Knights of Columbus
About the Knights
Thanks to the efforts of Father Michael J. McGivney, assistant pastor of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven and some of his parishioners, the Connecticut state legislature on March 29, 1882, officially chartered the Knights of Columbus as a fraternal benefit society. The Order is still true to its founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity.
The Knights of Columbus was formed to render financial aid to members and their families. Mutual aid and assistance are offered to sick, disabled and needy members and their families. Social and intellectual fellowship is promoted among members and their families through educational, charitable, religious, social welfare, war relief and public relief works.
The history of the Order shows how the foresight of Father Michael J. McGivney, whose cause for sainthood is being investigated by the Vatican, brought about what has become the world’s foremost Catholic fraternal benefit society. The Order has helped families obtain economic security and stability through its life insurance, annuity and long-term care programs, and has contributed time and energy worldwide to service in communities.
The Knights of Columbus has grown from several members in one council to more than 13,000 councils and 1.7 million members throughout the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, Guatemala, Guam and Saipan.
Our council history
At the request of Fr. Don Farnan in late 2006, several gentlemen in the parish explored the possibility of creating a new Knights of Columbus council at St. Thomas More parish.
Led by Gene Twellman, the group met with men in the parish who were interested in becoming Knights. Others who were already Knights and were members of other councils indicated they would transfer if a council was formed at St.Thomas More.
Confident they could find the thirty members needed to start a council, the group moved forward, with strong support from Fr. Don and district Knights of Columbus officers.
On April 10, 2007, Saint Thomas More Council 14270 of the Knights of Columbus was chartered with 67 members. Gene Twellman was elected the council’s first Grand Knight.
Our council today
Making a Year-Round Impact at Saint Thomas More >
- Monday Knight Football
- Roses for Life campaign in support of pro-life
- Youth Free Throw Championship
- Youth Essay Contest
- STM School Awards Presentation
- Family Fun Knight with fun for all ages
- Youth Soccer Challenge
- Drive for Persons with Developmental Difficulties
- Columbus Knight Dinner (on Columbus Day)
- Year-end charitable donations
- Family dinners at local restaurants
- 7th & 8th grade mixers for STM students
- Sponsorship through Christian Foundation for Children
- Fifth Sunday Mass and breakfast for Knights and families
- Sponsorship of 3 on 3 basketball tournament to aid F.I.R.E. and Children’s Mercy Cancer Center
- Support for seminarians from our diocese
- Standing ready to assist when called upon by Father Justin
Why should I join?
Imagine being part of an organization that fills your heart and your mind with the joy of giving to others and the feeling that comes with making a difference.
Knights are Catholic men, 18 years of age and older, who are committed to making their community a better place, while supporting their Church. Being a Knight is more than camaraderie; it is being involved with your community; it is supporting your local Catholic Church, while enhancing your own faith; it is about protecting and enhancing your family life.
The Knights of Columbus is an organization fortified by its past, and driven by its goals for the future. Whether it’s through the support of local athletic programs, sponsoring of special events, or hosting family-focused activities, Knights serve as valuable role models for other Catholic men, as well as mentors for all children.
If you are a practical Catholic man, age 18 or older, we welcome you to join the leading organization of Catholic laymen.
There are three steps to becoming a Knight:
- Complete a membership application (Form 100)
- Attend a first degree ceremony
- Pay your yearly dues
Being a Knight is more than camaraderie; it is being involved with your community; it is supporting your local Catholic Church, while enhancing your own faith; it is about protecting and enhancing your family life.
Degrees of Knighthood
Once a candidate completes the First Degree ceremony on the lesson of charity, he is considered a Knight of Columbus and can participate in all council activities. First Degree members are encouraged to attain the Second and Third Degrees, which teach the lessons of unity and fraternity. Upon taking the Third Degree, a member receives full honors of Knighthood and is “Knighted.”
Privileges of Third Degree membership include the ability to serve as a local council officer, and admission to state and Supreme Council business meetings. First and Second Degree members can attend the state and Supreme Council meetings, but they are not allowed in the business sessions.
On February 22, 1900, the first Fourth Degree exemplification or degree ceremony was held in New York City. The Fourth Degree imparts a lesson on the virtue of patriotism. The primary purpose of this degree is to foster the spirit of patriotism in members and the community at large and encourage active Catholic citizenship. Today there are some 300,000 Fourth Degree Knights out of the total 1.8 million member Knights of Columbus.
Local units, called assemblies, draw their members from Knights of Columbus councils. The qualifications for membership in the Fourth Degree are: membership in the Knights for at least one year and being a Third Degree Knight.
A Fourth Degree Knight may become part of the assembly’s color corps. These members are recognized widely by their distinctive attire of tuxedo, feathered hat (chapeau), cape and sword. These members regularly take part in civic events such as parades and wreath-laying ceremonies, and at ecclesial functions at Catholic churches. The various colored capes and chapeau feathers denote different officer positions within the Fourth Degree.
1. I don’t have time to join another organization;
why should I join the Knights of Columbus?
As a Knight you can choose the projects with which you wish to be involved in within your own community. What is more, the Order is dedicated to family life and the many benefits it offers. From insurance to scholarships to service and social activities and programs, all are open to the whole family.
5. Do I have to purchase Insurance to become a member?
No; unlike many fraternal organizations one does not become a member by purchasing insurance. In the Knights of Columbus a man has to be a member before he may avail himself of the insurance benefit. Purchasing insurance is optional, however; the life insurance and long-term care insurance products offered by the Order are not only competitively priced, they are among the most solid and highly rated products available anywhere. Standard & Poor’s and A.M. Best, the leading independent agencies that rate insurance companies, give K of C insurance their highest ratings.