Knights of Columbus

The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization.

In the Diocese of Alexandria, there are currently five General Assemblies made up of 23 active Councils.  While membership is limited to practicing Catholic men ages 18 or older, there are also College Councils for men ages 18-24, and Columbian Squires, for young boys ages 10-17.

In 2005, the Order gave $136 million directly to charity and performed more than 63.2 million man hours of voluntary service. Because the organization supports the Church and its local community, the Order is often referred to as the “strong right arm of the Church.”

Throughout the diocese, the Knights have numerous projects that they work on for both the Church and the community.

In Natchitoches, where David Bouchie is the Grand Knight, Council #1357 supports the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, St. Mary’s School teachers pay raise program, the Northwestern State University Endownment scholarship pro-gram, Christian Youth Scholarship program,Natchitoches Association for Retarded Children, Special Olympics, Natchitoches Parish Boys and Girls State, and other programs.

In Alexandria, where Donald Collins is the Grand knight, Council 91/Court 91 sponsors a Mardi Gras Ball, a camp for children, and makes baskets for needy families at Christmas each year.  During Lent, they sponsor a Fish Fry on Good Friday. For the community they help out in other ministries including scholarships to seniors, food for senior program, and assistance for children of incarcerated family members.

The list of good deeds goes on and on, but Knights of Columbus is not all about work and no play. Councils always incorporate food and fun into their activities.

In Alexandria, where Louis Guidry is the Grand Knight, Council #8029 hosts an annual Palm Sunday chicken BBQ dinner and weekly Wednesday night suppers throughout the school year. Most parishioners will agree that the $3 for the Wednesday night supper is the best deal around.

In Kolin, where Kenneth Antee is the Grand Knight, Council #13296 supports the community with a gumbo cook-off, a horseshoe contest, freethrow contest, in addition to the Christian Youth Leadership Scholarship program.

“The Knights of Columbus is a great organization for Catholic men,” said Msgr. Joseph Susi, state chaplain for the Knights of Columbus. “I challenge all men, young and old, to call their parish Knights of Columbus council and be a part of this great Catholic service organization.”


History

The Knights of Columbus was founded by a Catholic priest, Father Michael J. McGivney in New Haven, CT on March 29, 1882. 

The primary motivation for the Order was to be a mutual benefit society. As a parish priest in an immigrant community, McGivney saw what could happen to a family when the breadwinner died and wanted to provide insurance to care for the widows and orphans left behind. He himself had to temporarily leave his seminary studies to care for his family when his father died. 

In the late 19th century, Catholics were regularly excluded from labor unions and other organizations that provided social services.  In addition, Catholics were either barred from many of the popular fraternal organizations, or, as in the case of Freemasonry, forbidden from joining by the Catholic Church itself. McGivney wished to provide them an alternative. He also believed that Catholicism and fraternalism were not incompatible and wished to found a society that would encourage men to be proud of their American-Catholic heritage.

McGivney had originally conceived of the name “Sons of Columbus” but James T. Mullen, who would become the first Supreme Knight, successfully suggested that “Knights of Columbus” would better capture the ritualistic nature of the new organization.  The Order was founded 10 years before the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the New World and in a time of renewed interest in him. Columbus was a hero to many American Catholics, and the naming him as patron was partly an attempt to bridge the division between the Irish-Catholic founders of the Order and Catholic immigrants of other nationalities living in Connecticut.

Today there are more than 14,000 councils around the world and the Knights of Columbus is a multi-billion dollar non-profit charitable organization. Knights may be seen distributing Tootsie Rolls to raise funds to fight developmental disabilities, volunteering for the Special Olympics, erecting pro-life billboards and “Keep Christ in Christmas” signs, conducting blood drives and raising funds for disaster victims, or parading at patriotic events with their bright capes, feathered chapeaux, and ceremonial swords.


2017 Local Contacts:

FOURTH DEGREE KNIGHTS 

• Diocesan Advisor: Dr. Walter LaBorde, F.M. 
Cottonport - Phone: (318) 876-2739 

• Diocesan Coordinator: John Morovich 
Alexandria - Phone: (318) 443-7134 

• District Marshal: Ismael “Gus” Agosto 
Pineville - Phone: (318) 448-8653 

FOURTH DEGREE ASSEMBLIES 

• Father Ryan General Assembly #0317 
Bunkie 

• Msgr. Piegay General Assembly #0328 
Alexandria 

• Msgr. S.J. DeKeuwer General Assembly #2078 
Natchitoches 

• Msgr. Van der Putten General Assembly #2333 
Marksville 

• St. Michael Archangel Assembly #2975 
Leesville 

AREA K KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS COUNCILS 

DISTRICT 52 

Immaculate Heart of Mary Council #9753 
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Tioga 

Fr. Alfred Chlebowczyk Council #13296 
St. Francis & Anne, Deville/Kolin 

John Paul II Council #14657 
Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pineville 

St. Edward Council #15228 
St. Mary, Jena/Fishville 

San Francisco de Assisi Council #15731 
Pineville 

DISTRICT 53 

Council #9217 
St. Martin of Tours, Belledeau 

Fr. Van Winkel Council #9294 
St. Francis de Sales, Echo 

Our Lady of Lourdes Council #9418 
Our Lady of Lourdes, Fifth Ward 

St. Martin Council #12103 
St. Martin, Lecompte 

DISTRICT 54 

Immaculate Conception Council #1357 
Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Natchitoches 

St. Michael Council #4156 
St. Michael the Archangel, Leesville 

DISTRICT 55 

Marksville Council #1217 
Marksville 

St. Anthony Council #2395 
St. Anthony of Padua, Bunkie 

St. Alphonsus Council # 3088 
St. Alphonsus, Hessmer 

St. Paul Council #4010 
St. Paul the Apostle, Mansura 

Council #12209 
St. Peter/St. Michael, Bordelonville 

DISTRICT 56 

St. Mary Council #1199 
St. Mary Assumption, Cottonport 

Plaucheville Council #2142 
Plaucheville 

Sacred Heart Council #2972 
Sacred Heart, Moreauville 

Christ the King Council #10564 
Christ the King, Simmesport 

DISTRICT 57 

Charles P. Greco Council # 1134 
St. Rita, Alexandria 

Bishop Van de Ven Council #3200 
St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Alexandria 

Our Lady of Prompt Succor Council #8029 
Our Lady of Prompt Succor, Alexandria 

St. Frances Cabrini Council #13505 
St. Frances Cabrini, Alexandria