HOW THE KNIGHTS GOT STARTED
On the 15th of May 1882, Father Michael McGivney and 24 men laid the foundation of the first subordinate Knights of Columbus Council, "San Salvador Council 1", in New Haven Connecticut. This was the beginning of what was to be the world's largest Catholic Men's organization which now stands at 1.7 million members.
KofC ROOTS IN CANADA
Fifteen years later, in 1897, the Knights of Columbus took root in Canada, Montreal Council 284 was formed.
FORMATION OF THE FIRST COUNCIL IN ONTARIO
On January 28, 1900, a Class of 59 candidates was initiated in Ottawa and formed Ontario’s first council -"Pioneer Council 485". From 1903 on, the number of councils formed and the increase in membership was phenomenal.
FORMATION OF ST. CATHARINES COUNCIL 1394
Council 1394 received its charter on March 29, 1909. There were 52 charter members. The first Grand Knight was M.J. McCaron (photo at left) and the first Chaplain was Reverend Denis Morris. There have been 52 Grand Knights and 9 Chaplains. The first meetings were held at the original St. Nicholas School.
COUNCIL 1394 CHAPLAINS OF THE LAST 100 YEARS
On November 6, 1916 a special meeting was called to purchase a three-story brick building including a bakery known as the "Old McSloy Property" on 71 King Street. A committee was formed and this "Home Committee" had the empowerment to purchase the property for $6,000.00 or less.
An offer was made on December 11, 1916 by the Home Committee for $5,500.00 and this offer was accepted. Because some renovations had to be done on the building, the mortgage was going be controlled by a "Joint Stock Company" to be capitalized for $7,000.00.
Past Grand Knight M.J. McCarron (an attorney) was authorized to set up all the details for the Joint Stock Company and a stock ledger was set up for 280 shares (at $25.00 per share) bearing interest of 6% per year. The Home Committee also instructed the club's Advocate to apply to the Supreme Council for permission to form a holding company named the "Knights of Columbus Building Club". (Later on to be named as "The Columbus Club of St. Catharines Limited").
On March 19, 1918 the Columbus Club of St. Catharines Limited, informed the Board of Trustees of Council 1394 that the Columbus Club was prepared to rent and lease the King Street building for $65.00 per month to the Knights of Columbus.
Later on, meetings were held at Lyceum Hall until the early 1940's when property was purchased at 149 King Street where Carlisle Street is now. In early 1977, this property was expropriated by the City of St. Catharines.
The Council then moved to the Holy Childhood building on Wellington Street at Lake Street. In July of 1979, we moved to our present location at 235 Church Street.
St. Catharines Council 1394 was the first council certified in Niagara. Its territory stretched from Fort Erie, Thorold, Pelham, Fonthill, Welland, Niagara Falls and Grimsby.
In 1912, Niagara Falls formed their own council - Hennepin Council 1652 and because of World War I (1914-1918), it took eight years before Welland established their own council in 1920. Francis of Assisi Council 2146 was established in Thorold in 1921. Council 4917 in Grimsby started in 1960, Thorold's Sacred Heart Council 2319 reactivated in 1979, 7741 Pere Edmund (French) in 1981, 8378 St. Mary's in 1983 and Cathedral Council 9222 in 1985.
At one time, our Council had 2 First Degree teams, 1 Second Degree team and 1 Third Degree Team.
The Council also sponsored a Columbian Squires Circle 1251. The Circle was very active.
The establishment of new councils throughout the Peninsula made a dramatic impact on the membership for Council 1394.
PGK Tony Gazzola & Jack Konst
Our 1st Chaplain was Rev. Denis Morris (photo at left). He was Chaplain from 1909 when Council was formed to 1935 when he passed away. He was Pastor of St. Catherine of Alexandria Church. Denis Morris High School is named after him.
Our 2nd Chaplain was Rev. Michael Cullinane. He was Chaplain from 1936 until his death in 1946. He was Pastor at St. Catherine of Alexandria Church.
Our 3rd Chaplain was Rev. Alfred McQuillen. He was Chaplain 1935-36 and 1946 to 1967 when he passed away. It was common for a priest to take the Chaplain position with the council for life. He was Pastor of St. Catherine of Alexandra Church and became Vicar General when the Diocese was formed in 1958. He was the driving force in the building of Hotel Dieu Hospital and establishment of Denis Morris High School.
Our 4th Chaplain was Rev. Michael Delaney. He was Chaplain from 1967 to 1979 when he was transferred to St. Mary's Church in Welland. During his term as Chaplain he had been Pastor of St Catherine of Alexandria Church.
Our 5th Chaplain was Rev. Fred Colli. He was Chaplain from 1980 to 1983, was Pastor of St. Julia's Church and is presently Bishop of Thunder Bay.
Our 6th Chaplain was Rev. Mel Schafer. He was Chaplain from 1983 to 1985. He was Pastor of St. Catherine of Alexandria Church when he was Chaplain. He is presently Pastor of St. Denis Church.
Our 7th Chaplain was Rev. Randy Gallant. He was Chaplain from 1986 to 1989. He was the first Chaplain who was not a Pastor. He is presently Pastor at St. Michael's in Ft. Erie.
Our 8th Chaplain was Rev. Michael Basque. He is presently Pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in St. Catharines and presently Assistant Chaplain of our Council.
Our 9th Chaplain is Rev. John Buis (photo at left). He was Chaplain from 1990 to 1992 and also from 1994 to present time. He is now in retirement.
All Chaplains are appointed on the recommendations of the Grand Knight, Deputy Grand Knight and Financial Secretary with the approval of the Bishop.
Submitted by PGK Tony Gazzola
VISIT SUPREME WEBSITE FOR MORE HISTORY
VIDEO HISTORY OF THE KNIGHTS AND FATHER McGIVNEY