Knights of Columbus
Council 11947 (District 15 of the Virginia Jurisdiction)
The Knights of Columbus was founded in 1882 by a 29-year-old parish priest, Father Michael J. McGivney, in the basement of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Connecticut. Today, more than a century later, the Knights of Columbus have become the largest lay organization in the Catholic Church. In March 2008, Pope Benedict XVI approved a decree recognizing the heroic virtue of Father Michael J. McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus. The pope’s declaration significantly advances the priest’s process toward sainthood and gives the parish priest the distinction of “Venerable Servant of God.” If canonized, Father McGivney would be the first American diocesan priest to be so honored. (read more)
- GRAND KNIGHT ~ Edson Mendonca
- DEPUTY GRAND KNIGHT ~ Raj Noronha
- CHAPLAIN ~ Rev. John D. Kelly
- CHANCELLOR ~ Michael Baxter
- RECORDER ~ Christopher Foley
- TREASURER ~ Nick Slabinski
- WARDEN ~ Dennis Friel
- ADVOCATE ~ Barry Shillito
- GUARD ~ Steve Hand
- FINANCIAL SECRETARY ~ Kevin Harr
- TRUSTEES ~ Aaron Davila, Paolo Rosales, Kelly Niernberger
If you are a Catholic gentleman 18 or older and interested in learning more about the Knights of Columbus, contact the Grand Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org. Initiations into the Knights are regularly scheduled. Blessed Sacrament Knights, 12-years old, has 127 members among the 23,000 Virginia Knights. The Council meets on the first Monday of the Month. Regular dues are $50 a year and there is a student rate of $20. Importantly, the Knights are pro-life and fight against the culture of death by prayer and action. Blessed Sacrament Knights come from a wide variety of backgrounds and professions. All Priests at Blessed Sacrament are Knights. Once a Knight, you will understand what it means to belong to a Catholic Fraternity that cares for each Brother in the Order.
The Order has been called “the strong right arm of the Church,” and has been praised by popes, presidents and other world leaders, for support of the Church, programs of evangelization and Catholic education, civic involvement and aid to those in need. As recently as 1992, Mother Teresa of Calcutta praised the Knights in a speech on the occasion of her reception of the first Knights of Columbus Gaudium et Spes Award.
Thanks to the inspired work of Father McGivney—as well as that of millions of other Knights over the past century—the Knights of Columbus now stands at its pinnacle of membership, benefits and service. Currently, there are over 1.7 million Knights of Columbus—more than ever before in our Order’s history. Together with their families, the Knights are 7 million strong. In addition, from the first local council in New Haven, the Order has grown to more than 13,000 councils in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Panama, the Virgin Islands, Guatemala, Poland, Guam and Saipan. Each year, the Order continues this strong growth.
Father McGivney’s founding vision for the Order also included establishing a life insurance program to provide for the widows and orphans of deceased members. The Order’s insurance program has expanded substantially to serve more effectively the Knights’ growing membership. Year after year, the Knights of Columbus have earned the highest possible quality ratings for financial soundness from A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The Order provides the highest quality insurance and annuity products to its members, along with many other fraternal benefits.
Knights of Columbus are Catholic gentlemen committed to the exemplification of charity, unity, fraternity, patriotism, and defense of the priesthood. The Order is consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Order is unequivocal in its loyalty to the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on earth. It is firmly committed to the protection of human life, from conception to natural death, and to the preservation and defense of the family. It was on these bedrock principles that the Order was founded over a century ago and remains true to them today.
Activities of Blessed Sacrament Council
- Raised over $5,000 for the Knights of Virginia Assisting the Retarded (KOVAR) in 2008;
- Raised over $600 selling Kielbasa sandwiches at the school bazaar;
- Provided support to the Parish for the annual picnic for all Diocesan Priests;
- Support a Council member doing missionary work in Philippines;
- Sponsored and conducted the Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot Basketball Tournament for the CYO;
- Sold religious Christmas Cards as part of the “Keep Christ in Christmas Program;”
- Conducted the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship;
- Conducted a CYO fund raiser and made nearly $1,000 for parish youth sports programs;
- Conducted several family spaghetti and chicken dinners;
- Raised monies to help victims of natural disasters;
- Selected and recognized a Young Man and Young Woman of the Year at Blessed Sacrament Grade School which promotes service to their community; Savings bonds were provided to each outstanding youth.
- Continued to provide an annual high school scholarship for youth attending a Catholic high school and made awards totaling $2,000 to outstanding youths;
- Helped out with the Arlington Diocese altar-server picnic;
- Provided monies to a needy Parish Priest and Bishop in rural Nicaragua;
- Assisted the respect life ministries and prayed at the local abortion clinic on Duke Street;
- Raised funds for Vocations; Provided $150 for a Seminarian.
- Helped Alexandria Committees raise money for scholarships to help out disabled persons;
- Helped the Youth group with fund raisers for World Youth Day in Sidney, Australia;
- Conducted organ donor programs and helped out with blood drives;
- Provided Rosaries to the sick and homebound of the Parish;
- Provided support for an economic forum on Central American issues and made other contributions directed to the welfare of the Spanish community;
- Knights individually serve as Eucharistic Ministers, Ushers, ECC and CCD Instructors, scout leaders, coaches, community leaders, etc.