Who are the Knights?
We are Catholic men who provide joy filled service helping our brothers, our parish, and our communities through our good works and faith. There is much good and necessary work to be done in this world, and that’s what Knights do every day.
The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic family fraternal service organization with 1.7 million members. Founded on the principles of charity, unity and fraternity, the Knights of Columbus was established in 1882 by Father Michael J. McGivney, assistant pastor of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Conn., and a group of parishioners. Their intent? To bring financial aid and assistance to the sick, disabled and needy members and their families. Today knights continue to bring aid and assistance volunteering in service to the Catholic Church, their communities, families and young people.
Charity is the first principle of the Order, for as St. James reminds us, “faith without works is dead.” Unity is the second principle, as in unity there is strength. Today the Order uses that strength to speak out for religiously-grounded moral values in a culture that has forsaken them. Our third principle is Fraternity, through which we strengthen our parish communities and our faith. Patriotism is the principle of the Fourth Degree. Today Fourth Degree Knights in full regalia, the visible arm of the Order, serve to witness to the values of devotion to God and country, the bedrock of patriotism.
The Knights of Columbus is very much a grassroots organization. Local councils develop the programs they believe will best serve the needs of their communities. Vocations support is a major Knights of Columbus effort at all levels of the order. Strengthening family life is another major aim of the Order. The Order is also known as one of the world’s strongest proponents of the sanctity of human life from conception until natural death.
How To Join
Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to practicing Catholic men in union with the Holy See, who are at least 18 years old. A practicing Catholic is one who lives up to the Commandments of God and the precepts of the Church.
Applications are available from any member of the Knights of Columbus. Prospective members can also contact Membership Director Darek Kitlinski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a member of the Knights of Columbus you and your family enjoy many benefits, including 12 free issues annually of Columbia magazine, the world’s largest Catholic family magazine, eligibility to join the Knights of Columbus top-ranked life insurance program, and many more family and personal benefits.
Cathedral Council activities include a monthly pot luck dinner, a monthly pancake breakfast, and numerous service opportunities within the church and community.
Any Third Degree member in good standing, one year after the anniversary of his First Degree, is eligible for membership in the Fourth Degree. The primary purpose of the Fourth Degree is to foster the spirit of patriotism by promoting responsible citizenship and a love of and loyalty to the Knights’ respective countries through active membership in local Fourth Degree groups (called “assemblies”). Certain members of the Fourth Degree serve as honor guards at civic and religious functions, an activity that has brought worldwide recognition to the Knights of Columbus.