Thanks to the efforts of Father Michael J. McGivney, assistant pastor of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, and his parishioners, the Connecticut state legislature on March 29, 1882, officially chartered the Knights of Columbus as a fraternal benefit society. The Order is still true to its founding principles of charity, unity, and fraternity.
Each degree of the Knights of Columbus is associated with a particular virtue. First is Charity, Second is Unity, and Third is the Fraternity Degree. The Fourth Degree, established on February 22, 1900, is Patriotism and is often known as the Patriotic Degree.
The St. Vincent Pallotti Council of St. Leo's, with approximately 68 members, is one belonging to the largest Catholic fraternal organization in the world with about 2 million members, focusing on prayer and fraternity among members. We, as Third Degree Knights of the St. Vincent Pallotti Council, share a sense of pride that all Knights feel in knowing that our Order is second to none in support of our Holy Father, our Bishops and Priests, and in working for our fellow man. The Knights of Columbus gives us, as members, the tools to fulfill our mission to perpetuate God’s work here on earth. We are especially conscious of those most in need, and in binding together to preserve values in the face of attacks against family and innocent human life. Our Council annually, through our fundraisers, provides monetary support to at least 3 Seminarians, provides multiple Catholic School Scholarships, supports adolescent care at Spring Grove State Hospital and Special Olympics Maryland, and along with our family members, contributes thousands of volunteer hours in support of St. Leo’s Church and the Parish Community.
Our Council meets on the first and third Thursdays of the month at 7 pm in the Church Hall. To learn more, or to join the parish's Knights of Columbus Council, please contact Grand Knight Dominic Pompa at 443-829-8690, or Membership & Public Relations Director Francis Blattermann at 410-207-7075.
Our Fourth Degree order of Knights, St. Joseph Assembly #3502, was instituted on August 25, 2014, and was granted a Charter by the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, Connecticut, on September 18, 2014.
The Assembly meets in the Church Hall on the first Monday of each month. Membership consists of Sir Knights from the St. Vincent Pallotti Council, Our Lady of Lourdes Council, and Baltimore Basilica Council.
Our goals are to promote and strengthen the patriotic spirit of the civic community, and to educate its members and others, both in the teachings of the Holy Mother Church and the history of our nation.
The Fourth Degree is frequently regarded as an honorary title, with its regalia of tuxedos, capes, chapeaux, and swords, but should rather be thought of in terms of service to church and country, our objective being the promotion of the ideals of Catholicism and Patriotism side by side.
Fourth Degree Knights are often referred to as "the visible arm of the Knights of Columbus." As such, it is not unusual to see us participating in church events, escorting priests for the processions through the streets of Little Italy during the St. Anthony and St. Gabriel Festivals and for Good Friday Stations of the Cross.