Aggressive K of C Recruiter


#1

I have recently felt a calling to become more involved in my parish. My daughter will be attending the Catholic school starting next year, and my wife and I have both discussed increasing our prescense in parish life.

My cousin tried to get me to the join the Knights of Columbus. I asked him what they were all about, and the only thing I got out of him was that it was a service organization, and not much after that. I did my own research online and diidn’t find much beyond what my cousin told me. He eluded that there is a certain level of secrecy to it, which I’m not really keen on.

So I decided to take the plunge. I got on the Knights of Columbus website and filled out the online form to request more information. It said that I would be contacted soon regarding my inquiry.

Less than 12 hours later, I receive a phone call from a representative of the Knights wanting to set up a meeting to talk. At this stage I just was looking to get my questions answers. My wife is scheduled to give birth to our second child next week and I explained to him that next week was pretty much out. He immediately started to schedule a meeting for the following week after we were home…at my house…in the early afternoon.

This was rather unnerving for a couple of reasons. I don’t know if I’m looking to much into this or not, but I can see how this would play out. A stranger, coming to our house would have the following outcome. The dog would start barking, which in turn will excite our 3 year old, who will in turn become as spastic as the dog, which in turn will wake up the baby, and cause complete turmoil for me, who will be sleep deprived, as well as my wife who will be sleep deprived, and one week post op from a c-section!

When I came to the realization that he wanted to come to my house, I politely said that at this time that wouldn’t really work for me and asked if I could call him later to set up a better time. He stated that would be fine, but then became very very persistent to set up a time now and to begin going over forms and paperwork for initiation all prior to having it all referred to a local council.

I became very overwhelmed and politely pulled a “Don’t call us we’ll call you” type of sign off. The aggressive tactics used by this gentleman has really just put me off of the Knights altogether. Now, I don’t know if it was just this guy, or the Knights in general, but it was a very direct in my face approach.

My work schedule is not stable at all, (I’m a nurse) plus with a toddler, and a newborn into the mix, my home life is just as chaotic. I want to be more involved, but I really don’t like stuff being shoved down my throat, especially when I’m not even sure as to the level of commitment I’m going to be able to allocate. Just the day prior, I got a call from my pastor asking if I would consider being on the parish council. I politely declined, citing the same reasons as above, and hung up the phone.

Has anyone else experienced this with the Knights? I don’t care for the lack of transparency with the group, and that phone call is pointing me into the negative direction. But my family members who are Knights keep trying to get me to join in a rather “cult like” fashion. I know this is not a new accusation of the Knights from what I’ve seen online, but you can’t break a stereotype if you keep perpetuating it.


#2

St. Francis de Sales very politely told a mother of 7 kids that her devotion was found at home. This was after she had told him she so really wanted to be able to get to daily Mass. It takes a bit, but your life will be the bigger Bible. Pray for the K of C, and be at peace knowing cloistered nuns pray on your behalf when you can’t.

I complained of not being able to get all the Office prayed when I had two infants, and the mother superior with whom I was speaking said, almost proudly, “That’s MY job!!!”

So, put in prayer requests with cloistered nuns, and let the Holy Ghost guide your devotion.

Also, report the heavy-handed recruiter. They need to tweak their response a bit.

Blessings,
Cloisters


#3

Personally, I’m a Knight, and there are several of us on CAF. The thing is, the primary, and most fundamental goal of the KofC is nurturing Catholic family life by strengthening Catholic men. Many Councils have strayed away from this, but in all honesty, it’s quite understood that some men in each Council will be more active than other men. Yes, the ceremonies are secret, and the business meetings are open only to Knights. But all outside activities are open to everyone - the Knights, their wives, their children, and anyone else who wants to help.

As for activities, they vary from Council to Council. This is why all that can really be said is that the Knights are a service organization. Different Councils have different charities that we support. But charities supported include the Special Olympics (and other charities dealing with children with disabilities), Habitat for Humanity, local blood banks, local pro-life groups, St. Vincent de Paul, seminarians, children from local schools, etc. Personally, I help when I can, but often just going to the business meetings once a month is about as involved as I can get at times.

Some Knights even have difficulty getting to the meetings, and that’s fine. They come when they can. Especially if you have a young family, your fellow Knights will understand if you can’t be as involved as others in the Council. Your first obligation is to God and His Church; your second is to your vocation, which in your case is your wife and children. All other obligations after your first two obligations are to be discerned in light of your first two obligations. Sometimes, you will have time for more activities; sometimes, time for less. But if any outside obligation is interfering with your first two obligations, then you need to cut back on that outside obligation.


#4

OP, the Knights of Columbus is a fraternal organization which also operates a life insurance business. It sounds like you got contacted by one of the insurance agents, which explains the hard sell.

Ask who the KofC officers are in your parish, and when and where they meet. They may allow you to attend a meeting. I have never known them to be secretive. KofC’s are a huge organization, several million men, and will vary from place to place. Some seem to do only social and charitable activities and some are more active in promoting Catholicism.

Those who are active in KofC’s will tell you that every Catholic man should be a Knight.


#5

I agree with the response of PowerofK. I am an officer in my Council. The KofC is not perfect, but it is very good. There is a reason it is called the Strong Right Arm of the Church.
I have not known recruiters like the annoying one you mention, but I am sure there are some. You have to look past him. In terms of needing to be more involved in the parish, and the crucial need for time with the family, the KofC supports both those goals.

In terms of “secrets” keep in mind probably 100,000 priests and thousands of bishops have been Knights over the years, gone through those same ceremonies Knights go through. Most of those Knights probably did not have the time or the interest to get heavily involved after they joined. But wouldn’t you think, if there were anything cult like, or sinister, or secretive, about the KofC, at least some of them would have mentioned that? Wouldn’t those bishops stop coming to KofC functions if it were questionable?

The reality is that an organization as big as the K of C will have a few people who are bad, annoying, lazy, misguided, etc. But not more so than in Catholic Charities, parish councils, Catholic schools, Catholic hospitals, etc. In terms of prolife and religious liberty, the KofC is the strongest supporter of the Church in the US; so strong, there really is no second. I have been in several movements where they only attract the devout Catholics, I love the KofC because they attract the devout, and the average guys.

None of that proves it is good for **you **to join the KofC, right now, even though some told you that. Some councils are better than others. Some years will be better for you than this year to take on some new thing. Maybe it will never be good for you to join, but I want you to see the goodness of what it is. Congratulations on your family addition, and thank you for your service as a nurse.


#6

I’m the wife of an active 4th degree Knight. I echo one of the previous posters who said that the response to the online query was likely an Knight involved in insurance. They are aggressive toward us too :slight_smile:
Contact a knight who you know well (besides your cousin). Generally they have a meeting every now and then for newcomers or for 1st degree initiation.


#7

^^^This

I’m a 3rd degree Knight and it has gotten me involved in a lot of community service activities that have been a blessing to have been a part of. Each Knight can choose his own involvement and how active it is and all are welcomed.

Just find out when they have the meetings, show up and introduce yourself. They will be happy to see you.


#8

The knights can be a little pushy, but they mean well. The organization helps a lot of people and they depend on membership dues and other forms of fundraising to sustain those charitable programs. If you haven’t noticed many members are older gentlemen, so as the older members pass away new members are needed to keep the charity going. Even if you join and only pay your dues it helps. Furthermore, many of the knights are retired salesmen, businessmen, and military. Their methods of recruitment come from their experiences, but I wouldn’t judge them all by the actions of a few.


#9

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.