MESSAGE FROM STATE DEPUTY

 

Dear Brother Knights, Families and Friends, welcome to the Rhode Island Councils State Website. We are a Circle of Honor Jurisdiction celebrating our 125th year serving the Diocese of Providence, its parishes and our communities. There are 46 councils located throughout Rhode Island consisting of men and their families practicing our core principles: Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism. These are the principles established by our founder, the Venerable Fr. Michael J. McGivney 135 years ago at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, CT.


At that time Catholics were out of favor with the mainstream population due to suspicions about our allegiance to our faith, and how that related to our patriotic duty to the United States of America. As a result most found it difficult to gain employment. Those that did were often thrust into dangerous positions, which left many of them disabled, or worse, deceased, leaving behind widows and orphans. Morale was low. Alcoholism and depression were high. Fr. McGivney took action to reverse these negative trends by calling the men of his parish to action. His mission was to establish a network of parish men that would care for the needs of others in St. Mary’s parish, as well as the New Haven community. He created a fraternity of men bent on one another’s welfare, and established a first-in-class life insurance program restricted to Catholic members for the benefit of our widows and children. We were named Knights because there was no other profession more noble, or with ideals any higher. He named us after the founder of our country because Christopher Columbus was a Catholic everyone respected, and whose intentions no one could dispute.


Today, the Knights of Columbus are located throughout the world. We have grown from a few members in one council, to more than 1.9 million members in 15,342 councils, serving in the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, Guatemala, Guam, Saipan, Lithuania, France, Ukraine, and South Korea. Of these, Rhode Island is distinguished as the oldest Knights of Columbus State Council! Be sure to visit www.koc.org for more information about our esteemed Order’s positive impact nationally and globally.


In Rhode Island the more than 6,680 members and their families work to serve the needs of our parishes and communities. Each of our councils is challenged to complete a minimum of four activities in each of the following programs: Church, Community, Council, Family, Youth and Culture of Life. We are aligned with the teachings of the Catholic Church. We support our Clergy. We work to protect human life in all its stages, and are committed to the defense of the Sacrament of Matrimony.


Some of the key programs in Rhode Island that Knights are involved with include: 


The Knights of Columbus Building the Domestic Church program to enhance our personal spirituality and faith journey.

The Knights of Columbus Silver Rose program dedicated to the sanctity of life (parish Rosary devotions to Our Lady of Guadalupe for the unborn).

Our annual St. Lucy Party for the Blind.

The Annual Charity Golf Tournament (this year to benefit The Jimmy Fund,The Walk to Find A Cure for ALS, and Amigo’s for Christ, providing safe drinking water and sanitation in Nicaragua).

Our Annual Charity Ball to benefit local charities, including the Diocese of Providence ministries. This year’s celebration will be our 89th!

The annual KANDI Drive to aid those in our communities with intellectual disabilities and the organizations that support them (such as Special Olympics Rhode Island, the Diocese of Providence SPRED program, the J. Arthur Trudeau, James L. Mahar and Adeline La Plante Memorial centers, to name a few).

Our annual Pro-Life Dinner (to benefit organizations serving the unborn and their mothers (Diocese of Providence Office of Life and Family Ministry, Mother of Life Center, Little Flower Home, Pro-Life Billboards Across America, and Rhode Island Right To Life).

Coats for Kids (providing new coats to children in need in our communities).

Food For Families (helping those without).

Bishop Tobin’s Keep the Heat On Campaign and Christmas Concert (providing heat for those that cannot afford it).

Operation R.O.V.A.C. (Remembering Our Veterans at Christmas).

Teens Are Dynamite (to support Rhode Island’s Catholic Youth Organization centers).


These are but a few of the programs we are involved with. The need is great, and we could do so much more. St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “Faith In Action is Love – And Love In Action Is Service!” Members of the Knights of Columbus have reaped the benefits of service to others, and as a result, have become better family men, improved Catholics, and stronger citizens. But for me, the best benefit of membership is the affirmative relationships with all the truly wonderful people I have met. Those with shared faith, common values, and mutual goals. Men who call themselves Knights know this. If you are not already a member, you can have this, too!


If you are a Catholic man over age 18 who is inspired to a call of service for others, we invite you to join us. Please contact our Membership Director, Eric Batista at ebkofc@mail.com. Eric can guide you through the process to Knighthood, and suggest a council in your parish or community. You will be glad you did.


Vivat Jesus!

Michael A. Benson
Rhode Island Councils Knights of Columbus State Deputy

 
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