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The Knights of Columbus Columbia Council 411 was formed in 1899 with 29 members. The group originally provided insurance for its members and a burial fund for poor Irish Catholics. Today the programs are based on charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism. There are over 100 members on the current Dalton enrollment.
For more information, contact the Grand Knight, Joe Grande at (413) 684-3128 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grand Knight Joe Grande receives 2014-2015 Council Membership Award from District Deputy George Anderson
St. Agnes Parish
489 Main Street
Dalton, MA. 01226
Tel: (413) 684-0125
Meetings held every 2nd Thursday
Phone: (413) 684-3128
MEETS IN PITTSFIELD FIRST THURSDAY OF EVERY MONTH
The Knights of Columbus, the world's largest lay Catholic organization, marked its 131st anniversary March 29, 2013. Founded in 1882 by Father Michael J. McGivney, along with a few parishioners in the basement of St. Mary?s Church in New Haven, Conn., the group has grown to an international organization of more than 1.9 million members.
The Knights of Columbus is also one of the most successful fraternal benefit societies in American history, providing life insurance and related products for the financial welfare of members and their families.
The K of C has not only remained true to its founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity, but also included patriotism as a fourth principle by which its members are to be defined. The organization is renowned for its dedicated support of both church and country. Its affiliates, known as councils, are largely parish-based and provide regular support to their local church and community.
In addition to protecting the financial well-being of its members, the Knights of Columbus is one of the most active charitable organizations in North America. The K of C's Annual Survey of Fraternal Activity for the year ending Dec. 31, 2013, reports that Knights donated record amounts of money and hours of volunteer service, nearly $170 million and more than 70.5 million hours.
Contributions increased for the 14th consecutive year, growing by more than $2.3 million to $170,135,754.
Its charitable work also includes substantial support for the Catholic Church in Rome. The K of C funded the restoration of the façade of St. Peter?s Basilica during the 1980s, and annually underwrites the cost of satellite TV broadcasts of liturgical celebrations from Vatican City, including the Christmas Midnight Mass. The organization has also established a $20 million endowment called the Vicarius Christi Fund. The annual proceeds are provided to the pope in support of his charitable initiatives.
In its dimension as a fraternal benefit society, the Knights of Columbus provides its members a variety of life insurance products for the financial stability of their families. One of the most highly rated insurance companies in North America, the K of C has more than $61 billion of life insurance in force and consistently earns the industry?s highest independent rankings for fiscal management and ethical business practices.
The Knights of Columbus has also been actively involved American public policy initiatives. Before and throughout World War I, the Knights ran "Army Huts", facilities that provided recreation, snacks and comfort items to the troops near bases and near the front.
The huts, whose motto was "Everyone welcome. Everything free," were a predecessor to the USO. During the 1920s, in direct opposition to the Ku Klux Klan, the Knights lobbied President Calvin Coolidge to pressure the Mexican government to stop its persecution of Catholics in Mexico.
Ultimately, the demands paid off, and an accord was reached between the Church and the Mexican government. In the 1950s, it was the Knights of Columbus that led the effort to have the words "under God" added to the Pledge of Allegiance. The organization continues to speak out on important social issues today, especially human life matters. Among the many notable Knights over the past 125 years were: Babe Ruth, Connie Mack, Joyce Kilmer, Vince Lombardi, Al Smith, John F. Kennedy, Sargent Shriver, and Ron Guidry.
Created the $20 million "Knights of Columbus Vicarius Christi" fund -- the earnings on which are conveyed annually to the Holy Father for his charities. Since its inception this fund has generated more than $24 million for the Pope's good works, and the corpus remains intact.
Committed $8.8 million to the U.S. Bishops' Pro-Life educational campaign since 1990, and budgeted an additional $1 million for the production of pro-life materials, to overturn the proabortion mentality and defend the right to life.
Bring the Pope to the world at least three times a year by providing the uplink cost for the televising of papal ceremonies, especially at Christmas and during Holy Week -- and the downlink in poor mission countries.
Presented a new mobile television production unit to the Vatican Television Center for the taping, recording and transmission of Vatican ceremonies at a cost of $600,000.
Established the $2 million Count Enrico Galeazzi Fund for the Pontifical North American College for the benefit of the College and for U.S. Bishop -- and priest -- students there; the Bishop Charles P Greco Fund for the American College in Louvain, Belgium, and the Father McGivney Fund for the Pontifical Canadian College, the Father McGivney Fund for the Collegio Pontificio Filipino, the Our Lady of Guadalupe Fund for the Pontifical Mexican College, and the Father McGivney Fund for Advanced Studies for Priests in Puerto Rico.
Underwrote completely the renovation of the entire facade of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the most famous church in the world, the statues of Sts. Peter and Paul in St. Peter's Square, and the historic Rooms of the Architects in the Basilica proper.
Raised $1 million for the Bishop de Laval Fund, earnings on which annually support the work of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Contributed, since 1981, over $15 million to thousands of seminarians and postulants through the Refund Support Vocations Program, generating $5.2 million in rebates from the Supreme Council to participating councils, assemblies and circles.
Also established the $8.25 million Knights of Columbus Vocations Scholarship Fund, with earnings funding the RSVP rebates and annual $2,500 scholarships based on need to seminarians in theology.
Erected the Knight's Tower and carillon of bells at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, completely renovated it recently, and raised a $500,000 memorial fund in honor of Past Supreme Knight Luke E. Hart to promote Marian devotion at the Shrine and to preserve the Shrine in perpetuity.
Provide the entire budget of the National Family Planning offices of the U.S. and Canadian Bishops, and assist the NFP office of the Mexican Bishops.
Created the Father Michael J. McGivney Memorial Fund for New Initiatives in Catholic Education in the amount of $1 million, annual interest on which funds projects designed to improve religious education in the U.S. and Canada.In 2005 (the last reporting year), raised and distributed almost $140 million and contributed nearly 64 million volunteer hours in service to Church, community, youth, and fellowman through the "Surge . . . with Service" outreach program.
Sponsor the Pope John XXIII Center's seminars for the Bishops of the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and the Philippines on vital life-death issues.
Underwrite, through an annual assessment of 800 per member, the Order's Catholic Advertising Program, which provides free information on the Catholic faith to interested inquirers -- more than 8 million responses and more than 750,000 enrollees in correspondence courses through the years.
Have distributed millions of special Knights of Columbus rosaries at the rate of 10,000 per month, especially to new members, and now to former members who are readmitted.
Support a multimillion dollar Student Loan Program for members and their children pursuing higher education, with all seminarians eligible.
Provide support for such varied apostolates as the Eternal Word Television Network; the National Clergy Conference on Alcoholism; Morality in Media; the National Catholic Office for Persons with Disabilities; the National Apostolate with Mentally Retarded Persons.
Make available to dioceses and religious institutions a mortgage loan program at favorable interest rates. Over the years $245 million were provided to 271 entities, mostly local parishes.
Renovated St. Mary's Church in New Haven, the birthplace of the Order, and entombed the remains of the founder, Rev. Michael J. McGivney, therein on March 29, 1982. Completed the 110-year-old construction plan of the church by erecting a 179-foot steeple, including a carillon of three bronze bells, atop St. Mary's.
Support the spiritual welfare of armed services personnel and their families around the globe through a $900,000 fund for the Archdiocese for Military Services.
Sponsor daily Mass for deceased Brother Knights at St. Mary's Church in New Haven and enable widows of Knights to receive COLUMBIA magazine each month.
Paid $82.1 million in death benefits to the families of deceased Brother Knights during 1997 and $202 million in dividends to insurance members.
Established a North American campus of the Lateran University's Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, D.C.
As a member of the Knights of Columbus you and your family enjoy many benefits, including 12 free issues annually of the Columbia magazine, the world's largest Catholic family magazine, eligibility to join the Knights of Columbus top-ranked life insurance program, and many more family and personal benefits.
Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to practical Catholic men in union with the Holy See, who are at least 18 years old. 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.
Membership in the Knights of Columbus starts at the local councils throughout the jurisdiction of this State (as well as throughout the U.S. and Canada, Latin America and the Philippines.) The Order's membership at its local councils help foster the principals of Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism. These four principals are the driving force behind the many activities within our local and state programs. Each council involves its membership in these programs; some are listed on this Web site to give you a quick insight into the mission of the Knights of Columbus.
If you have an interest in joining our Order, or would like to explore the idea of starting a new council in your area or local parish, contact Joe Grande to get additional information. Please include your name, address and telephone number.