Story by S.L. Hansen
BELLWOOD (SNR) - On Sunday, April 6, the Knights of Columbus formed a new council. Mary Queen of Angels Council #15944 will serve Saint Peter and Saint Joseph parishes of Bellwood.
The day began with Mass celebrated by the pastor of both parishes, Father Jay Buhman. Then a “Major Exemplification” followed, where new members joined the fraternal organization and other Knights are advanced to second or third degrees.
On hand were 17 brother Knights from various other councils, including Nebraska state deputy Richard Lowery, state treasurer Lou Gasper, youth director Mitch Lowery and athletic chairman Kevin Ostdiek.
First-degree Knights – the new members – were admitted to the order by a team of Knights from the Thien Council #1717 (David City). There were four joining the Mary Queen of Angels Council and two others from other Councils.
The ceremony continued with exemplification of second- and third-degree knights by teams from Lincoln councils.
This will be the first Knights’ council in the Bellwood area. Previously, the two parishes were served by #1717, which was made up of men from all the parishes in the David City Deanery. Mary Queen of Angels is the third council to branch off from #1717, which recently celebrated its 100th year of service to Christ and the Church.
Mary Queen of Angels begins its history with 32 members, including the four new first-degree Knights. Other members transferred into the group from other councils.
Most of them are from #1717, including Larry Zimmer, who was a member there for 33 years until he was able to help launch the new Bellwood council as financial secretary. He said that the Mary Queen of Angels Council hopes to follow their lead.
“Council #1717 is an incredible example of the service and fun that Knights of Columbus can accomplish,” he said. “It was difficult to leave a council that is that vibrant and active, yet we hope to… focus our energies to benefit St. Peter’s and St. Joe’s and the Bellwood community.”
Planned joint activities will help the brother Knights of both councils stay in touch with and inspire one another.
Zimmer explained that a Knights of Columbus Council serves Jesus by serving the Church, priests, parishes and the local community.
“We serve through charity and loyalty,” he said.
Zimmer noted that even a new member can very quickly recognize the value that a Knights of Columbus Council brings to their local community.
In addition to the service that the Knights give to others, there are key spiritual benefits for each member.
“Service to our priests and community is very gratifying and allows Knights to grow as men of faith,” Zimmer said.
He added that being a Knight is “just plain fun.”
The Knights attempt to make serving the parish and the community fun, and according to Zimmer, “We almost always succeed.”
The Bellwood Knights intend to serve by being attentive to any local need, both as a group and as individuals. This can mean anything from work around the parish requested by Father Buhman, to assisting to an individual person or family, to helping out the village of Bellwood itself.
Mary Queen of Angels Council has already been serving their local community. In February, the men hosted a benefit for the local fire department, where they raised $1,000 toward new equipment. At that event, they also introduced the Bellwood community to the new Knights Council and their plans for serving the area.
The new Council is still accepting new charter members.
“We have a goal of 40-45 members before we close the charter,” Zimmer noted. “Every man in the parishes will be invited.”
He encouraged all men to become part of this worldwide fraternal organization.
“If you are a Catholic man 18 years old or older, please consider joining your Council,” Zimmer said.
To sign up, contact your parish priest, or ask any Knight you know for more information.