(The following media release is courtesy of the Knights of Columbus. For more information, visit their Online Membership Press Center)
The Knights of Columbus, the largest Catholic fraternal order in the world, has announced a membership initiative that allows eligible Catholic men to join the organization online.
The program is being rolled out in select states and will be introduced nationally in July.
“The online membership experience is tailored to younger potential members, reflecting society’s expanding digital footprint, which we seek to employ as part of our long-term growth strategy,” said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson.
The new program follows numerous listening sessions and surveys of both members and non-members in recent years. The research discerned a desire for a new, online way to join the K of C, one that offers members a digital experience of the order.
“It allows a faster way to become a Knight along with access to a wealth of digital content that promotes growth and engagement,” said Anderson. “The virtual can become more concrete as the online member deepens his faith and then moves into more active participation in his parish and community. This comes with the ability for him to transition to local council membership.”
Anderson explained that the new program supplements K of C practices and traditions, which remain intact, including the structure of local councils and the various degrees that members may attain.
The digital experience for online members includes faith formation, access to relevant financial literature, opportunities to get involved in local charitable programs as well as news updates on Order-wide efforts in favor of advancing the pro-life cause, religious liberty, family values and the Knights of Columbus as the strong right arm of the Church.
Online members also receive regular newsletters from the Knights’ headquarters in New Haven, Conn., on a variety of topics, with resources and information that will help members lead with faith, protect their families, serve others and defend their values.
The K of C was founded in 1882 by Venerable Father Michael McGivney, a parish priest, in New Haven, Connecticut. The organization was formed to provide charitable outreach and care for the financial well-being of Catholic families, focusing on the protection of widows and orphans, and on strengthening the faith of its members. It has grown to include almost two million members worldwide.
The Knights set a new record for charitable donations in 2016, with more than $177.5 million in donations and over 75 million hours of service valued at $1.8 billion.