Who are the Knights of Columbus and why should I join?
From the moment of our founding in 1882, charity has been the first principle of the Knights of Columbus. We are Catholic men of faith and men of charitable action.
In 2016, the Knights of Columbus set a record in charitable giving for the 18th consecutive year. Our charitable donations increased from $175 million in 2015 to a new total of $177,500,673 in 2016. In addition, we achieved our highest level of charitable service in 2016, volunteering more than 75 million hours of service. The number of service hours contributed by Knights rose in 2016 by more than a million over the previous year’s total.
All the good works we do are informed by our four core principles:
Charity – Our Catholic faith teaches us to “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” 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.
Fraternity – Venerable 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.
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
What activities are the Knights of Columbus involved with?
Over the past couple years the Knights of Columbus have accomplished the following at either the global or local level:
Global - Charity:
- Knights gave $177M and volunteered 75M service hours in 2016
- Funded 752 ultrasound machines ($36M+)
- Provided Habitat for Humanity $667K & 1M volunteer hours in 2015
- Distributed over 310K coats since 2009
- Assisted Christians in Middle East that are persecuted due to their faith
Global - Unity:
- 15,342 KofC councils and over 1.9M members in US and internationally
Global - Fraternity:
- Over $100B of Life Insurance in-force with more than 2M active contracts
- Recognized by Ethisphere as the World’s Most Ethical Company in 2017
- Earned A++ Superior rating for financial strength for 41 consecutive years
Global - Patriotism:
- 52 Active military councils, 10 naval carrier roundtables and war zone roundtables
- Assisted over 300K veterans with tuition free education and/or job placement
- Produced over 400K Catholic prayer books for members of the armed forces since 2003
During the past year the Knights at St. Mary Magdalene have donate their time and more than $25K to various causes in support of our church, school, and community. Some of those causes include:
- In Solidarity with our Priests & Bishops requirements
- Student Support at StMM School
- Major support for the grand piano for StMM Church
- Stained Glass Window for StMM Church
- Catholic Parish Outreach support via people power (200 plus hours per year) and donations
- Seminarian sponsor to assist with expenses outside what is covered
- Sponsor of Bishop's annual Gala supporting Birth Choice
- Habitat for Humanity
- The Diocese of Raleigh support as required (New Cathedral dedication, New Bishop Installation)
- StMM School Band
- StMM School Junior Honors Society
- StMM Girl Scout Troops
What is expected of me if I decide to join?
All members are expected to stay current on their annual dues (about $35-$40 a year), which allow us to fund our various activities within the community, state, and globally. Beyond that we need our members and their families to contribute their time and talents. While we encourage as much participation as possible in the activities of our council, we also understand that our members have other obligations and their availability to volunteer can sometimes be limited. Some members only participate in a few activities a year while others contribute weekly. There is no minimum requirement for volunteering but obviously the more you can contribute the more impact our council can have on improving and supporting our community.
Through our weekly newsletter our Grand Knight will keep you informed as to the activities going on within our council and the upcoming opportunities needing our members support. From there it is up to you to decide when and how God is calling you to support your church and community.
Who can join the Knights of Columbus and what is the process for joining?
Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to any practical Catholic man in union with the Holy See who is not less than 18 years of age on his last birthday. A practical Catholic is one who lives up to the Commandments of God and the Precepts of the Church.
There are two simple ways to apply for membership:
The first and more typical is by filling out the Form 100 (click here to download) and then contacting either the Grand Knight or Membership Director for our council. Acceptance of the application depends on a standard admissions process and a vote of the members of the council. Following a favorable vote the applicant becomes a member by initiation in what is called the First Degree. Subsequently he advances through the Second and Third degrees.
After completing the First Degree, you may then attend any of our council’s meetings including our monthly business meeting, which typically occurs the first Thursday of every month at 730pm at St Mary Magdalene Church.
If you are interested in becoming a Knight of Columbus at the St Mary Magdalene Council or simply want to find out more about the council then please contact our Membership Director by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or our Grand Knight at email@example.com .
The second method for joining, which is new as of January 29th, 2017, allows you to join the Knights of Columbus online however you will not immediately be associated with a specific council. Instead you will be referred to the membership director at the council nearest you. For more information about joining online click here to learn more.