Houston Inter-City Councils and Courts
In 1946, Brother Felton Lawrence attended the Knights of Peter Claver National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. While in attendance, Brother Lawrence was invited to a meeting of the Chicago Knights of Peter Claver Inter-Council at the home of Brother Claurd. At that meeting, Brother Lawrence observed how the Councils of several churches came together to work collaboratively on Claver business, mutual Christian goals, and charitable initiatives while meeting in a central location.
Brother Lawrence was inspired and impressed by the efforts of the Councils in the Chicago Metropolitan Area, as they unified their resources and charitable service to assist their clergy, Churches, and Nobel Order and communities. As a result, Brother Lawrence returned to Houston and presented this idea to Fr. John H. Dorsey Grand Assembly #2, 4th Degree Division of the knights of Peter Claver in Houston, Texas.
Later, her presented this same idea to the Houston Inter-City Metropolitan Area Chartered Councils and Courts. These included, St. Nicholas Council #15, St Elizabeth Court #15, Our Mother of Perpetual Help Council #72, St. Benedict De Moor Court #72, St. Anne De Beaupre Council #101, St. Bernadette Court #101, St. Martin De Porres, Council #98 and St Martin De Porres, Court #98.
During the early sixties the committee met in the home of Brother Paul A. and Lady Hilda Stiner, St. Nicholas, Our Lady Star of the Sea and Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Churches. Often other Churches were not equipped with facilities to accommodate their parishioners. Brother Lawrence envisioned acquiring a centrally located building where all Clavers in the Houston Metropolitan Area could meet and promote a legacy of Christian Service for future generations.
Their mission was to provide service to the Church, fulfill the charitable works of St. Peter Claver and improve social conditions in their respective communities. After his presentation, the Chartered Councils and Courts unanimously adopted his idea, whereby, on August 10, 1953, Houston Inter-City Councils and Courts became a reality.
Two influential Ladies during this era were Ladies Della Brooks and Inez Y. Bowman. Both were members of St Elizabeth Court# 15, the first organized Court in the state of Texas. Lady Bowman served as Supreme Lady for six years and as Texas State Deputy of six years. She attended all committee meetings and introduced the idea of transforming the committee to an organization. Lady Brooks served as Texas State Deputy for twelve years and held the office of Texas State Treasurer. As a member of her court, she held the numerous official positions. In 1971, Lady Brooks was awarded the St. Peter Claver Silver Medal of Merit. Her committed efforts to Claverism continued as she worked tirelessly in Houston Inter-City Council and Court events as co-chairperson of all fund-raising activities and chairperson of the Rental Committee.
Trusting in God’s goodness and will, our founders persevered to purchase a building.
After many years of sacrifices, time, talent and often personal resources, in 1962, a Claver building on Rosedale St. was purchased. For forty years, Houston Area Clavers proudly held meetings, charitable events and performed the worldly deeds of our Patron Saint, Peter Claver.
In 1966, Brother Stiner and Lady Brooks co-chaired the 51st National Convention of the Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary held in Houston, Texas. Houston Inter-City Councils and Courts members served as the core committee.
In 1982, Houston Inter-City Councils and Courts President, Brother Lonnie Fyles initiated the Paul A. Stiner Sr., and Lady Della Brooks Awards. These awards are presented annually on the feast of our Patron Saint, Peter Claver to Clavers who have worked untiringly and unselfishly for the betterment of their Church, Noble Order, Communities Local Council/Court and Houston Inter-City Councils and Courts.
Since the beginning of Houston Inter-City Councils and Courts the Mardi Gras Ball and Queen Contest has been a big event and a major fundraiser. Until 1955, this was a contest for Queen contestants, in 1996, the contest included a King contestant, and presently is known as Houston Inter-City Councils and Courts King and Queen Contest.
In 1953, a special meeting was held at Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church; Bother Felton Lawrence was elected the first president of Houston Inter-City Councils and Courts. Other presidents to serve were Brother Perry Broussard, Brother Paul Stiner, Brother Lonnie C. Fyles, Brother John Louis, Lady Mary Ann Angelle, Lady Ann Jones, Brother Michael Lamothe, Brother Desira Pradia, Brother Louis “BJ” Hawkins, Lady Barbara King, and Lady Antonia M. Robinson.
Last revision: June 7, 2006
Written and complied by:
Lady Antonia M. Robinson, #248
St. Benedict the Abbot Catholic Church
Brother Felton Lawrence, Council #72 Lady Virginia Hawkins, Court #15
Brother Cyrus Carmen, Council #15 Lady Marie Ledet #139
Brother George Eaglin, Council #138 Brother Paul Ledet, #72