The Orange County Chapter of the Knights of Columbus hosted its annual Clergy Appreciation Dinner on Jan. 28. This year’s event was held at San Francisco Solano parish hall in Rancho Santa Margarita.
Apart from a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the dinner has been held annually for the past 36 years, according to chapter president Tom Dodge.
“The intent of the program is to say thank you and to honor and show appreciation to our clergy and religious who give up so much to look after our Christian faith and religious growth,” he said.
The honored guests included Most Rev. Kevin W. Vann, Bishop of Orange, and a collection of pastors and diocesan priests and deacons as well as religious order priests, brothers and sisters from the area.
In total, nearly 60 clergy and religious attended this year’s dinner. Bishop Vann has been a regular attendee since being installed as the diocesan bishop in 2012.
BISHOP KEVIN VANN ADDRESSES ATTENDEES DURING THE ORANGE COUNTY CHAPTER OF THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS ANNUAL CLERGY APPRECIATION DINNER ON JAN. 28.
“We really give thanks for our priests, deacons and clergy who, for many of us have become the light and hope of showing us the way of Christ to walk in our lives,” Bishop Vann said. “That’s why this event is so important.”
Augustinian priest Fr. John Grace, OSA, is originally from Ireland. The 85-year-old priest now resides at the St. Augustine Monastery in San Diego.
“I have been involved with the Knights of Columbus from about a month after my arrival in the USA in 2000, when I was invited by a Knight to be the chaplain,” Fr. Grace said.
“I began to observe their activities in the Church,” he continued. “It was impressive, and it was encouraging to see their wives also involved in many Church activities. All of that attracted me to the Knights and soon the whole set became my family.”
As years went by, Fr. Grace became more involved with the Knights at different levels – local, chapter, state and in the supreme office in New Haven, Connecticut as assistant to the Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori. Now back in San Diego, he is involved as State Chaplain once again.
Sr. Angela Callanan, PBVM, is on the Vocations Team of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St. Norbert’s Catholic School.
“I enjoyed the evening, it was very beautiful, meeting friends and making new ones,” she said.
Attendees were hosted by over 300 hundred Brother Knights accompanied by spouses and friends and families of the Knights.
FR. DUY LE, PASTOR OF SAN FRANCISCO SOLANO CHURCH, AND FR. BRANDON DANG, DIRECTOR OF PRIESTLY VOCATIONS FOR THE DIOCESE OF ORANGE, GREET GUESTS OF THE ORANGE COUNTY CHAPTER OF THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS ANNUAL CLERGY APPRECIATION DINNER ON JAN. 28. PHOTOS COURTEST OF JACK HANEY
The Knights of Columbus was founded in 1882 by Blessed Michael McGivney, a young parish priest in New Haven, Connecticut. Based on the founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity, the Knights of Columbus originally began as a small fraternal benefit society and has since grown into one of the world’s leading international charitable organizations.
They remain committed to strengthening Catholic families and parishes and to practicing faith in action through service to all in need.
The Orange County Chapter of the Knights of Columbus is a union of over 6,600 Knights representing 51 different Southern California councils.
For more information about the Orange County Chapter of the Knights of Columbus, visit https://ockc.net/