The Knights of Peter Claver & Ladies Auxiliary
The Knights of Peter Claver, Inc. and Ladies Auxiliary is the largest predominantly African-
American lay Catholic organization. The organization was founded by Josephite priest
Father Conrad F. Rebesher in 1909 in Mobile, Alabama. The seven Charter Members were
Josephite priests: Josephite Father Conrad F. Rebesher, Josephite Father Samuel J. Kelly,
Josephite Father Joseph P. Van Baast, and Josephite Father John H. Dorsey, and laymen:
Gilbert Faustina, Frank Collins and Frank Trenier.
The organization is active in the United States of America and South America. It has 298
Councils (men divisions) and 312 Courts (ladies divisions). For youths between the ages
of 7 and 18 years old, the organization has 123 Junior Councils (young men) and 208
Junior Courts (young ladies). The Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary provides
opportunities for all Catholics to be actively involved in their faith by living the Gospel
message. The Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary engages in a variety of church
and community service projects. It supports charitable appeals of many national and
international organizations such as the NAACP and the United Negro College Fund,
Catholic elementary and secondary schools and Xavier University in New Orleans.
The Order is named after St. Peter Claver, a Jesuit priest from Spain who ministered
to African slaves in Cartegena, Colombia, South America, in the 17th century. Peter Claver
is said to have converted over 300,000 slaves to Catholicism. It was modelled after the
Knights of Columbus.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops recently renewed a grant to the organization
to continue the National Environmental Health and Justice Literacy Project. This program
is designed to educate citizens of poor communities about environmental health hazards.
The Knights of Peter Claver is a member of the worldwide International Alliance of Catholic
Goals of the Knights
- To support a local pastor, parish and bishop.
- To become active, as a group, in a Knights respective community.
- To instill civic pride & action.
- To engage Knights in opportunities that will allow them to demonstrate their Catholicism.
- To allow for social interaction by creating gatherings that might foster a sense of community.
- To provide for the awarding of scholarships.
- To develop the character of youth.
- To provide social and intellectual stimulation for its members
Visit KPC to learn more about KPC and KPCLA