The Knights of Columbanus are an Order of Catholic laymen dedicated to the service of Christ in daily life, in the workplace, the marketplace, in City, Urban and Provincial Areas.

The Order was founded in Belfast in 1915 by James K. Canon O’Neill.  In placing the Order under the patronage of St. Columbanus, our founders we’re mindful of his missionary zeal in bringing the good news of salvation to all.  The Knights were the response of Catholic Irishmen to the call of the Pope for a society of Catholic laymen acting in close co-operation with their Bishops in the work of the Apostolate.

Membership of the Order is open to Catholic males twenty one years and older.  Prospective new members are nominated by an existing member to join a particular Primary Council.  They must be practising Catholics as defined by the Church.

The Knights have four main objectives.  These are:

  • To promote by personal and group action the extension of a practical Christianity in all phases of life.
  • To maintain a fraternal society of Catholic Lay leadership.
  • To honour the Faith.
  • To prepare its members for the Apostolate.

The motto of the Order is: “To restore all things in Christ”.  Knights, as with all Catholics, are primarily concerned with their own spiritual formation and salvation.  They strive to express this in the first instance in their family circle.  This conviction is exemplified in their place of work and public life.  They are always mindful that a Christian Social Order in a changing world is not and cannot be static; it must be a dynamic balance of forces requiring constant evaluation corrections and adjustment.  The aim of the Knights is to maintain our country Christian in outlook, thought and action.  To achieve this end we are guided by two principles of action.  The first is the law of Charity.  The second is the law of Justice.

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