Knights of Peter Claver hold centennial year celebration

MOBILE, Ala. — The Gulf Coast Conference of the Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary will celebrate the centennial of the organization’s founding in its home city. The 62nd annual conference will be held at the Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel from April 30 to May 3.

Members of the organization will have the opportunity to visit sites relevant to their founding. The conference is anticipated to be one of the largest on the Gulf Coast because it is the centennial, according to a press release.

Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile will celebrate Mass on May 2 in the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Father Giles Conwill, who has served in the Diocese of San Diego, will be the homilist.

Father Conwill is now the chair of the Department of History at Morehouse College in Atlanta. His teaching fields include U.S. history, Western civilization, the black church, ancient Africa and African-American Catholics.

The Knights of Peter Claver was founded Nov. 7, 1909, in Mobile as a Catholic fraternal society for black men. It was named for St. Peter Claver, a Spanish missionary who served and ministered to slaves in the 1600s. The organization was incorporated July 12, 1911, and currently is a member of the International Alliance of Catholic Knights.

The organization has over 700 subordinate units throughout the United States, a unit in South America, and over 18,000 members. It is headquartered in New Orleans.

The Gulf Coast Conference is comprised of units within the archdioceses and dioceses of Mobile, Birmingham, Biloxi and Jackson, Ala.; Atlanta and Savannah, Ga.; Charleston, S.C.; Raleigh, N.C.; Pensacola-Tallahassee, Orlando, St. Augustine and St. Petersburg, Fla.; and Cartagena, Colombia, South America.

For more information about the upcoming celebration, call the national office at (504) 821-4225 or visit