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Building the Domestic Church While Strengthening Our Parish

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions regarding this initiative can be sent to knightline@kofc.org.

  • 1. What is the Building the Domestic Church initiative?

    This initiative on promoting the new evangelization, strengthening our parishes and growing the Order. It is designed to help our members and their families reflect the holiness of the universal Church. In promoting each family as a domestic church, the Knights of Columbus primarily seeks to integrate our members and their families more fully into the sacramental and social life of the parish.

  • 2. What do we mean by when we say each family is a Domestic Church?

    We mean that each family is an assembly of believers that together participate in the work of God. By using the Scripture term "domestic church," we emphasize that family is not simply a social concept, but rather a state of life established by God.

  • 3. Why is the initiative being promoted by the Supreme Council at this time?

    The Knights of Columbus has always been an organization dedicated to the well-being of the family. By building upon our programs and encouraging councils to more fully integrate with the sacramental and social life of their parish, we hope to strengthen our members’ families, revitalize our parishes and grow our Order.

  • 4. Will the initiative change our councils?

    The Domestic Church initiative was not designed to change councils; it was designed to help councils refocus on the Order’s mission to strengthen families and revitalize parish communities.

    To do this, the council must prioritize family activities and support the needs of pastor. Knights should keep the pastor informed about all the resources their council can offer.

  • 5. What will be the Knights of Columbus’ relationship with the Boy Scouts of America and other international Scouting programs?

    Consistent with the goal of the Domestic Church initiative, troops must be chartered by the local parish rather than by a council. Knights are strongly encouraged to aid the parish-chartered organization through continued volunteer service, leadership and financial support.

  • 6. If a council sponsors a Boy Scout troop, what steps does it need to take?

    As a preliminary matter, grand knights should meet with their pastors to discern whether Catholic Scouting could fit into the parish’s youth ministry. If so, the grand knight will need to coordinate with troop leadership and the local Scouting Council to designate the parish as the chartered organization for the troop. Once this change has been made, the council should continue to provide volunteer leadership and financial support for the troop.

  • 7. What do these changes mean for active Squires circles?

    If a council has an active Squires circle, the grand knight and Squires counselor should meet with the pastor to discuss how the Squires circle may be more fully integrated into the parish’s existing youth ministry. Active Squires circles may continue serving and recruiting boys according to current practice. The Supreme Council will continue to provide support materials to the circles.

  • 8. How should councils begin engaging in parish youth ministry?

    Grand knights should meet with their pastors to discuss the role that council members and their families can have in supporting parish-based youth ministry programs and activities. These can also incorporate Knights of Columbus youth programs, such as the Free Throw Championship and the Soccer Challenge. Youth Activity chairmen should act as a liaison with the parish youth ministry team in order to determine how the council can best support parish youth activities.

  • 9. Will the Supreme Council provide any resources for youth activities or ministry?

    The Supreme Council will continue to provide resources through its various existing youth activities. Additionally, more materials relating to faith formation will become available as the Supreme Council continues to expand the Domestic Church program in the months ahead.

  • 10. Is there a date set at which circles are to cease operations?

    At this point, no. The Supreme Council will continue to monitor and evaluate the program over the course of the next year. However, councils are not encouraged to form new circles, and inactive circles should be disbanded.

  • 11. Should currently active circles continue to recruit new members?

    Yes, with the understanding that the program may evolve to meet the needs of the parish’s youth ministry.

  • 12. Will the Squires Advancement program still be supported?

    The Supreme Council will continue to support the Squires Advancement program and provide other resources that are currently supplied to active circles.

  • 13. Will the Supreme Council accept applications for new circles?

    If a council has met all the requirements, the Supreme Council will authorize the formation of a new circle. However, as stated above, new circles are not encouraged and existing circles may eventually be integrated into parish youth ministry.

  • 14. Why is the Knights of Columbus moving away from home corporation- based councils and toward parish-based councils?

    To help Catholic men become better husbands, fathers, sons and grand-fathers, and to strengthen Christian family and parish life in keeping with Father McGivney’s original vision for the Knights of Columbus.

  • 15. When is it time for a council to move into a parish?

    1. When the majority of a council’s time, resources and focus are devoted to the home corporation’s problems and concerns
    2. When a home corporation’s expenses are so burdensome that it is forced to charge the council and its members an exorbitant rent or other fees that may exceed fair market rents of similar facilities in the area
    3. When a home corporation struggles to find suitable rentals to pay its bills because of local competitively priced facilities
    4. When the local reputation of the Knights of Columbus is defined more by non-Knights of Columbus rentals of a home corporation’s facilities than by the Order’s charitable and evangelical mission
    5. When there is strife, factionalism and outright conflict among members concerning the home corporation’s problems

  • 16. What is the deadline for councils using Home Corporation facilities to determine whether it should continue to use such facilities?

    Councils that decide to continue using home corporation facilities should enter into agreements on or before Jan. 1, 2017. Likewise, councils that determine they must move to a parish should do so no later than Jan. 1, 2017.