The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Catholic family fraternal service organization with more than 1.9 million members. It provides members and their families with volunteer opportunities in service to the Catholic Church, their communities, families and young people.
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 core principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism.
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 Venerable 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. On May 26, 2020, Pope Francis approved a decree recognizing a miracle attribted to the intercession of Father McGivney. A much-anticipated step toward sainthood, the Pope's approval opens the way for Father McGivney to be beatified and declared "Blessed."
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 15,100 councils and 1.9 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, Saipan, Lithuania, Ukraine and South Korea.
As a member of the Knights of Columbus you and your family enjoy many benefits, including 12 free issues annually of Columbia magazine, the world's largest Catholic family magazine, eligibility to join the Knights of Columbus top-ranked life insurance program, and many more family and personal benefits.
Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to practical Catholic gentlemen who are at least 18 years old. A practical Catholic is one who is in Union with the Holy See and lives up to the Commandments of God and the precepts of the Church. Application blanks are available from any member of the Knights of Columbus.
Being a Knight is more than camaraderie; it is being involved with your community; it is supporting your local Catholic Church, while enhancing your own faith; it is about protecting and enhancing your family life.
Please contact Grand Knight Ralph Fleischman at (845) 225-6318 for information on joining Our Lady of the Lakes Council.
Any Third Degree member in good standing who is a citizen of the country in which he resides is eligible for membership in the Fourth Degree. The primary purpose of the Fourth Degree is to foster the spirit of patriotism by promoting responsible citizenship and a love of and loyalty to the Knights' respective countries through active membership in local Fourth Degree groups (called "assemblies"). Certain members of the Fourth Degree participate in the Color Corps, which serves as honor guard at civic and religious functions. This activity has brought worldwide recognition to the Knights of Columbus.
The Assembly that includes Our Lady of the Lakes Council is the Mother Cabrini Assembly, Number 1572. The current Faithful Navigator of this Assembly is Sir Knight Ted Czerniewski. The Faithful Color Corps Commander of this Assembly is Sir Knight Mike O'Brien. A schedule of events may be found on the Assembly's Calendar Page.
Third Degree Knights wishing to become Sir Knights of the Fourth Degree should speak with their Council's Grand Knight or the Faithful Navigator of their local Assembly.
Ladies AuxiliaryThe Ladies Auxiliary's main function is for ladies to come together in fellowship to support our brother Knights and the Council. They do this primarily by providing assistance with planning for and executing Council events. They also conduct fundraising to support and advance the Council's charitable and fraternal activities. Our Ladies Auxiliary President is Allison Keating.
The Ladies Auxiliary of Our Lady of the Lakes Council - The "Ladies of the Lakes" - is now accepting members. Please visit their webpage for more information.
Under the guidance of Christian Brother Barnabas McDonald (1865-1929), the first Columbian Squires circle was instituted in 1925. Membership in the Squires is for Catholic boys between the ages of 12 and 17. Squires' activities are many, varying from spiritual to active service for the Church and community. Each circle elects officer members from their own rank, teaching skills of leadership and responsibility.
Our Lady of the Lakes Council is unable to re-form its Circle. Supreme Council has informed us that while they are currently supporting existing circles, councils in the U.S. and Canada are asked not to start any new circles. Youth are instead directed to their parish-based youth ministry.