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Knights of Columbus

Fr. John H Endejan Council 16171

3rddegreeWhy the St. Matthias Council was created:

Fr. David Cooper became a Knight of Columbus in 1984 and has served as State Chaplin, Council Chaplin and Faithful Friar for the Knights of Columbus. Today he is one of our Lifetime Honorary Members, and in early 2015 he called on the men of St. Matthias Parish to make a difference and to be role models for their children.

The Fr. John H Endejan Council 16171 members here at St. Matthias are looking for the next generation of men who want to put their Faith into action and grow in their Faith. Knights of Columbus councils are looked at as being Father’s “Right Hand Men” and we are asking for Men who want to make a difference in the St. Matthias community to join us as we bring hope back to this world.

The councils name was chosen and approved by Archbishop Lisiecki to honor the memory and achievements Fr John Endejan as he was a very much loved and respected past pastor of St. Matthias Parish. Fr. John Endejan was also a Knights of Columbus member and served as the Worthy Chaplin of the West Allis Knights of Columbus council 3095.

When our members in Wisconsin want to make a difference for their Parish and community they certainly do.  For more than 100 years, Knights of Columbus members and their families have helped those who are intellectual challenged.  Members and their families are also involved in Blood Drives, Pro-life causes, Food pantries, and Support for Priestly Vocations.  These are just a few of the programs in which the Knights of Columbus members and their families make a difference for Our Lady and her Son.

Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to men 18 years of age or older who are practical (that is, practicing) Catholics in union with the Holy See. This means that an applicant or member accepts the teaching authority of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals, aspires to live in accord with the precepts of the Catholic Church, and is in good standing in the Catholic Church.


Members who are over 18 years of age; a citizen of the country in which he resides; a Third Degree member in good standing; and a practicing Catholic in union with the Holy See are eligible to join the Fourth Degree Knights.

Men interested in joining the Fr. John H Endejan Council 16171 here at St. Matthias can contact the Grand Knight at for more information.

Additional information can be found on the Wisconsin State Council home page or the Knights of Columbus Supreme home page.

Founding History of the Knights of Columbus

The Knights of Columbus was founded on March 29, 1882 by Father Michael J. McGivney, assistant pastor of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven and some of his parishioners. The Connecticut state legislature officially chartered the Knights of Columbus as a fraternal benefit society on this date. The Order is still true to its founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity.

The Knights was formed to render financial aid to members and their families. Mutual aid and assistance are offered to sick, disabled and needy members and their families. Social and intellectual fellowship is promoted among members and their families through educational, charitable, religious, social welfare, war relief and public relief works.

The history of the Order shows how the foresight of Father Michael J. McGivney, whose cause for sainthood is being investigated by the Vatican, brought about what has become the world’s foremost Catholic fraternal benefit society. The Order has helped families obtain economic security and stability through its life insurance, annuity and long-term care programs, and has contributed time and energy worldwide to service in communities.

The Knights of Columbus has grown from several members in one council to more than 15,100 councils and 1.9 million members throughout the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, Guatemala, Guam, Saipan, Lithuania, Ukraine, and South Korea.

Our Principles

All the good works we do are informed by our four core principles:

Charity – Our Catholic faith teaches us to “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Members of the Knights of Columbus show love for their neighbors by conducting food drives and donating the food to local soup kitchens and food pantries, by volunteering at Special Olympics, and by supporting, both spiritually and materially, mothers who choose life for their babies. Knights recognize that our mission, and our faith in God, compels us to action. There is no better way to experience love and compassion than by helping those in need, a call we answer every day.

Unity – None of us is as good as all of us. Members of the Knights of Columbus all know that – together – we can accomplish far more than any of us could individually. So we stick together…we support one another. That doesn’t mean that we always agree or that there is never a difference of opinion. It does mean that – as a Knight of Columbus – you can count on the support and encouragement of your brother Knights as you work to make life better in your parish and community.

Fraternity – The Venerable Michael J. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus, in large part, to provide assistance to the widows and children left behind when the family breadwinner died – often prematurely. The Order’s top-rated insurance program continues to do this today, as do individual Knights, who last year gave more than 10 million hours of their time to assist sick and/or disabled members and their families. In the Knights of Columbus, we watch out for and take care of one another.

Patriotism – Members of the Knights of Columbus, be they Americans, Canadians, Mexicans, Cubans, Filipinos, Poles, or Dominicans, are patriotic citizens. We are proud of our devotion to God and country, and believe in standing up for both. Whether it’s in public or private, the Knights remind the world that Catholics support their nations and are amongst the greatest citizens.

Activities for Knights of Columbus Members and their Families

From the moment of our founding in 1882, charity has been the first principle of the Knights of Columbus. We are men of faith and men of action.

During 2012, in addition to raising and donating more than $167.5 million to charitable needs and projects, Knights volunteered more than 70 million hours of their time to charitable causes. These figures represent an increase of 6% and .1% respectively over 2011 figures. We undertake these acts of charity because we see those in need through the eyes of faith. Moreover, in the Knights of Columbus, we approach these acts of charity together. Pope Benedict XVI calls this the “practice of love…as a community.”

Our charitable activities encompass an almost infinite variety of local, national and international projects. From international charitable partnerships with Special Olympics, the Global Wheelchair Mission and Habitat for Humanity to our own Food for Families and Coats for Kids projects and other purely local charities, the opportunity to work together with fellow Knights and their families is virtually endless.

If you’d like to be a part of an international organization of more than 1.8 million Catholic men whose principal work involves helping others in need, we’d like to meet you and invite you to join us.

The Knights’ annual Survey of Fraternal Activity for the year ending Dec. 31, 2012, indicated that, despite the economy remaining soft, total charitable contributions reached $167,549,817 – exceeding the previous year’s total by more than $9.4 million.

The figure includes $30,947,974 donated by the Supreme Council, and $136,601,843 in contributions from state and local councils, assemblies and Squires circles.

Forty-Five percent of the contributions were for projects at the community level, many involving youth activities. Large donations during the period included $250,000 by Supreme Council and $3,308,796 by state and local councils for Special Olympics as well as $1,593,000 by Supreme Council and $4,477,120 by state and local councils for the support and promotion of religious vocations.

The survey also indicated that the quantity of volunteer service hours to charitable causes by Knights grew to 70,113,207– an increase of 63,774 hours compared to 2011. There were 423,575 Knights of Columbus blood donations during the year.

Cumulative figures show that during the past decade, the Knights of Columbus has donated $1.5 billion to charity, and provided more than 673 million hours of volunteer service in support of charitable initiatives.