AMENDING THE CHARTER OF THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS
WHEREAS, the Knights of Columbus was founded in 1882 by Venerable Servant of God Michael J. McGivney, a Catholic priest, at Saint Mary’s Church in New Haven, Connecticut; and
WHEREAS, it was Father McGivney’s intention to establish a society of practical Catholic men in union with the Holy See for the purpose of providing financial assistance to members and their families, and building an organizational structure within which members and their families could grow in faith and virtue, consistent with the teachings, practices, and values of the Catholic Church; and
WHEREAS, the Knights of Columbus is a Connecticut non-stock corporation, having received its corporate charter from the General Assembly of Connecticut on March 29, 1882; and
WHEREAS, the Constitution and Laws of the Knights of Columbus provide for the office of Supreme Chaplain, a position that since 1882 has been held by an unbroken succession of holy priests and bishops; and
WHEREAS, in addition to conducting the religious exercises of the Supreme Council, as prescribed by the Laws of the Order, the Supreme Chaplain serves on the Supreme Board of Directors, provides spiritual guidance to the members of the Knights of Columbus, and consults with the Supreme Officers on all matters affecting the religious character of the Knights of Columbus; and
WHEREAS, the Supreme Chaplain guides the priests and bishops who serve as chaplains of subordinate councils, ensuring that they support the Catholic identity and evangelical mission of the Order at all levels and in all activities; and
WHEREAS, the role of the Supreme Chaplain within the Knights of Columbus is critical to maintaining and strengthening the Catholic identity and evangelical mission of the Order; and
WHEREAS, the Knights of Columbus desires that its corporate charter reflect the role of the Supreme Chaplain in relation to the Order’s Catholic identity and evangelical mission.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that upon recommendation of the Supreme Board of Directors, the Charter of the Knights of Columbus be amended, pursuant to the laws of the State of Connecticut, by adding the following language as Section 7:
SEC. 7. The corporation shall have a chaplain who shall be designated the Supreme Chaplain. He shall be a Catholic priest or bishop who conducts his ministry to the Order in the spirit of Father Michael J. McGivney. He shall, by virtue of his office, serve as a member of the Supreme Board of Directors and its Executive and Finance Committee. He shall serve, ex officio, on the Supreme Council. The Supreme Chaplain shall be responsible for forming the members of the Supreme Council and the Board of Directors in Catholic values and doctrine. He shall advise those bodies as to whether their actions are consistent with Catholic values and doctrine and with the corporation’s Catholic purposes. The Supreme Chaplain shall guide the chaplains of the subordinate councils, ensuring that they support the Catholic identity and evangelical mission of their councils and the corporation at all levels and in all activities. He shall be responsible for instructing the members in the Catholic faith and leading the Order in prayer, and he shall be consulted regarding any changes in the religious content of the Order’s rites of initiation.