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The Catholic Defender: These Men They Call Knights

The following is taken from the Knights of Columbus Our Principles (4 Principles, 4 Reasons)


The following is taken from the Knights of Columbus Our Principles (4 Principles, 4 Reasons)


1882-1899

The Knights of Columbus is founded by Father Michael J. McGivney on Feb. 6, 1882 with a mission of charity.


1900-1909

The fledgling Order grows dramatically at the beginning of the 20th century to serve communities beyond the United States.


1910-1918

During the Great War, Knights of Columbus Huts provide services under the motto "Everybody Welcome, Everything Free" - a philosophy upheld in today's charitable programs.


1930-1940

The Great Depression leads to a renewed sense of volunteer service - and Knights across the nation step up.The Order spearheads anti-defamation work in the U.S. and takes a stands for religious freedom in Mexico.


1941-1950

Following the end of World War II, the Order turns its attention to the growing threats of communism and fascism, which threaten communities and religious freedoms. The Great Depression leads to a renewed sense of volunteer service - and Knights across the nation step up.


1941-1950


Following the end of World War II, the Order turns its attention to the growing threats of communism and fascism, which threaten communities and religious freedoms.


1951-1960


In 1954, the words "under God" are added to the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance completing an effort the Knights began three years earlier.


The Great Depression leads to a renewed sense of volunteer service - and Knights across the nation step up.


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 – Blessed 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 75.6 million service hours in 2017, 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.


The Knights of Columbus international headquarters is located in New Haven, Connecticut. Led by the Supreme Knight, the chief executive officer of the Knights, the office provides administrative support and leadership for our more than 15,900 local units.


The Supreme Council has more than 75 state council organizations to help guide regional activities that are consistent with the principles of the Order.



Each state council is divided into districts - groupings of several local councils.


Local councils are the basic unit of the Knights. Most are based in parishes, though some have their own council hall within a community. Each local council works to assist with the needs of its community consistent with the principles of the Order. A Knights of Columbus council can work wonders; in fact, with its many programs, it can help change the community, town, city or neighborhood in which you live. However, a successful Knights of Columbus program depends on people taking the initial idea, modifying it to suit specific situations and local needs, then implementing the program in the way it works.


Each local council evaluates the needs of their community and implements those programs and activities that are most needed in their area. The Knights of Columbus Faith in Action Programs are designed to engage the council members in various activities across a host of categories.


Every council is assigned a certified insurance agent, who is a Knight, and whose job it is to provide our top-rated products focused on the financial needs of members’ families.


“From Asia to the Americas to Europe, we served countless worthy causes — with innovation and creative courage.” - Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly


Our goal is to help men, their families and their parishes grow closer to Christ. Through our programs and resources, we provide opportunities to live and spread the Catholic faith.


We are men who lead, serve, protect and defend, whether we are giving out Coats for Kids, lending a hand in disaster relief efforts, supporting local pregnancy centers by donating ultrasound machines or providing top-quality financial products. Find out more about what we do.


We come from many places, backgrounds, and stages in our lives, but we are all of one faith. Find out more about what we do.





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