News & Announcements

2018 Bemidji Marcg for Life

The KC's once again stepped up to support the unborn.  Approximately 100 people marched in defense of life. 

The march took  place at noon on January 20, 2018.  The day’s events began with a gathering at the Beltrami County Courthouse, followed by a march down Beltrami Avenue finishing at St. Philip’s Catholic Church. Nearly one-hundred people braved the cold to attend the March for Life drawing attention to the atrocities of abortion and the pain it causes mothers and fathers.  A short program followed  the march followed by a soup and sandwich luncheon served by the Knights of Columbus.  Lakeland Public Television carried the story.  https://lptv.org/bemidji-march-for-life-brings-awareness-to-options-outside-of-abortion/ 


Abortion Facts:  (Minnesota Dept. of Health)

  • 43% of abortions in Minnesota are paid for with taxpayer funds.
  • 9,953 abortions were performed in 2016, an average of more than 27 every single day.
  • 56% of abortions in Minnesota were performed by Planned Parenthood.
  • 94 Minnesota women having abortions in 2016, had six or more previous abortions.
  • Reasons given for abortions:
    • 29% of the women reported “Economic reasons.”
    • 70% of the women reported “Does not want children at this time.”
    • Less than 1% of the women reported that the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest.


Council 1544 Give $1,000 to Northwoods Pregnancy Care Center

The Knights of Columbus council 1544 has once again donated $1,000 to the Northwoods Pregnancy Care Center to help them in their fight against abortion. 


Northwoods Pregnancy Care Center is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to helping women, men and families facing not only unexpected and challenging pregnancies, but everyday parenting challenges.  The staff and support counselors at Northwoods Pregnancy Care Center recognize you will have to make some difficult decisions that will alter your life, but it is important to know you are not alone. Northwoods provides moms and dads support you before, during and after pregnancy.


Pictured here is Sissie Pennel, Executive Director, receiving the check from Grand Night Dan Voss. 

KC Walleye Classic Distributes $46,782

On September 19, The Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic distributed $46,782 to ten different charitable beneficiaries, an increase of nearly $9,000 over the previous year. Tournament revenues were earned through tournament entry fees, sponsorships, donations, and the annual raffle sponsored by Corner Sports/Lund/Mercury. The beneficiary organizations listed below support the tournament by providing thousands of hours of volunteer service toward event planning, raffle ticket sales, and tournament operations.

Bemidji Youth League Baseball
Wounded Warrior Guide Service
Bemidji Area Special Olympics
Fishing Has No Boundaries
Let’s Go Fishing
Take A Kid Fishing
Bemidji Boy Scouts
George Pelawa Foundation
DNR Fisheries
Knights of Columbus Council #1544

Over a 17-year tournament history, the Kraus Anderson/Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic has distributed a total of $694,528 to great community causes!

The Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic, presented by Acme Tools/Milwaukee Tools/Honda Power Equipment, a competitive, live-release walleye-fishing tournament was held Saturday, June 10, 2017 on Lake Bemidji and Lake Irving. One hundred two-person teams competed for more than $50,000 in cash and prizes. The 2017 Classic was won by Harold Johnson and Marv Sandbek.

This tournament was a continuation of the proud 16-year tradition begun as the Kraus-Anderson Walleye Classic. Kraus-Anderson handed management of the tournament over to the Knights of Columbus in the fall of 2015.

Next year’s tournament will be held on Lakes Bemidji and Irving on June 9, 2018.

Council 1544 gives $250 to Evergreen Youth and Family Services

Grand Knight Daniel Voss and Trustee, Phil Hodapp present a $250 check to the Evergreen Youth and Family Services organization.  


Evergreen Youth & Family Services is a private, non-profit youth and family service provider. In the past 40 years, Evergreen has developed a safety net of services to strengthen youth, preserve families, and help support successful transitions to adulthood. Evergreen's services are primarily provided through two program sites based in Bemidji, MN.

Every year, 2500 children, youth, and young families come to us for emergency food and shelter, mentoring, independent living skills training, counseling, pregnancy prevention, transitional housing and community suicide prevention.

Youth and families of all backgrounds and walks of life are welcome. Approximately 60% of the youth we serve each year are Native American or mixed race, 30% are Caucasian, and 10% are African-American, Asian, Hispanic, or mixed race.

Johnson and Sandbek Win the 2017 KC Walleye Classic

BEMIDJI -- For the first time in 17 years, it looked like repeat champions were going to be crowned at the Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic on Saturday.

Aaron Murphy and Rich Blomberg were sitting in first place after 98 of 100 teams weighed in, having reeled in 15.98 pounds of walleye. But the duo of Harold Johnson and Marv Sandbek stole the show -- and the $12,500 grand prize -- with 16.18 pounds as the second-to-last team to weigh their catch.

“I never saw myself as being a champion of this tournament because of the outstanding fishermen that are here,” said Sandbek, who resides in Braman, Okla. “Never in my wildest dreams. Never. This is a stunning surprise. I’m grateful, I’m humbled and this is gonna take a while to sink in.”

“This is a group of fishermen here that is real tough to compete with. There’s so many good fishermen,” added Johnson, of Fridley, Minn. “You gotta get a little bit of luck to win one of these things. That was our big key today.”

And, out of all 200 anglers, Johnson and Sandbek teamed up to reel in the largest fish of the day with a 7.64-pound walleye. It gave them the ability to jump to first place with just four walleye, instead of the allotted five that it usually takes to win the tournament.

“We put a plan together that we thought was gonna work with the west wind, and it just so happened that it worked out fantastic,” said Johnson. “Last year we finished 10th, which was a surprise to us… (This year), I’m happy to win.”

It was an unlikely victory, especially with all the talent out on the waters.

“We have a lot of very fierce competitors as a part of this tournament,” said Joe Czapiewski, KCWC Tournament director. “All of the teams that were at the top of the order for this tournament did a tremendous job… They did very well and reflected the kind of fishermen they are.”

Marv Sandbek (second from left) and Harold Johnson with their winnings.

Marv Sandbek (second from left) and Harold Johnson with their winnings.

While Johnson and Sandbek took home the $12,500 prize for first place, Murphy and Blomberg were awarded $5,000 for their second-place finish. Justin McKee and Mike McKee rounded out the top three with a $3,750 prize after catching 14.78 pounds of walleye.


Lakeland Public Television also covered the event on the Lakeland News.

November 27, 2015 | Vol. 12, No. 63

Red Lake Tribal Officer Alea Richardson and KC Chancellor Dan Voss pose with happy kids

Members of the Knights of Columbus Council #1544 (KC's) of Bemidji traveled to the Ponemah Elementary School and the Head Start Program in Ponemah on Wednesday, November 25, 2015, to distribute 60 new winter coats to kids who needed them.

A delegation made up of KC's, law enforcement and elected officials participated in the gifting. Red Lake Tribal Officer Alea Richardson, joined Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp (also KC Grand Knight), Beltrami County Commissioner Tim Sumner, KC and Mix 103.7 station manager Dan Voss, and Ponemah Elementary School Community Liaison Ashley Johnson took part.

"The Knights and law enforcement committee were warmly received by school officials and teachers and the children were thrilled to get their Thanksgiving gifts," said Hodapp. "The children were all smiles after receiving their new jackets."

A youngster joins KC Chancellor Dan Voss (also (RP Broadcasting Mix 103.7 FM station manager) and Sheriff Phil Hodapp

"I had a great time this morning visiting with students and faculty in Ponemah, Minnesota," said KC Chancellor Dan Voss (also (RP Broadcasting 103.7 FM station manager). "We were able to distribute 60 winter jackets to children at the school courtesy of the Knights of Columbus. There were a lot of smiling faces. During the hustle and bustle of the holiday, it's great to be able to do something for others."


Beltrami County Commissioner and Red Lake member Tim Sumner thanked the KC's, "The kids were excited and greatly appreciated it. Thanks, guys!"

Thanks to the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus who shipped the coats to the local council for distribution.

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. 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.

Brother Dan Shea Becomes a Distict Deputy

At the mid summer meeting for the Minnesota Knights of columbus, Brother Dan Shea was installed as the district 11 district Deputy.

Knights of Columbus Donate $11,950 to Northwoods Pregnanct Care Center

The Bemidji Council # 1544 of the Knights of Columbus is proud to announce the acquisition of a matching fund grant of $11,950.00 from the KC Supreme Council in New Haven, Connecticut for the Northwoods Pregnancy Care Center in Bemidji, Minnesota.  This grant was part of the Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative to help the Pregnancy Care Center purchase a new ultrasound machine to aid in their mission of helping pregnant women considering abortion a new way of viewing the life within them.

The Bemidji Council and Kelliher KC Council assisted the Northwoods Pregnancy Care Center with local fundraising for the matching funds and applied in 2014 for the grant.  The Bemidji Council was recently notified of their successful application and presented the check to Executive Director Vicky Mansson.  As the check was presented on Monday, the Knights were accompanied by Father Chuck Huck, Father Don Braukmann and, Associate State Chaplain for the Knights of Columbus Fr. Raul Perez-Cobo Pastor of St. Patrick’s in Kelliher.

Northwoods Executive Director Vicky Mansson stated, “The Pregnancy Center is so thankful there are groups like the Knights of Columbus who value life so much.  An Ultrasound is often all it takes to save a baby from abortion and a family from a lifetime of heartache.  When a pregnant woman comes in stating she is thinking about aborting her baby, we ask if we can perform a very limited ultrasound.  The scan is done to show the Mom the baby has a heartbeat (as early as 6 weeks), that the baby is in her womb and to determine how far along she is in her pregnancy.  We want moms and dads to have the facts and know the truth before they make a decision that will last a lifetime.  We’ve already had one mother chose life for her baby and we know there will be many more.”

As of March 2015, numerous local and state councils have qualified for matching funds from the Supreme Council office towards the purchase of over 540 ultrasound machines at a cost of over $16.1 million, with additional state and local council fund raising campaigns for ultrasound machine purchases either in progress or to be launched in the near future.

Ultrasound exams, which are medically indicated throughout pregnancy for a variety of diagnostic reasons, use ultrasound waves to scan a women’s abdomen, creating a picture or “sonogram” of the baby in her uterus. Without K of C support, most pregnancy care centers would be unable to purchase the ultrasound machines, each usually costing tens of thousands of dollars.

The sophistication of today’s medical technology provides a “window on the womb” said Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson. “Even from the early stages of pregnancy, a mother can see her developing child, hear the baby’s heartbeat, and to recognize the miracle of the new life within her.”

The Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative seeks to provide medically certified pro-life pregnancy care centers with the modern technology to monitor the health of babies in utero, and to allow mothers to visually experience their development.

Strategic Plan Posted for Review

K of C 1544 Strategic Plan

The Knights of Columbus 1544 planning committee and the board have finished the stragic plan which will guide our concil for the next few years.  Attached is a copy of the plan for your review.  Please take time to figure out where you fit into the Plan, and where you are on the Participation Builder chart. 

Volunteer Appreciation Supper



In appreciation for all the good works that so many of our parishioners do, the church and school staff are going to host a volunteer appreciation supper for anyone (and their families) who volunteer in any capacity at the church, school, or the Clothing Depot.  We want to reach as many of our volunteers as possible, so we are sending you this invitation with the hope that you will forward it on to the other members of your ministry.  Below I will list your names and the ministry that is associated with you.


The supper is very informal with no program attached to it.  We simply want everyone to come, eat, and enjoy each other’s company!  The date is Tuesday, May 19 so please do not hesitate in getting the word out to your volunteers – as this is a new endeavor for us, we would like to have RSVP’s in by the 15th to insure we prepare adequate food.  Your help in forwarding the invitation is greatly appreciated!


GK Phil

Tootsie Roll Drive a Great Success

Knight's of Columbus Council 1544

Raises $4,322.81 from Tootsie Roll Drive

Will be distributed to local agencies.

Member Death

Brother Raymond Theisen of our council passed away. He was a 45 year 3 rd Degree Honorary Life Member. His Wake will be at Cease Funeral Home in Blackduck March 27th. Visitation is from 5-7 then a prayer service and then we will be leading the Rosary. The Funeral will be on Saturday at 11 AM at the Catholic Church in Blackduck.

We will CAR POOL from St Philips on Friday evening and will be leaving at 6:30, please try and attend.

Thank you,

Dan Shea

Brother Tim Hodapp Speaks at Council Meeting

Brother Tim Hodapp joins us while on leave from the U.S. Marines.  Cpl. Hodapp shares his ministry demonstrating how a soldier can hang on to his faith while at war.  No matter if it is a few moments with a small prayer group, a church service in the field, or just a time for personal prayer, Tim shares his Catholic faith.   








Two New Knights Join Council 1544

Welcome to our two new Knights Larry Selby and Michael Lauer.  A big thanks to brother Dan Shea who was able to run them through the First Degree via national's new First Degree film. 

Richard Riewer Joins Council 1544

Our Knights of Columbus council continues to grow adding seven new members in the last week including Richard Riewer.

Hodapp Knights Celebrate BCA Generations

Knights of Columbus member Jake Hodapp being sworn in as a BCA Agent on February 11th, 2015. Jake receives his new badge from his father Phil Hodapp, former BCA Agent and Grand Knight of Knights of Columbus Council 1544.

Grand Knight Column from the Church Bulletin

Our Culture of Life Programs continue to provide strong momentum for the success of our Prolife Movement in Minnesota, but more needs to be done as we continue to slowly change from a culture of death to one of life. Our prayer plays a huge role in our response against the attacks on the sanctity of life. Catholics and Christians join together in prayer at vigils outside abortion mills, at walks and marches for life, and at prayer services for life. Tens of thousands of individual rosaries are said by Catholics and their families in homes and churches every day.


Did you know the motto of the Knights of Columbus “We Change Lives- We Save Lives” is taken very seriously by KC councils across America in the form of our Ultrasound Initiative? Our Ultrasound Initiative has made a significant impact in Saving Lives and Changing Lives through our partnership with pregnancy care centers. They do an amazing job, offering free services to women, with counseling, clothes, and materials for their baby. There are almost 90 PCCs in Minnesota. Through their loving compassion and caring, they give women hope and change their hearts with the help of ultrasound machines. The Minnesota Knights of Columbus now have placed 21 ultrasound machines in women pregnancy care centers.   We have been told that young women who see their baby on an ultrasound are far less likely to abort their baby once they’ve seen the proof of life in their womb. This initiative is truly saving lives!


The Bemidji Council #1544 has been working with the Bemidji Pregnancy Care Center to raise funds for a new ultrasound machine for our facility here. In Bemidji, the old ultrasound machine was at its “end of life” as it had been a well-used machine when our facility acquired it from the St. Cloud Pregnancy Care Center. The good news is fundraising for half the cost of a new machine has been completed and we are currently working with the KC Supreme council to seek additional help in funding to defray costs of the second half of the machine.   If you are interested in still contributing to this worthy cause, please contact any KC member or the Bemidji Pregnancy Care center for further details.


On Thursday Night, February, 19th, our local Council is hosting a First Degree admission ceremony for any men who wish to join the Knights. To join the Knights of Columbus contact any member or call the numbers on the left side of this page for more information /or simply show up on Thursday, 02/19/2015 at 6:10 PM at St. Philip’s and we will welcome you into our council.


Phil Hodapp

Grand Knight

Knights Help with Bemidji's 2015 March for Life

In conjunction with the 1973 Roe Vs Wade decision to legalize abortion, Knights of Columbus Council 1544 members marched for life. The march started at the Beltrami County courthouse ending at St. Philips Catholic Church. Over 85 people braved the snowy weather to show their support for the unborn. The Knights of Columbus 1544 supported the march with participants, and prepared a luncheon following the event. Representative Dave Hancock spoke about current efforts being introduced into the state legislature to support the unborn and elderly.