Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
April 27, 2009
Grande Prairie builds on members' strength
Northern council attracts members by matching duties with skills
PHOTO | KATALIN ORMAY
Knights' dollars helped build the new St. Joseph Church in Grande Prairie.
This same approach worked eight years ago when he was grand knight in Brooks and still holds true today. It’s no surprise then that the council has already attracted 36 new members this year, about half under age 30.
Another key factor for recruiting and retaining members is the emphasis on family taking priority over council tasks.
“Obligations to family come first before obligations to the council,” he said.
Talk about building a new Catholic church in Grande Prairie persisted for six years. The Knights played a major role in raising funds to build a new St. Joseph Church in the northern Alberta city two years ago.
The Knights attained money through the sale of property and Christmas trees. While they were aiming to build a new facility for themselves, they decided to donate the money to build the church instead.
An initial donation of $100,000 went to the church’s building fund. Raffling off a trailer, two quads and other prizes brought in $90,000. Last year they gave a third gift, $40,000, raised mainly from Christmas concerts and pancake breakfasts.
Around 70 or 80 knights serve breakfast once a month, serving upwards of 550 guests.
Each breakfast raises about $1,200. Working at the parish’s wedding receptions, banquets and other functions helps recoup some of their money.
“We have exclusive access to the hall adjoining the church. We have the exclusive bartending duties, exclusive security duties,” said Novakowski.
Come this autumn, the Knights will take responsibility for a monthly Mass at the church. They will provide the complete ministry — everything from greeters and readers to collections and Eucharistic ministers.
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