303 South Sixth Street | Charleston, MO 63834 | (573) 233-8400
Who are the Knights?
The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Catholic family fraternal service organization with 1.7 million members. It provides members and their families with volunteer opportunities in service to the Catholic Church, their communities, families and young people.
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 top-ranked life insurance program, and many more family and personal benefits.
The benefits of becoming a Knight are many and substantial. Knights perform exemplary service in all the following categories: Church Activities, Youth Activities, Family Activities, Community Service and Council Activities.
Some Benefits of Membership
- COLUMBIA MAGAZINE - Free subscription to the Order's monthly magazine examining issues of concern to Knights, Catholics and families.
- KNIGHTS of COLUMBUS ROSARY - Blessed by the supreme chaplain, presented during the First Degree exemplification to each new member.
- DAILY MASS OF REMEMBRANCE AT ST. MARY'S CHURCH - Mass for deceased members and their wives, and deceased members of the Squires program, at birthplace of the Order.
- INSURANCE - Portfolio of top-quality life insurance, long-term care, and annuity products exclusively for members and their families.
- FAMILY FRATERNAL BENEFIT - For eligible families: a) Pays $1,500 for the child who dies before the age of 61 days; b) Pays $750 for the child who is stillborn at least 20 weeks after conception; c) Offers guaranteed-issue insurance up to $5,000 to any child under age 18.
- ORPHAN BENEFIT - $80 monthly allotment for orphans of eligible families; up to $7,000 in college scholarships available.
- MEMBER/SPOUSE FRATERNAL BENEFIT - Accidental death coverage for member and spouse at no cost.
- WIDOW BENEFITS - a) Continues to be covered under the Member/Spouse Fraternal Benefit;  b) May purchase life insurance, long-term care insurance, or annuities up to one year after insured member's death; c) Receives a free lifetime subscription to Columbia; d) Eligible with her children for scholarships, student loans, etc.
- SCHOLARSHIPS - Scholarship programs for higher education available to members, their spouses and children.
- LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT - Opportunity to build personal leadership skills, public speaking ability, organization skills, etc.
- FOURTH DEGREE - Eligibility to join the "Patriotic Degree."
- HONORARY LIFE MEMBERSHIP at age 70 with 25 years of membership.
- MEMBERSHIP ("TRAVEL") CARD - Entitles participation in all Catholic, fraternal and social activities in nearly 13,000 councils throughout the world.
- ACTIVITIES - FAMILY/YOUTH/RELIGIOUS/SOCIAL/ATHLETIC - Participation in a variety of programs and activities conducted by local councils.
How To Join
Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to practicing 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.
Simply ask a Knight for a "Form 100" to get the ball rolling.
The 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 honor guards at civic and religious functions, an activity that has brought worldwide recognition to the Knights of Columbus.
Council 3282 hosts Thomas A. Langen Assembly 568 of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, for the Assembly's April meeting each spring when Charleston is in full, beautiful bloom.
The Ladies Auxiliary's main function is to SUPPORT the men and the council. They do this primarily by providing help at events, cooking for events and providing monetary help. They also generally do help with setting up and beautifying the hall for events.
Council 3282 has never organized a Ladies Auxiliary.
Under the guidance of Christian Brother Barnabas McDonald (1865-1929), the first Columbian Squires circle was instituted in 1925. Membership in the Squires is for Catholic boys between the ages of 12 and 17. Squires' activities are many, varying from spiritual to active service for the Church and community. Each circle elects officer members from their own rank, teaching skills of leadership and responsibility.
Council 3282 has never organized a Squires Circle.