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LEFT: Some Knights of Columbus and their families attend Mass at the new chapel at the Knights of Columbus state headquarters in Fontana on May 17. RIGHT: From left to right, Bishop Alberto Rojas, Knights of Columbus California State Deputy Rene Trevino and Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Rutilio del Riego stand in front of a newly blessed statue of Knights founder, Blessed Michael McGivney, outside the chapel on May 17.

By Ron Kuzlik

FONTANA—The California State Council of the Knights of Columbus held a dedication ceremony for a new chapel at the state headquarters building in Fontana on May 17.

Bishop Alberto Rojas presided over the dedication Mass and ceremony, concelebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Rutilio del Riego and other clergy from the area.

The chapel, at a Knights of Columbus state headquarters, is believed to be the first of its kind.

The idea for a chapel was first conceived by Past State Deputy Joe Salaiz in 2022.

Current State Deputy Rene Trevino, a licensed architect in the state of California, designed the chapel. “Initially, it was going to be a prayer room,” Trevino said. “But after much discussion, it was expanded to a small chapel.”

Liturgical advice was provided by State Chaplain Father John Grace, OSA, along with former state chaplains Monsignor Gerard Lopez, STL, VG, Father John Neneman, and Father Antony Vazhappilly.

Construction of the chapel was done by Past State Deputy Steve Bolton, a general contractor from St. Bonaventure Parish in Huntington Beach. Audiovisual equipment was installed by Past State Deputy Dave Abbott and State Advocate Ken Rose. Additional support was provided by State Deputy Rene Trevino and his wife Carla Trevino.

The chapel measures 9 feet by 12 feet, but is designed to open up into a 19 foot by 28 foot space as a training room and museum. It can sit 30-40 people for Mass. There is also a small vesting room for clergy adjacent to the chapel. An altar was built specifically for the chapel, and a tabernacle was donated by Former State Chaplain Fr. Vazhappilly.

Video cameras and other audiovisual equipment are being installed to support the chapel.

The cost of the chapel was paid for by State Council funds and individual donations.

Bishop Rojas’ affiliation with the Knights of Columbus goes all the way back to his time at the Diocesan Seminary of Santa Maria de Guadalupe in his native Aquascalientes, Mexico.

“I personally appreciate the Knights of Columbus,” Bishop Rojas said. “I am constantly reminded of the generosity and protection offered by the Knights of Columbus.

“The ministry of the Knights of Columbus is directly connected with the sacred. This chapel offers a place to pray and have Mass and a way to strengthen themselves while connecting themselves to God by way of prayer,” he added.

Following the dedication of the chapel, including consecration of the altar, Bishop Rojas, along with Brother Knights and guests, dedicated a statue of Blessed Michael McGivney, the parish priest who founded the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1882.

The Knights’ California State Council also held their annual convention in Ontario on May 18-20. At the Opening Mass on May 19, Father Jose Antonio Orozco, Parochial Vicar at Holy Family, Hesperia, was recognized as Chaplain of the Year. He was unable to be present at the Mass but was announced as the recipient of the award.

The Knights of Columbus has grown to become the largest Catholic fraternal service organization in the world. There are nearly two million Knights in over 16,000 councils around the world in the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, the Republic of Korea, France and others.

For more information on the California State Council of the Knights of Columbus, visit californiaknights.org.

Sir Knight Ron Kuzlik is a Fourth Degree Knight from St Augustine Council 41, Lafayette Assembly 109.