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Knights of Columbus from across Iowa to
gather for convention in Sioux City

By KATIE LEFEBVRE, Globe staff reporter
(Email Katie)


The 111th Annual Iowa state Knights of Columbus Convention will take place April 13-15 at the Sioux City Convention Center.

Mike Laake, state deputy for the Iowa Knights of Columbus and parishioner at St. Patrick’s in Estherville, said the state convention serves as the annual business meeting.

“This is held with all the councils in Iowa to conduct any business that the state council has to bring forward or any of the other councils have to bring forward,” he said.

Friday there will be a 4th degree exemplification banquet and 4th degree business meeting. Awards will be presented at the banquet that evening.

On Saturday, the annual business meeting will be held for most of the day. A banquet will be held that evening and more awards will be awarded at that time. The selections are made based on local councils submitting applications for consideration, Laake pointed out.

There will be various activities for the wives of the Knights to participate in throughout the weekend.

Faith formation

New this year on Sunday, instead of more business, a full day of faith formation will be offered for the delegates.

“What we have found is that our councils have been hungry for more faith-based guidance,” said Laake. “We have put together some people to speak. Father Danner, our state chaplain, will speak about faith formation at council meetings. We will have some discussion about the Knights of Columbus retreat that is held yearly.”

He added that he will be speaking about “our faith responsibility as a Knight of Columbus.” Joe Worthing will give a presentation about Project Moses and Kim Lehman will talk about the Pope John Paul II Stem Cell Research Institute.

Bishop Walker Nickless is scheduled to celebrate the convention Mass at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday. Laake said the bishop’s homily will focus on faith and the Knights of Columbus. The bishop will also celebrate Mass at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

“We want to give some direction to the Knights on their faith and the fact that we stand together in that faith,” said Laake.

Eucharistic adoration will be available throughout the convention.

There will be a Divine Mercy Chaplet service on Sunday at noon and the weekend will close with benediction.
The Masses and Eucharistic adoration are open to the public.

Father Brian Danner, state chaplain and pastor at parishes in Mapleton and Oto, is available as a resource at the convention and throughout the year for the Knights. At the convention he will be offering opening and closing prayers.

“The convention offers the Knights of Columbus an opportunity to parade their accomplishments and the opportunity to challenge fellow brother Knights with issues that may not be as well known in one part of the state as it is in another,” said the priest. “It brings everything we do, represent and symbolize as Knights of Columbus to a point where we can mutually address topics all for the greater glory and honor of God.”

Overseeing the convention
The convention director, who is responsible for overseeing all the convention activities, is Dan Werner, state warden. Various state officers of the Knights of Columbus also help.

The local convention co-chair couples are Pat (local district deputy) and Marie McAleer and Marv and Mary Japel, all of Sioux City. These couples are the heads of the convention committee who organize the event, raise funds to help cover the expenses of the convention, recruiting volunteers, put the convention booklet together, etc., said Werner.

There is a committee of people from towns in the Diocese of Sioux City, including Sioux City, Le Mars, Kingsley, Danbury and other locations, who are helping with the convention.

“These guys have done an outstanding job with all of the convention details and raising funds, many of which will go to Mary’s Choice,” said Laake.

Werner said the convention is an opportunity “to learn about the activities of the Knights of Columbus throughout the state of Iowa. We recognize various individuals and councils who have accomplished some outstanding things during the year.”

Some of the awards presented are Grand Knight of the Year, Knight of the Year, Family of the Year, Youth of the Year, Chaplains of the Year (one from each diocese) and more. Councils are also recognized for outstanding pro-life activities, church activities, youth activities, council activities and community activities.

“We need to have a business meeting once a year to elect individuals to attend the Supreme Convention this summer,” said Werner. “Every two years we elect officers. We will be electing officers at the convention in Sioux City.”

The site of the Knights of Columbus convention changes each year. The last time it was held in Sioux City was in 2008.

There are more than 200 councils in the state and each council is allowed to send two delegates and their wives. There is also an attendee from the Supreme Council each year.

“We will have delegates from all across Iowa for the three-day convention,” said Laake. “While we don’t get 100 percent attendance, we do get pretty good attendance from most councils across the state.”

More information, including the convention schedule can be found at www. iowakofc.org/convention.html.



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