The story of the Knights of Columbus — an iconic Catholic American organization — comes to life in a new book released today.
The Knights of Columbus: An Illustrated History by Andrew and Maureen Walther presents the story of this remarkable organization, including the many ways in which it has responded to individual needs while also shaping American and world history at key turning points.
A review of the book by The American Library Association’s Booklist notes that: “Catholic and non-Catholic readers alike will find much to enjoy."
The hardcover book is available online and at local bookstores with a price of $34.95. It can be ordered at Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.
Shapers of history
Enriched with hundreds of photos, The Knights of Columbus: An Illustrated History helps readers discover the Knights’ decisive contributions during times of disaster as far back as the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906, and as recently as hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, and Harvey.
The book presents the Knights of Columbus' groundbreaking work on racial integration. Its public opposition to the Ku Klux Klan’s message of hate in the 1920s is just one example of the Knights’ firm stance against bigotry.
Also featured is the Knights’ respect for the importance of education as the group worked in the early 20th century to rectify the historical inaccuracies of the nation’s textbooks and narratives of the time, which helped tell the previously overlooked stories of America’s Catholics, African Americans, and Jews.
The organization’s active role in the fight for Catholic civil rights and for religious freedom throughout the world is also highlighted, from its public opposition to the Mexican government’s persecution of Catholics during the 1920s to its current work on behalf of persecuted religious minorities in the Middle East and its aid to survivors of ISIS’ campaign of genocide. Also highlighted is Knights’ support for America’s troops and veterans, which bolstered soldiers through two world wars and continues today.
Colorful past, promising future
Throughout this book, more than 600 photos and images bring to life the fascinating and often unknown story of the Knights of Columbus. The story is told in part with special features such as:
“Notable Knights” insets that highlight the lives and contributions of members such as baseball hero Babe Ruth, President John F. Kennedy, NFL coaching legend Vince Lombardi, and World War I hero and poet Joyce Kilmer.
“Visionary Council Initiative” insets that focus on life-changing programs such as the Knights of Columbus Rest Home, which offered aid and shelter to the families of POWs in the Philippines during World War II.
Rounding out the story of the Knights and the Catholic experience in America and beyond, impressively illustrated sections provide detailed looks at the Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven, Conn. and the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C.
As for the future, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson writes in the book’s forward: “The Knights of Columbus: An Illustrated History is not simply a record of yesterday’s harvest, but also contains within it the seeds of a future filled with promise.”
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