The Knights of Columbus was established in 1882 by Fr. Michael J. McGivney and was founded on the principles of charity, unity, and fraternity. Our Fox Valley South Council #13436 is part of this worldwide Catholic fraternal organization that strives to serve the parish and community. Our council serves both St. John the Baptist and St. Paul the Apostle in Sandwich. The Knights meet on the second Tuesday of the month.
Charlie Sondgeroth served as Grand Knight last year and has since taken on the position of District Deputy. He now has five councils that he oversees and guides to help achieve their council goals. For Charlie, the Knights of Columbus is about bringing back authentic masculinity and helping families and parishes to thrive.
“Society is tearing down men and masculinity, and in doing so it is breaking up the families,” Charlie says. “We consider ourselves in the breach, trying to stop society from that cycle. We stand for Catholic family values. We get together, pray together, and do social things together. And we also raise money and donate it to causes that share our values.”
One of the Knight’s sponsored fundraisers is their yearly Tootsie Roll Drive. The money that they raise is donated to the Open Door Rehabilitation Center in Sandwich. They presented a check of just under $5,000 to Open Door in November 2023, and over the past 10 years, they have donated over $65,000. Also in November 2023, the Knights presented Waterleaf Women’s Center with a check for $2,000. These donations were raised through the Knights’ Pancake Breakfast.
“Being a Knight can help men grow spiritually,” says Jeff Weseman, Grand Knight. “When I have new members come in and take their oath, I pin them and present them with a rosary. The rosary is a very powerful weapon in the Catholic faith, and receiving that rosary when I became a Knight was one of the most important things that I had received.”
To join the Knights of Columbus, you must be 18 years old and in good standing with the Catholic Church. Charlie shares that they are always looking for new members to help at future events and to help bring the organization forward.
“When we get together, we commemorate, we talk together and so we know that we are not the only island out there,” Charlie says. “Other men are in the same situation as us. We can discuss our values and pray together. And we would always encourage new members to join us in our mission to serve the community.”
For more information, contact Grand Knight Jeff Weseman (St. John the Baptist) at email@example.com or 815-995-7115 or Financial Secretary Fred Marchese (St. Paul the Apostle) at 708-751-7779.