The Knights of Columbus is a national brotherhood of Catholic men who live out the principles of charity, unity, and fraternity by serving the Church and local community. The brotherhood is organized into councils around the world. Our St. Francis Xavier council is 5266, which currently has 144 registered members and 40 who are active.
Parishioner Pedro Velasco is this year’s Grand Knight who oversees Council 5266. As a Knight, he has seen great growth in himself.
“It has allowed me to grow in my faith and to practice it frequently,” Pedro says. “Before I would just go to Mass on Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation, but now I pray the Rosary frequently, participate in adoration, and attend daily Mass when I can.”
“The main purpose of the Knights of Columbus was to protect the widow and the orphans of the Catholic men in the parish, and to help men stay true to the Catholic faith,” he adds. “Today the Knights of Columbus has grown to more than two million brothers in over 16,000 councils throughout the world.”
Council 5266 continues the original work of helping those in need by serving St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church and the greater community. They raise money for many different organizations and host numerous events that bring the community together. To make all of this happen, the brothers meet every second Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall.
“All of our meetings start with prayer, which is usually led by one of our chaplains or deacons,” Pedro says. “Then we proceed with a report by our Pastor, Fr. O’Brien, Grand Knight, treasurer, financial secretary, and the rest of the committee chairs. At the end, we have a lecture presentation with readings or discussions on matters of faith, charity, unity, or fraternity.”
The St. Francis Xavier Knights are widely known for hosting their monthly breakfasts and Lenten fish frys at the parish. However, their work and generosity extend much further.
“We carry out programs that directly support our Youth Ministry, and we raise funds and volunteer at local charities such as Our Daily Bread and Pioneer Pantry,” Pedro says.
The Knights are dedicated to raising money for local charities to be a light to the world and continue the initial ministry providing for those who are in need. Currently, the money raised by their monthly breakfasts and Game Day parking fundraisers is given to many local charities including Catholic Charities of Stillwater, Birthright of Stillwater, and many more.
In addition to their service and fundraising campaigns, the Knights are devoted to growing spiritually.
“Now we promote Rosaries for men and the community,” Pedro says. “We host special events such as the Prayer Service for St. Joseph and Our Lady of Guadalupe.”
The Knights of Columbus encourage men to be true sons of God and spiritual leaders within their homes.
“Men benefit from the fellowship with other men, especially in matters of faith and family life,” Pedro says. “The Knights help us to be successful men in our spiritual, family, and social life.
All this is offered through the fraternity with other Catholic men to help our community and those in need.”
All men over the age of 18 are welcome to join the fraternity of Knights of Columbus.