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AZKC help Tucson Retreat Center

Arizona Knights Donate $46,000 to Local Catholic Spiritual Retreat Center Our Lady of the Desert Knights of Columbus Council Responds to Needs of Tucson Renewal and Retreat Center Negatively Affected by COVID-19 

TUCSON: The COVID –19 catastrophe has forced many organizations to endure more hardships than others. One such organization, the Redemptorist Renewal and Retreat Center (RRC) in Tucson, AZ, has suffered personnel and monetary losses during the pandemic. To comply with orders cancelling public gatherings, all scheduled retreats for the months of April, May, and June were canceled by the sponsoring organizations. With no retreats, there is no income for the center and the parish. Our Lady of the Desert. and the RRC are located in Northwest Tucson, a few miles West of Interstate 10 and South of Ina Road on Picture Rocks Road. Seeing this great need, the Knights of Our Lady of the Desert Council No. 15704 responded by raising funds to offset the retreat center’s losses using the principles of Charity, Unity, and Fraternity. Through their efforts, they collected, in total, over $46,000. 

The Council reviewed their accounts and budget, checked the Council schedule for the remainder of the Fraternal Year (three months), and canvased the membership. They were able to identify $3,200.00 that they could immediately donate to the RRC and Church. Council officers designated this action as their first option. After two business meetings (video conference calls) this option was unanimously approved by the council members within four days. The funds were presented to a grateful Father Anthony Nguyen, the Superior for the Redemptorist Priests at the RRC. 

Wait, that’s not all. The Council’s generosity did not end there; they unanimously wanted to do more! The Knights of this small council implemented a second option and asked individual Brother Knights for personal donations to keep the RRC financially stable. Within seven days, the Council amassed an additional $14,700.00. Over 40% of the council’s members participated and funds continue to be received. 

Adding to the Council’s original $3,200 donation, an anonymous benefactor matched their first option donation, dollar-for-dollar, doubling the initial donation to $6,400.00. This donor, feeling the spirit, generously added a personal donation of another $25,000.00. 

State Deputy Mario Vassallo, leader of the Knights in Arizona, said, “This is an outstanding story of a small council stepping up and performing extraordinary things. My many thanks to the Council, it’s leaders, members, and extraordinary donors.” 

Ray Orbal, Council Treasurer, said, “Our little but mighty Council, Our Lady of the Desert Council No. 15704 succeeded in donating over $46,000.00 to the RRC and their parish!” In citing the motto for the Arizona State Council of the Knights, Ray finished, “We were proud to do it because as Knights, we’re ‘Serving God – Serving the Community. This is Who We Are – This is What We Do’.” 

When Fr. Nguyen learned of the great generosity of the council and the donors he expressed his great delight to the officer of the council.


The Knights of Columbus is the world’s foremost Catholic fraternal benefit society. Established in 1882 to bring financial aid and assistance to sick, disabled, and needy members, it has grown to an organization with 1.9 million members around the world that offers fellowship through charitable activities, relief assistance and good works. With its Fortune 1000 insurance company, along with its annuities and investment programs, the Knights of Columbus has helped thousands of families obtain economic security and stability. 

Our charitable activities support and embrace a virtually boundless variety of projects. From international charitable partnerships like Special Olympics, the Global Wheelchair Mission and Habitat for Humanity, to our own Food for Families and Coats for Kids projects, the Knights have endless opportunities to put their faith into action. And in 2018, the Knights set an all-time record with $185,700,000 in charitable donations and more than 76 million hours of service.

For more information, visit 

Contact: John Garcia, Public Relations Director, at (602) 525-4424. 

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