About the Knights of Columbus

What is The Knights of Columbus?

The Knights of Columbus is a dynamic Catholic, family, fraternal organization of Catholic men who join together in family, charitable, fraternal, community and youth activities. The over 1.8 million member organization is international in character; however, the major emphasis is focused on the activities of our local parish and community. A major thrust of our activities is directed at involving the member's entire family. Here at St. Lawrence Martyr Church in Jessup, we are especially loyal to our small community and are proud of our church's association with the Order of the Most Holy Trinity, the Trinitarian Priests who run our parish.

Who is Eligible for Membership?

Any practical Catholic man 18 years of age or older may apply for membership in the Knights of Columbus. A practical Catholic is one who regularly practices his faith by going to Mass on Sunday, receiving the Sacraments, etc.


Emblem of the Order: The Third Degree Emblem

The Emblem of the order dates from the Second Supreme meeting, May 12, 1883, when it was designed by James T. Mullen, who was then the first Supreme Knight. A quick glance at the emblem indicates a shield mounted upon the cross of Malta.

The Shield is that associated with a medieval Knight. The cross of Malta is the representation of a traditionally artistic design of the Cross of Christ through which all graces of redemption were procured for mankind. This then, represents the Catholic spirit of the Order. Mounted on the shield are three objects, a mace standing vertically, and, crossed behind it, an anchor and a dagger or short sword. The mace from Roman days is symbolic of authority, which must exist in any tightly bonded and efficiently operating organization. The anchor is the mariner's symbol for Columbus, patron of the Order, while the short sword or dagger was the weapon of the Knight when engaged upon an errand of mercy. Thus, the shield expresses Catholic Knighthood in organized merciful action and with the letters K of C, it proclaims this specific form of activity. The red, white and blue in the background are the colors of the flag of the country in which the order originated.

  • Red is the symbol of Faith, of belief in Christ, in the Redemption and in the mission of every man to spread the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ.
  • White is the color of the Eucharistic Host, symbolizing God's presence among men and of the infinite love God has for man. White is then the symbol of Christ-like Charity.
  • Blue is the color of Our Lady's mantle in which she draped her beloved Son, through Whom salvation came to a sinful world. Blue is then the symbol of Hope.

About the Father Bernard Harding Council

What Does a Council Do?

The Council operates within five major areas;
  • Service and assistance to the support of the Church
  • Service to the community with emphasis on charitable service
  • Family oriented events
  • Youth activities
  • Social affairs
Listed in the "Projects and Activities" page are some of the specific activities sponsored by the Father Bernard Harding OSST Council #12180 of the Knights of Columbus.

What is Required of Members?

Each member must be a practical Catholic and is required to pay annually dues of $48, which can be paid either annually or quarterly. A new member must also pay a one-time initiation fee of $15 (only $10 if age 18 years of age). A new member will proceed through several ceremonies called degrees which allow him to understand better the principles of the Order and how we, as Knights of Columbus, are expected to conduct ourselves.

Men who join the Knights of Columbus attend meetings, participate in Council activities, serve on committees, run for office (office holders must first, however, complete their Third Degree before being eligible for office), etc. as their time permits and their interests dictate.

The reward and satisfaction of membership in the Knights of Columbus are proportional to participation of each member and his family.

How Often Does Fr. Harding Council Meet?

There are two meetings held each month;
  • A business meeting on the first Thursday
  • A social and planning meeting on the third Thursday
The meetings normally last about one hour and usually involve interesting and lively discussion of key topics. Members are encouraged to take an active part in these discussion. Opinions and ideas are always welcomed. Some “open” meetings include wives and friends, when appropriate. Meetings are followed by refreshments and other activities such as guest speakers and films, or just a friendly socializing with other members.

The Father Bernard Harding Council Name

In 1998, a Knights of Columbus Council was formed at St. Lawrence Martyr. Long time Knight and parish leader, Colonel Tony Naples, suggested Father Harding's name as the honorific title of the council.

The charter was granted on March 19, 1998.

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