THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN EAST ST. JAMES PARISH
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History of the Knights of Columbus 

On October 2, 1881 a group of men met in the basement of St. Mary’s Church on Hillhouse Ave. in New Haven, Conn. called together by their 29 year old parish priest, Father Michael J. McGivney.  These men formed a fraternal society that would one day become the world’s largest Catholic family fraternal service organization.  

They sought strength in solidarity, and security through unity of purpose and devotion to a holy cause; they vowed to be defenders of their country, their families and their faith. 

The Knights of Columbus was incorporated on March 29, 1882.  The Order has been called “the strong right arm of the Church” and has been praised by popes, presidents and other world leaders, for support of the Church, programs of evangelization and Catholic education, civic involvement and aid to those in need. 

The Knights of Columbus has grown from several members in one council to more than 14,000 councils and 1.8 million members throughout the United States, Canada, Philippines, Mexico, Poland, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, Bahamas, Virgin Islands, Cuba, Guatemala, Guam and Saipan. 

Our local Council was formed and incorporated on November 20, 1915 and we presently have 240 members. 

All the good works we do are informed by our four core principles:  Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism. 

Charity – Our Catholic faith teaches us to “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”  Members of the KC 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 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.  Locally we cook a dinner one Sunday each month and donate the proceeds to a local charity, such as St. James Parish ARC, Sheriffs Special Olympics, St. Vincent DePaul, St. Peter Chanel School, Lutcher High School FCA to name a few.  We also donate food baskets to the needy for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

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 and support one another.  We don’t always agree and we do have differences of opinions, but we work together to make life better in our 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 a 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 Dominican, 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 among the greatest citizens.


2016

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