LocationAlhambra , CA
The Knights of Columbus Alhambra Council will finish a nine-day public prayer on Saturday. The members of the Catholic fraternal organization, founded in 1882, are demonstrating their support for Alhambra’s first responders.
Beginning July 17 and continuing through July 25, the Knights of Columbus are stationing at least two men at the five first responder stations. Some of the council have been joined by members of the community throughout the week.
The choice of the one police and four fire stations is a reflection of the five groupings of prayer beads of the rosary.
Deacon Gil Vargas of St. Therese Church, current Advocate of the Alhambra council and former Alhambra Grand Knight and District Deputy of the California State council, coordinated with the fire and police departments. He said they were very receptive to the council’s gesture.
“This civil unrest stuff is challenging. We’re praying for people who put their lives on the line every day. Our focus is to do something positive. We were struggling with the idea of defunding the police and vilifying the group because of one or two bad apples,” Vargas said.
He is aware the public prayer might be seen by some as a dismissal of the Black Lives Matter movement, but Vargas says the group has “no intent to affront” and hopes their support is not misconstrued nor used to detract from others’ demonstrations or statements.
Prior to their public prayer, on behalf of the Knights of Columbus, Vargas emailed a public comment to the July 13 city council meeting. In his closing comments, Mayor Ross Maza said he appreciated the letter of support for APD.
The five groups are connected via video conference with one member leading the prayer.
Friday night’s prayer will begin at 7 p.m. and Saturday morning will begin at 10 a.m., with a group at each first responder station.