The Knights of Peter Claver & Ladies Auxiliary
The Knights of Peter Claver, Inc. and Ladies Auxiliary is the largest predominantly African-American lay Catholic organization. The organization was founded by Josephite priest Father Conrad F. Rebesher in 1909 in Mobile, Alabama. The seven Charter Members were Josephite priests: Josephite Father Conrad F. Rebesher, Josephite Father Samuel J. Kelly, Josephite Father Joseph P. Van Baast, and Josephite Father John H. Dorsey, and laymen: Gilbert Faustina, Frank Collins, and Frank Trenier.
The organization is active in the United States of America and South America. It has 298 Councils (men divisions) and 312 Courts (ladies divisions). For youth ages 7-18 years old, the organization has 123 Junior Councils (young men) and 208 Junior Courts (young ladies). The Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary provide opportunities for all Catholics to be actively involved in their faith by living the Gospel message. The Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary engages in a variety of church and community service projects. It supports charitable appeals of many national and international organizations such as the NAACP and the United Negro College Fund, Catholic elementary and secondary schools, and Xavier University in New Orleans.
The Order, modeled after the Knights of Columbus, is named after St. Peter Claver, a Jesuit priest from Spain who ministered to African slaves in Cartegena, Colombia, South America, in the 17th century. Peter Claver is said to have converted over 300,000 slaves to Catholicism.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops recently renewed a grant to the organization to continue the National Environmental Health and Justice Literacy Project. This program is designed to educate citizens of poor communities about environmental health hazards. The Knights of Peter Claver is a member of the worldwide International Alliance of Catholic Knights.
Goals of the Knights
- To support a local pastor, parish, and bishop.
- To become active, as a group, in a Knights-respective community.
- To instill civic pride & action.
- To engage Knights in opportunities that will allow them to demonstrate their Catholicism.
- To allow for social interaction by creating gatherings that might foster a sense of community.
- To provide for the awarding of scholarships.
- To develop the character of youth.
- To provide social and intellectual stimulation for its members
Learn more about KPC and KPCLA. Contact:
Chris Moorman - Grand Knight of Knights of Peter Claver - Council #97 - 317-632-9349
Anita Bardo - Grand Lady of Knights of Peter Claver, Ladies Auxiliary - Court #97 - 317-632-9349