In his small New England parish in 1882, Father Michael J. McGivney founded a lay order for men called the Knights of Columbus.
This lay order has now grown to over 1,800,000 members in 15 countries around the world. Knights volunteered more than 69 million hours of their time in 2010 to charitable causes. In British Columbia, in 2010 alone, Knights raised and donated more than $250,000 to charitable causes.
Father McGivney’s vision for the Knights of Columbus was also to offer low-cost life insurance to the immigrant families of his parish that faced destitution if the breadwinner died. Today, the order’s insurance arm has grown into one of the strongest, triple-A rated financial corporations in North America. Because it is a charitable corporation, its profits are used to support the Catholic Church and many charities.
Internationally, the Knights provide scholarships to seminarians and the children of brother Knights, purchase ultrasound machines for hospitals, purchase wheelchairs and prosthetics for those crippled by the earthquake in Haiti, and fund research into Lou Gehrig’s disease. They restored St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Locally, the Knights of St. Pat’s provide bursaries to the students of St. Patrick’s School and scholarships to the students of St. Andrew’s High. Its members volunteer their time to support a wide range of Church and community activities like assisting Father with the liturgy and administration of the parish, supporting the elderly and disadvantaged in the community, sponsoring and coaching sports teams, and much more.
Membership in the order is open to practicing Catholic men who are at least 18 years old. St. Patrick’s Council, No. 7934, received its charter on February 13, 1982. It currently has approximately 110 members. The council meets on the first Thursday of every month at 7:30 pm in Our Lady of Lourdes Hall, 2060 Haultain Street.
Through the Knights, Father McGivney gave Catholic laymen a new opportunity – the chance to grow in holiness while contributing to their parishes, communities and the security of their families. Now is the right time to become a Knight. Contact the Grand Knight, Martial Agueh, at 250 370-0827 or log on to the order’s website, www.kofc.org, to learn how.