Who are the Knights of Columbus?
Our Four Principles and Degrees
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The Knights of Columbus have four core principles that provide us strength and guidance through all of the good works that we strive to perform. Each principle represents a member's degree within the Knights of Columbus.
1. Charity (1st Degree)
Our Catholic faith teaches us to “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Members of the Knights of Columbus show love for their neighbors through numerous ways in serving our parishes and communities. These include numerous actions such as:
Conducting food drives to support local food pantries or "Food for Families."
Volunteering at Special Olympics.
Providing "Coats for Kids."
Donating wheelchairs to people without mobility at home and abroad.
Aid victims of natural disasters and other catastrophic events, local and worldwide.
Save lives through initiatives such as the “Ultrasound Program.”
and so much more...
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. By each of us working together, we have been able to donate more than $1.4 billion and 664 million volunteer hours to worthy causes within the past decade.
2. Unity (2nd Degree)
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.
3. Fraternity (3rd Degree)
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 the good works of individual Knights. Through the Knights of Columbus, men are able to band together to help one another in various times of distress, sickness, and death.
4. Patriotism (4th Degree)
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.