More than 2,000 men joined the Knights of Columbus during the first ever online Exemplification of Charity, Unity and Fraternity held on April 16. The exemplification was hosted digitally by the Supreme Council as a unique opportunity for men to join the Order in a time of social distancing and minimizing mass gatherings.
In his introductory remarks to the exemplification, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson emphasized that the Knights of Columbus’ principles — charity, unity and fraternity— are “needed now more than ever.”
The online event took just under 40 minutes and nearly every jurisdiction in the United States and Canada was represented. Pennsylvania, Michigan, Texas and California were among the jurisdictions with the highest new member totals.
“Catholic men in our state, even during these times, want to belong to an organization like the Knights of Columbus to help others,” said William Chasse, the state deputy of Michigan, on the Order’s opportunity to increase its charitable impact. “The more that join the more we can help.”
Pennsylvania State Deputy Mark Jago was pleased with the turnout, saying it’s “not surprising that Catholic men want to join us in our mission to serve others, especially now.”
Riley Quinlan was one of those men, joining the Knights during the first ever online exemplification.
“I was interested in joining the Knights to get involved with a specific church community, joined by like-minded Catholic men of faith,” Quinlan said. “I wanted to connect with God through a community I can routinely serve. I am interested in helping out where I can during the challenges presented by COVID-19.”
In addition to new men joining, more than 7,000 first and second degree members were able to obtain their third degree, and thousands more Knights and family members were able to observe and support the candidates. The new, public exemplification debuted earlier this year, with the first taking place at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Conn., where the Order was founded.
This historic online event was organized by the Knights of Columbus’s newly formed Fraternal Excellence Department lead by Retired Navy Captain Tom McCaffrey.
The Knights of Columbus is also adapting its charitable outreach during the COVID-19 pandemic, launching the new program “Leave No Neighbor Behind.” The program encourages Knights to lead their families, protect their parishes and serve their communities through a variety of charitable initiatives that also keeps members safe.
Members of the Order have access to state of the art insurance and investments benefits, as well as the opportunity to put their faith in action in order to leave no neighbor behind in a strong, Catholic fraternal setting.
Share your story of how your council is helping strengthen people’s faith and offering support during this time. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published in a special bi-weekly edition of Knightline, a resource for K of C leaders and members. To access Knightline’s monthly archives, click here.
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