For over 140 years, the Knights of Columbus have faithfully served our communities and provided assistance to those in need. Established in 1882 by Fr. Michael McGivney in New Haven, Conn., the Knights of Columbus organization was founded with a mission of charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism. There are now Knights councils across the world, serving in various capacities to their own communities and parishes.
Our Knights of Columbus council at the Cathedral of St. Peter was established in 2013. Larry Koesterer serves as Grand Knight for Council #15746.
“There are many ways that the Knights of Columbus help members and their families grow closer to Christ,” Larry says. “Most revolve around the Knights’ core programs of faith, family, community, and life. Often, our activities overlap in two or more of these areas.”
For example, the Knights in our parish community hosted the Silver Rose program, a prayer service to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe and reverence for life. This bilingual service was open to all families and community members of both our parish and diocese.
“While this was a faith program, it also promoted family, community, and life,” Larry says.
Prayer is a regular part of the council’s meetings, which reinforces the importance of prayer as a part of our daily lives. The men themselves receive some formation and fellowship through the council.
The Knights of Columbus serve our parish and community in many ways — practically, spiritually, financially, and more. Some of these services are more behind the scenes, wherein the Knights complete projects that are less public than others.
“The Knights host the Sunday morning Donuts Ministry as an extension of the stewardship principle of hospitality, and to strengthen fellowship and community,” Larry says.
The Knights served the diocesan Serra Club in August at the Priests’ Picnic and will be assisting at the Cathedral Truckfest later this year. For the last two years, they have also supported the 24 Hours of Mercy during Lent, having Knights present during the entire 24 hours and providing snacks and refreshments.
“The Knights of our parish also cleared the church grounds of snow and ice this past winter, and did the spring weeding and mulching around the church,” Larry says.
Other annual initiatives include the Coats for Kids program, Refugee Relief, Pregnancy Center Support, the Catholic Citizenship Essay Contest, the Baby Bottle Boomerang, and sales of roses on Mother’s Day in support of the Pregnancy Care Center.
“We also provided financial support to Ukrainian children who were evacuated to the U.S. due to the war in their country, through the St. Nicholas School in Chicago,” Larry says.
Larry’s path to the Knights of Columbus began when his father suggested he consider joining the Knights, which eventually led him to join in 2020.
“I wish that I had joined a long time ago, but I think that the saying ‘better late than never’ is true,” Larry says. “I joined because I wanted to do more to serve others, especially with a group of great men in our parish, and in unity and fraternity with other Catholic men throughout our country and the world.”
Serving and participating in the Knights of Columbus provides the opportunity to serve God and His people in the Church.
“We do big things and little things, spiritual things and manual things, visible things and not-so-visible things, individual things and community things,” Larry says. “Not all of our Knights participate in every activity, but we do a lot of activities that resonate with our members. All of this is to live the words of the Lord’s Prayer, ‘Thy Kingdom come’; the Prayer of St. Francis, ‘make me an instrument of Thy Peace’; and the Prayer of St. Ignatius, ‘teach me to serve You as You deserve.’”
Meetings are held in the Cathedral Undercroft, typically at 6:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month — only members and invited guests may attend the meetings.
Men who are interested in joining the Knights of Columbus may contact the rectory at 618-234-1166 or email@example.com, or Larry Koesterer at 314-520-7895 or firstname.lastname@example.org.