Since 1960, the Knights of Columbus has raised nearly $7 million in the Diocese of Pittsburgh to support the Bishop’s Project on behalf of McGuire Memorial and Saint Anthony School Programs.
On April 15, Bishop David Zubik accepted a check for $110,000 from project chairman David Roessler II as annual support to help intellectually and physically challenged youth and adults served by the two organizations.
Founded on the principles of charity, unity and fraternity, the Knights of Columbus describe themselves as “everyday people helping people every day.” They respond to disasters, organize coat drives for kids, support the Special Olympics and serve their countries, communities and churches.
The world’s largest Catholic service organization for adult men, the Knights provide opportunities to live and spread the faith while helping others, according to Eric Johnson of Verona, a member of Holy Family Parish who is territorial growth director for the Knights of Columbus Midwest region.
“When flooding hit Lake Charles, Louisiana, last year, one of our first response teams drove down and provided meals, water and supplies for first responders,” Johnson said. “The Navajo nation was hit hard by the pandemic, so we brought them food.”
Johnson joined K of C nearly 40 years when his wife suggested he get involved in a church men’s group. “We’re always looking for ways for men to bring their families into the Church,” he said.
The Knights of Columbus was established as a fraternal organization in 1882 by Father Michael McGivney and a group of parishioners in New Haven, Connecticut, to help sick, disabled and needy members and their families. Father McGivney is being considered for sainthood and was beatified last year.
The Knights’ good works are guided by four core principles: charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism. Knights show love for their neighbors by donating food to local soup kitchens and pantries, volunteering at the Special Olympics, and supporting pro-life causes.
Two million members worldwide support refugee relief, Catholic education, global Catholic causes and local dioceses and parishes. Past members have included President John F. Kennedy, Vince Lombardi and Babe Ruth.
The Knights’ “Leave No Neighbor Behind” Fund has supported communities affected by the pandemic with food drives, Coats for Kids and blood drives. They also have a vocations fund that provides scholarships for seminarians.
Catholic men are invited to learn more about the organization, according to Jack Rosati, Pittsburgh diocesan membership chairman. It’s free to join online until June 30 at www.kofc.org, using the code MCGIVNEY2020.