The Knights of Columbus was chartered in 1882 as a fraternal benefit society for Catholic men. The core principals are charity, unity and fraternity. There are 13,000 councils with 1.7 million members in the United States and a dozen other countries. The Knights have 200 councils of young men on college campuses, and a junior organization called the Columbian Squires for boys ages 10-18.
The Knights organized to protect families against financial ruin caused by the death of the breadwinner. Still today, their highest calling is to support the widow of a fallen brother Knight. This has evolved into offering high quality life insurance to Knights and their families. Members will also assist widows with home tasks and other needs if requested.
Charity is an important focus of the Knights. The organization has given millions of dollars to support those with developmental disabilities, seminarians discerning the priesthood, special disaster funds, and Catholic colleges. To raise funds many councils will host fish fries, church breakfasts, or other events. They also have an annual free throw contest for kids, assist pastors with church events, and provide an honor guard at ordinations and other special liturgical events.
Men are encouraged to join the Knights of Columbus at their university or parish, and be a part of this great organization which supports the Catholic Church. For more information check out www.kofc.org or ask your pastor about a council at your parish.