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Recruitment Guide for Use by All Councils
Are The Knight of Columbus
The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest
Catholic family fraternal service organization with 1.6 million members. It
provides members and their families with volunteer opportunities in service to
the Catholic Church, their communities, families and young people. The On-Line
version of the publication "These Men They Call
Knights" has additional information
about who we are.
As a member of the Knights of Columbus you and
your family enjoy many benefits, including 12 free issues annually of the
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.
The Knights ...
- Created the $20 million "Knights of Columbus Vicarius Christi" fund --
the earnings on which are conveyed annually to the Holy Father for his
charities. Since its inception this fund has generated more than $24
million for the Pope's good works, and the corpus remains intact.
- Committed $8.8 million to the U.S. Bishops' Pro-Life educational campaign
since 1990, and budgeted an additional $1 million for the production of
pro-life materials, to overturn the proabortion mentality and defend the
right to life.
- Bring the Pope to the world at least three times a year by providing the
uplink cost for the televising of papal ceremonies, especially at Christmas
and during Holy Week -- and the downlink in poor mission countries.
- Presented a new mobile television production unit to the Vatican
Television Center for the taping, recording and transmission of Vatican
ceremonies at a cost of $600,000.
- Established the $2 million Count Enrico Galeazzi Fund for the Pontifical
North American College for the benefit of the College and for U.S. Bishop
-- and priest -- students there; the Bishop Charles P Greco Fund for the
American College in Louvain, Belgium, and the Father McGivney Fund for the
Pontifical Canadian College, the Father McGivney Fund for the Collegio
Pontificio Filipino, the Our Lady of Guadalupe Fund for the Pontifical
Mexican College, and the Father McGivney Fund for Advanced Studies for
Priests in Puerto Rico.
- Underwrote completely the renovation of the entire facade of St. Peter's
Basilica in Rome, the most famous church in the world, the statues of Sts.
Peter and Paul in St. Peter's Square, and the historic Rooms of the
Architects in the Basilica proper.
- Raised $1 million for the Bishop de Laval Fund, earnings on which
annually support the work of the Canadian Conference of Catholic
- Contributed, since 1981, over $15 million to thousands of seminarians and
postulants through the Refund Support Vocations Program, generating $5.2
million in rebates from the Supreme Council to participating councils,
assemblies and circles.
Also established the $8.25 million Knights of Columbus Vocations
Scholarship Fund, with earnings funding the RSVP rebates and annual $2,500
scholarships based on need to seminarians in theology.
- Erected the Knight's Tower and carillon of bells at the Basilica of the
National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, completely renovated it
recently, and raised a $500,000 memorial fund in honor of Past Supreme
Knight Luke E. Hart to promote Marian devotion at the Shrine and to
preserve the Shrine in perpetuity.
- Provide the entire budget of the National Family Planning offices of the
U.S. and Canadian Bishops, and assist the NFP office of the Mexican
- Created the Father Michael J. McGivney Memorial Fund for New Initiatives
in Catholic Education in the amount of $1 million, annual interest on which
funds projects designed to improve religious education in the U.S. and
- In 2005 (the last reporting year), raised and distributed almost $140
million and contributed nearly 64 million volunteer hours in service to
Church, community, youth, and fellowman through the "Surge . . . with
Service" outreach program.
- Sponsor the Pope John XXIII Center's seminars for the Bishops of the
U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and the Philippines on
vital life-death issues.
- Underwrite, through an annual assessment of 800 per member, the Order's
Catholic Advertising Program, which provides free information on the
Catholic faith to interested inquirers -- more than 8 million responses and
more than 750,000 enrollees in correspondence courses through the
- Have distributed millions of special Knights of Columbus rosaries at the
rate of 10,000 per month, especially to new members, and now to former
members who are readmitted.
- Support a multimillion dollar Student Loan Program for members and their
children pursuing higher education, with all seminarians eligible.
- Provide support for such varied apostolates as the Eternal Word
Television Network; the National Clergy Conference on Alcoholism; Morality
in Media; the National Catholic Office for Persons with Disabilities; the
National Apostolate with Mentally Retarded Persons.
- Make available to dioceses and religious institutions a mortgage loan
program at favorable interest rates. Over the years $245 million were
provided to 271 entities, mostly local parishes.
- Renovated St. Mary's Church in New Haven, the birthplace of the Order,
and entombed the remains of the founder, Rev. Michael J. McGivney, therein
on March 29, 1982. Completed the 110-year-old construction plan of the
church by erecting a 179-foot steeple, including a carillon of three bronze
bells, atop St. Mary's.
- Support the spiritual welfare of armed services personnel and their
families around the globe through a $900,000 fund for the Archdiocese for
- Sponsor daily Mass for deceased Brother Knights at St. Mary's Church in
New Haven and enable widows of Knights to receive COLUMBIA magazine each
- Paid $82.1 million in death benefits to the families of deceased Brother
Knights during 1997 and $202 million in dividends to insurance members.
- Established a North American campus of the Lateran University's Pope John
Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington,
The Knights of Columbus,
the world's largest lay Catholic organization, marked its 131st anniversary
March 29, 2013. Founded in 1882 by Father Michael J. McGivney, along with a few
parishioners in the basement of St. Mary?s Church in New Haven, Conn., the group
has grown to an international organization of more than 1.9 million members.
- The Knights of Columbus is
also one of the most successful fraternal benefit societies in American history,
providing life insurance and related products for the financial welfare of
members and their families.
The K of C has not only
remained true to its founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity, but
also included patriotism as a fourth principle by which its members are to be
defined. The organization is renowned for its dedicated support of both church
and country. Its affiliates, known as councils, are largely parish-based and
provide regular support to their local church and community.
In addition to protecting the financial well-being of its members, the Knights
of Columbus is one of the most active charitable organizations in North America.
The K of C's Annual Survey of Fraternal Activity
for the year ending Dec. 31, 2013, reports that Knights donated record amounts
of money and hours of volunteer service, nearly $170 million and more than 70.5
Contributions increased for the 14th consecutive year, growing by more than $2.3
million to $170,135,754.
- Its charitable work also
includes substantial support for the Catholic Church in Rome. The K of C funded
the restoration of the façade of St. Peter?s Basilica during the 1980s, and
annually underwrites the cost of satellite TV broadcasts of liturgical
celebrations from Vatican City, including the Christmas Midnight Mass. The
organization has also established a $20 million endowment called the Vicarius
Christi Fund. The annual proceeds are provided to the pope in support of his
- In its dimension as a
fraternal benefit society, the Knights of Columbus provides its members a
variety of life insurance products for the financial stability of their
families. One of the most highly rated insurance companies in North America, the
K of C has more than $61 billion of life insurance in force and consistently
earns the industry?s highest independent rankings for fiscal management and
ethical business practices.
- The Knights of Columbus
has also been actively involved American public policy initiatives. Before and
throughout World War I, the Knights ran "Army Huts", facilities that provided
recreation, snacks and comfort items to the troops near bases and near the
- The huts, whose motto was
"Everyone welcome. Everything free," were a predecessor to the USO. During the
1920s, in direct opposition to the Ku Klux Klan, the Knights lobbied President
Calvin Coolidge to pressure the Mexican government to stop its persecution of
Catholics in Mexico.
- Ultimately, the demands paid off, and an accord was reached between the Church
and the Mexican government. In the 1950s, it was the Knights of Columbus that
led the effort to have the words "under God" added to the Pledge of Allegiance.
The organization continues to speak out on important social issues today,
especially human life matters. Among the many notable Knights over the past 125
years were: Babe Ruth, Connie Mack, Joyce Kilmer, Vince Lombardi, Al Smith, John
F. Kennedy, Sargent Shriver, and Ron Guidry.
OF C MEANS SERVICE
- The K of C's Annual Survey of Fraternal Activity for the year ending Dec. 31,
2013, reports that Knights donated record amounts of money and hours of
volunteer service, nearly $170 million and more than 70.5 million hours.
Contributions increased for the 14th consecutive year, growing by more than $2.3
million to $170,135,754.
- "Charity has been at the heart of the Knights' mission for the past 132 years,"
said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said after announcing the figures. "Whether
with funds or service, and whether quietly helping someone overcome a personal
tragedy or assisting in the aftermath of a widely known humanitarian disaster,
the outpouring of charity by our members produces meaningful results, especially
by helping to bring peace of mind to those who find themselves in incredibly
In 2013, Anderson explained, "Knights were part of relief efforts for a number
of tragic events, including two enormous natural disasters in the Philippines;
tornados in Moore, Oklahoma; floods in Alberta, Canada; the factory explosion in
West, Texas; and the Boston Marathon bombing. The year also saw the Knights
continue their support for the victims of Superstorm Sandy, and for the people
of Newtown, Conn, as they recovered from the school shooting that took the lives
of 26 residents, most of whom were young children."
The response to unexpected tragedies was accomplished while the Knights
continued their strong support within their communities through initiatives like
the Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids and Food for Families, programs
supporting those with intellectual disabilities, organizing blood drives, and
providing funding and volunteer time to organizations such as Habitat for
Humanity, Special Olympics and the Global Wheelchair Mission.
The number of volunteer service hours rose in 2013 by 421,071 hours over the
2012 total. At an average value of $22.55 per service hour as estimated by
Independent Sector, the value of the Knights' volunteer service last year was
nearly $1.6 billion.
Cumulative figures show that during the past decade the Knights of Columbus has
donated nearly $1.5 billion to charity and 683 million hours of volunteer
service in support of charitable initiatives.
educational, social, service and athletic programs for young people. Local
councils and assemblies sponsor Columbian Squires circles, Scout troops,
programs to help teens deal with alcohol, drugs, suicide and other problems, as
well as opportunities simply to have fun.
- Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to practical Catholic men
in union with the Holy See, who are at least 18 years old. A practical
Catholic is one who lives up to the Commandments of God and the precepts of
the Church. Application blanks are available from any member of the Knights
- Membership in the Knights of Columbus starts at the local councils
throughout the jurisdiction of this State (as well as throughout the U.S.
and Canada, Latin America and the Philippines.) The Order's membership at
its local councils help foster the principals of Charity, Unity, Fraternity
and Patriotism. These four principals are the driving force behind the many
activities within our local and state programs. Each council involves its
membership in these programs; some are listed on this Web site to give you
a quick insight into the mission of the Knights of Columbus.
- If you have an interest in joining our Order, or would like to explore
the idea of starting a new council in your area or local parish, E-Mail the State Office to get
additional information. Please include your name, address and
telephone number and a representative for your location will contact
you. If you have been a member in this or other States, please include this
- If you are outside of
Massachusetts and interested in K of C membership, we suggest you search Supreme Council Location Map to locate your state,
provincial council, or local council near your home or parish.
guide for your council
To become a
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