Up • Council History • Fr. McGivney
related by Charter Member, PGK, Jerry Mayer and
PGK, FDD, FSD and FVSM, Joe Kaltwasser
The Fr. McCormick Council was
formed on July 1, 1954. The men who formed the council were mostly returning
veterans from World War II and the Korean Conflict. They had served their
country valiantly and were determined to carry their dedication of service to
Church, Community, County and Country by forming the Knights of Columbus Crystal
Lake Council. Fr. E. A. McCormick (1884—1955) was the first chaplain of the
council and was the pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle parish. Shortly after Fr.
McCormick’s death in 1955, the council renamed itself the Fr. McCormick Council.
Over the past 60+ years, the
council has had thirty plus Grand Knights. No charter members are still
alive. The last two—PGK, Jerry Mayer and PGK, Norb Jacobs who has since moved and now was a
Knight with the Huntley Council 11166. In the last 30 years, there have been 8
District Deputies including current members PGK, Tony DePippo, PGK, Bob Thomas,
PGK, Ken Olsen and PGK, Joe Kaltwasser, PGK, John Orso. In addition Joe was a State Deputy and
Vice Supreme Master. Jerry Mayer was also awarded Knight of the Round Table and
he, Tim Flanagan and Andy Gardner started the Ladies Auxiliary.
In the early days of the
council, meetings were held on the second floor of the American Legion hall,
which is now Park Place at the corner of Oak St. and Woodstock St. In the late
1960’s the council was able to move their meetings to the current Oak St.
In its 60 years, Fr. McCormick
Council 3880 has helped organize numerous councils—St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
10678, Huntley Council 11166 (St. Mary’s), Cary Council 12824 (Sts. Peter and
Paul), Hampshire Council 13034 (St Charles Borromeo), and Marengo.
We have been an extremely busy
council and have been active in numerous activities including the John Churchan
memorial Corn Boil which has been in existence since the early 1960’s.
Continuing the tradition was the annual St. Pat’s Dinner Dance originally run by
PGK, Vince Motolla which is still a favorite to this day. One of Jerry Mayer’s
favorite events was the Barn Sale held at Crystal Plaza and hosted by Andy
Gardner and Tim Flannagan.
In recent years, many men have
had the honor of becoming officers and Grand Knights of the Council. The council
has earned numerous honors including over 20 Star Council awards and winning the Best
Newsletter in the state for all councils. This tradition continues to this day
and the council looks forward to another rewarding half century of service to
Church, Community, and Country.
Our Council's Namesake
Council is named in honor of Father E. A. McCormick. On May 2, 1922, Father
McCormick was appointed the first permanent pastor of Crystal Lake. About that
time, Mrs. Libby Reynolds, a parishioner, donated four lots to be used as the
site of a new church, rectory and school. Later she donated a playground for the
school children. On June 1, 1922, ground was broken for the rectory, the first
home for the resident priests. It was completed in March, 1923. As the parish
grew the old church was no longer large enough to accommodate the people who
came to assist at Mass on Sundays so a new church was begun in June, 1924, and
was dedicated July 12, 1925. The parish then consisted of eighty-four families.
A school was begun on April 12, 1925, with the cornerstone being laid in June,
1927. School started on September 12th, with 105 pupils under the supervision of
the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, IL.
Because Fr. McCormick was the
foundation of St. Thomas the Apostle, we are proud to carry forward his
tradition of activity in the community and surrounding areas. And, on July 1,
1954, the Fr. McCormick Council was given its charter from the Knights of
Columbus Supreme Council. After 60 plus years, the council is still active and
growing. Long live Fr. McCormick Council 3880 and it it continue to serve the
needs of the community, church and our brotherhood.