Knights of ColumbusYou can recognize them anywhere -- those men wearing plumed hats (chapeaus), brightly colored capes, white gloves and swords dangling from their hips.

You’ll find them dressed in their formal regalia at Catholic ceremonies, including ordinations and special Masses.

But what you don’t usually see is all the good work done behind the scenes by these men - - the Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization.

In the Diocese of Alexandria, there are currently five General Assemblies made up of 23 active Councils.  While membership is limited to practicing Catholic men ages 18 or older, there are also College Councils for men ages 18-24, and Columbian Squires, for young boys ages 10-17.

In 2005, the Order gave $136 million directly to charity and performed more than 63.2 million man hours of voluntary service. Because the organization supports the Church and its local community, the Order is often referred to as the “strong right arm of the Church.”

Throughout the diocese, the Knights have numerous projects that they work on for both the Church and the community.

In Natchitoches, where David Bouchie is the Grand Knight, Council #1357 supports the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, St. Mary’s School teachers pay raise program, the Northwestern State University Endownment scholarship pro-gram, Christian Youth Scholarship program,Natchitoches Association for Retarded Children, Special Olympics, Natchitoches Parish Boys and Girls State, and other programs.

In Alexandria, where Donald Collins is the Grand knight, Council 91/Court 91 sponsors a Mardi Gras Ball, a camp for children, and makes baskets for needy families at Christmas each year.  During Lent, they sponsor a Fish Fry on Good Friday. For the community they help out in other ministries including scholarships to seniors, food for senior program, and assistance for children of incarcerated family members.

The list of good deeds goes on and on, but Knights of Columbus is not all about work and no play. Councils always incorporate food and fun into their activities.

In Alexandria, where Louis Guidry is the Grand Knight, Council #8029 hosts an annual Palm Sunday chicken BBQ dinner and weekly Wednesday night suppers throughout the school year. Most parishioners will agree that the $3 for the Wednesday night supper is the best deal around.

In Kolin, where Kenneth Antee is the Grand Knight, Council #13296 supports the community with a gumbo cook-off, a horseshoe contest, freethrow contest, in addition to the Christian Youth Leadership Scholarship program.

“The Knights of Columbus is a great organization for Catholic men,” said Msgr. Joseph Susi, state chaplain for the Knights of Columbus. “I challenge all men, young and old, to call their parish Knights of Columbus council and be a part of this great Catholic service organization.”


History

The Knights of Columbus was founded by a Catholic priest, Father Michael J. McGivney in New Haven, CT on March 29, 1882. 

The primary motivation for the Order was to be a mutual benefit society. As a parish priest in an immigrant community, McGivney saw what could happen to a family when the breadwinner died and wanted to provide insurance to care for the widows and orphans left behind. He himself had to temporarily leave his seminary studies to care for his family when his father died. 

In the late 19th century, Catholics were regularly excluded from labor unions and other organizations that provided social services.  In addition, Catholics were either barred from many of the popular fraternal organizations, or, as in the case of Freemasonry, forbidden from joining by the Catholic Church itself. McGivney wished to provide them an alternative. He also believed that Catholicism and fraternalism were not incompatible and wished to found a society that would encourage men to be proud of their American-Catholic heritage.

McGivney had originally conceived of the name “Sons of Columbus” but James T. Mullen, who would become the first Supreme Knight, successfully suggested that “Knights of Columbus” would better capture the ritualistic nature of the new organization.  The Order was founded 10 years before the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the New World and in a time of renewed interest in him. Columbus was a hero to many American Catholics, and the naming him as patron was partly an attempt to bridge the division between the Irish-Catholic founders of the Order and Catholic immigrants of other nationalities living in Connecticut.

Today there are more than 14,000 councils around the world and the Knights of Columbus is a multi-billion dollar non-profit charitable organization. Knights may be seen distributing Tootsie Rolls to raise funds to fight developmental disabilities, volunteering for the Special Olympics, erecting pro-life billboards and “Keep Christ in Christmas” signs, conducting blood drives and raising funds for disaster victims, or parading at patriotic events with their bright capes, feathered chapeaux, and ceremonial swords.

Code of Dress

The official dress for a member of the Fourth Degree is as follows:

Black Tuxedo

Plain White Tuxedo Shirt

Black Tie

Black Shoes

Black Socks

Black Cummerbund or Black Vest

Social Baldric (worn under the coat, from right shoulder to left hip.)

Color Corps - Honor Guard - Color Guard

The official dress when serving in a color corps, honor guard or color guard are the same as the official dress of a member, with the following differences:

1. Black Chapeau with white plum or the color of the office as set forth below together with the Fourth Degree patch on the right side.

2. Black Cape with red lining or the color of the office as set forth on page 4, together with a Fourth Degree patch on the left shoulder.

3. White gloves.

4. Service Baldric, together with a sword, worn over the coat from the right shoulder to the left hip. When a sword is not permitted for any reason, the Service Baldric shall be worn nevertheless.

5. Color bearers wear a color harness and Service Baldric, but no sword.

6. The same rules apply with reference to wearing jewels of office.

Colors for Color Corps

Vice Supreme Master

Blue Cape and Chapeau

Master

Gold Cape and Chapeau

Faithful Navigator

White Cape and Chapeau

District Marshall

Green Cape and Chapeau

Assembly Commanders

Purple Cape and Chapeau

Color Corps

Red Cape and White Chapeau

Former Vice Supreme Masters

Blue Cape and Chapeau

Former Masters

Gold Cape and Chapeau

Past Faithful Navigators

White Cape and Chapeau

Baldrics

United States

Red, White and Blue


2015 Local Contacts:

General Assemblies

Fourth Degree

Diocesan Advisor:
Dr. Walter Laborde, FM
Cottonport, LA
Phone: (318) 876-2739

Diocesan Coordinator:
John Morovich
Alexandria, LA 
Phone (318) 443-7134

District Marshal:
Ismael "Gus" Agosto
Pineville, LA
Phone (318) 448-8653

Faithful Master:
David Lemaire
Baton Rouge, LA 
Phone: (985) 649-7011

Father Ryan General Assembly #0317:
Faithful Navigator: Darrel J. Tassin
Cottonport, LA
Phone: (318) 876-3188

Msgr. Piegay General Assembly #0328:
Faithful Navigator: Leonard Wilson
Pineville, LA
Phone: (318) 640-2159

Msgr. S.J. Dekeuwer General Assembly #2078:
Faithful Navigator: Fernand M. Menou, Jr.
Natchitoches, LA
Phone: (318) 352-3954

Msgr. Van der Putten General Assembly #2333:
Faithful Navigator: Dr. Rene Desselle
Mansura, LA
Phone: (318) 964-2452

St. Michael the Archangel General Assembly #2975:
Faithful Navigator: Stephen Gramigna
Leesville, LA
Phone: (337) 383-1067

Area K
Coordinator: Donald L. Hebert, Sr.
Pineville, LA
Phone:  (318) 715-2140

District #52:
Deputy: Donald L. Hebert, Sr.
Pineville, LA
Phone:  (318) 715-2140 

Council #9753:
Grand Knight: James L. Foster 
Tioga, LA
Phone: (318) 640-5393

Council  #13296:
Grand Knight:  Daniel Touchet
Deville/Kolin
Phone:  (318) 623-3903

Council #14657:
Grand Knight: Robet D. McGlothlan
Pineville, LA 
Phone: (318) 416-8123

Council #15228:
Grand Knight: Abel Garza, Jr.
Jena/Fishville 
Phone: (318) 765-3687

Council #15731:
Grand Knight: Alex R. Melendez
Pineville, LA 
Phone: (318) 445-5281

District #53:
Deputy: Joseph (Ed) Gremillion
Bunkie, LA
Phone:  (318) 346-4339
 
Council #9217:
Grand Knight: Paul V. Lacombe
Belledeau, LA
Phone: (318) 563-4336

Council #9294:
Grand Knight: Jory P. Franks
Echo, LA
Phone: (318) 201-4818

Council #9418:
Grand Knight: Don L. Brouillette
Fifth Ward, LA
Phone: (318) 253-7872
 
Council #12103:
Grand Knight: James A. Monroe
Lecompte, LA
Phone: (318) 201-7646

District #54:
Deputy: Matthew Couvillion
Many, LA
Phone:  (318) 581-2134

Council  #1357:
Grand Knight: Joseph D. Roque
Natchitoches, LA
Phone: (318) 352-8430

Council #4156:
Grand Knight: Raymond Navarro
Leesville, LA
Phone: (337) 239-6261

Council #4818
Grand Knight: Frederick J. Craig, Sr.
Zwolle, LA 
Phone: (318) 645-6704

Council  #12061:
Grand Knight: Eddie J. Richard
Many, LA
Phone:  (318) 590-0275

District #55:
Deputy: Daniel Lacombe
Hessmer, LA
Phone:  (318) 305-0241

Council #1217:
Grand Knight: Michael J. Bordelon, Sr.
Marksville, LA
Phone: (318) 253-9718

Council  #2395:
Grand Knight: Gerald Normand
Bunkie, LA
Phone: (318) 346-7200

Council  #3088:
Grand Knight: Bradley Bordelon
Hessmer, LA

Council #4010:
Grand Knight: Thomas Martin
Mansura, LA
Phone:  (318) 964-5960

Council #12209:
Grand Knight: James H. Armand
Bordelonville, LA
Phone: (318) 997-2297

District #56:
Deputy: Marvin Guillot
Simmesport, LA
Phone:  (318) 941-2014

Council  #1199:
Grand Knight: Darrel Tassin
Cottonport, LA
Phone: (318) 876-3188

Council  #2142:
Grand Knight: Jeremy Bordelon
Plaucheville, LA
Phone: (225) 718-1427

Council  #2972:
Grand Knight: Maurice Mayeaux, III
Moreauville, LA
Phone: (318) 985-2288

Council  #10564:
Grand Knight: Marvin Guillot
Simmesport, LA
Phone: (318) 941-2014

District #57:
Deputy: Robert E. Michiels
Alexandria, LA
Phone:  (318) 448-3736

Council #1134:
Grand Knight: Alfred Mathews, Jr.
Alexandria, LA
Phone: (318) 201-0191

Council #3200:
Grand Knight: John E. Tuminello, Jr.
Alexandria, LA
Phone: (318) 447-4837

Council:  #8029:
Grand Knight: Paul L. Mathews
Alexandria, La
Phone: (318) 794-9187

Council #13505:
Grand Knight: Michael C. Waits
Alexandria, LA
Phone: (318) 446-3596