Name: Roberto Regalado
Parish: Immaculate Conception
City: Fort Smith
Family: married to Laura 14 years, father to daughter Brianna, 13; and sons Esel,10, and Christopher 2½.
Why you want to know Roberto: He is the grand knight of Caballeros de Colon (Knights of Columbus) Council 15453, established two years ago and including members of four River Valley parishes: Immaculate Conception, Christ the King and St. Boniface Churches, all in Fort Smith, and St. Michael Church in Van Buren. Under his leadership, membership has grown to 34 active members.
IN HIS OWN WORDS:
Tell us a little bit about your work with the Caballeros.
We established this chapter of Caballeros de Colon because we wanted to help the Church and the members of the Hispanic community with their needs and to strengthen the faith of the Hispanic men in our parishes. Every Wednesday night while our children are in PRE (Parish Religious Education), we have a men’s Bible study where we apply the words of the Bible to our lives as married men and discuss how we can take all this new knowledge to our families.
We have a monthly meeting where we discuss and plan activities and service projects. We keep inviting men to join and it’s taken a few years for our group to grow.
Through monthly raffles and activities we were able to buy musical instruments for the St. Boniface children’s band and help people with individual needs. We were able to buy and repair a van for a disabled woman, equipping it for her special needs. We have helped people who have cancer. There are many needs in the Hispanic community and we try to show them God’s love through our service.
What we don’t have in funds, we provide in sweat equity. We provide traffic control for Holy Week activities, brought a Popsicle stand to the Immaculate Conception Spring Festival to raise money for the parish and try to collect money for all the parishes we serve. We cook food and help at the local Anglo Knights of Columbus Oktoberfest and hold some joint events.
How long have you been a member at this parish? Have you been Catholic all your life?
I was baptized as an infant. Marrying Laura and having a family inspired me to be more active in my Catholic faith. I have been a member of Immaculate Conception Church for seven years.
Why do you like being Catholic?
As a child growing up in Mexico, I liked sharing my family’s faith, and here in the United States, I have found friends and community in my parish and found a way to help other people by working together. I was away from church for too many years and am glad to be back.
What is the best thing about this parish and school?
I am grateful that Immaculate Conception has given us scholarship help to send Esel to our parish school and Brianna to Trinity Junior High School. I find a sense of purpose in helping others through the parish and the Caballeros.
What is your occupation?
I’m a car salesman at Fort City Motors.
What are your hobbies?
I’m a big soccer fan and have coached my son Esel’s team for the past two years. I love to go to the park with my family and go to car shows.
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