The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest fraternal organization of Catholic men, founded in New Haven, Connecticut in 1882 by a young parish priest, Father Michael J. McGivney. The Knights actively promote the following four principles:
At the present time there are over 1.9 million members of the order, of which 17,000 are in Washington. Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to any practical Catholic man over the age of 18 in union with the Holy See. The purpose, as stated by our founder, is to help Catholic men remain steadfast in their faith through mutual encouragement, to promote closer ties of fraternity among them, and to set up an elementary system of insurance so that the widows and children of members in the group who might die would not find themselves in dire financial straits.
Pope John XXIII Council 5495 was established in 1964 and serves the St. Francis of Assisi Parish. Meetings are held on the first and third Thursdays of each month at the parish hall. They are not open to non-members unless it is an open meeting. Currently, there are 80 members in the council.
The Knights of Columbus is dedicated to helping and supporting our priests as well as religious and pro-life causes. The council contributes to a state pro-life program and also contributes money and baby items to Pregnancy Aid of Des Moines at an annual “baby shower.” Each year, the council purchases boxes of winter coats to distribute at Discover Burien as part of the national Coats for Kids drive.
Several pancake breakfasts are hosted after masses during the year with the profits contributing to programs and operating costs. A movie night and light supper for the children of the parish is held in the fall.
The council supports a state Pennies-for-Heaven vocations program providing direct support to four seminarians through the national RSVP program and proceeds from our annual spaghetti dinner and raffle.
We are currently expanding to include more activities, which you can keep up with on the events calendar.
The council contributes to a number of local Seattle area charities on an irregular basis. Some of these are the Matt Talbot Center, St. Martin de Porres, and Francis House.
The council also assists in the upkeep of the St. Francis parish hall and sets aside a small sum of money each month for that purpose. Council 5495 was instrumental in making it a usable meeting and social hall after its deactivation as a place of worship.