125 years of service and fraternity—KofC Spalding Council # 427

Bishop Louis Tylka greets KofC Spalding Council #427 member Don Stahl after a Mass celebrating the council’s 125th anniversary at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Peoria on June 15. St. Vincent de Paul pastor Father Stephen Willard is on the far right. The Catholic Post/Paul Thomas Moore


Knights of Columbus Spalding Council # 427 celebrated its 125th anniversary on June 15 with a Mass at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Peoria.

A congratulatory post on the City of Peoria’s X page (formerly Twitter), noted that Spalding Council #427 is “as old as our City Hall!”

Chartered in 1899, Spalding Council was named in honor of Archbishop John Lancaster Spalding, the first bishop of Peoria. The Knights of Columbus organization was founded only 17 years before in New Haven, Connecticut by Blessed Father Michael J. McGivney.

The council hosted such distinguished luminaries as former president Theodore Roosevelt in 1910, and sitting President Howard Taft the next year.

Former President Theodore Roosevelt visited Peoria to celebrate “Landing Day” (now Columbus Day), with Spalding Council #427. Peoria Journal front page – October 12, 1910

But the real work of Spalding Council #427 has always been at the parish and community level.

The Knights continue their great mission of supporting the church and many of the causes that the church has.” — Bishop Louis Tylka

During the 1918 flu epidemic, the clubhouse was turned into an emergency field hospital, and council member Dr. Joseph S. Duane led the medical staff.

Bishop Louis Tylka began his homily by congratulating Spalding Council for 125 years of service “as the Knights continue their great mission of supporting the church and many of the causes that the church has.”


Doug Booher, grand knight of Council #427 named just a few of those causes in an interview before Mass.

“We give back through Tootsie Roll Drives for those with intellectual disabilities, Coats for Kids, Aid Support After Pregnancy (ASAP), the Msgr. George Carton College Seminarian Fund, and an annual clergy dinner for priests, sisters and deacons of the Peoria Diocese.”

He also referenced a proclamation that was issued by the office of Peoria Mayor Rita Ali on Jun 11 and read at City Council. The proclamation recognized Council 427 for “service to faith, family, community, and life, while continuing to honor God and country.”

Doug Booher, grand knight, Spalding Council #427, holds a proclamation from Peoria Mayor Rita Ali commending the council for 125 years of service. With him is Louis Kanowsky, treasurer. Photo courtesy City of Peoria

Charity is one of the pillars of the Knights of Columbus, along with unity and fraternity.

In his homily, Bishop Tylka spoke of the fraternity he had enjoyed earlier in the week at the spring plenary meetings of the United States Council of Catholic Bishops in Louisville, KY. He described how he and his brother bishops who became bishops at the same time (“the Class of 2020”) go out to dinner on such occasions, and “it’s just a great opportunity for fraternity.”

He said it’s very powerful when fraternity provides a venue for sharing how “God is working in our lives.”

Spalding Council’s spirit of fraternity has been a key to its longevity said Doug Booher.

“We have a very strong organization at 427 … just staying together for 125 years is a tribute to the strength and growth of the organization.”

“In thanksgiving . . . for the success and longevity of the Knights of Columbus’ Spalding Council #427 . . .  let us pray to the Lord.”— petition proclaimed by Spalding Council trustee Sam Joseph


Spalding Council trustee Sam Joseph underlined the council’s appreciation for that legacy of faith during the prayers of petition. He proclaimed, “In thanksgiving through the intercession of Blessed Father Michael J. McGivney for the success and longevity of the Knights of Columbus’ Spalding Council #427. . . let us pray to the Lord.”

The Saturday June 15 Mass was also celebrating Father’s Day. Cantor Anna Nabham, accompanied by organist Sherry Seckler, led the congregation in singing the hymn “Faith of our Fathers” at Communion, and the relevance to Spalding Council #427 was hard to miss.

Mass was concelebrated by Msgr. Jason Gray, chaplain, Spalding Council #427; Father Stephen Willard, pastor, St. Vincent de Paul; Father Tom Taylor, former parochial vicar at St. Vincent de Paul, now on senior status; Father Achilleus Tegamaisho, current parochial vicar at St. Vincent de Paul; and Deacon Ed Mallow, St. Thomas the Apostle, Peoria Heights.

Following Mass, the Spalding Council 125th anniversary dinner was held at Knights of Columbus Hall on North Radnor Road in Peoria.


SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
© Copyright 2024 - The Catholic Post || All Rights Reserved || Design by TBare.com