Why Become a Knight?
Imagine being part of an organization that fills your heart and your mind with the joy of giving to others and the feeling that comes with making a difference. Knights are Catholic men, 18 years of age or older, who are committed to making their community a better place, while supporting their church. Being a Knight is more than camaraderie; it is being involved with your community; it is supporting your local Catholic Church, while enhancing your own faith; it is about protecting and enhancing your family life.
Who are the Knights?
The modern Knights of Columbus is a service organization that provides an outlet for its members to better serve their church, country, and community. We participate in charitable works, raising money and providing effort for groups in need throughout our communities. We provide social fellowship, reinforcing our beliefs and strengthening the ties between families and friends. It is our great privilege to serve and augment the activities of our parish and the church as a whole. And we provide support for those members who may find themselves in need, especially through our long standing and excellent insurance program.
History of the Knights of Columbus
On Oct. 2, 1881, a small group of men met in the basement of St. Mary's Church on Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut. Called together by their 29-year-old parish priest, Father Michael J. McGivney, these men formed a fraternal society that would one day become the world's largest Catholic family fraternal service organization. They sought strength in solidarity, and security through unity of purpose and devotion to a holy cause: they vowed to be defenders of their country, their families and their faith. These men were bound together by the ideal of Christopher Columbus, the discoverer of the Americas, the one whose hand brought Christianity to the New World. Their efforts came to fruition with the incorporation of the Knights of Columbus on March 29, 1882. They were Knights of Columbus.
The Order has been called "the strong right arm of the Church," and has been praised by popes, presidents and other world leaders, for support of the Church, programs of evangelization and Catholic education, civic involvement and aid to those in need.
History of Council 14171
In August 2006 District Deputy Jim Russell was approached by a Knight of Columbus and asked why St. Raphael did not have a Knight of Columbus Council. Jim discussed this with Fr. Ted Weitzel, Pastor of St. Raphael, and asked him if he would like to have a council at St. Raphael. Fr. Ted, a third degree Knight, replied “yes, let’s see if the men want one”.
A meeting was set up on Monday, October 23, 2006 with ten men from the parish, who were not Knights. After the meeting nine of the men said “it was a good idea let’s move forward”, one left with no comment. A few days later, Jim received a note from the man who left with the following comment: “I needed to pray about this first. Initially, I had no intention of joining, but I believe that this would be a good opportunity for me to serve our Church and community. Please accept my application.”
The following Sunday an announcement was made at all the Mass’s and men were asked to join the Knights. The response was over whelming and a council was formed.
St. Raphael Council 14171 was chartered on November 9, 2006 with 78 men from the parish. The council elected the officers, named the council, and selected a time and dates for meetings.
The Charter Officers are as follows: Grand Knight being Fred Reed, Deputy Grand Knight Tim Rogers and Chancellor John Lamb, Financial Secretary Dennis Kiraly, Treasurer Joe Freer, Recorder Joe DiGiovanni, Warden Tom Casey, Advocate Terry Fenelon, Lecturer Chuck Burkart, Guards Mike Johnson & David Nartker, Trustees David Gotowko, Ray Wheeler and Pat Lynch. The Chaplain was Fr. Patrick Mulcahy.
The installation of Officers was held on January 6, 2007 after the five o’clock Mass at St. Raphael Church, with Officers and members of the council and their families attending the Mass.
The St Raphael Council has blossomed into one of the top councils in the Order being recognized in each year of its existence as either a Star or Double Star Council placing them in the top 3% -- indicative of their committment to charitable, church, fraternal, family and community activities.
Programs and Activities