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About NJ Knights of Columbus

Membership

Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to practical Catholic men in union with the Holy See, who are at least 18 years old. A practical Catholic is one who lives up to the Commandments of God and the precepts of the Church. Application blanks are available from any member of the Knights of Columbus.

All priests and religious brothers having duly made application for membership and participated in the ceremonials become honorary life members of the Order and are exempt from payment of dues.

Candidates join local units, called “councils,” most of which are based in one Catholic parish, or in the community at large. The candidate takes part in initiation degrees that explain the Knights of Columbus´ four principles: Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism.

A candidate is considered a “Knight” after taking his First Degree, but he is encouraged to advance through the Second and Third Degrees and on to the Fourth Degree, whose members promote the virtue of patriotism by serving in honor guards, color corps and promoting respect for country and the flag.

Knights of Columbus have a proud heritage.  The qualified Catholic man can share in this heritage and build for an even greater future by affiliating himself with this forceful, effective fraternal organization.

Faith Programs

Our goal is to strengthen men and their families in the Catholic faith.  Formation in our faith goes beyond mere facts or religious practice to an authentic connection with a loving God and his Son, Jesus Christ.  Programs in this category are designed to draw us closer to God and the Church in a tangible and meaningful way.

State Council Faith Programs:

1. Building the Domestic Church Kiosk – LINK
State Chairman: Silvio  Sartori, FDD

2. CCD Teacher-of-the-Year
State Chairman: John Java, PGK

3. Parochial Teacher-of-the-Year
State Chairman: John Java, PGK

4. Chaplain-of-the-Year
State Chairman: Stan Serafin, FDD

5. Fr. McGivney Guild
State Chairman: Bill Birtwistle, KHS, PSD

6. Holy Hour – LINK
State Chairman: Silvio  Sartori, FDD

7. Into the Breach – LINK
State Chairman: James Vargas, PGK

8. Keep Christ Before Us
State Chairman: John Gazis, FDD

9. Marian Devotion Program – LINK
State Chairman: John Truglio, FDD

10. Rosary Program – LINK

a. Family Rosary Rally – North
State Chairman: Peter Kueken, Jr., FDD

b. Family Rosary Rally – South
State Chairman: Peter Cassiano, FDD

11. Refund Support Vocations Program (RSVP) (Featured Program) – LINK
State Chairman: Reggie Beckett, KSG, KGCHS, PSD

12. Sacramental Gifts – LINK
State Chairman: Tom Olson, PGK

13. Seminarian Letters
State Chairman: John Tirado, FDD

14. Spiritual Reflection Program (MANDATORY PROGRAM) – LINK
State Chairman: Richard Skrocki, FDD

15. State Council Retreat
State Chairman: John LeClercq, FDD

Community Programs

As Knights of Columbus, we are called to serve our family and our God.  Our first principle is Charity, at home with our families or in our communities.  This is a critical part of our Knights of Columbus mission.  Have you ever wondered, “How can I make my community better?”  Individuals can do great things on their own, but there is something bigger than self when Knights of Columbus members come together as one through their council and accomplish great things.  Councils that conduct these Community Programs are positively shaping their communities by addressing the needs of its citizens.

The local Knights of Columbus council, under the leadership of the Grand Knight, along with the council officers and members, select the activities and programs that the council implements.  It is through these programs that the council works for the betterment of our communities and our youth.  As a Catholic, family, fraternal service organization, we strive to assist our fellow man and their families, our church, and our community in their well being.

There are programs like the Soccer Challenge, Free Throw Tournament Contest, Coats for Kids and the Spelling Bee for the children to name a few.  In addition, some of the other programs include New Eyes for the Needy, Homeless Shelter Support, and “Send a Hero Home for the Holidays”.

All of the Community Programs, along with detailed information on each of them, can be found in the Grand Knight’s Handbook.  You can access the Grand Knight’s Handbook by logging into “Resources, Manuals and Directories” and then select the “Grand Knight Resources” Tab.  There, you will find a wealth of information.

State Council Community Programs:

1. Amber Alert
State Chairman: Raymond Lillie, FDD

2. Bowling Tournament
State Chairman: Andrew Kelly

3. Catholic Citizens Essay Contest – LINK
State Chairman: Stephen Agnone, PGK

4. Child ID Kits
State Chairman: Raymond Lillie, FDD

5. Coats for Kids (Featured Program) – LINK
State Chairman: Robert Morgan, PGK

6. Columbian Squires
State Chairman: Peter Briody, PGK

7. Council Bulletin / Newsletter Contest
State Chairman: Ron Kist

8. Council Website Contest
State Chairman: Bernard Ernst, FDD

9. Disaster Preparedness – LINK
State Chairman: Joseph Charmello, DD

10. Drug and Mental Health Awareness
State Chairman: Dr. Andrew Savicky, FDD

11. Free Throw Tournament – LINK
State Chairman: John Gazis, FDD

12. Habitat for Humanity (Featured Program) – LINK
State Chairman: Louis Monteforte, DD

13. Helping Hands (MANDATORY PROGRAM) – LINK
State Chairman: Jack Myatt, PGK

14. Homeless Support
State Chairman: William Hoffman, FDD

15. Knights of Columbus License Plates
State Chairman: Henry Keating, FDD

16. Motorcycle Ministry
State Chairman and President: Gerry Aponte

17. New Eyes for the Needy
State Chairman: Joseph Charmello, DD

18. One National God / Fly the Flag
State Chairman: John Gazis, FDD

19. Photography Contest
State Chairman: John Gazis, FDD

20. Scouting Awards
State Chairman: Christopher Hurley

21. Send a Hero Home for the Holidays
State Chairman: A. Thomas Ponting, FDD

22. Senior Citizen of the Year
State Chairman: George French, FDD

23. Shield & Emergency Care Service Awards (Police/Fire/EMT)
State Chairman: George French, FDD

24. Shoulder-to-Shoulder
State Chairman: Anthony Barlowski, FDD

25. Soccer Challenge – LINK
State Chairman: Vito Pulito, DD

26. Spelling Bee
State Chairman: Raymond Lillie, FDD

27. Tank Pull – North
State Chairman: John Hughes

28. Tank Pull/Fire Truck Pull – South
State Chairman: John Brandon, FDD

29. Veterans Assistance
State Chairman (North): Paul Pinkman, MFD
State Chairman (Central): Jeffery Bourne, FDD
State Chairman (South): Carmine Amico, FDD

30. American Wheelchair Mission
State Chairmen (North): Paul Pinkman, MFD
State Chairman (South): William McCartney, FDD

31. Global Wheelchair Mission (Featured Program) –
State Chairman: Paul Pinkman, MFD

Family Programs

Father McGivney sought to strengthen the familial bond of father to mother and children to parents.  His vision for family life was not only financial and material aid but also spiritual strength.  The majority of our time is easily spent in secular circles unless we intentionally create ways to live the domestic church.  These programs, created for families by families, help us to live this call.

State Council Family Programs:

1. Alzheimers Awareness and Family Respite Care
State Chairman (North): Neal McGarrity, PGK
State Chairman (South): Jack Persia, FM

2. Autism Awareness and Family Support
State Chairman: Bernard Ernst, FDD

3. Bishop Doughtery Scholarship
State Chairman: Anthony Bernice, FDD

4. Consecration to the Holy Family (MANDATORY PROGRAM)
State Chairman: John Brower, FDD

5. Family Fully Alive – LINK
State Chairman: Kevin Henry, FDD

6. Family of the Month/Year
State Chairman: Chris Ege, FDD

7. Family Prayer Night – LINK
State Chairman: Jim Charlton

8. Family Week – LINK
State Chairman: Chuck Hollis, DD

9. Food for Families (Featured Program)
State Chairman: Ed Visinski, PGK

10. Food for the Hungry-Holiday Food Baskets
State Chairman: Ed Visinski, PGK

11. Fr. John Murray Scholarship
State Chairman: Steve Martin, PGK

12. Good Friday Family Promotion
State Chairman: Deacon Dave Waguespack

13. John Attardo Scholarship
State Chairman: Peter Briody, PGK

14. Keep Christ in Christmas – LINK
State Chairman: Pete Kudless, PGK

15. Keep Christ in Christmas Card Program
State Chairman: Pete Kudless, PGK

16. Keep Christ in Christmas Poster Contest
State Chairman: Ron Hall, FDD

17. Knight of the Month/Year
State Chairman: Chris Ege, FDD

18. Wedding Certificates
State Chairman: John Jones, FDD

Life Programs

The Knights of Columbus offers men a place to lead their families and communities in faith and service and put their Faith into Action.  Knights of Columbus members, parishes, and families have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference through numerous Life Programs from the Supreme Council and State Council. These programs empower Knights to come together to share faith, celebrate fraternity with loved ones, and do what they do best — stand shoulder-to-shoulder in service to the community and to vigorously defend life and the dignity of each human being at every stage of life.

Respect for the dignity of life demands a commitment to human rights across a broad spectrum.  Knights work together to build a manifestation of life and a civilization of love through these important Life programs.  Your council should stand ready to care for the sick or elderly, aid the handicapped, empower those with special needs to realize their full potential, assist any pregnant woman in need, and bring attention to the injustices of abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, and assisted suicide.

Additionally, there are many people with special needs living in our communities, and we interact with many of them on a daily basis. The quality of life of every person is very important and how we care for the needs and dignity of each individual may even affect the lives of our family or friends.  We need to remember that we are all God’s children and He is the one who gives us rights, dignity, and worth.  Education and financial support of these programs is crucial for discouraging the myths that are often used to justify actions contrary to life.  We must show that life, at any age, can be lived to its fullest, with joy and satisfaction, according to God’s time-table.  We are called by Christ through our Catholic Social Teaching to protect the weak and the vulnerable, to care for the needy, and to treat all persons with respect and dignity.

Please familiarize yourself with these Life Programs so that you can not only give financial support, but conduct programs to raise awareness and provide prayers and assistance where needed most.  Detailed information about each program is available in the Grand Knight Handbook, which is available by logging into this site and selecting “Resources, Manuals, & Directories”, then “Grand Knight Resources”.  Additionally, please remember to publicize your program accomplishments for all to see and to submit reports not just for the awards, but to recognize the thousands of hours of hard work and meaningful contributions of our dedicated and valued members.  By working together in unity and fraternity with our Brother Knights and families, our faith-filled programs and charitable outreach will bring spiritual growth to each of us, comforting hope to those in need, and immense joy and fulfillment in giving to others.  May God bless you for the important work you do for our Order and our Catholic Church and may your extraordinary and selfless service deepen your faith and bring you closer to our Lord.

State Council Life Programs:

1.  Deborah Hospital Support
State Chairman:  Andrew Julia, FDD

2.  Fund Drive for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities
State Chairman: Gary L. Seals, FDD

3.  Mass for People with Special Needs
State Chairman: Gary L. Seals, FDD

4.  Novena for Life (MANDATORY PROGRAM)
State Chairman: Peter Kueken, Jr., FDD

5.  Organ Donor Program
State Chairman: Greg Ryan

6.  Polar Bear Plunge for Special Olympics New Jersey – February 2020
State Chairman: John A. Gazis, FDD

7.  Pregnancy Center Support
State Chairman: Dan Farago, PGK

8.  Safe Environment Program (MANDATORY PROGRAM)
State Chairman: James P. Sweeney, State Advocate

9.  Silver Rose Program – Our Lady of Guadalupe
State Chairman: Michael Choma, FDD

10.  Special Olympics (Featured Program)
State Chairman: William J. Zika

11.  Support for Persecuted Christians / Christian Refugee Relief
State Chairman: Peter Walentowicz, FDD

Culture of Life Programs

Ever since the horrendous decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade, the New Jersey State Council has been fighting to bring this country back to a Culture of Life. We do this in the following three (3) ways: 1) Preserving the sanctity of life; 2) Demonstrating and preserving the quality of life; and 3) Exercising our voices as Catholic citizens to influence government policy.

We must fight to protect the sanctity of life itself along its entire continuum, from conception to natural death. In order to do this, we must support the choice for life by removing the often very difficult obstacles that stand in a woman’s way to doing so, protect life by educating the public on what abortion really is and why it is wrong, and celebrating life by recognizing those women and families that chose life over death for their unborn child.

Demonstrating and preserving quality of life is also important, because it discourages the myths that are often used to justify actions contrary to life, whether it is abortion or euthanasia. We must show that life, at any age, can be lived to its fullest, with enjoyment and satisfaction.

Finally, the duties of American citizenship are not exclusive to Catholics, but it is our Catholic faith that inspires us to carry out these duties in a particular way. We must work to protect and preserve our society (especially in the area of Life), and exercise our Catholic Voice through voting and speaking out in public forums. Patriotism may be the principal of the Fourth Degree, but it is the duty of every Knight to live it.

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