Knights of Columbus
Knights of Columbus are Catholic gentlemen committed to the exemplification of charity, unity, fraternity, patriotism, and defense of the priesthood. The Order is consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Order is unequivocal in its loyalty to the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on earth. It is firmly committed to the protection of human life, from conception to natural death, and to the preservation and defense of the family. It was on these bedrock principles that the Order was founded over a century ago and remains true to them today.
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 of Columbus. All priests and religious brothers having duly made application for membership and participated in the ceremonials become honorary life members of the Order and are exempt from payment of dues.
Candidates join local units, called “councils,” most of which are based in one Catholic parish, or in the community at large. The candidate takes part in initiation degrees that explain the Knights of Columbus’ four principles: Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism. A candidate is considered a “Knight” after taking his First Degree, but he is encouraged to advance through the Second and Third Degrees and on to the Fourth Degree, whose members promote the virtue of patriotism by serving in honor guards, color corps and promoting respect for country and the flag. Knights of Columbus have a proud heritage. The qualified Catholic man can share in this heritage and build for an even greater future by affiliating himself with this forceful, effective fraternal organization.