About the Knights of Columbus 2017-05-11T12:18:01+00:00
Building the Domestic Church, While Strengthening Our Parishes

Message from the State Deputy

If only one little unhappy child is made happy with the love of Jesus… will it not be worth giving all for that?

-St Teresa of Calcutta.

Dear Brother Knights and Families,

Mother Teresa trusted in God so completely that she asked for the grace to “refuse Him nothing he asks”. She took this promise so seriously that she asked permission to make it a private vow in her vocation, upon pain of mortal sin!

I take great consolation as I visit the Knights and their Families, in all the great work that we do every day for our Parishes, our Families, and the World! Most of us are not as trusting in Jesus as St Teresa was, but she serves as inspiration to all of us as to our true calling in our pilgrimage here on Earth.

At the Annunciation, it was Our Mother Mary who first said Yes to God, but St. Joseph quickly united his Yes to hers. Together they set the Transformation of the World in motion. It was truly a family act, and the Annunciation is truly a Family feast!

As we come together in Fraternity and Family at our 108th Annual State Convention, we will join in prayer and community with each other, and together we will continue to say Yes to all that God asks of us! We will finish out this fraternal year in strength, and go into the next year at a full sprint in bringing the Light of Christ to the World and sending forth the Message of Christ’s Love!

May the words of St. Teresa of Calcutta inspire us in our work: “Let the love of God once take entire and absolute possession of a heart; let it apply itself continually to increase this love of God by seeking to please Him in all things and refusing Him nothing that He asks; let it have a firm determination never to commit any fault deliberately and knowingly; or if it should fall, to be humble for it and to rise up again at once. Such a heart will pray continually.”

I remain always your Brother in Christ, and you all are constantly in the prayers of my Family.

Vivat Jesu and Viva Cristo Rey!

Sincerely,

Patrick T. Mason
State Deputy

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS – TODAY’S KNIGHTS: WHAT WE DO

From the moment of our founding in 1882, charity has been the first principle of the Knights of Columbus. We are men of faith and men of action.

In 2015, the Knights of Columbus set a new all-time record for the 17th consecutive year. Our charitable donations increased from 2014 by more than $1.5 million to a new total of $175,079,192. In addition, we achieved our highest level of charitable service in 2015, volunteering more than 73.5 million hours of service. The number of service hours contributed by Knights rose in 2015 by more than a million over the previous year’s total.

Our charitable activities encompass an almost infinite variety of local, national and international projects. From international charitable partnerships with Special Olympics, the Global Wheelchair Mission and Habitat for Humanity to our own Food for Families and Coats for Kids projects and other local charities, the opportunity to work together with fellow Knights and their families is virtually endless.

“We are answering Pope Francis’ call to go to the peripheries,” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said. “We can reach half way around the globe to help those in need and we can reach to our neighbor next door. And we do that every day. That makes us witnesses to the faith.”

If you’d like to be a part of an international organization of nearly 2 million Catholic men whose principal work involves helping others in need, we’d like to meet you and invite you to join us.

Our Principles

All the good works we do are informed by our four core principles:

Charity – Our Catholic faith teaches us to “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Members of the Knights of Columbus show love for their neighbors by conducting food drives and donating the food to local soup kitchens and food pantries, by volunteering at Special Olympics, and by supporting, both spiritually and materially, mothers who choose life for their babies. Knights recognize that our mission, and our faith in God, compels us to action. There is no better way to experience love and compassion than by helping those in need, a call we answer every day.

Unity – None of us is as good as all of us. Members of the Knights of Columbus all know that – together – we can accomplish far more than any of us could individually. So we stick together…we support one another. That doesn’t mean that we always agree or that there is never a difference of opinion. It does mean that – as a Knight of Columbus – you can count on the support and encouragement of your brother Knights as you work to make life better in your parish and community.

Fraternity – Venerable Michael J. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus, in large part, to provide assistance to the widows and children left behind when the family breadwinner died – often prematurely. The Order’s top-rated insurance program continues to do this today, as do the good works of individual Knights, who gave more than 73.5 million service hours in 2015, illustrating how Catholics serve each other in fraternity and mercy.

Patriotism – Members of the Knights of Columbus, be they Americans, Canadians, Mexicans, Cubans, Filipinos, Poles, or Dominicans, are patriotic citizens. We are proud of our devotion to God and country, and believe in standing up for both. Whether it’s in public or private, the Knights remind the world that Catholics support their nations and are amongst the greatest citizens.

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LEARN ABOUT US

Thanks to the efforts of Father Michael J. McGivney, assistant pastor of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven and some of his parishioners, the Connecticut state legislature on March 29, 1882, officially chartered the Knights of Columbus as a fraternal benefit society. The Order is still true to its founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity.

The Knights was formed to render financial aid to members and their families. Mutual aid and assistance are offered to sick, disabled and needy members and their families. Social and intellectual fellowship is promoted among members and their families through educational, charitable, religious, social welfare, war relief and public relief works.

The history of the Order shows how the foresight of Father Michael J. McGivney, whose cause for sainthood is being investigated by the Vatican, brought about what has become the world’s foremost Catholic fraternal benefit society. The Order has helped families obtain economic security and stability through its life insurance, annuity and long-term care programs, and has contributed time and energy worldwide to service in communities.

The Knights of Columbus has grown from several members in one council to 15,342 councils and 1.9 million members throughout the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, Guatemala, Guam, Saipan, Lithuania, Ukraine, and South Korea.

Building the Domestic Church, While Strengthening Our Parishes

“Today, the Knights of Columbus is providentially positioned to play a key role in the new alliance between the Church and the family called for by Pope Francis … What is necessary now is our greater involvement in the renewal of parish and family life.”
-Supreme Knight Carl Anderson

“It is in the parish that one becomes engaged with the Church community, learns how to become a disciple of Christ, is nurtured by Scripture, is nourished by the sacraments, and ultimately becomes an evangelizer. Successful evangelization and catechetical initiatives must be focused on the parish.”
– USCCB

 Through the Orderwide Building the Domestic Church initiative, Knights and their families have greater opportunities to participate in a variety of activities that promote the New Evangelization, strengthen our parishes and grow the Order.

Building the Domestic Church

Knights of Columbus has always been an organization dedicated to the well-being and support of Catholic family life. The family is the first and primary place where we experience and are formed in our Catholic faith. By building upon our current programs and activities, the Knights of Columbus continues to promote the family as a ”domestic church” where husbands and wives, parent and children, grow in their knowledge and practice of the Catholic Faith. In order to perform its important mission of evangelization, each family needs to find support in the sacramental life of the parish.

Strengthening our Parishes

Knights of Columbus councils have always responded to the most urgent needs of the Church, particularly through charitable and social outreach. In order to support the evangelization of family life today, our councils must be even more fully integrated into our parishes. As the world’s largest Catholic fraternal and family organization, we have a responsibility to dedicate our time, talent and resources to ensuring that our parishes our beacons of the new evangelization.

Domestic Church Activities

In order to highlight the importance of this new initiative and its impact on our mission, the Supreme Council has announced that this year, at least four major council programs must be designated as “Domestic Church” activities to earn the Columbian Award,

The following programs currently carry the “Domestic Church” activity designation: