Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 29, 2002
Council membership doubles
Filipino K of C council builds on ethnic strengths and brotherhood
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Only a year after its launching, the Filipino Council has become one of the most active councils of the Knights of Columbus in Edmonton, excelling in everything from recruitment, to volunteerism, to faith promotion.
Established in April of last year with about 30 members, the Nazareno Council 12904 was chartered in June with 63 members. It now has a grand total of 124 members.
According to Grand Knight Teddy Tuazon, the council has already surpassed the annual recruitment quota by 1,160 per cent. Councils are required to recruit five members per year.
Members of the Nazareno Council come from all over Edmonton and neighbouring communities such as Sherwood Park, Leduc and Legal. They meet monthly at St. Joseph's Auxiliary Hospital.
The council was created to unite Catholic men with the same culture, customs and tradition, a move which Tuazon says promotes the Knights of Columbus tenets of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism.
"Coming from the same background with common values, beliefs and sense of patriotism, Filipino brothers understand with clarity the uniqueness of the Filipino psyche," he said.
"These advantages make it easier to foster the sense of fraternity and unity that the Knights of Columbus is striving for. With these nurtured and accomplished, the work of making a contribution to the community flows out naturally."
Tuazon credited former State Deputy Lito Reyes with the creation of the Nazareno Council. "He encouraged us to form it."
Nine Filipino Catholic men met in Edmonton in February of last year to discuss the feasibility of forming such a council. Forty five days later, they had the number of members required to go ahead.
Creativity helped them in the recruitment process. Last September, the council held a golf tournament to promote membership. "After the tournament, we talked to participants and recruited 10 new members," enthused Tuazon, a Knight for the past 24 years.
The council has also done well in the recruitment of youth, forming a Columbian Squires circle in December with 17 young people aged between 10 and 17.
"Filipino brothers understand with clarity the uniqueness of the Filipino psyche."
- Teddy Tuazon
The young people are "very active," Tuazon said, saying they usually lead the rosary during the Eucharistic Adoration which the council holds every month in different churches and hospital chapels.
The teenagers also help in the special Filipino Masses organized by the council.
Archbishop Thomas Collins authorized the council to celebrate four Filipino Masses a year in different churches throughout the city. They have already celebrated three, including one at St. Charles Parish in November and another at St. Theresa Parish in March.
The council has also excelled in volunteer work. During the visit of the relics of St. Therese last year, members volunteered in several activities, including as security guards and parking attendants.
During the Christmas season, members delivered Christmas hampers for the needy and provided musical entertainment for the patients at St. Joseph's Auxiliary Hospital.
The council held its first Christmas party for its own members and families to promote unity and fraternity.
And through raffles and other activities, the council has raised funds for Joseph's Hospital and seminarians at St. Joseph's Seminary. They presented three seminarians with $500 each.
The Nazareno Council celebrated its first charter anniversary with a big bash April 6 at St. Basil Cultural Centre.
"There is a lot of brotherhood and fraternity among our members," Tuazon said. "And I think we have to thank our (Filipino) council for that."