Knights of Columbus—About
When he visited the US, Pope Benedict XVI praised Father Michael J. McGivney for his “remarkable accomplishment” of founding the Knights of Columbus.
Micahel J. McGivney founded The Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization, in the US in 1882.
Named in honor of Christopher Columbus, the organization claims to be dedicated to the principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism—
the 4 degrees of the Knights of Columbus.
The Fourth Degree is the highest degree of the order. Members of this degree are addressed as “Sir Knight”. The primary purpose of the Fourth Degree is to foster the spirit of patriotism and to encourage active Catholic citizenship. The Knights’ official junior organization, the Columbian Squires, has over 5,000 Circles.
With more than 1.7 million members in 14,000 councils around the world, and nearly 200 councils on college campuses, the Knights of Columbus is a multi-billion dollar non-profit charitable organization, referred to as the “strong
right arm of the Church.”
In the 2007 fraternal year the Order gave $144,911,781 directly to charity
(1.1 Billion in charitable contributions in the last 10 years) and performed
over 68,695,768 man hours of voluntary service.
Knights raise funds to fight developmental disabilities, volunteer for the
Special Olympics and other charitable organizations, put up pro-life bill-
boards and “Keep Christ in Christmas” signs, conduct blood drives and
raise funds for disaster victims, and parade at patriotic events.
Knights of Columbus and Evangelization
Ever since its founding the Knights of Columbus has been involved in evangelization.
In 1948, the Knights started the Catholic Information Service (CIS)—low-cost Catholic publications for the general public as well as for parishes, schools, retreat houses, military installations, correctional facilities, legislatures, the medical community, and for individuals who request them. Since then, CIS
has printed millions of booklets, and thousands of people have enrolled in
CIS correspondence and on-line courses.
Knights of Columbus and vocations: Supporting priestly and religious vocations is a top priority of the Knights of Columbus.
Knights of Columbus Vocation Poster The Order’s new Vocations Poster (#2959)
The central image is that of a priest offering the Eucharist. This image reminds us that Christ is the heart of every vocation—he is the one who calls.
It also tells us that priests are needed to offer Mass to keep Christ’s presence, his Real Presence, living and active in the world. Without a priest, there is no Mass and no Eucharist. The need for priests could not be clearer, or more urgent.
Knights to Play Active Role in International Eucharistic Congress
49th International Eucharistic Congress, 6/2/2008
As the 49th International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) quickly approaches, Knights are helping to prepare for the thousands of pilgrims expected to attend.
…the Supreme Council pledged $1 million in support of the event. Local Knights have been involved in various ways ever since.
For the last two years, Canadian Knights have transported throughout the country the Ark of the New Covenant, an icon-covered wooden chest created to promote the congress and encourage eucharistic devotion. The Ark’s pilgrimage began in May 2006, after it was blessed by Pope Benedict XVI in Rome.
The Ark has since visited numerous communities in Canada, where people have been invited to sign pledges to pray for the congress and deepen their faith in the Eucharist.
The Order’s presence will not only be behind the scenes. Fourth Degree Knights will participate in three of the congress’s major events: the opening Mass, a eucharistic procession through Quebec City and the closing Mass on June 22.
Knights of Columbus, supporting conservative issues
In the United States, the Knights of Columbus often adopt socially conservative positions on public issues.
They have adopted resolutions advocating a Culture of Life, defining marriage
as the union of one man and one woman, and promoting Christian practices in public schools, government, and voluntary organizations such as the Boy
Scouts of America.
In 1954, lobbying by the Order helped convince the U.S. Congress to add the phrase “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance…
Knights of Columbus to Host Blue Mass 2/24/2006
Within a few days of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Knights began distributing nearly $1.5 million in direct aid to the families of slain police and rescue workers.
The Knights of Columbus Supreme Council began the Blue Mass in New Haven in 2002 and has hosted it annually each year since. Similar Blue Masses have been organized by Knights of Columbus Councils nationwide.
Knights of Columbus
Providing Youth Ministry through the Scouting Program
For more than 90 years, the Knights of Columbus has worked with the Boy Scouts of America to serve youth…The Knights continue to shape lives by serving more than 42,000 young people in more than 1,400 Scouting units.
As of 2005, the Knights of Columbus had more than 150 Scouting units that had 50 or more years’ tenure and more than 800 Knights of Columbus councils were ensuring that young people receive a Scouting opportunity.
In 2006, the Knights of Columbus and the National Catholic Committee on Scouting® are teaming up to start new Scouting units. Each Grand Knight, Faithful Navigator, and State and District Deputy in the United States will be getting a recruitment packet…every Council Executive in the United States will
be getting the same information…
Knights of Columbus help fund Prop 102 in AZ
2008 Yes for Marriage, Proposition 102 in Arizona
Major funding: Focus on the Family Action (out of state);
Crisis Pregnancy Centers of Greater Phx.,
Pete King Corp., and
Knights of Columbus (out of state)
Presidents and the Knights of Columbus
The Knights of Columbus invites the head of state of every country they operate in to the Supreme Convention each year.
Al Smith, presidential candidate.
President John F. Kennedy, Fourth Degree member.
President Richard Nixon, keynote address at the States Dinner, 1971.
“In August 1971 the President [Nixon] promised federal aid for parochial schools to a cheering, foot-stomping crowd at a New York Knights of Columbus dinner.”—Chuck Colson, Born Again, p. 63
President Ronald Reagan spoke at the Centennial Convention, in 1982.
President George H.W. Bush appeared, in 1992.
President Bill Clinton sent a written message while he was in office.
President George W. Bush…attended in person at the 2004 convention.
Other Famous people and the Knights of Columbus
Politics and Public Service, United States
Samuel Alito, Justice on the United States Supreme Court
John Moran Bailey, chair. Democratic National Committee, 1961–1968
John Boehner, U.S. House Majority Leader of the 109th Congress
Hale Boggs, former U.S. House Majority Leader
Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida
Hugh Carey, former Governor of New York
Richard J. Daley, longest-serving mayor of Chicago
John Dingell, US Representative from Michigan
Bob Dornan, pro-life advocate and former California congressman
Martin Patrick Durkin, U.S. Secretary of Labor
John Engler, former Governor of Michigan
Ray Flynn, former Mayor of Boston; U.S. ambassador to the Holy See
Andrew P Harris, Maryland State Senator.
John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States
Alan Keyes, political activist, author and former diplomat
T. John Lesinski, former Lieutenant Governor of Michigan
Manuel Lujan Jr., US Secretary of the Interior
Joe Manchin, Governor of West Virginia
John McCormack, former Speaker of the US House of Representatives
Edward R. Roybal, former representative from California
Rick Santorum, former US Senator for Pennsylvania
John Shelley, mayor of San Francisco, California, 1964 to 1968
Sargent Shriver, director of the Peace Corps, U.S. ambassador to France
Al Smith, former governor of New York, presidential candidate
John Volpe, U.S. Secretary of Transportation
Malcolm Wilson, former governor of New York
Sports and Athletics
James Connolly, the first Olympic Gold Medal champion in modern times
Chris Godfrey, New York Giants and founder of Life Athletes
Ron Guidry, pitcher for New York Yankees
Vince Lombardi, former coach of the Green Bay Packers
Floyd Patterson, former heavyweight boxing champion
Babe Ruth, Baseball player—Boston Braves, Boston Red Sox, NY Yankees
Marine Sergeant Major Daniel Daly, a two-time Medal of Honor recipient.
Joyce Kilmer, famous journalist and poet
Paul D. Scully-Power, NASA astronaut
This information is for my post:
The Real Presence in the Eucharist: Evangelization of America through Politics