Who are the Knights of Columbus?
The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded in the United States in 1882, it is named in honor of Christopher Columbus and describes itself as being dedicated to the principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism. There are more than 1.7 million members in 14,000 councils, with nearly 200 councils on college campuses. Councils have been chartered in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, the Philippines, Guam, Saipan, Japan, Cuba, and most recently in Poland.
Our Council is God’s Divine Mercy Council of St. Patrick’s Parish in Yorkville, IL. We were started by Father Dan Cambra, MIC, Deacon Jerry Heitschmidt, Deacon Dale Metcalfe, and Sir Knight Bruce Hamp. On February 24, 2008, Council #14463 was Chartered with an original fifty-two Knights. Deacon Jerry Heitschmidt was elected the Charter Grand Knight. Today, Council #14463 is growing at a fast pace with over 150 Worthy Knights and over seven charity based annual events.
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.
For their support of the Church and local communities, as well as for their philanthropic efforts, the Order is often referred to as the “strong right arm of the Church.”
Last year, the Knights stepped up with more than $150 million in donations, and they stepped forward with more than 47 million hours of hands-on service.
As of 2021, the Order’s insurance program has more than $114 billion of life insurance policies in force and holds the highest insurance ratings given by A. M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, and the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association.
Who Can Join?
Membership is limited to “practicing Catholic” men aged 18 or older.
All the Order’s ceremonials and business meetings are restricted to members though all other events are open to the public. A promise not to reveal any details of the ceremonials except to an equally qualified Knight is required to ensure their impact and meaning for new members; an additional clause subordinates the promise to that Knight’s civil and religious duties.
Interested in joining? Visit our website or contact us!