michigan has Posen. All three small towns experience a growth in population due to an annual event: Motorcycle Rally, AirVenture Show, and a Potato Festival, respectively.

Pose float 2019

Held annually the weekend after Labor Day, the Posen Potato Festival is fun for the whole family. Good food, good music, carnival, arts & crafts, plus much more. The grand parade is always on Sunday. This year our State Deputy Bill Chasse and our First Lady Marybeth were invited by Fr. Casimir Szyper Council 6657 to ride on their float.


Council 12186 Gaines

 Gaines Rodeo  

Thousands of people have gathered for a two-night rodeo courtesy of St. Joseph Knights of Columbus Council 12186 and other local sponsors for the past 17 years. When Lee Wendt, then the council’s grand knight, cleared a field full of debris he helped start what would become one of the largest rodeos in the region that also raises as much as $40,000 for charity each year.

“In 2003, we had our first rodeo, and it might not have been big, but it was something, and it was the beginning of where we are right now,” Lee’s son Brian said.

While the Knights provide staff to manage the crowd, concessions, logistics and the field itself, The Flying Star Rodeo Company handles the rest. The rodeo has all the necessities — cowgirls’ barrel racing, bronco riding, cattle roping and, of course, bull riding. Attendees, who form a crowd of nearly 5,000, even come from nearby cities like Flint. Riders have come from the 48 continental states to compete in the event, named Rodeo of the Year in 2003 and 2005 by the Mid-States Rodeo AssociatiowAHTCHn.

That “something” now brings thousands of people together. The Knights even made it more family-friendly by isolating alcohol to the entertainment tent. It’s not your typical rodeo.

Brian, also a Knight, organizes the rodeo, including the food pavilion and surrounding vendors, the entertainment tent with the band and mechanical bull, and the rodeo trailers that pour into town. He promotes the event heavily on social media, giving away free tickets through Facebook and YouTube videos leading up to the weekend.

According to Grand Knight Mike Gentry, Knights volunteered at least 2,000 hours in the week of the rodeo and countless more in the preparation prior. They’re not short on help either — the council sees about 25 members at every meeting, and draws even more volunteers from Knights’ families and neighbors.

“It’s just a great way to grow deeper in your Catholic faith,” Deacon Wayne Corrion, a Knight himself, said, explaining why men should become Knights. “Between the community events like this, where we all work together with prayer, it just continues to draw us deeper into Christ.”

The proceeds from the rodeo were dedicated to Habitat for Humanity this year. In the past the Knights’ funds have contributed to causes including veterans’ organizations, wildfire relief and even a hot water heater for an 84-year-old woman who went two years without one because of her fixed-budget income. Little happens in Gaines without the Knights of Columbus being involved.

“They help with all of our needs at the church, including things like clerical garments, candles, things we use at the altar,” Deacon Corrion said. “They’re quite a backbone as far as the Catholic faith in this community.”

Gentry said Deacon Corrion has been a solid leader at the parish of St. Joseph, constantly supporting the Knights at events like the rodeo, although the deacon refused to ride a bull without direct orders from a higher office.

 “Talk to the pope” the Deacon said. They might have to. It’s not your average rodeo."

  Watch the Video


St. Monica’s Fr. Adolph Nadrach Council # 12998  Kalamazoo

St. Monica’s Fr. Adolph Nadrach Council # 12998, District #44 presented a scholarship award of $1,000 to Alyssa Aiello prior to their June 19th council meeting.  This is the second year for awarding scholarships to high school seniors who are members of St Monica Parish.  Alyssa will attend Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.

12998 scholarship

Brother Pete Abraham, Larry Aliello,  Chaplain Fr Larry Farrell,  Alyssa Aiello, Amy Aiello, Brother Ed Robinson, Michael Aiello, Brother Tony Cipich


St. Pius X Council #3848 Warren

St. Pius X Council #3848, in Warren, recently celebrated its 65th Anniversary.  Festivities began with a Corporate Communion Mass at St. Martin de Porres Parish, with Pastor/Council Chaplain, Fr. Nick Zukowski presiding.

Council 3848 65th

After Mass, a dinner, opened to the parish, was hosted by the council.  125 people were in attendance to celebrate the council's founding.  Among the State Dignitaries in attendance were:  Michigan State Deputy William Chasse, State Secretary Walter Winkle, Jr, State Treasurer Christopher Kolomjec, Sr. and their wives.


Bishop Britt Council 8117 Ada

8117 playground build