Membership in the Knights of Columbus
The Knights of Columbus was founded in 1882 by a 29-year-old parish priest, Father Michael J. McGivney, in the basement of St. Mary's Church in New Haven, Connecticut. Today, more than a century later, the Knights of Columbus has become the largest lay organization in the Catholic Church.
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. As recently as 1992, Mother Teresa of Calcutta praised the Knights in a speech on the occasion of her reception of the first Knights of Columbus Gaudium et Spes Award.
Thanks to the inspired work of Father McGivney as well as that of millions of other Knights over the past century - the Knights of Columbus now stands at its pinnacle of membership, benefits and service. Currently, there are over 1.6 million Knights of Columbus - more than ever before in the Order's history. Together with their families, the Knights are nearly 6 million strong. In addition, from the first local council in New Haven, the Order has grown to more than 12,000 councils in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Panama, the Virgin Islands, Guatemala, Guam and Saipan. Each year, the Order continues this strong growth.
Why Join the Knights
Imagine being part of an organization that fills your heart and your mind with the joy of giving to others and the feeling that comes with making a difference.
Knights are Catholic men, 18 years of age and older, who are committed to making their community a better place, while supporting their Church. Being a Knight is more than camaraderie;
- it is being involved with your community;
- it is supporting your local Catholic Church, while enhancing your own faith;
- it is about protecting and enhancing your family life.
Benefits of Membership
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 of Columbus offers a complete portfolio of top-quality products to our members and their eligible family members.
Our agents are there for members and their families to help them in the aftermath of the loss of a loved one.
In addition to our products, the Knights of Columbus offers Family Fraternal Benefits that can help our members facing unique needs. Many of these benefits are unique to the Knights of Columbus and some are free.
These benefits include:
- guaranteed life insurance benefits for uninsurable children;
- death benefits available for stillborn or miscarried children;
- orphan benefits;
- and member/spouse accidental death benefits.
A Comprehensive, Complimentary Financial AnalysisThe Knights of Columbus provides members a complimentary insurance and retirement needs analysis through their local field agent. Our agents (who are also brother Knights) use "Profiles & Forecaster," a proven industry analytical tool that helps our members identify their risks and goals.
Personal Planning WorkbookThis is a no-cost tool available exclusively through your Knights of Columbus field agent. The 34-page book is a comprehensive planning guide that will enable you to record personal information, identify personal wishes, and supplement legal documents.
Requirements for JoiningMembership requirements are that the applicant be a practical Catholic gentleman, who is 18 years of age or older.
What is a practical Catholic?
A practical Catholic is one who is in union with the Holy See and who practices the precepts of the Catholic Church.
Catholic men 18 years of age or older who join the Knights belong to a council, or local unit. Many 18 to 22 year olds first join the Knights of Columbus in a college council. Members who have been in the Knights for one year and have attained Third Degree membership are eligible to join the Fourth Degree Knights.
Here at Saint John's, the Council is very active in all aspects of parish and school life. We are many of those you see serving as Ushers, Lectors, and Eucharistic Ministers. We also provide much of the workforce needed during specific events in the church and school calendar. Annually we collect funds to aid our fellow citizens who are mentally handicapped and provide scholarship money to aid those attending our parish school.
How to Join
Joining the Knights of Columbus is easy, all you need to do is submit a comleted application form #100 to any Knight in our Council. All will gladly assist you.
Application blanks (form #100) are available from any Knight or in the brochure racks as you enter St. John the Apostle church.
The easiest way to join is to talk to any member of the council and express your desire to learn more or to actually join. He will provide you with a "Form 100" (application). Simply complete the form and submit it to him or any Knight. The Admission Committee Chairman will then contact you to arrange a meeting with the Admissions Committee. They usualy meet on the second Monday of each month in the SJA school. If you prefer a different day, time or location he will gladly make other arrangements that meet your needs.
These meetings are normally short and casual and serve the purpose of understanding who you are and what membership in our order can mean to you and your family. You are encouraged to ask any questions you have. Following that meeting, your application is read at the next business meeting and a vote taken to accept/reject your request for admission.
Once approved you will be contacted by the Admissions Chairman and informed where and when the next 1st degree (Admissions) exemplification will be held. Normaly a coat and tie are worn and the Charirman will provide all the information needed to make this step a success.If you desire additional information, please contact any of the Knights you see at Mass at St John's (they can be identified by their nametag).
Degrees of Knighthood
There are four "Degrees" of Knighthood within the Knights of Columbus. Each of the Degrees is designed to exemplify one of the four Principals of the Order: Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism.