Knights of Columbus Programs
General Programs Director
The Knights of Columbus is one of the largest and most active service organizations in the world. Its service activities all fall under one of 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. Most councils provide financial support to men and women preparing for consecrated religious life, and have 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. 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. 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. Other activities include organizing special programs for monthly social meetings, as well as council outings to sporting events, concerts 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 $10 million has been raised nationally, and Virginia Knights have donated twelve (12) of the machines in every part of the state. 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.
Family activities are a vital part of the Knights of Columbus agenda. We are proud to call ourselves a "Family Fraternal Organization," and we always look for ways to involve our wives and children in KofC activities. 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, beginning with the official Knights of Columbus youth organization, the Columbian Squires (for boys 10-18) and Squire Roses (for girls 10-18). We also sponsor youth sporting events, including the annual Free Throw Contest and Soccer Challenge, and sponsor many local Boy Scout troops as well. Councils sponsor events that recognize altar servers for their service to the Church, and scholastic contests, including an essay contest and a poster contest.
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