The Knights of Columbus are THERE!!!
Last Sunday I had the privilege of welcoming to my home, and then to Mass, the state leadership of one of the most celebrated Catholic organizations around, the Knights of Columbus.
You have certainly heard of them, and share in my high admiration for them.
Founded in 1882 by the Servant of God, Father Michael McGivney – – one day, we hope, to be canonized – – the Knights began as a fraternal organization for Catholic men, mostly immigrants or their sons, who longed for the support of their faith, camaraderie with fellow Catholics, a chance to serve the Church, and financial security through insurance.
Those initial goals are still there, but the Knights are now the largest Catholic voluntary organization in the nation, renowned as well for their vast service to causes such as assistance to those mentally and physically challenged, promotion of Catholic schools, encouragement of vocations to the priesthood, advocacy for Christians persecuted throughout the world, pro-life efforts, and defense of the nature of marriage and family as revealed by God.
As I commented to the leadership of the Knights of Columbus on Sunday, “Most people visit me to ask me to do something for them; you always show-up asking me how you can help! Most visit me to ask for money; you stop-by to give some! Thanks!”
Bishops, priests, deacons, sisters, brothers, and lay pastoral leaders will tell you: you need something done? Go to the Knights of Columbus.
Jesus preached, “Not everyone who says ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter my kingdom, but only those who do the will of my Father.” Actions speak louder than words! That describes the Knights.
- I go to parishes – there they are;
- I go to school fund-raisers – the Knights of Columbus are there;
- Soup kitchens for the poor? There they are;
- Abortion clinics? The Knights are there in protest;
- Before the Eucharist in adoration? Again I see them;
- The Special Olympics? The Knights are in charge.
For years, human rights advocates have tried to convince the American government to declare the persecution of Christians occurring, in epidemic proportions today, as genocide. No luck . . . until the Knights of Columbus took on the task. Now it’s official.
My first pastor used to refer to a person who quietly, reliably, and effectively lived out his faith as “salt of the earth,” a term Jesus used.
That’s the Knights of Columbus!
TIMOTHY MICHAEL CARDINAL DOLAN, PH.D, D.D.
ARCHBISHOP OF NEW YORK
WHO ARE THE KNIGHTS?
In October of 1881, a young priest named Father Michael J. McGivney called together a small group of men to meet in the basement of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Connecticut. His purpose was to help Catholic men remain steadfast in their faith, promote closer ties of fraternity among them, and set up a system that would help fellow members and their families in times of hardships. These men, of this fledgling organization, were chartered on March 29, 1882 to be known as the ‘Knights of Columbus’.
Knights of Columbus Today
Today, the Knights of Columbus is a family, fraternal, service organization based on the principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism.
With more than 1.7 million members, the Knights of Columbus is the largest international Catholic fraternal service organization that provides services to the Church, community, family, unborn, youth, and council. Knights of Columbus extend the reach of the Church far beyond the Church doors. With aid to the poor, the handicapped, the orphan, the widow and each other, we practice charity. Our dedicated unity with the Church helps sustain compliance with the precepts of the Catholic Church. Fraternity among ourselves and our families strengthens our resolve to live and exemplify the Christian life.
Who Can Become A Knight?
Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to Practical Catholic men, 18 years of age or older. A Practical Catholic is one who is in union with the Holy See, obeys the Commandments of God, and practices the Precepts of the Catholic Church.
What’s Required To Be a Member?
Men who desire to be members of the Knights of Columbus must be Practical Catholics, capable of receiving the Sacraments of the Church. Our dues are $40 annually. We encourage each member to be as active as he wants to be, which may include: helping at a function or event, serving on a committee, organizing an event or running for office. Active participation depends on your own interests and available time.
How Do I Progress As A Knight?
A Knight’s education consists of a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Degree Exemplification (a 4th Degree is optional), that allow him to understand better how we, as Knights of Columbus, are involved in our community, support our faith and conduct ourselves. A member becomes a full Knight upon completion of his 3rd Degree.
Would You Like Additional Information?
Click on the following link for some more reasons why YOU should become a Knight.
How Do I Become A Member?
If you are interested in becoming a member or want to know more about the Knights of Columbus in our council, please stop and ask any Knight in the parish or click here to go to our council group page.