The Knights of Columbus encourages the spiritual growth and personal holiness of each of its members, and each Knight in turn strives to perfect his own spirit as well as those of his brother members. Participation in Church ceremonies, prayer, and charitable works allows the Knights to work for the Church in many different ways. These ideals are even represented in music used at Knight functions, including many Christian hymns, such as Faith of Our Fathers. A few of the ways members serve the Church are:
Support for the Holy Father and the Church universal takes many forms. At the request of Pope John Paul II, the Knights of Columbus financed the restoration of the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City between 1985 and 1987. Visitors to the Supreme Council office in New Haven can tour a display that highlights this effort to renew one of Christendom’s and Western culture’s most important structures. In 1999 the Knights volunteered 25.7 million hours of service and raised and distributed more than $33 million to the Catholic Church.
Restoration of Atrium of St. Peter’s Basilica
When architects and engineers studied the Maderno Atrium of St. Peter’s Basilica in 1998, they found that climatic conditions, pollution and termites had made restoration necessary. The atrium is an historic extension of the nave of St. Peter’s, designed by Carlo Maderno in 1605, through which all visitors pass. It is considered one of Rome’s most beautiful architectural works, and it includes 32 statues by the master sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Because prompt restoration is required, the Knights of Columbus have stepped in to fund the restoration so that it can be completed in time for the Great Jubilee.
For more than 100 years the Knights of Columbus has provided financing for church development projects. The loans are available to dioceses, parishes, catholic schools and hospitals or any other Catholic facility. Once a loan is approved it can be used to replace a bank construction loan. These loans not only offer attractive rates, but also feature maturities up to 20 years. There are no points and no hidden charges.
You will need the following prior to the application process: approval and guarantee of the loan by your diocese or religious order and sufficient real estate so that the loan-to-value amount does not exceed 75%. The Knights will also consider unsecured loans.
Please contact the ChurchLoan Department for more information on this service from the Knights of Columbus.
‘Keep Christ in Christmas’
Each year the Knights of Columbus supports the “Keep Christ in Christmas” campaign to remind people that Christmas is above all else a holy day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. To help deliver the “Keep Christ in Christmas” message, the Order offers a variety of posters and other materials as well as public service announcements (PSAs) for radio and television. Local K of C councils also participate in “Light Up for Christ” ceremonies, in which councils throughout the Order simultaneously illuminate Nativity scenes and Christmas trees on the first Tuesday in December.
The Knights of Columbus is consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Order fosters devotion to Our Lady and, in particular, encourages its members and their families to pray the rosary as often as possible.
Every new member of the Knights of Columbus receives a rosary. Each month through this program thousands of rosaries, which have been blessed by the Order’s supreme chaplain, Bishop Thomas V. Daily of Brooklyn, New York, are distributed. In addition, the Supreme Council office offers rosary prayer cards, audio cassettes featuring the praying of the rosary and booklets on this devotion.
Marian Hour of Prayer Program
The Knights of Columbus has sponsored Marian Hour of Prayer programs since 1979. As part of this program the Order distributes pilgrim icons depicting Mary under her various titles, which travel on a year-long journey from council to council in each of the Order’s jurisdict throughout the world. These Marian icons serve as the focal point for prayer services held in council homes, churches or other locations. More than 10,851,768 people have participated in more than 68,989 prayer services since the program began.
St. Mary’s Church
St. Mary’s Church on Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut, is the church of the city’s original Catholic congregation. The parishioners’ first church burned down in 1834. The current church was dedicated in 1874. Burdened by a $150,000 debt, the original plans for a steeple were left on the drawing board.
Since it is the birthplace of the Knights of Columbus, the Supreme Council helps maintain and update the church as needed. Over a four-year period from 1981 to 1984, the Knights completed a top-to-bottom renovation of the church. In 1986, the Order added a 179-foot steeple to the church and a three-bell carillon installed. Occasional restoration projects have been undertaken since then as part of the Order’s efforts to maintain the beauty of the church, which is the final resting place for Father Michael J. McGivney, the Order’s founder. Use the link below to take a pictorial tour of this beautifully renovated Church.