Msgr. Bernard P. Sheridan Council, Greenwood, Indiana
Membership in the Knights of Columbus is not an invitation to do something once in a while just to make you feel good. Rather it’s an invitation to be someone and to be a part of a team.
As Catholic men committed to charity we are compelled to act on behalf of those less fortunate than ourselves. We are a community of brothers who see those who suffer and those who are in need.
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 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 14,000 councils and 1.8 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.
Father McGivney’s beatification Mass took place on Oct. 31, 2020, at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, Connecticut. At that liturgical celebration, an apostolic letter from the Holy Father was read along with the bestowing of the title “Blessed” on Father McGivney. This is the step just prior to sainthood.
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.
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.
The Order’s top-rated insurance program continues to provide assistance to those left behind when the family breadwinner dies, 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.
Members of the Knights of Columbus 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.
All the good works we do are informed by these four core principles.