The Knights of Columbus is an organization fortified by its past and driven by its goals for the future. It's through these five areas of service - faith, community, family, youth, and fellowship - that we truly make a difference.
As Knights, our faith is our foundation. Dedicated to the Catholic Church’s growth and her good works, we support religious outreach, promote vocations, and provide financial support for seminarians and postulates. This way, we help support our Church and strengthen our personal faith.
As committed as we are to the Catholic Church, so are we to our communities. By actively and financially supporting Special Olympics, by leading the charge in pro-life, or by Safeguarding the environment, Knights of Columbus members all over the world have helped countless communities prosper.
As Brothers, serving our families is not only part of what we do, it’s part of who we are. To that end, Knights of Columbus councils offer programs that strengthen family and marital bonds by holding numerous family focused events, including the “Family of the Month: program that honors outstanding families. Most importantly, as Knights, we are able to provide assistance and support to Knights and their families whenever needed.
The importance of helping today’s youth to become tomorrow’s leaders is also a huge focus of the Order. For that reason, our council sponsors our Columbian Squire Circle #5509, the Order’s official youth organization for Catholic young men, ages 10-18, which provides them a unique opportunity to develop leadership skills. Additionally, through activities such as the Catholic Citizen ship Essay contest, the Substance Abuse Poster contest, and the annual Free Throw championship, the Knights of Columbus assist our youth in building a strong sense of civic and religious responsibility.
To be a Knight means to believe in each other as we believe in ourselves; realizing that by creating strong, social, and supportive local councils, we help create a stronger Order worldwide and ensure an even stronger future.
All the good works we do are informed by our four core principles:
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.
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
The 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 individual Knights, who last year gave more than 10 million hours of their time to assist sick and/or disabled members and their families. In the Knights of Columbus, we watch out for and take care of one another.
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
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.
Last year alone, in addition to raising and donating more than $158 million to charitable needs and projects, Knights volunteered more than 70 million hours of their time to charitable causes. We undertake these acts of charity because we see those in need through the eyes of faith. Moreover, in the Knights of Columbus, we approach these acts of charity together. Pope Benedict XVI calls this the “practice of love…as a community.”
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 purely local charities, the opportunity to work together with fellow Knights and their families is virtually endless.
If you’d like to be a part of an international organization of 1.8 million Catholic men whose principal work involves helping others in need, we’d like to meet you and invite you to join us.
The Knights’ annual Survey of Fraternal Activity for the year ending Dec. 31, 2011, indicated that, despite a soft economy, total charitable contributions reached $158,084,514 – exceeding the previous year’s total by more than $3 million. Sixty percent of the contributions were for projects at the community level, many involving youth activities.
The survey also indicated that the quantity of volunteer service hours to charitable causes by Knights grew to 70,053,149 – a number which has been increasing in a dramatic fashion annually since 2009. There were also more than 418,841 Knights of Columbus blood donations during 2011.
Cumulative figures show that during the past decade, the Knights of Columbus has donated $1,436,712,757 billion to charity, and provided more than 665 million hours of volunteer service in support of charitable initiatives.
These numbers are impressive, but tell only a part of our story. Approximately 78 percent of all K of C units responded to the 2011 Annual Survey of Fraternal Activity. Imagine what our numbers would look like if we had a 100 percent response!
All members of the Knights of Columbus belong to a particular Council, and any group of at least thirty men may apply to found a new Council in their area. The highest elected officer of each Council is the Grand Knight, who , with the other Council Officers, is elected by the membership each year. The Grand Knight appoints various Program Directors and Chairmen to run the Council’s activities for the year. All Council activities except Membership activities, fall into one of the five Program Areas, each with a Director. The five Directors of Church Activities, Community Activities, Council Activities, Family Activities and youth Activities report to a General Programs Director, who in turn reports to the Grand Knight.
Several Councils within the same geographic area are grouped together in a District under the guidance of the District Deputy and his assistant, the District Warden. The District Officers are appointed by the State Deputy, the highest elected officer of the State Council. State Officers and Program Chairmen are analogous to those at the Council level and coordinate the activities of all the Councils throughout the State. Each spring, the State Deputy hosts a Convention to elect officers and conduct other State business. Every Grand Knight and one elected Delegate represent every Council in the state at this Convention. The highest level within the Knights of Columbus is the Supreme Council, headed by the Supreme Knight. At the Supreme Convention each summer, State Deputies and Representatives from each State, Territory, or Country meet to conduct business concerning the international operation of the Order.
On Oct. 2, 1881, a group of men met in the basement of St. Mary’s Church on Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven. Called together by their 29-year-old parish priest, Father Michael J. McGivney, these men formed a fraternal society that would one day become the world’s largest Catholic family fraternal service organization.
They sought strength in solidarity, and security through unity of purpose and devotion to a holy cause: they vowed to be defenders of their country, their families and their faith.
These men were bound together by the ideal of Christopher Columbus, the discoverer of the Americas, the one whose hand brought Christianity to the New World. Their efforts came to fruition with the incorporation of the Knights of Columbus on March 29, 1882.
They were Knights of Columbus.
The Order has been called "the strong right arm of the Church," and has been praised by popes, presidents and other world leaders, for support of the Church, programs of evangelization and Catholic education, civic involvement and aid to those in need.
Father McGivney’s founding vision for the Order also included a life insurance program to provide for the widows and orphans of deceased members. The Order’s insurance program has expanded substantially to serve more effectively the Knights’ growing membership.
Year after year, the Knights of Columbus has earned the highest possible quality ratings for financial soundness from outside ratings agencies. The Order provides the highest quality insurance, annuity and long-term care products to its members, along with many other fraternal benefits.
The Supreme Council is the governing body of the Knights of Columbus and is responsible for the development of the organization as a whole. Supreme Council duties include establishing the Order in new regions and setting up regional authorities, defining and advancing its values and goals, undertaking organization-wide initiatives, promoting awareness of the Knights’ mission worldwide, and protecting the families of members through its extensive insurance program. Members working in local or subordinate councils, however, carry on the majority of the Knights’ beneficial work.
If you've got the time this is a beautiful 29 minute history of the Knights of Columbus by ETWN Network.
In the year 2004, Brother Glenn Deery, Sr., a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 1374, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania approached Rev. Fr. Robert McLaughlin, Pastor of Saint Basil the Great Roman Catholic Church in Kimberton, Pennsylvania, to explore the formation of a Knights of Columbus council.
Brother Glenn, a parishioner of St. Basil’s Church, became aware of the need for the formation of a Knights of Columbus Council at St. Basil’s Church. Thus, with the permission of Rev. Fr. McLaughlin, Brother Glenn proceeded to share with catholic male members of the congregation the history, qualifications, and benefits of becoming a member of the Knights of Columbus.
The following year was spent by him gathering a cadre of men to build the basis upon which a council would meet the needs of men, their families, and church. A hard year of selling such an idea to the populous ended with the culmination and approval of Council 13800 on April 17, 2005, by the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus with a membership of 39 catholic men committing themselves to the ideals of the Order based on the principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism to be completed in the service areas of faith, community, family, youth, and fellowship. In that first year the Brothers all pulled together and one month after forming got right out in front with the principles of the order of honoring motherhood, by giving every mother a flower on Mother’s Day. This event is still in practice today. By the end of the first year the membership jumped in with both feet and held the first successful Palm Sunday Breakfast with the proceeds going to doing projects within the parish. In addition, the membership also assisted with the cooking of the chickens for the Church’s 40th anniversary and mulched the parish flower beds.
The following three years of formation though hard, as the new council formed and grew, solidified a sound foundation on which to expand its service offering to the community while exploring its own growth and development. At the helm of this endeavor was Brother Glenn Deery, Sr. who served as Grand Knight during those first three years. At the beginning there were also six 4th Degree Knights S.K. Brothers Paul Jaworski, Dr. Edward Linder, Robert Mitchell, Thomas Mitchell, David Mitchell, Sr., and Robert Murphy, who transferred from other councils to assist with the formation.
Over the Memorial Day Weekend of 2006, the first 11 Brothers of Council 13800 where installed into the 4th degree of Knighthood. Those 11 Brothers were S.K. Brothers Leo Amore, Dominick Aquilante, Brian Bodick, Grand Knight Glenn Deery, Sr., Merrill Francis, Edward Hinson, Frank Mastrangelo, Rev. Fr. Robert McLaughlin, Michael Pelosi, Judge Thomas Twardowski, and Andrew Viscuso.
Today, the council continues to grow and expand its charitable offerings due to the leadership of subsequent Grand Knights, officers, committee chairmen and council members. The council looks forward to the future as it continues to grow and serve the needs of the council Brothers, their families, the parishioners, and the surrounding community.
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS
April 17, 2005
Whereas, it having been made known to the Officers of the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus that a sufficient number of eligible men residing in the city of Kimberton in Pennsylvania have duly petitioned that they be granted a charter and authorized to organize and maintain a Council of the Knights of Columbus with in said city and it spearing to be for the benefit of said Knights of Columbus, that their petition be granted: Therefore be it known that the duly authorized Officers of the Knights of Columbus, by and with the consent of said, Supreme Council hereby authorize and direct the following named gentlemen to assemble and work as a regularly constituted Council of the Knights of Columbus to be the name
St. Basil Council No. 13800
Rev. Robert McLaughlin
Thomas M. Everly
Thomas E. Mitchell
Leo J. Amore
Merrill R. Francis
Robert M. Murphy
Paul G. Giovanetti
Thomas J. Murphy
Harry J. Batten
Edward T. Hinson
Robert J. Batten
Edward F. Linder
Thane R. Phelps
Theodore D. Clineff
Christoher P. Luzins
Thomas M. Rajtik
John C. Colarusso
Frank M. Mastrangelo
John P. Russo
Gregory A. Meyer
Paul A. Shoemaker
Glenn K. Deery, Jr.
Christopher J. Mitchell
Robert J. Stancavage
Glenn K. Deery, Sr.
David V. Mitchell, Sr.
Thomas M. Twardowski
Anthony J. DiFrancesco
Robert E. Mitchell
Andrew J. Viscuso
Patrick S. Dolan
Thomas E. Mitchell II
And we do hereby grant to said Brothers aforesaid to receive members and perform all work of the Knights of Columbus agreeable to the usages of the Knights of Columbus, to exact from their members such fees as they shall judge necessary for the support of their Council, and the regular payments of all legal dues and assessments and to observe with due respect all ordinances emanating from the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus.
There are four “Degrees” of Knighthood within the Knights of Columbus. The initiation ceremonies into each of these Degrees (the ceremonies themselves are also called “Degrees”) are the only facets of the Order which are not made known to non-members. Each of the Degrees is designed to exemplify one of the four Principals of the Order: Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism. The Degrees must be taken in order.
Every applicant must take the First, or Membership, Degree before he can be considered a Member of the Knights of Columbus. Once he has taken his First Degree, he becomes a member in good standing in the Order. To reach full Knighthood, members must also take the Second and Third Degrees, and all members are strongly encouraged to do so. Members must have taken the Third degree to be elected to Council offices or to enter into the Fourth Degree. Once a man has been a member of the Knights of Columbus for a year and has taken his Third Degree, he is eligible le to join a Fourth Degree Assembly. The Fourth Degree has its own structure separate from that of the Council, Fourth Degree Assemblies gain their membership from Third Degree members of several Councils within a larger geographic area. The most visible members of the Order are often the Fourth Degree Color Corps, with their colorful capes, chapeaux and sabers.
Rodger Rothenberger, M.D.
The grand knight is responsible for the general leadership and welfare of the council. He presides over council meetings, acts as ex-officio member of all committees, appoints a membership and programming director, convenes officers for a monthly meeting, and ensures that all necessary reports are submitted to the state and Supreme Council. He should also be aware of the council's financial status and ensure that his signature appears on all checks drawn. The grand knight is a member of the Advisory Board with general supervision of the council's Columbian Squire circle.
Father Gary Pacitti
The chaplain is the spiritual advisor of the council. He is expected to make a report at council meetings on religious matters. The grand knight appoints a priest in accordance with any rules established by the bishop of the diocese to serve as council chaplain.
Deputy Grand Knight
The deputy grand knight is second in command. He assists the grand knight with council affairs and fulfills all duties assigned to him by the grand knight. Should the grand knight be absent from a council meeting, the deputy grand knight will preside. He is chairman of the council's retention committee, the Program Director, and a member of the Advisory Board charged with overseeing the council's sponsored Columbian Squires circle.
Dr. Edward Linder
The chancellor has a variety of responsibilities. Primarily he assists the grand knight and the deputy grand knight in the execution of their duties and oversees the council in both their absences. He is charged with strengthening the members' interest in council activities. The chancellor is chairman of the admissions committee and a member of the Columbian Squires circle ceremonial team.
The treasurer is responsible for the safe-keeping and maintaining records of all council funds and accounts. He is responsible for depositing money into the council's accounts and provides a certificate of such monies to the grand knight. He is also responsible for the payment of all expenses.
The recorder is similar to a court reporter or a secretary. He is responsible for maintaining a true record of all actions of the council and its correspondence.
The warden is the material control manager for council property and degree paraphernalia, except the property of the financial secretary, treasurer, and recorder. He is also responsible for setting up the council chambers for meetings and ceremonial work. During ceremonial exemplifications, the warden will appoint and supervise guards.
The advocate is the chief legal officer for the council. He is familiar with all of the laws of the Order as stated in the “Charter, Constitution and Laws” and with council by-laws. When a bylaw is to be revised, the advocate serves as chairman of the revision committee. When needed, the advocate shall seek legal assistance from the state advocate.
The guards have similar responsibilities, but distinct differences. The outside guard tends to the outer door admitting visitors and members to the inner door. Once at the inner door, the inside guard checks to make sure that their membership cards are current
1st Year Trustee
2nd Year Trustee
3rd Year Trustee
The board of trustees consists of three members elected by the council and the grand knight, who serves as chairman of the board. They oversee the work of the financial secretary and treasurer, and with the deputy grand knight serve on the council's retention committee. During council elections, only the three-year trustee is voted on, with the others moving on to become two-year and one-year trustees, respectively.
The financial secretary is appointed by the Supreme Knight upon recommendation of the council. His main area of responsibilities is maintaining all financial and membership records, much like a comptroller of a private company. He collects and receives all monies from all sources, including annual dues from council members. He also handles supply orders for the council officers and members, filing the Report of Officer, and submitting all membership transactions to the Supreme Council.
The lecturer is appointed by the grand knight to provide both educational and entertaining programs to the council. He is responsible for the 'Good of the Order' portion of council meetings. In order to provide members with informative and educational programs, he must be knowledgeable and aware of all council programming.
MEMBERSHIP / DEGREE
IT / WEBSITE
SUNSHINE / MEMORIAL
FLEA / BBQ
Tom Dalton / Steve Giacomucci
The emblem of the order dates from the second Supreme Council meeting of May 12, 1883, when it was designed by James T. Mullen, Supreme Knight.
This emblem is a shield mounted upon a cross of Malta. The shield is associated with medieval knights. The cross of Malta is a traditional artistic representation of the Cross of Christ through which all graces of redemption were procured for mankind. Our emblem represents the Catholic spirit of the Knights.
Mounted on the shield are three objects: a mace standing vertically, and, crossed behind it, an anchor and a dagger or short sword. The mace is symbolic of authority which must exist in any tightly-bounded and efficiently operating organization.
The anchor is the mariner’s symbol for Christopher Columbus, patron of the Order. The short sword or dagger was the weapon of the knight when engaged upon an errand of mercy. Our shield inscribed with "K. of C." and the three objects express Catholic Knighthood in organized merciful action.