On Friday February 9th, 180 Brother Knights, spouses, friends and clergy members gathered at the KayCee Club of Council 799 in Dallas to honor and celebrate the partnership of the Dallas Knights with the Clergy of the Dallas Diocese. This is the third annual diocesan wide celebration of this nature and it was bigger and better than ever! In addition to Bishop Burns and Auxiliary Bishop Kelly there were another 34 priests, deacons and seminarians present. The theme of the event was simple – to show the Knights appreciation for all of the collaboration and support that the clergy of the Dallas Diocese consistently gives to the Knights of the Diocese. The proceeds of the event will go to the Seminarian Emergency Fund and other clergy support projects and initiatives in the Dallas Diocese.
Dallas Diocese Clergy Honored at the Third Annual Clergy Appreciation Banquet
Diocesan Deputy SK Mike Courtney did an exceptional job as Master of Ceremonies for the evening and besides a wonderful reception and dinner the evening was packed with many special events and impactful speakers. Three particular special events stood out during the evening. First, The Dallas Knights presented Bishop Burns with a check in the amount of $66,459.55 for his use in funding the Deaf and Disabled ministry here in Dallas. This amount represents 70% of our Councils’ contributions to our State Charity Fund which annually comes back for Bishops throughout the State of Texas. Next, SK John Little presented SK Michael Greene with the 2024 “Seminarians’ Best Friend Award”. For over 20 years Mike has managed the Committee of 1000 program in which pin sales have amassed over $79,000 in donations for The Seminarian Emergency Fund through the sale of our “praying hands” pins. Mike started this all in his own Council with a mere $400 in donations. Two weeks ago at the Dallas Mid-Year Meeting alone we were able to present Holy Trinity Seminary with a check for $10,000 on that day alone. Lastly, SK John presented Father Zachary Webb with our annual “Clergy Who Make a Difference” award for his work for many years as Director of Seminarians in the Dallas Diocese. Both Brother Greene and Father Webb received handcrafted inscribed wooden plaques crafted of real wine barrel heads manufactured by brother Jeff Flory of Flory Woodworks.
As for speakers, there were several short but impactful presentations that moved and motivated the entire audience:
- Our Diocesan Chaplain, Father Joseph Mehan, Pastor of St. Michael the Archangel in Garland opened the meeting with a blessing of the meal.
- After dinner, State Deputy Terry Fruge spoke about the wonderful accomplishments of Texas Knights and Dallas Knights throughout the year – record charitable contributions, record wheelchair donations, record Coats for Kids donations, more Ultrasound machines and so much more!
- Mr. David Palmer, Executive Director of Guadalupe Radio here in Dallas spoke of his early memories of the Knights of Columbus and how they are such an important part of the fabric of life in our community. He offered his assistance whenever needed to the Knights.
- Seminarian Bryce Bauman who will be ordained in March of this year and is from Council 7850 (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Plano) spoke about how much the RSVP scholarships meant to his fellow seminarians and himself throughout their journey to priesthood,
- Bishop Burns spoke about his love for the Dallas Diocese and for the Knights of Columbus and the good works that we do in so many ways throughout the Diocese.
- Finally, Bishop Kelly closed the evening with his personal thoughts and blessings for everyone.
Before we adjourned, each of the Clergy present were called up to the stage and presented with a specially inscribed commemorative gift and a group picture with our Bishops and Diocesan and State Deputies was taken.
This event has turned out to be one of the highlights of our fraternal year and we look forward to the Fourth Annual next spring. Special thanks to The KayCee Club and in particular President Kirk Jockle for their special support of the event and to Chris Lewis and our partners and friends at the American Wheelchair Mission for their sponsorship of the event as well. And finally, special thanks to our Clergy Appreciation Banquet committee – Patrick Vlk, Jorge Ruiz and Jake Fleischer for organizing the event.
Stay tuned for a future announcement of the net proceeds and the presentation of the funds!