KANSAS CITY — Goals, plans, hard work, and a love for Jesus.
Junior Daughters and Junior Knights of Peter Claver from the Kansas City metropolitan area took all four with them June 13 to 15 at the 2014 gathering of the Junior Division of the Central States District of the Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary.
Held at Harris-Stowe University in St. Louis, the conference brought youth together from nine states from Tennessee to Colorado.
And the presence of the Kansas City area’s delegation — coming from both sides of the state line — was felt.
Erica Baker was elected Junior Daughter district president. Raquel Barnett was elected district secretary. Nyla Clement was elected district treasurer. Mary Alice Brooks was elected district mistress at arms.
Derrick Kagwanja was elected Junior Knight district vice president. Colin Barnes was elected district treasurer. Felix Anudike-Uzomah was elected district secretary. Wick Sonis was elected district sergeant at arms.
And the debate team from St. Monica, led by Derrick Kagwanja, dominated the tournament. In fact, they drew the attention of Junior Knight director Edward Ellison.
The topic of the debate was “Should the government be involved in the elimation of poverty?”
Not broad enough for Kagwanja and his team. They argued physical poverty is a symptom of the deeper problem of spiritual and intellectual poverty. Take care of spiritual and intellectual poverty, and physical poverty will be dramatically reduced if not eradicated.
Intellectual poverty, he said, leads to ignorance and division. And spiritual poverty can be cured by knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith to which the Knights and Ladies of Peter Claver have always pledged their lives to uphold.
The St. Monica team earned the right to represent the Central States District at the national tournament.
The Kansas City youth continued to impress the adults at the conference.
The District president, Charles Jean-Baptiste, witnessed Junior Knight Felix Anundike-Uzomah gently confront a senior knight who lit up a cigarette, politely reminding the elder of the dangers of cancer.
Past Deputy Supreme Commander Walter Allen got quick answers when he challenged the Kansas City delegation with “What’s next?”
“I want to be national director of the Junior Division,” Donovan Watts answered without hesitation.
“How are you going to do that?” Allen pressed him.
“By being a true Catholic Knight in every sense of the word,” Watts replied.
Information for this story was provided to the Catholic Key by Victor Ammons.