Retreats & Pilgrimages
Knights and Ladies of Peter Claver Council and Court 137 celebrated the feast day of St. Louis Bertrand at a Mass Oct. 9 with Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ. With the bishop at St. Louis Bertrand Church in Oakland are: from left, front row: Pat Gee, Harriet Julian, the bishop, Regina Wilkerson and Deacon Earl JOHson; second row: Joi Boatwright, Joan Phillips, Ophelia Robledo, Katty Hasson and Carmel James; third row: Talecia Salt, Marie James and Antionette Poole.
History of the Knights, Ladies of Peter Claver
St. Peter Claver
Peter Claver, a Jesuit missionary in Colombia worked tirelessly to evangelize and care for Africans who were being sold as slaves. Though he could not put an end to slavery, he baptized and ministered the sacraments to more than 300,000. His feast day is Sept. 9.
Peter Claver was born in Catalonia, Spain, in 1581, joined the Jesuits at the age of 20, and set out for the Americas to spread the Word of God, arriving in Cartagena, Colombia, in 1610. He worked among the African slaves for 44 years, until his death.
Despite the prohibition of the Church and repeated condemnations of the pope, the upper class of Cartagena, along with the slave merchants and even some of his superiors, opposed and denounced his ministry.
He was canonized on Jan. 16, 1888 by Pope Leo XIII and in 1896, he was proclaimed Patron of all the Catholic missions among people of African descent.
— Catholic News Agency
Some of the Diocese of Oakland Knights of Peter Claver clergy:
Rev. Ramiro Flores,
St. Mark Parish, Richmond
Rev. Ray Ogbemure,
St. Cornelius Parish, Richmond
Rev. Aiden McAleenan,
St. Columba Parish, Oakland
Very Rev. James Matthews, Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland
The Knights of Peter Claver was founded Nov. 7, 1909 in Mobile, Alabama, as an organization to allow men of color membership in a Catholic fraternal society.
The organization was incorporated July 12, 1911 at Mobile, Alabama. The order is named after St. Peter Claver and was modeled after the Knights of Columbus.
With strong support of the Church, the order now has more than 700 subordinate units throughout the United States and a unit in Colombia, South America. Headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana, the order is comprised of more than 18,000 Catholic family members. We continue our expansion efforts welcoming all Catholics to join. The order is a member of the International Alliance Catholic Knights.
In 1926, under the leadership of the Knights of Peter Claver National Council, we answered the call to organize and establish the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary. A tree was planted that after 85 years has grown into a forest of approximately 11,000 Ladies. The national membership as of March included 15,311 knights and ladies.
To effect change in our communities, we must have the courage to demand the impossible and challenge ourselves. We must promote who we are as an organization. We all play a role in shaping our future. Will you join us?
For more information about the Knights and Ladies Auxiliary of Peter Claver: www.kpcwsdc.com/icc.
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