Knights of Peter Claver Organization's History


November 7, 1909
The Knights of Peter Claver was founded in Mobile Alabama, by four Josephite priests: Father C.F. Rebesher, S.J. Kelly, P.Van Baast and John H. Doresey along with three lay men: G. Faustina, F. Collins and F.Treiner. This organization was originally formed because black Catholics were not permitted to join fraternal organizations in that era, but since then the Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary have become the largest Black Catholic Organization in the Unites States.

1917
The Junior Knights were formed as a branch of The Knights of Peter Claver. This organization is for Catholic boys through the age of 17 years. The Junior Knights are mentored by the Knights to provide positive leadership & guidance. The Junior Knights will cross over to the Knights division as emerging leaders at the age of eighteen.


1917
The Fourth Degree Division was established


1922
The Ladies Auxiliary was authorized and their constitution was adopted, but not recognized as a Division of the National Council of Galveston Texas, until August 1922.


1930
The Junior Daughter Division was established for Catholic young ladies between the ages of 7-19. This program is geared to build outstanding character & leadership qualities.


1935
The Junior Knights were established


1980
The Ladies of Grace, Fourth Degree Division was established

The Supreme Knight Arthur McFarland and Supreme Lady Mary Louise Briers currently lead our noble order for the respective Knights & Ladies Senior Divisions. Their leadership roles follow a line of fourteen Supreme Knights & eleven Supreme Ladies since the organization was first established.


The national headquarters of the Knights of Peter Claver is located in New Orleans, Louisiana. Our fraternal organization is divided up into six geographic districts: Central States, Louisiana, Texas, Gulf Coast, Western and the Northern Districts. Both the senior and junior divisions have established councils & courts in all of these districts.


District conventions are held for both the senior & junior divisions in the spring of each year and the national convention is held in August.

The Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary operates out of 52 Archdioceses and Dioceses in the Unites States. It has received several Apostolic Benedictions from the Most Holy Father in Rome, and has the Approbation of their Eminencies and of their Excellencies and from many Cardinals, Arch Bishops & Bishops.

The Junior Divisions also participate in many other worthy charitable contributions to The Knights of Peter Claver Organization has made several contributions for noteworthy causes on the local & state levels including, Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation, National Council of Catholic Women, NAACP, Xavier University, United Negro College Fund, Claver Basket and many other organizations.


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