JAMES L. MARTIN COUNCIL 637
4720 OBERLIN AVE.
LORAIN, OHIO 44053
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Welcome To James L. Martin Council 637 The Knights Of Columbus
The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded by Father Michael J. McGivney in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1882, it was named in honor of the mariner Christopher Columbus. Originally serving as a mutual benefit society to low-income immigrant Catholics, it developed into a fraternal benefit society dedicated to providing charitable services, promoting Catholic education and actively defending Roman Catholicism in various nations.
The Knights of Columbus James L. Martin Council 637 started on January 19th, 1902 and continues the work of Father Michael J. McGivney. Our Band Of Brothers do this by promoting Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism. Want to join or learn more contact us at
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In 1873 when St. Mary Parish was established, Lorain was a very different place. In fact, it wasn’t even named Lorain.
A small number of Irish, German and Polish Catholic immigrants settled in the Village of Black River (later named Lorain) in the second half of the 19th century. The faithful traveled to St. Mary Parish in Elyria to attend Mass since that was the closest church.
In 1878, the congregation built a small, wood frame church named St. Mary of the Lake. In 1883, a larger building was constructed and the frame church was converted to a school. The following year, St. Mary was elevated to parish status by the Diocese of Cleveland. It is the oldest parish in the city of Lorain.
(See photo gallery above.)
Bishop Edward Malesic visited St. Mary on Oct. 15 to celebrate Mass in honor of the parish’s 150th anniversary. He thanked the pastor, Father Dan Divis, for the invitation to celebrate with the parish community.
“Throughout the years, there has been exponential growth which blossomed from the foundation established 150 years ago,” the bishop said. “Today’s celebration provides us an opportunity to remember all the clergy, consecrated religious and resolute laity over the years who have given of themselves to ensure that St. Mary Parish in Lorain was, is and will always be a joyful, welcoming community centered in the Eucharist. Through prayer and liturgy, God gives us the grace to grow in faith, love and service with Christ at the center of our lives.”
The bishop said the parish grew but also endured hardships in its early years. The church was destroyed by fire in 1895. As work began on the new church, German parishioners decided to withdraw and establish St. Joseph Parish. The larger, new church was dedicated by Bishop Ignatius Horstmann in 1897. A new elementary and high school building opened in 1923 and on June 28, 1924, a tornado destroyed the church and damaged other parish buildings.
A new sandstone church in the Georgian style was constructed to replace the damaged structure.
During the 20th century, the parish experienced much growth. Additional classrooms and a gymnasium were added to the school. St. Mary High School closed in 1969 after the establishment of Lorain Catholic High School.
The Lorain economy struggled and many parishioners moved to nearby Amherst and Avon Lake, causing a significant drop in the parish membership.
The bishop said it takes many talented people to run a parish – clergy, religious and dedicated lay people – “who work together to make the parish a vibrant place with a sharp focus on bringing people closer to God.”
He offered his thanks to all who have had and continue to have “any part in keeping this house of the Lord a wonderful place of worship, prayer, sacrament and service. May God bless you for your faithfulness and resilience. And may the Lord bless this parish in its sacred mission to bring people closer to Jesus while serving the needs of the community for countless years to come.”
St. Mary Parish 150th
Current Charity Events
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First in Faith and Charity
The urgent necessity of evangelizing men, bringing them closer to Christ and his Church, was front and center at the 141st Supreme Convention, held Aug. 1-3 in Orlando, Florida, under the theme “First in Faith and Charity.” “For Father McGivney and the rst Knights, faith and charity went hand in hand,” Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly told the delegates, clergy and guests gathered for his annual report at the opening business session Aug. 1 (see page 18). “In these dicult times, so much depends on the commitment to our mission,” the supreme knight continued. “Will we be credible witnesses to a living faith? Will ours be a charity that evangelizes? ... Our answer is the same as Father McGivney’s: Yes!” is past year, the Order’s more than 2 million members served 49 million volunteer hours and gave more than $185 million to charity in 2022. With regard to growing in faith, the Knights of Columbus is expanding Cor, an initiative focused on prayer, formation and fraternity that the supreme knight called “a game changer.
“Aer a very successful pilot program in 21 jurisdictions, we’re preparing to roll Cor out to the entire Order,” Supreme Knight Kelly said. “Every Knight and every Catholic man, of any age, can nd value in Cor. I encourage you to make it a priority and invite the men of your parish.
Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori echoed the supreme knight’s urgency at the closing business session Aug. 3. Noting that faith and charity are gis bestowed by baptism, he stressed that Knights have a responsibility to help each other develop these virtues:: “Every decision we make, every program we initiate, every leader we choose, every interaction we have among ourselves and with our partners in the Church — all this must begin from the central question: Does this help our men to grow in their faith and to lead lives of charity?”
For more info visit www.kofc.org/columbia
At the 141st Supreme Convention, Knights are called to make forming Catholic men the Order’s top priority
“The Immaculate Conception”
Major Feast: The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (December 8)
The Blessed Mother was called “full of Grace” by the angel Gabriel because she was first conceived without sin. As the Church prepares for the coming of Christ on Christmas day, meditating on the mystery of Mary’s immaculate conception can remind us of the saving work Jesus came to do through His Incarnation.
How to celebrate: Go to confession. This a great way to prepare for Christmas and give you the grace to imitate Mary’s virtues.
WHY WE STILL MARCH