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K of C: Faith, family and charity – how a band of brothers became a force in our community

What have 80 Faith filled men (and families) accomplished in two short years? And how much more can we accomplish with a little more financial and prayerful support?

On November 1, 2013 the St. Columbkille – David J. Ochs Knights of Columbus Council was officially chartered and thus began our collaborative public service as a united group of Catholic men desiring to make our community, our nation and our world a better place in which to live, worship and raise our families.

There are five distinct councils in Dubuque with each council having its own members and bylaws. Council 510, which is located downtown, is the oldest chartered council in Iowa. Parish based councils include St. Anthony, St. Joe the Worker, St. Joe Key West-La Mott, with St. Columbkille being the latest chartered council in Dubuque.

In order to accomplish even more we are asking for your tax deductible donation of any amount to assist us in furthering the work of our organization and its great commission. As a parish based Council we are able to keep our expenses to a bare minimum, and $.95 out of every $1 taken in is returned to others in need through many of the programs listed below. Supporting the Knights at St. Columbkille gives us the ability to meet the urgent request of those in need. It also allows us to plan our budget, fueled by donations, so the organizations we continue to help can count on us to provide the manpower and resources as needed.

Distinguished members of our Council include – Archbishop Michael Jackels, Reverend Fathers Gabriel Anderson, Hilary Aidoo and Brian Dellaert, Reverend Mr. Frank Dunn and Reverend Mr. Bill Biver.

Over the past 27 months our council has given 23,000 service hours back to these community organizations and causes through financial help, fund raising efforts, and service hours. According to a national based firm, service hours are documented to cost on average $23.00 per hour, meaning our council has contributed over $500,000 in man hours back to the community thus far.

Local Charitable programs and activities we support or run:

  • Seminarian support
  • Birthright of Dubuque
  • Mary’s Inn
  • Aquinas Communications (Catholic Radio in Dubuque)
  • Gabriel Project of Dubuque
  • Serra Club
  • Power of Prayer Adoration Chapel
  • St Vincent de Paul
  • Toys & Coats for local schools
  • Boy Scout Breakfast & Religious Awards Ceremony
  • Camp Albrecht Acres
  • Lighthouse Catholic Media Program
  • Keep Christ in Christmas magnet and Christmas card program
  • Food for the Needy. 1,200 lbs. of turkey and ham were handed out in 2014, and 3,500 lbs. of turkey, ham and potatoes were given out in 2015.
  • Dubuque County Fair – K of C food booth
  • Dinners and breakfasts for Parish events – all free will offerings
  • Assisting with all functions at the annual Parish picnic
  • Carnations to honor all mothers on Mother’s Day masses at St. Columbkille
  • Veterans’ Breakfast at St. Columbkille
  • CPID (Campaign for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities)
  • Support for our sister parish – Our Lady of the Sioux in Oglala, S.D.
  • Altar Server appreciation functions
  • Catholic college/university funding for Catholics in need of financial assistance
  • Vocations fund to assist those discerning the religious life, including priests, seminarians and sisters
  • Christmas caroling at retirement & assisted living homes
  • Pilgrim Virgin Statue program on Saturday afternoons
  • Honor guards at 1st Eucharist, Confirmation, Corpus Christi procession, funerals, and area civic events
  • Prepare dishes and serve meals at St. Patrick’s for the needy and homeless
  • Prayer vigil at Planned Parenthood, 40 days for Life, and the Life Chain, as well as local and national right to life demonstrations
  • Annual Labor Day Parade
  • Weekly Mass greeters program
  • Get out the Vote campaign

National Charitable activities:

  • Ultrasound initiative. Raising funds to purchase new portable ultrasound machines for the state of Iowa. The objective is to reduce abortions by 50 percent by 2020.
  • Our continuing efforts to support our Lady of the Sioux in Oglala S.D. with coats, boots, school supplies and household needs to meet their basic requirements.
  • Raising money for the CPID program assist in funding state wide organizations
  • Participate in the National Day of Prayer and March for Life in Washington DC by supporting local students and groups on bus trips.

International Charitable activities:

  • Our largest campaign has been in raising money to assist the Persecuted Christians in the Middle East and around the world. The past two years we have sent several thousand dollars from our council members to the Supreme Council and to date the Knights of Columbus have raised over 4 Million dollars to assist with food, housing, clothing and the basic needs for survival to help Christians fleeing from the ongoing wars and persecution.
  • We continue to send funding for the International religious education and support for seminarians and other religious groups and schools around the world through our Supreme Council.

As you can see, the needs are many and our goal is simple. In conjunction with other state and local councils, we do our best to bring light to the world by living out our faith, bringing our faith to others, assisting when and where we are able to, one tiny step at a time.

This past year at the Knights of Columbus state convention held in Coralville, Dubuque was selected to host the 2017 State Convention for the first time in 17 years.

David J. Ochs was the chairman for the state convention and his son Tom was the Grand Knight at Council 510 in 2000. Tom was our inaugural Grand Knight for The St. Columbkille – David J. Ochs Council 15813. The entire Ochs family has been associated with St. Columbkille for many years, and thus the namesake for our newly formed council.

Here are a few ways to assist us:

Take time right now to drop your check in the mail or online at www.kc15813.org to send us your donation through the secured access.

Let other practicing Catholic men ages 18 and up, from any parish, know we are always looking for faith filled men to join our council and help in our mission.

Let us know if there is something we can do for you. We are actively involved in many programs in our community, and if we are unable to assist, we have other resources that may be able to help.

Continue to pray for all the Knights of Columbus which then strengthens us to continue our work.

Al Schroeder, Grand Knight
Tom Ochs, Past Grand Knight
Steve Hesprich, Financial Secretary
Mark Hoeger, Chancellor, Church Director, Fund Raising Chairman.

For more info on the KCs call 563-213-0477
Donations are payable to Council 15813
Please mail to: Council 15813, 1240 Rush St., Dubuque IA 52001


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