Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 25, 2005
Brother Anthony never says 'No'
Leadership and fraternity abound in this council
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Brother Anthony Council is the type of council that never says "no" to any project regardless of the work involved.
The council is always ready to lend a hand to whomever needs it, be it another council, the parish, a youth group or the needy.
"We are a really, really busy council; we do an awful lot of stuff not only for our own council and our own Church, but also for the community as a whole," said grand knight Gerry Belec.
Last year, for instance, it hosted the state hockey tournament and a golf tournament with another council from St. Albert. To top it up, this year it hosted the state's curling tournament. And as Belec pointed out, hosting any statewide event doesn't come cheap, especially when you have to feed, house and entertain dozens of participants from across the province. But someone has to do it and Brother Anthony Council always seems to have the best disposition.
Most fraternal council
In recognition of its fraternal ways, the council last year won the award for most fraternal council in the Alberta-Northwest Territories Jurisdiction.
"One of the reasons we probably won the award last year is because we hosted the state's hockey tournament," quipped Belec. "Fraternal means we are doing things for the Knights of Columbus."
The award is given annually to a council that, among other things, shows effectiveness in communicating with knights at all levels, in involving families in activities that enhance family growth and initiative in hosting state activities such as sports tournaments.
Brother Anthony is one of two councils in St. Albert. It began with some 20 members about 13 years ago after the establishment of Holy Family Parish.
"We are around 200 members right now," Belec said. "We are pretty big and growing."
Brother Anthony Council also has a circle of Columbian Squires with about 20 young men.
The council is well known for welcoming St. Albert youth groups that do their activities. "We do a lot of stuff that we are asked to do," Belec said, noting that whenever they recruit, they target men that not only are practising Catholics but also men who will be proud to be knights and who want to get involved.
Council members do pancake breakfasts every first Sunday of the month. About 30 council members help out at each pancake breakfast, activity that promotes fraternalism among council members and parishioners as well.
Brother Anthony also does specialty nights throughout the year, the most popular being Octoberfest-a dinner with a German flavour. The council meets once a month and has begun to serve dinner before the meeting to increase attendance and promote fraternity. It's working. Some 30 council members attended the last dinner meeting.
"We also do a ladies' appreciation night in January and that's a formal dinner for the women," Belec pointed out. "We serve them a five or seven course meal. The men are not allowed to sit with them. The men serve them. And we serve them in tuxes. We usually have the choir sing. And again it's good camaraderie for the men because the men have to spend all the time in the kitchen cooking for the women and serving them."
Brother Anthony also has a Knights' Choir that started a few years back. Choir members sing regularly at Mass and do special presentations for seniors at old-age homes at Christmas time. "And again that's good fraternity," Belec quipped.
Some council members are also members of the Bishop Legal Forth Degree Assembly, which means they are asked to do a lot of funerals and honour guards for the bishops. Belec, an insurance broker, joined the knights about six years ago after he realized that almost everybody that was involved in the parish was also a member of the knights.
"They are very involved not only in the Knights but within the Church and I think probably that's one reason why we function so well."
- Gerry Belec
Involved in Church
"And right now if you went through our council you would find that many of them are involved in the different ministries in the church, like ushers, acolytes, readers, greeters, eucharistic ministers, choir, maintenance committee, parish council," he pointed out. "They are very involved not only in the Knights but within the Church and I think probably that's one reason why we function so well. As I said, so many of our core group is what you call doers."
District deputy Martin Blanche said Brother Anthony Council won the most fraternal award simply because it's truly a fraternal council. "They have been very welcoming and supportive of the seminarians at St. Joseph Seminary and on a yearly basis they recognize the wives of the brother knights with a dinner where they serve the ladies," Blanche said.
"This council also hosts various state functions like the hockey tournament last year and the curling this year at the state level. They are also quite innovative; they've initiated the pro-life calendar, a fundraiser whose proceeds go to Alberta Prolife."
Blanche also called Brother Anthony a leadership council because it has consistently provided leaders to the Knights of Columbus at all levels, including the state level. In fact the current state deputy of the Knights, Mike Casavant, is a member of Brother Anthony Council.
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