Fr. George Feeney Council 5471 is a men’s fraternal organization open to all Catholic men who have reached the age of 18 and are participants in their faith. The principle activity is acts of Charity, encompassed with the Unity of one faith, the Fraternity of adult men, and the Patriotic respect of our country. It is through Charity in all of its expressions that the Knights are able to deepen their faith and become a strong right arm of the church.
The meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month at 6PM at the Immaculate Conception Parish hall. This building is located to the west of the church located on Ajo’s plaza. The meetings are open to all who hold a current membership card with any Knights of Columbus council.
Those interested in more information or joining the Ajo Knights of Columbus may contact:
Membership Director Rudy Ayala
520 – 387 – 4023
1149 W. Lewis Rd., Ajo, AZ 85321
Membership Committeeman Jose’ Castillo
520 – 387 – 6085
640 W. Solana Ave., Ajo, AZ 85321
Or contact any other member including these officers for the 2006-7 term.
Grand Knight Jose’ Roman
Deputy Grand Knight Louie Walters firstname.lastname@example.org
Chancellor Charles Andrews
Warden Darrell Walls
Treasurer Robert Kearny
Secretary Arturo Vega
Financial Secretary Jose’ Castillo
Trustee Rudy Ayala
Guard Randy Pena
Bit of History The story of the Ajo Knights of Columbus is entwined with Ajo’s New Cornelia Copper Mine and the local parish, the Immaculate Conception The mine began full scale open pit operations in 1916. About that time the Immaculate Conception parish was established with masses first said in tents and finally in a modest building. In 1924 construction was completed on the current Spanish mission style church. In March 1926 a delegation of Knights of Columbus from Phoenix and elsewhere arrived in response to an invitation to initiate Catholic men into its ranks. While the event was successful a local council did not take root. The mine was closed for several years during the early years of the Great Depression and most residents moved on.
While the mine re-opened it was not until 1963 when over forty Catholic men from the Immaculate Conception Parish decided it was time to form a local council. The Supreme Council granted the charter and the Ajo Knights were officially named Fr. George Feeney Council Number 5471 on October 27, 1963. Fr. George Feeney had been a respected pastor some years before. This group of Catholic men actively participated in many parish and community activities. For many years the council home was at the John C. Greenway mansion. This site had been given to the Diocese of Tucson by Isabella Greenway upon her death in 1953. It was a popular meeting site and contributed to the rise of membership which reached over 120 by the late 1970’s. The council remained there until after the closing of the local copper mine and the subsequent drop in local population in 1985. The council like all local community groups suffered drastic losses in its membership as the families sought work elsewhere. Nonetheless the Knights responded to the urgings of Grand Knight Louis M. Ramirez and did not fold during these years. While the council managed to hang on with members serving in several offices by 1990 things had improved. The Knights focused on four main tasks a year: the spring state raffle, the 4th of July Bar B Que, the fall Tootsie Roll MR drive for the mentally challenged and the Children’s Christmas party. Sponsorship of the annual nationwide KC Basketball Free throw Contest was added. For some years the Ajo Knights have also given a scholarship grant award to students who attending trade schools or junior colleges. In 2005 the Ajo Knights of Columbus received the Fr. McGivney award from the Supreme Council in recognition of its many efforts. Currently as of October 2006 the membership stands at 30 local Knights and over 25 Knights living outside of Ajo.
Knights of Columbus Arizona State Council homepage: http://www.azknightsofcolumbus.com
Knights of Columbus Supreme Council homepage: http://www.kofc.org/un/index.cfm
Text and photos submitted by Louie Walters October 23, 2006
|Manuel Aroz, Arcenio Olea, Raul
Vega, Rudy Ayala, Bart Lozano. Arturo Vega. Darrell Walls, Curtis
McCasland, and Bob Cargill prepare for the 2006 4th of July BBQ
|Knights Benny Robles and José Roman clean the church walls.
|Knights Bart Lozano, Jose Castillo and Rudy Ayala sell Tootsie Rolls to raise money for the mentally handicapped.
|January 28, 2006 Basketball Free
Throw signup. Art Vega instructs participants while Darrell Walls, Bart
Lozano and Charles Andrews look on.