The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded by Fr. McGivney in New Haven, CT in 1882; named in honor of the explorer Christopher Columbus and based on the principles of Charity, Unity, and Fraternity.
Originally serving as a mutual benefit society to working class and immigrant Catholics in the United States, the K of C has developed into a fraternal benefit society dedicated to providing charitable services, including war and disaster relief, actively defending Catholicism in various nations, and promoting Catholic education.
As a worldwide organization, the Knights of Columbus continues to hold firmly to the founding principle of Charity and has donated over Fifteen Billion Dollars to a vast multitude of charities worldwide including an average of 70,000,000 volunteer hours.
On a local scale here in East Brunswick the St. Bartholomew Knights of Columbus Council #11873 directly supports the community of St. Bartholomew Church and School, along with local charities such as the NJ Special Olympics, Camp Daisy, EB Little League (Buddy Ball), Life Choice Network and many other locally based organizations.
Supreme Council – The K of C international headquarters is located in New Haven, CT. Led by the Supreme Knight, the office provides administrative support and leadership for more than 15,000 local units.
State Council (Jurisdictions) - The Supreme Council has more than 75 state council organizations to help guide regional activities that are consistent with the principles of the Order.
Districts – Each State Council is divided into Districts, which are overseen by a District Deputy. Each District is a grouping of several local councils.
Local Council – Local Councils are the basic unit of the K of C. Most are based in parishes, though some have their own council hall within a community. Each local council works to assist the needs of its community, town, city or neighborhood. However each council is dependent upon its own members to take the initial idea and principles of the Order and modify it to benefit the local area in the best way possible. Each council will implement service programs based on the individual need of the area in order to benefit the community as a whole.
Patriotic (Fourth) Degree – Referred to as an “Assembly” the Fourth Degree is associated with the particular virtue of “Patriotism”. The Assembly works alongside the Local Council and is essentially focused on promoting the ideals of Catholicism and Patriotism side by side. Typically an Assembly will dedicate charitable works to the assistance of veterans from all generation, including the Archdiocese of Military Services which provides the men and women of our military with Chaplains throughout the word.
Insurance Agent – Every Council is assigned a certified insurance agent, who is a Knight of Columbus and whose job it is to provide our top-rated products focused on the financial needs of a member’s family. The insurance and financial planning services are restricted to members of the K of C; however enrolment in any program is completely optional.