Thinking about leaving the Knights of Columbus

Im not sure if this is the right place for this but here it goes. i joined the knights of Columbus about 15 years ago because I thought it was an organization that did charitable work, I’m not saying it doesn’t but it’s not what I thought it would be. I thought we would be helping the poor, volunteering at the soup kitchen, that type of stuff. Instead we have a tootsie roll drive once a year to “Help the mentally handicap” yet when you ask how? where does this money go? what exactly are we doing to help them? no one can answer, even guys high up in the local chapter. We also run bingo and I’m sorry but I have an issue with a christian organization encouraging gambling, just saying. But all this is not why I’m considering leaving. The reality is I don’t have time for it. I never have been very active because I work and have children, also I changed parishes 10 years ago and it’s not feasable for me to belong to that chapter anymore. A few years ago I went to a meeting, my older children had moved out and I thought I might have more time and could do a little here and there, it was sad. the meeting consisted of letter after letter being read from members revoking their membership for lack of time to commit to it, every chair person begging for help saying there is to much for one person to do, everyone saying there is too much we are doing and not enough people to do it we need to scale back only to be told no by the grand knight. I couldn’t get to the door fast enough. I didn’t ask for a second job, and the activities the members were bogged down with, again, to me are not works of charity. My two youngest children are much more active then my older children and we are very active in the youth group (because of my children) at my current parish, which does not have a local knights chapter they are served by the city chapter. I have told all this to the guy who calls the members, like myself, who don’t do much trying to pressure them into doing something several times yet they periodically still call me. I have always planned on being more active when the kids are all gone but with this chapter it seems to be all or nothing. He called me last night while I was helping my children’s confirmation class, and I told him " I don’t go to that church anymore, we are very active in this church with our children, and if in the future I do start getting involved with the knights I will probably transfer my membership to the city council." he told me that I should just go ahead and do that. But I don’t want the same thing to happen. I don’t want to say to the city chapter " I want to transfer my membership to you, but I don’t have time to do anything right now so don’t bother me for another 5 years." I just don’t have time for it and so I’m considering dropping it altogether. So my question is if I do that am I breaking any promises I made to God when I joined. Are there any spiritual ramifacations for leaving the knights?

I am not male, but in the parish I am in now I don’t see the Knights sponsoring anything that is spiritual.

I do know that there are other groups men can join. In a nearby parish, where I go for the Jeff Cavins Bible Studies, there is a group of men…and I forgot the name of the group, but it has “St. Joseph…” in the name.

It sounds to me that you are looking for something more spiritual (I think that is how the Knights started?) but depending on who joined and what they did it just became very busy with fund-raising.

I too dislike Bingo…our Church needs to be healed of it! )

Come Holy Spirit…Come through our Blessed Mother, and renew our Church!

You have the right idea there. I am not a Knight but I would say if your local Knights of Columbus are not living the Gospel, they should be. The emphasis should be on building faith and helping others.

Everyone has to make choices about their time. There is no sin in not being a KofC.

First, the short answer.

Not at all.

That being said…

:twocents: It sounds like, even if your council were doing that kind of stuff, you would not have time to join in. It sounds like, even if you should withdraw from the KofC, you will still not be pursuing that kind of stuff.

I’m not saying you have to pursue hands on corporal works of mercy, nor that councils cannot become complacent about doing so*. I’m just asking that you be honest, and if you do withdraw don’t say it is because of what the Knights are not doing – You are not doing that either. :twocents:

(* I would not be surprised that councils don’t go through cycles of peaks and valleys with respect to their missions)

To the best of my knowledge, all you need do to withdraw is to submit a letter to your council’s Financial Secretary requesting to withdraw. No reason need be given. You might still receive a phone call or two trying to retain your membership, but just stick to your guns and you can withdraw. (And you will be welcome to re-activate with that or any other council in future)

PGK, FDD, FN :knight2:

It is the time aspect. Although, if they did have more hands on corporal works of mercy I feel I would be more inclined to make time. But I have a hard time justifying taking away from family time and responsabilities to work Bingo. But I am finding that I don’t need to be a part of an organization to do these works of mercy. Also, i do feel it is a worthy organization and can see myself being more active when the kids are all gone and on their own. i am just in a bind over the real need to leave this particular chapter, and going to another when I don’t have the time to put in to it.

With all due respect you don’t know what I do or don’t do with respect to corporal works of mercy. I do do them in a way that involves my family now. As I said in my previous post, I understand you hadn’t seen it yet, I am finding I don’t need to be a part of an organization to do them. I was pointing this out to show WHY I joined. And yes, I would be more willing to say to my wife, " I am working the soup kitchen on Saturday so I can’t be at our son’s ball game." then to say I am working Bingo and I can’t go. She would also be more receptive. I can justify missing family duties because a person needs help, but I can’t because I need to help people gamble, or drink beer. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with what they do, I am saying I can’t justify neglecting family duties for it. But Christ says we must feed and cloth the poor. That is part of my duties. So, yes I am willing to incorporate that into my time structure, and I do. I thought KoC would be an outlet for that but it’s not. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s just not what I need.

Letter after letter of members revoking their membership? Never heard of anything like that.

I’ve never bought the excuse of “no time”. There is always time if you care to make it.

Heaven forbid they actually ask you to help out. For some reason, there are knights that actually fear doing anything, even though they listed everything they would love to do on their application when they became a knight. Isn’t this why we join?

Now, if the council (not sure why you are calling it a chapter) is not doing what you think it should be doing, which is possible, then become the catalyst for change. I’ve always had a problem with a brother that show’s up for one or two meetings, and if it’s not to their liking, they never return. My advice, stick around, make some friends, find some like minded brothers, and then slowly bring about the changes you would like to see. Become an officer, then you can really initiate some changes. In any case, you cannot find out much about a council in one meeting.

I’m sure your council would love to do more, likely things to your liking, but they cannot do it without help. Want to organize a retreat? Something spiritual? Then organize it. Your brothers would certainly appreciate it.

Please go back to the beautiful lessons of the 3 degrees I presume you took. It might make you remember why you came in.

Bottom line is, a council is only as good as it’s members and the effort they are willing to put into it…

Whatever your decision, God Bless…

My apologies, please forgive me.
As you note, I can only know what you have written before me.

The only other suggestion I would make is: Have you ever invited your brother Knights to join you and your family in service? It is very possible they could tell you to get lost, but I have also seen 10 or 20 (or even 1 or 2) fellows unite behind a new apostolate.

You’ve no obligation to reinvigorate members of a complacent council. But you also cannot be surprised if they do not reinvigorate themselves without you. You could be the change they need. :shrug:


This isn’t the right forum to discuss the Knights of Columbus since they are a fraternal organization not a religious order and so not a vocation.
To address your concerns, however, it all depends on which council you join. There are a lot of councils that focus on helping the national organization and doing more social activities. Other councils get more involved with helping the parish and/or the poor. The council I’m apart of collects and distributes toys to needy children during Christmas. They also take food to a struggling community in Mexico, they’ve been helping some religious sisters build a chapel, and they help with maintenance and construction at the parish. If you want the council you are in to do more charity you have to step up and get those events started, but considering your time is limited you may have to wait until you have more free time.

I can not possibly see where you would be obligated to stay in the Knights. Also, it’s rather obvious that raising your family comes first.

A nun once said that Satan won’t always tempt Faithful Catholics to have affairs, steal a car or murder someone, but instead to sign up for every Church committee and not be at home raising the kids.

I,too, have found that one can overstretch oneself

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