NEW ORLEANS — The Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary are set to host their 106th annual national convention this summer, to be held at the Westin Chicago in Lombard, Illinois from July 15-20th.
The event will be in-person for the first time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, following virtual proceedings in 2020 and 2021. This year’s gathering was originally scheduled for New Orleans, Louisiana—the site of the KPC headquarters—before a move was announced.
As in previous years, respective conclaves for Fourth-degree Knights and Ladies of Grace will take place just prior to the national convention at the Westin, and district conferences will be held in their respective regions in the coming weeks.
These include the Northern States (April 21-24 in Chicago), Western States (April 22-24th virtually), Central States (April 22-24th), Louisiana State Knights (April 23rd in Lafayette), Louisiana State Ladies (April 30th in Lafayette), Gulf Coast (April 29-May 1st in Atlanta), and Texas State (May 6-8th in Austin).
The Northern States junior division will hold their conference from June 23-26th, also in Chicago.
This year’s national convention will be the first for a number of new, re-established, and recently revitalized units, including Unit #94 in Buffalo, New York; Unit #398 in Alexandria, Virginia; Unit #404 in New York; and Unit #406 in Orange County, California (which will be formally established this weekend at Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove).
The deadline for national convention registration is May 1st, while discounted hotel reservations will end on June 20th. Members are encouraged to register for the convention as soon as possible, with a pay-later system available for convention fees—in part due to ongoing COVID concerns, for those who wish to decide later whether they will attend. (Registrants under that system will have until June 1st to submit payment.)
Vendors for the convention are asked to register by June 8th, and ad submissions for the souvenir booklet are to be submitted no later than June 30th. Nominations for national awards are due by May 15th.
The historically Black fraternal order—which will celebrate 113 years later this year—was founded in Alabama in 1909 with the help of the Josephites, a religious society of priests and brothers serving African Americans. In the years since, the mission of both groups has continued to center around service to the Black community.
Education has loomed large therein, and the Clavers’ annual scholarship raffle is accepting entries through June 18th, before a drawing on June 28th at 10pm ET. For the past 31 years, the initiative has benefited students pursuing college degrees around the country, as well as local KPC councils (men) and courts (women) in their charitable works.
Raffles prizes include cash payouts of up to $5,000, and applications for the scholarships themselves are due by May 1st, as are those for charitable program grants.
New KPC members are being accepted year-round, and interested individuals can contact the national office for more information, or register online before being formally initiated and joining a court or council.
For more information about the national convention, please contact Valerie Watkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder and editor of Black Catholic Messenger, a seminarian with the Josephites, and a ThM student with the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA).