The Kolping Society of Vancouver was founded at Holy Family Church in 1956, with the aim of providing help, spiritual direction and solidarity to young European immigrants, while adhering to the teachings of Adolph Kolping. From the fifties through the sixties, Kolping brothers were busy building a new life in Canada and establishing their families; many came and moved on to other locations in their search for better opportunities. In the seventies, Kolping Vancouver evolved from the traditional men’s organization into a true Kolping Family, first, by the initiation of the first female members in 1973, and second, by the founding of a Kolping Youth Group in 1978. These were rewarding years of enormous energy and enthusiasm.
The gender- and generation gaps were bridged by planning and working on projects together. We fondly remember the family nights; the Christopher Leadership Course; meetings and discussions; the picnics, ski trips and hikes; the charity fundraising events, such as the yearly manure sales and other charity actions; the dances, most notably our famous costume carnivals; as well as worshipping together. Eventually our young people departed, but many of them continue to work actively in leadership roles in their parishes, in the spirit of Adolph Kolping. Through the years, Kolping members have been involved at the forefront of Holy Family Parish wherever the need arose – organizing Lenten Meals, participating in the liturgy, the parish pastoral council, the choir, the seniors’ group, St. Nicholas parties, support of refugees, etc.
Faced with an aging membership and declining energy reserves, we have welcomed the opportunity of initiating a group of younger Hispanic members. Through them we have become more attuned to the plight of the people in their homeland. We are now working and financially contributing towards a Kolping International project to establish Kolping in Honduras and El Salvador. Our hope is that these younger Hispanic members will eventually take over the leadership of our Kolping Family and continue to preserve the legacy of our founder.