Knights of Columbus
Our local Knights of Columbus 1st ~ 3rd Degree involves men of Black River Falls, Alma Center, Melrose, Fairview and Fairchild Churches. They sponsor events for servers, conduct the Christmas poster contest and donate to our parish education programs. They donate to and raise money for various charitable purposes. They meet on the fourth Thursday of the month with locations rotating. The 4th Degree encompasses a larger area. Meetings occur on the third Monday of the month.
The Knights of Columbus was founded by a 29-year-old Irish-American Catholic Assistant Parish Priest, The Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, in New Haven, Connecticut, on October 2, 1881, when he first gathered men from his parish of St Mary. Two factors led to the formation of the Knights of Columbus: the dangerous factory-working conditions that rendered many families fatherless, and the bias against Catholic Immigrants exhibited by the many fraternal organizations. There were other subsequent reasons to have such an organization. Among these were the need to prevent Catholic Men from joining other fraternal organizations whose core beliefs were contrary to the core beliefs of the Catholic Faith; the need to unite Catholic Men; and the need to provide for the families of the deceased members. Charity, Unity, Patriotism, and Fraternity, are the founding principles of the Knights of Columbus. On March 29, 1882, the Order was incorporated under the laws of Connecticut. In 1883, the Order spread throughout New England and the rest of the USA. The Vatican gave its Apostolic Blessing to the new Organization in 1895.
Columbus, a Catholic Explorer who first discovered the New World, was chosen as their Patron to symbolize that there is no conflict between their allegiance to their country and faith.
Based on their founding principles, the Knights of Columbus have fought at all fronts to combat any negative movements against Catholicism; have brought the Word of God through charity to every person regardless of race, color, religion and sex; and have empowered many students and the clergy to hold firm to their belief in the Church.
It was the Knights who first amended the Pledge of Allegiance to include “One Nation under God” during their 4th Degree meetings. After lobbying and encouraging the same to be used nationwide, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the amendment to the Pledge of Allegiance to include “Under God” on June 14, 1954.
Based on the Knights of Columbus Website: KofC.org