Knights of Columbus Programs

trey_hart.jpg  Trey HartGeneral Programs Director

The Knights of Columbus is one of the largest and most active service organizations in the

United States and around the world.  Members, and their families, have the opportunity to be

involved in various service programs which can be grouped into six program areas: Church,

Community, Council, Culture of Life, Family and Youth.

 

Church activities involve a wide variety of programs that benefit and assist the Catholic Church

and its clergy.  Councils may raise money for church or Catholic school construction or repair. 

Councils also provide financial support to individuals preparing for consecrated religious life,

along with running programs that promote religious vocations.  Councils may also sponsor

educational programs on the Catholic faith for members of their parishes, and may sponsor

activities that involve all parishioners, whether or not they are members of the Knights of

Columbus in supporting the Church.  Annually, there is a Religious Freedom March in

Fredericksburg that many Knights participate in.  All these activities are designed to help build

active and vibrant parish communities, and to faithfully serve our bishops and priests.

 

Community activities encompass programs that benefit those in need in the towns, cities, and

counties across Virginia.  They may include programs sponsored by the Supreme Council, such

as our Food for Families and Coats for Kids programs, or they may involve purely local efforts to

meet local needs.  In Virginia, our largest and most important community activities involve

providing both financial and volunteer support for Special Olympics and KOVAR programs that

benefit people with intellectual disabilities.   VKCCI is another financial support program which is

important to assisting those in need.  Many Knights also volunteer at Habitat for Humanity

construction projects.  Disaster relief, clothing drives, and support for hospitalized military

veterans are also common types of Knights of Columbus community involvement.  Fourth

Degree Knights often participate in community patriotic events such as parades and holiday

commemorations.

 

Council activities contribute to ensuring that our efforts are well organized and that volunteers

for our charitable work can always be utilized as the need arises.  A Council Committee

publishes a regular newsletter, maintains a council web site, issues news releases to local

media about council activities, and assists the Membership Director in recruiting new members. 

Social media tools are also used to update the council and the parish of upcoming activities. 

Other activities include organizing special programs for monthly social meetings, as well as

council outings to sporting events, concerts, themed dances, and similar events.  All of these

activities help build a fraternal bond among brother Knights and strong social ties among their

families.

 

Culture of Life activities emphasize the importance of protecting every human life, from

conception to natural death.  One of the most important programs in this area is our Ultrasound

Program, in which councils raise funds for the purchase of ultrasound machines for local

pregnancy resource centers.  Local funds are matched by the Supreme Council.  Thus far, more

than $36 million has been raised nationally and over 500 ultrasound machines placed.  As of the

2016 State Annual Meeting, councils have collected over $300,000 which has helped placed 21

machines throughout the Commonwealth.  Virginia Knights are also very active in staging the

annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., where they have served for many years as marshals

for the event, and providing transportation to the event at no cost to the participants.  Several

councils are also involved with pregnancy resource centers, donating time, material, and

supplies, for those who are looking for support instead of moving toward an abortion.

 

Family activities are a vital part of the Knights of Columbus agenda and success, as the Order

prides itself on being a family oriented organization. Many of the activities which are partaken

throughout the year include our wives, parents, children, and extended family members.  Family

activities are especially important for Knights with young children, because it gives them a way

to be involved with the Knights of Columbus and their children at the same time.  Council

picnics, holiday parties, and other family oriented events are essential activities for every

council.  Other resources, such as the Supreme Council's Fathers for Good program are

valuable aids to Catholic parenting in a secular world.

 

Youth activities encompass a wide range of activities to help nurture the Faith and a sense of

service in the youth of parishes.  Working with the Church, support and guidance is given to

various values-based scouting and service organizations.  The Order sponsors youth sporting

events, including the annual State Free Throw Contest (winter) and Soccer Challenge

(autumn).  Councils sponsor events that recognize altar servers for their service to the Church,

and scholastic excellence through intellectual programs such as an essay and poster contests.

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