The Knights of Columbus
The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic family/fraternal service organization. There are currently more than 1.6 million members in more than 12,000 councils throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Guatemala, Guam and Saipan. The Knights have nearly 46 billion dollars of insurance in force on its members. Annually, members report more than 60 million hours of service to the church, the community and charities throughout the world.
Father Michael J. McGivney, a 29-year old assistant pastor at Saint Mary’s Church in New Haven, CT, formed the Knights of Columbus in 1882. The founding principles of the Knights of Columbus are charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism. These remain the foundation on which the organization continues to grow. Support for the clergy and the Catholic Church is a hallmark of Knights of Columbus activities at all levels of the organization.
Our Council at Saints Peter and Paul is named after the parish. We meet once a month and begin each meeting by reciting the rosary. The activities of Saints Peter and Paul Council center on service and charity to the community and parish. We have adopted two miles of Route 53 between Cunningham and Turkeysag Road, which we clean of debris four times a year. We also maintain a section of Heritage Trail in Fluvanna County. We provide both money and volunteer support to the Charlottesville Pregnancy Center and also support the battered spouse shelter in Charlottesville during the year. We sponsor one of the Fluvanna Cub Scout Packs and have other youth activities such as an annual Basketball Free-Throw Contest open to all youth in the area. Our members volunteer to support the church yard sale, the craft show and other money-raising projects. We are on call whenever our parish church needs a specific improvement, maintenance or beautification project. In addition to these, we have our own fund-raising activities and socials throughout the year.
Requirements are minimal. You must be a practicing Catholic man at least 18 years old, in good standing with the church, willing to donate some time to the betterment of the parish community. For those interested, the Knights of Columbus life insurance is rated the best in the world, but the insurance is completely optional, and no purchase is required to join the Knights of Columbus.