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LAKE CHARLES -- Keith Manuel was installed as Grand Knight of the reactivated Knights of Columbus Council 1207 of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception following the celebration of  Holy Mass on Tuesday, April 7 in the Cathedral.

Bishop Glen John Provost presided at the Mass, celebrated by the Rev. Rommel Tolentino, pastor of the Cathedral and Council 1207 chaplain. Assisting was Deacon Christopher Fontenot, Cathedral pastoral assistant and principal at St. Louis Catholic High School. 

Serving with Manuel will be Stephen Broussard, deputy grand knight; Justin Brashear, financial secretary; John Day, chancellor; Chris McCall, lecturer; Raymond Phillips, warden; Shaine Rider, advocate;  Troy Stine, treasurer; Michael Williams, recording secretary; Jared Watson, outside guard; Jon Yokubiatis, inside guard; and Jack Robichaux, Tommy Navarra and Vincent Lupo, trustees.

Pictured at left are members of Council 1207, Knights of Columbus of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Other members of the reactivated council are Trinidad Arendando, Guy Bradberry, Charles Burton, Jimmy Bushnell, Marty Derouen, Matthew Devall, Brad Foreman, Dan Frick, Chad Hobgood, Chris Jones, Kendall Lejeune, Charles Marcantel, Houston Middleton III, Michael Nodier, Gerry Abluda, Keane O’Neal, Scott Riviere, Sam Sprehe, Guy Vick, Charles Vincent and Lee Zimmermann.

Council 1207 was originally chartered on March 10, 1907, according to information provided by the Office of the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, Conn. Due to a lack of membership the council went inactive Oct. 10, 1999, the Supreme Council records indicate. Those members still active were transferred to the KC Council at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church.

Information from that follows was gleaned from the archives of the American Press and provide an interesting story.

The establishment of Council 1207 came primarily through the efforts of Rev. Hubert Cramers, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish, and William E. Krebs, editor of the Lake Charles Press. Others included John Harrop, a former Shreveport resident, and George Riling, a member of a Kansas Council. 

A total of 39 candidates were signed and approved and on March 10, 1907, Calcasieu Council was formally instituted with an all-day initiation.
   The Lake Charles Press described the occasion as follows: ‘Calcasieu Council of the Knights of Columbus was formally instituted yesterday (March 10) by State Deputy George W. Young of New Orleans, assisted by visiting knights from New Iberia, Opelousas, Alexandria, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Beaumont, Houston, Galveston and Dallas, numbering in all 350.’

‘The initiation ceremonies were conducted in the IOOF Hall, 716 Ryan Street, and began at 8 o’clock in the  morning, ending about 7 o’clock in the evening. When the ceremonies were concluded, the members of Calcasieu Council felt they had been fully initiated.’

‘The group marched in a body to the church where they attended a High Mass in a body. It was a rather rare occurrence in religious Lake Charles to see 400 men gathered together in once church. ‘
   William Krebs was the first grand knight, serving from 1907 to 1909. He again, led the council from 1914-1917.

In 1925, through the efforts of the late Paul Zimmermann and other leaders of the Knights of Columbus, a permanent domicile was constructed at 414 Iris Street. The building, a two-story brick structure, was also the home for the parish’s Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court. 

In 1980, following the establishment of the Diocese of Lake Charles, the Council donated the building and grounds to the Diocese for use as its official headquarters.  Following renovation, it was dedicated as the Chancery on April 21, 1985, with Archbishop Pio Laghi, the Apostolic Pro-Nuncio (the Pope’s ambassador)to the United States, in attendance.

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