Who Are the Knights?

The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Roman Catholic fraternal service organization providing 1.9 million members with volunteer opportunities in service to the Catholic Church, their families and communities.

We are:

  • Catholic men committed to Christian Formation and the fourfold principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism.
  • Brothers voluntarily bound by chivalric duty and moral obligation to serve and protect those most in need.
  • Defenders of our faith, families and country.
  • Strong right arm of the Church.
We are...


Membership Benefits As a member of the Knights of Columbus you and your family enjoy many benefits, including 12 free issues annually of Columbia magazine, the world's largest Catholic family magazine, eligibility to join the Knights of Columbus strong triple-A rated life insurance program, and many more family and personal benefits including leadership opportunities serving on Council and operational project teams.

How to Join

Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to practicing Roman Catholic men in union with the Holy See, who are at least 18 years old. A practicing 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. Please contact Edger Blinn, Membership Director at 634-3885 for more information on joining Council 6417.

If you have accessed this site from a Parish outside Saint Joseph's, Nova Scotia please complete the online inquiry form and a Knight in your area will be happy to contact you. 

Fourth Degree
Any Third Degree member in good standing, one year after the anniversary of his First Degree, is eligible for membership in the Fourth Degree. The primary purpose of the Fourth Degree is to foster the spirit of patriotism by promoting responsible citizenship and a love of and loyalty to the Knights' respective countries through active membership in local Fourth Degree groups (called "assemblies"). Certain members of the Fourth Degree serve as honour guards at civic and religious functions, an activity that has brought worldwide recognition to the Knights of Columbus.

Prayer of Columbus

Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. c1900.

A BATTER’D, wreck’d old man,  
Thrown on this savage shore, far, far from home,  
Pent by the sea, and dark rebellious brows, twelve dreary months,  
Sore, stiff with many toils, sicken’d, and nigh to death,  
I take my way along the island’s edge,
Venting a heavy heart.  
I am too full of woe!  
Haply, I may not live another day;  
I can not rest, O God—I can not eat or drink or sleep,  
Till I put forth myself, my prayer, once more to Thee,
Breathe, bathe myself once more in Thee—commune with Thee,  
Report myself once more to Thee.  
Thou knowest my years entire, my life,  
(My long and crowded life of active work—not adoration merely;)  
Thou knowest the prayers and vigils of my youth;
Thou knowest my manhood’s solemn and visionary meditations;  
Thou knowest how, before I commenced, I devoted all to come to Thee;  
Thou knowest I have in age ratified all those vows, and strictly kept them;  
Thou knowest I have not once lost nor faith nor ecstasy in Thee;  
(In shackles, prison’d, in disgrace, repining not,
Accepting all from Thee—as duly come from Thee.)  

All my emprises have been fill’d with Thee,  
My speculations, plans, begun and carried on in thoughts of Thee,  
Sailing the deep, or journeying the land for Thee;  
Intentions, purports, aspirations mine—leaving results to Thee.
O I am sure they really come from Thee!  
The urge, the ardor, the unconquerable will,  
The potent, felt, interior command, stronger than words,  
A message from the Heavens, whispering to me even in sleep,  
These sped me on.
By me, and these, the work so far accomplish’d (for what has been, has been;)  
By me Earth’s elder, cloy’d and stifled lands, uncloy’d, unloos’d;  
By me the hemispheres rounded and tied—the unknown to the known. 
The end I know not—it is all in Thee;  
Or small, or great, I know not—haply, what broad fields, what lands;
Haply, the brutish, measureless human undergrowth I know,  
Transplanted there, may rise to stature, knowledge worthy Thee;  
Haply the swords I know may there indeed be turn’d to reaping-tools;  
Haply the lifeless cross I know—Europe’s dead cross—may bud and blossom there.  
One effort more—my altar this bleak sand:
That Thou, O God, my life hast lighted,  
With ray of light, steady, ineffable, vouchsafed of Thee,  
(Light rare, untellable—lighting the very light!  
Beyond all signs, descriptions, languages!)  
For that, O God—be it my latest word—here on my knees,
Old, poor, and paralyzed—I thank Thee.  
My terminus near,  
The clouds already closing in upon me,  
The voyage balk’d—the course disputed, lost,  
I yield my ships to Thee.
Steersman unseen! henceforth the helms are Thine;  
Take Thou command—(what to my petty skill Thy navigation?)  
My hands, my limbs grow nerveless;  
My brain feels rack’d, bewilder’d; Let the old timbers part—I will not part!  
I will cling fast to Thee, O God, though the waves buffet me;
Thee, Thee, at least, I know.  
Is it the prophet’s thought I speak, or am I raving?  
What do I know of life? what of myself?  
I know not even my own work, past or present;  
Dim, ever-shifting guesses of it spread before me,
Of newer, better worlds, their mighty parturition,  
Mocking, perplexing me.  
And these things I see suddenly—what mean they?  
As if some miracle, some hand divine unseal’d my eyes,  
Shadowy, vast shapes, smile through the air and sky,
And on the distant waves sail countless ships,  
And anthems in new tongues I hear saluting me.