The Knights of Columbus was established in 1882 to provide a means by which men could support the Catholic Church, provide financial protection to their families, and engage in works of charity to benefit the less fortunate.
Today, its nearly 1.8 million members make up the largest lay organization in the world, it's insurance program has $74 billion of insurance in force, and last year Knights donated more than $150 million and volunteered 68 million hours of their time to charity.
From helping children in need, to providing wheelchairs to the physically disabled and support for the intellectually handicapped, from helping to stock food banks, to offering top-rated and affordable insurance to its members, the Knights have been at the service to the communities in which we live and the needy around the world for more than 127 years.
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.” 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 – The 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, as do individual Knights, who last year gave more than 10 million hours of their time to assist sick and/or disabled members and their families. In the Knights of Columbus, we watch out for and take care of one another.
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.
In Service to One, In Service to All
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