WHAT THE KNIGHTS ARE ALL ABOUT:
The Knights of Columbus is a lay Catholic family fraternal service organization. Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to all practical Catholic men in communion with the Holy See, age eighteen and above. The term practical Catholic implies that a person accepts and abides by the Commandments of God and the precepts and tenets of the Catholic church.
On October 2, 1881, Father Michael J. McGivney, 29-year-old assistant pastor at St. Mary's Church in New Haven, Connecticut, brought together a group of laymen with whom he discussed his dream for a Catholic fraternal benefit society. It not only would assist widows and orphans of deceased members through its life insurance program, but also would boost members' sense of pride in their Catholic religion, then frequently challenged in the anti-Catholic climate of 19th-century America. Father McGivney and his associates met several more times over the next several months to continue planning, and the new organization -- the Knights of Columbus -- was formally launched in early February, 1882.
The officers of the new Catholic organization chose the name Knights of Columbus to honor Christopher Columbus, the Catholic discoverer of America. The word knights is also significant. We are ever mindful of the knightly qualities of spirituality and service to church that is embodied in the Knights of Columbus. The Order has evolved into a service organization with a strong family orientation.
By the end of 1897 the Order was thoroughly rooted in New England, along the upper Atlantic seaboard and into Canada. Within the next eight years it branched out from Quebec to California, and from Florida to Washington.
The Knights of Columbus remains headquartered in New Haven, but is now present with nearly 12000 Councils in the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, and several other countries.
One of the primary missions of the Knights of Columbus is to support local charities. The Knights are a familiar sight around town during the annual Tootsie Roll® drive, which raises funds for charities that support the retarded and handicapped. We also support other fund raising drives to aid local parishes and charities.
The Knights of Columbus promotes family values by providing numerous activities throughout the year that the entire family can participate in. Additionally, the organization provides an opportunity to ensure that a knight's family is provided for in the event of his death.
Here is short list of reasons you may want to join the Knights of Columbus:
- An opportunity to become part of the world's largest Catholic fraternal organization
- A great way to make a personal contribution to the Church and community through charity and fraternity
- Active participation in Council activities serves as a "school of leadership" which will enable you to develop qualities that enhance your strengths and abilities
- A sense of "belonging" in an organization that shares your religious beliefs and brings to together like-minded men joined in a common cause Concerns for your family and your retirement years can be addressed by the Orders optional, low-cost life insurance
- A sense of pride, knowing that the Knights of Columbus is second to none in support of our Holy Father, our Bishops and Priests, and our fellow man