|Brooklyn Kolping Society History|
The Catholic Kolping Society of Brooklyn was founded on January 20, 1924 by a group of men called together by the Kolping members of New York. They met on that winter’s day at the old Brooklyn Labor Lyceum in Brooklyn. Those thirty-six men present at this meeting became the founders of today’s Catholic Kolping Society of Brooklyn.
After the questions of whether or not a society of this type would be at all feasible and able to exist in Brooklyn, and if enough young men would be interested in the ideas of Father Kolping, were answered in the affirmative, Mr. Schwartzenberg, the moderator of this gathering, proclaimed the society founded, and the election of officers began.
Fr. George Metzger, Pastor of Holy Trinity Church, became interested in our new society, and on February 17, 1924 became the first official Praeses. From that time, until the purchase of our own home, the meetings took place in the school hall at Holy Trinity.
With financial assistance from our New York Society brothers, the Kolping House on Wierfield Street in Ridgewood became our first permanent home and on August 11, 1925, the first meeting was held there.
In 1927, the Ladies Auxiliary, without whose faithful assistance the society could not have functioned at its fullest, was founded.
In 1937 on land provided for us by Fr. Eugene Erny, a new venture was undertaken; a summer home to be built at Lake Ronkonkoma, Long Island. The structure was built and finished by the members alone. The land on which the building stood was later purchased by the society.
In the meantime, the house on Wierfield Street had become unsuitable for our purposes. In August, 1973 we acquired our present home on Myrtle Avenue. After some remodeling, this new house, boasting a huge meeting hall and a large kitchen, was ready and in January, 1974, we celebrated our 50th Anniversary with a gala affair.
During the past decades, we survived two fires at our center and we continue with many activities including monthly dinners, Communion Breakfasts and special dinner dances. On April 10, 1999 we celebrated our 75th Anniversary with a dinner dance featuring a roaring 20’s theme. Our Praeses is Rev. J. VonKerssenbrock, Evelyn Blatz is the President and Steve Wenzler is the National Board Member.
The minutes of the first meeting in 1924 ended with the following words, and how true they still ring today, When, during a space of time, a group of people, who have the same ideals work together, they combine their efforts to achieve a certain goal.” This has been our guide for 75 years and will continue as such as long as there is a Catholic Kolping Society of Brooklyn.
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