Knights of Columbus, Kehoe Council #1764

The Father Kehoe Council Knights of Columbus was established in Ludlow in 1914. The organization initially drew its entire membership from Ludlow’s two Catholic parishes: St. Boniface and St. James.

On October 11, 1914, one-hundred-thirteen men were initiated into the new council at St. James School auditorium. The first officers were: John Donovan (grand knight), Michael Glenn (deputy grand knight), John T. Murphy (chancellor), R.I. Dillon (financial secretary), B.R. Schwartz (treasurer), Harry Kloenne (inner guard), G.A. Oldenwald (outer guard), M.M. Driscoll (lecturer), and the Reverend Thomas N. Kehoe (chaplain).

The council was named after the Reverend James Kehoe, one of the early pastors of St. James Parish.

Originally, the Kehoe Council met at St. James School. In c. 1920, the council acquired a building at 83 (233) Elm Street to be used as a clubhouse. In January, 1968, the council purchased the building and grounds of the Catholic Athletic Club at 828 Elm Street.

The council greatly expanded the former CAC building. Eventually, a modern brick addition was constructed at street level. The knights also replaced the original 1930 building, which was located on the lower level of the property.

In 1970, council member Joe Grothaus, began planning for the construction of an outdoor shrine to the Virgin Mary. Following two years of fundraising and hard work, the shrine was dedicated on October 7, 1972, by the Most Reverend Richard H. Ackerman. The shrine included a stone arch surrounding the statue of the Virgin, a large pool with fountains, and several planting beds.

Over the last century, the council has supported numerous community programs and institutions. The council sponsored a local Cub Scout pack (#827), supported Catholic inner-city schools, provided scholarships, promoted vocations and sponsored fundraising events to aid the mentally disabled.

Christian Year, September 26, 1914, p. 6, October 17, 1914, p. 6, and October 10, 1914, p. 6; News Enterprise, September 6, 1972, p. 1 and January 11, 1968, p. 1.