Knights of Columbus Membership
Who Can Be a Knight?
MEMBERSHIP in the Knights of Columbus is open to practical Catholic men in union with the Holy See, who shall not be less than 18 years of age on their last birthday. A practical Catholic is one who 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. Every Knight is happy to propose eligible Catholic men for consideration as members. In fact, one-to-one recruitment is the most successful method of attracting new members.
Acceptance of the applicant depends upon a vote of the members of the subordinate council in which he is making application.
All priests and religious brothers having duly made application for membership and participated in the ceremonials become honorary life members of the Order and are exempt from payment of dues.
Application for membership must be made through the council in the community nearest the applicant’s place of residence. Interested prospects without a permanent domicile, such as men temporarily away from home through duty in the armed forces, must make application through their home-town council.
If favorably voted upon, the applicant becomes a member by initiation in what is known as the Admission Degree. He subsequently is advanced through the Formation Degree to the point in membership where he is entitled to wear the emblem of the Knights of Columbus by initiation in the Knighthood Degree.
There are modest initiation fees and dues set by subordinate councils under regulations established by the Supreme Council. The insurance privileges are available to all members who can qualify, which represents an important advantage of membership. For men in every walk of life the name of the Knights of Columbus engenders the image of a united organization, efficiently going about its tasks of charity, unity, fraternity, patriotism and defense of the priesthood, composed of men who are giving unselfishly of their time and talents in the service of their God and their country.
Membership in the Knights of Columbus provides the opportunity for wholesome association with congenial companions who are, first of all, practical Catholic gentlemen. It offers the opportunity for fellowship with those who are of the same belief, who recognize the same duty to God, to family and to neighbor and who stand side by side in defense of those beliefs. Programs are so organized as to appeal to the individual interest of the members. Through many constructive activities of Christian fraternity, members are enabled to render service to their Church, their country and their fellowman. Through membership they develop a consciousness of their ability to lead and to assist.
Organized Columbianism, united behind the individual Knight of Columbus, provides the power of an intelligent, alert body of Catholic men – a strength which the individual by himself cannot achieve.
Knights of Columbus have a proud heritage. The qualified Catholic man can share in that heritage and build for an even greater future by affiliating himself with this forceful, effective body.
Guidelines, suggestions, training aids and other assistance are provided to the council leadership and membership to implement the special projects on the state and local levels. Although the programs are not mandatory, they do serve a specific need or offer a solution to a special problem and are accepted by most councils.
A number of these programs is described throughout this booklet as an indication of the types made available from the Supreme Council. By no means is the list complete nor does it contain any reference to the variety of programs and projects conducted by local and state councils. The reputation enjoyed by the Knights of Columbus was built on what the councils have done and are doing.