All the good works we do are informed by our four core principles:
Charity – Our Catholic faith teaches us to “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Members of the Knights of Columbus show love for their neighbors by conducting food drives and donating the food to local soup kitchens and food pantries, by volunteering at Special Olympics, and by supporting, both spiritually and materially, mothers who choose life for their babies. 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.
Unity – 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. That doesn’t mean that we always agree or that there is never a difference of opinion. It does mean that – as a Knight of Columbus – you can count on the support and encouragement of your brother Knights as you work to make life better in your parish and community.
Fraternity – The Venerable Michael J. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus, in large part, to provide assistance to the widows and children left behind when the family breadwinner died – often prematurely. The Order’s top-rated insurance program continues to do this today, 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. In the Knights of Columbus, we watch out for and take care of one another.
Patriotism – Members of the Knights of Columbus, be they Americans, Canadians, Mexicans, Cubans, Filipinos, Poles, or Dominicans, 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.
Our Catholic Faith
Our Catholic faith is central to the Knights of Columbus. As you advance through the higher degrees in the Order, you may be asked to answer questions about the central tenets of the Catholic faith. As we wish to assist you along your journey through the higher degrees, please take this opportunity to review those central tenets listed below.
- I am the Lord, your God. You shall not have strange gods before me.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.
- Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.
- Honor your father and your mother.
- You shall not kill.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.
The sacraments are signs instituted by Christ to give us grace.
- Reconciliation (confession)
- Holy Eucharist
- Holy Orders
- Anointing of the sick
There are two kinds of grace:
- Sanctifying grace makes us holy and pleasing to God.
- Actual grace helps us to do good and avoid evil.
- To attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.
- To fast and abstain from meat on appointed days.
- To confess one’s sins at least once a year.
- To receive Holy Eucharist during Easter time.
- To contribute to the support of the Church.
- To observe the laws of the Church concerning marriage.
- To join in the missionary spirit and apostolate of the Church.
The ordinary minister of the sacrament of Baptism is a bishop, priest or deacon. In case of emergency, anyone can validly baptize. Water is poured on the forehead of the person to be baptized. While the water is being poured, the following is spoken: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
Pentecost is known as the “birthday of the Church.” On that day, the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles, giving them the graces they needed to go forth and teach the Gospel to all nations. This is one meaning of the word “Catholic.” The Church is found in every land, and therefore it is “universal” or worldwide.
- Fear of the Lord
The rosary (from the Latin rosarium, or “rose garden”) is a form of mental and vocal prayer centered on the mysteries in the lives of Jesus and Mary.
- Birth of Jesus
- Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
- Finding of Jesus in the Temple
- Agony in the Garden
- Scourging at the Pillar
- Crowning with Thorns
Carrying the Cross
- Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles
- Assumption of Mary
- Crowning of Mary as Queen of the Angels and Saints
- Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan
- Manifestation of Jesus at the Wedding at Cana
- Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
- Transfiguration of Jesus
- Institution of the Eucharist