The Knights of Columbus is an international non-for profit fraternity that promotes brotherhood, peace, and goodwill. The Knights of Columbus was founded in 1878 by a group of Italian immigrants as a social organization.
Today, the Knights of Columbus are made up of men and women who share a sense of community. Members belong to local chapters, which meet biweekly or monthly to conduct community and philanthropic projects.
Many men join the Knights because they find social interaction and membership in a positive organization. Others gain professional recognition as part of their job description.
But the most popular reasons people join the Knights is for moral guidance and support. Many find that joining the fraternity gives them access to good people who listen to them and their problems.
In contrast to the Catholic Church, which is divided into an upper and lower ranks, most national Knights of Columbus organizations have a hierarchical structure.
The Knight of Columbus, or Kolektivkirsche as it is called in German, is the top level membership level. As his name suggests, he is a knight who wears a cross on his shoulder and has military-like duties and responsibilities.
The Jr. Knight of Columbus is the second highest membership level. He or she does not wear a cross but receives military-like duties and responsibilities. The Third Knight of Columbus is the largest level with all its duties and responsibilities.
You must be a United States citizen or a member of the military who is stationed in Europe or Asia for more than 30 days. You must also be 18 years or older to join.
Knights of Columbus membership is limited to male members, usually to sit on the Knights’ executive committee. The position of Grand Knight is reserved for women, who do not have executive committee membership.
Only men are allowed to become knights, and only knighthoods that include an adult male candidate are honored. Adult male candidates can be nominated by their clan or by another member, but they cannot officially become knights until the next macebearer ceremony, which takes place every three years.
The membership requirements make it seem like Knights of Columbus is exclusive, but that is not the case.
Women can join Catholic fraternal organizations
There are approximately 60 Knights of Columbus organizations in the U.K. and about the same number of bishops’ conventions. Most have women members-at-large, as well as leadership positions.
Most have a policy of not admitting women as bishop members, but this is not the case for all member societies. Some women members-at-large are appointed to official positions by their society or higher authority.
A few women join Knights of Columbus and become Knights, while others continue on as brothers. This is common in some men’s organizations, where you can continue your membership after having children.
For example, one woman who became a Knight after having children was always given an honorary dagger for her work as a mother despite not being a bishop member.
Women can join the Shriners
There is a Shriner tradition known as theketchee, or the keetch. The keetch is an initiation ritual for new shriners. Typically, the new shriners attend a leadership class and then a keetic to learn about and apply the ketchee lessons in their daily lives.
The ketchee was created by combining the two original Shriner rites: the knightly knighthood and the Catholic Church’s Eucharist. The ketchee is an intersection of both generations of shriners, who combine knighting and eating.
The ketchees goal is to inspire knights to take action and to encourage them to share their beliefs in order to become more knightly. They hope that by doing this together, they can develop stronger relationships with others.
Questions to ask before joining
Join a fraternity or a club that promotes social status. While can be fun at times, if it is not something you enjoy, you can leave the membership at any time.
Many fraternity and club members require certain skills or expertise in their membership. If you do not feel qualified to join, then remember your right to leave at any time with no charge.
Some of these skills include: organizing events and projects, writing proposals and invites, accounting for funds spent on projects, managing logistics such as schedules and attendance, and officiating functions such as rule enforcement and informal grievances.
When looking into joining a fraternity or a club, make sure to take your assigned area of interest and apply them to your membership.
Local chapters or units
So can a woman join the Knights of Columbus? Yes! There are local units called “chapters” that organize social events, collaborate with other groups, and expand their membership.
Mostly they happen in large cities, but there are some out in the country as well. A chapter can have several leadership positions, including president or whatever the title is for that organization.
Chapter members typically aren’t very involved in church life, although they may be named as leaders on church committees.
They work hard to maintain their membership and expansion efforts because of financial help and growth opportunities. Chapter members typically don’t speak at events, only lead from the middle or end.
Like any group, members make comments and mistakes, which damage their image as leaders.
Can a Woman joins the Knights of Columbus? It depends on what you mean by joins. In some ways yes, in other ways no.
In other words, is a woman able to become a Knight of Columbus? The answer is not always yes.
The Knights of Columbus, or Kolektiv zu Christum (ku-lektiv-ive christ-um), is an international order of men who wear distinctive camo shirts and boots. They promote Christian values and community-building through their annual programs like adult member parties and community service projects.
At the same time, they have barred women from joining the orders since 1921 due to what they saw as female vulnerability. This has left many wondering if a woman can join the Kolektiv zu Christum out of necessity.
Cost of uniform & insignia
When a woman decides to get a uniform, she must purchase the cost of the uniform and insignia in addition to buying her membership. The average cost is around $100.
Normally, Knights of Columbus men wear black pants with a white or gray shirt with an identical black pants. For instance, if you wore a white shirt with a black shirt, you would wear an identical black belt and shoes.
The sleeve length of the shirt can be short or long, depending on where members put their rank insignia. A women’s sized white shirt with the same rank insignia could have a long sleeve!
Can women join? Yes, they do have traditional roles for women in their membership which is why so many people are looking into joining.