Baby Boomers are killing the Knights of Columbus… but they don’t have to


August 4, 2017 by Alex Johannigman

Earlier this week, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson announced that the Knights of Columbus were going to abandon their ceremonial caps and capes and take on a new style.

Regalia Change“This fraternal year, we make another historic change. The Board of Directors has decided that the time is right for a modernization of the Fourth Degree uniform,” Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus Carl Anderson announced on Tuesday at the Knights’ 135th annual international convention in St. Louis, Mo.

I’ll just get this out here up front, I am not a fan of the change, and judging from the feedback I’ve seen on social media (and particularly from some of the KoC facebook pages that I’m a part of) I’m not the only one. As a fourth degree knight who has proudly worn the regalia on numerous occasions over the past five years (and spent nearly $500 to purchase all of the pieces), I have always been a fan of how different the ceremonial dress is from everything else that is worn in our modern era. There was something exciting about donning the chapeau, slipping on the white gloves, and carrying my sword.

But that was never what drew me to the Knights. I was drawn to the Knights because of the charitable work that they do at every level from the local community to international aid and relief work, the sense of fraternity and brotherhood that I saw between knights at my parish, and the desire to learn more about being a Catholic man and father from older knights who were wiser than I was. Getting to wear distinctive regalia at special masses and parades a few times a year (and to cook blueberry pancakes once a month for my fellow parishioners) were just a couple of the extra perks.

What I find interesting, and possibly even a little exciting, about the announcement was the statement from the KoC leadership about the need to modernize to appeal to the younger generations within the Church. While I think they’ve sought a solution from entirely the wrong angle, I couldn’t agree more with their assessment.

Since joining the Knights over 5 years ago, I’ve become increasingly frustrated at our inability to make ourselves more appealing to my millennial peers. I think this is largely because those in leadership positions within the Knights don’t really know much about how to do it.

If the new regalia design is any indication, it seems like the Boomers that currently hold many of the leadership positions within the Knights of Columbus believe that all they need to do to appeal to men in their 20s and 30s is think about what they wanted when they were our age. This mindset shows a complete lack of understanding about the true differences between Boomers and Millennials. As a millennial Knight who wants to see the order continue to grow and thrive well beyond my lifetime, here are three of my suggestions if the Knights want to appeal to younger men in a way that is much more effective than a hideous regalia change.

1. Master Technology and the Internet

One of the most frustrating things about my experience with the Knights is how hard it is to get information of any kind online. The internet is the first place millennials turn to communicate, check their calendars, make plans, and gather information, yet it seems like the Knights view an online presence as simply an afterthought. Finding information about when my council or assembly is doing something next, paying my annual dues, and accessing details about my insurance policies can all be easily available online, but they either aren’t or are very difficult to access in most situations.

The internet is a powerful tool for communication, but if the Knights don’t use it to communicate in a more effective manner, more young knights are going to feel left out in the dark when they can’t find the information they’re looking for where they expect to be able to find it.

2. Adapt to the reality that Knights are in different stages in life

Currently, almost everything about the Knights is designed to best suit men who are married, have children, and have settled down into a parish. In reality, most younger men don’t fit any of those categories. Shortly after joining I received emails asking me to “Bring your wife to our moms appreciation breakfast” and “Bring your kids to our family picnic.” Even at business meetings I was often asked about my wife and kids by people who were totally unaware that I didn’t have either yet. Even though I really enjoyed many aspects of being a Knight, those sorts of conversations made me feel like this wasn’t a group for people like me.

Millennials also move around a lot. We’re less likely to stay in the same city for our entire lives than other generations may have been. In fact, since joining the Knights I’ve moved to a different state twice and switched parishes three times. Every move required me to complete a council transfer process that was anything but smooth. Even after completing necessary paperwork, it often took months or longer to get added to an email list for my new council, I’d receive invoices for dues from both my old and new councils, and mail would frequently get sent to an old address. The last time I checked, my online profile still showed that I was a member of a council I left 4 years ago and there was no way to change that on the KoC website. The Knights would do well to adopt a better process for handling Knights moving to new areas so they can keep them engaged, especially since moving is so common among younger people.

3. Get to know what the faith means to young men

The Church has changed over the past few decades. Fewer people identify with a religion than in the past, but those who are staying in the Catholic Church (and especially those who are joining from the outside) love the Church’s rich tradition. This isn’t a generation that wants the Church to “get with the times.” It seems like this recent move to “modernize” the Knights of Columbus shows that the leadership doesn’t really understand that and instead assumes that the Catholics in their 20’s today are just like the Catholics who were in their 20’s fifty years ago.

We were told that this decision was made by the Board of Directors, but I wonder if they would have reached the same conclusion if more voices had been present. I don’t think most knights were even aware that a new regalia design was being considered (or was a even a possibility) until it had been finalized. There certainly weren’t any young voices in the conversation.

One of the best ways to fix this is to spend more time getting to know the younger members of our councils, and better yet, bring more young Knights into leadership positions and the conversations that are shaping the future of the order as soon as possible. After all, the future of the Knights of Columbus, as well its present, belong to us too.


Source: Denver Catholic


50 thoughts on “Baby Boomers are killing the Knights of Columbus… but they don’t have to

  1. roscoe says:

    As a boomer-generation 4th Degree Knight (an older boomer at 68 y/o) I agree completely with all your points!


    • Thang Bui says:

      The 40 members in our Honor Guard will be done and out $24,000.00 thank you Karl Andersons. I do not want to join because they thought they HAD to but regalia. It was about the money $$$ not the style.


    • Eric Schneider says:

      As a current F.S. I have to disagree with the part of Point 2. where you claim the system caused your information to be 4 years out of date. The fault lies with one or more FS’s who didn’t do their job. I am also a retired IT person and agree that better systems can be devised, but with human beings you are always going to have problems. At your Council ask the FS for a copy of your Supreme record and verify the info.


      • Adam Gautie says:

        As a financial secretary I have to disagree. On numerous ocannsions I submitted the form 100 to Supreme only to find out months later their form was not accepted by Supreme. You would think Supreme would contact you about missing info, but no; they just don’t process the form 100. You have to contact them why it was not processed. Maybe a simple “hey you you should add x to the form” would work.


  2. Marc Misuraca says:

    I’ve been a member since March of 1989, and a 4th degree since 1994. I am not for the changes to the official dress, I just spent $500 for my 19 year old son’s regalia. When he came into the 4th degree less than 2 months after turning 18, he was the youngest 4th degree member in the state of Texas.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Knight Allan says:

    Hahah! I totally agree to your point #2! By the way, I’m already a Sir Knight at the age of 20. Now I’m 25 and been to different parishes because of the nature of my work.

    I agree to all your points my brother knight. I think one possibility is that when a knight was exemplified in college and then needs to transfer to new place because he graduated. Perhaps we need a “welcoming” atmosphere. Yes I do agree, I look information on the internet. Very often.

    What also attracts me is that the camaraderie. Upon joining, you’ll know people who are engineers, attorneys, doctors; you know, your network has just increased. Ofcourse, I have to prove my self. I need to graduate in college and become a successful IT Consultant.


    • Joseph Kearns says:

      As an older generation Knight ( 62 ) I have to agree with many of your points. I joined later in life and while in my 30s was concerned that we were an aging organization. Love my fellow Knights and this great fraternal organization. Keep speaking out. You do so with respect and are definitely worth hearing from. Vivat Jesus


  4. Teresa Kollasch says:

    I bought my fiance regalia in 2009 as an engagement present, and in 2015 he passed away from brain cancer. My dream was for my toddler son to wear his dads’ regalia, and carry on the tradition of his dad, grandpa, and great grandpa which we have all 3 swords from. I understand the chapeau is slightly odd, but there is zero need to change the cape, classic tuxedo, sword, and other pieces that are timeless. This widow is so saddened by all this.


  5. Brandon H. says:

    As a Financial Secretary and the webmaster of the Louisiana State Council (and a PFN and FDD) as well as a Gen X’er who joined at 18, I mostly agree with item 1. Over the last 10 or 15 years, Supreme has come along way, but they still have a long way to go.
    Up until July, I was the youngest active member in our council. The youngest is now our newly assigned pastor.
    We have a Young Adult Director in our state council and he works with Supreme. So Supreme is aware they need to do something. And I agree with you (and nearly everyone else) that the change in regalia is not the way to do it.


    • Thang Bui says:

      one word “tradition”. The Knight Color Guard like the priest vestment are the a few of the last vestige of Catholic tradition. What’s next, Priest done Mass in suits …. or jeans.


      • Grace Burns says:

        Don’t laugh my nephew just went to a mass in CA and the priest wore regular clothes to celebrate the mass. No vestments in sight. Aarrrgghhh!


  6. puzhead says:

    in our place, the PHILIPPINES. The 4th Degree Knights of Columbus are ALWAYS in the front liners especially in the INDEPENDENCE DAY, CHURCH ACTIVITIES, LOCAL and NATIONAL PATRIOTISM and all other PROCESSIONS and PARADES. THE 4th Degree KoC REGALIA are the BEST. other Organizations such (MASON, EAGLES, LIONS, ROTARY etc) are at our BACK. we are the LEADERS… if that would change. then may be WE (KoC) are similar to the Armed Force or a Veterans Soldier.. with Ordinary Beret Cap, and Tuxido.. just like that. very ORDINARY.


  7. John V Tieso says:

    You make some great points here, especially about the inability of Supreme to deal with modern technology. Those investments, together will a more integrated recruiting program will attract the Millennials–not for a military-like new uniform, but for the works they can do, and the information they control. Nothing is more frustrating to me as an older knight than having to go to the local insurance agent every time I need information on my policies.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Martin says:

    This is a great article! I’m a young 4th degree as well and even as deputy grand knight it was hard to make any change, specifically with technology. The older generations first and foremost don’t like change and many didn’t understand how these changes would appeal to younger men. I think the main reason for this is they are not comfortable with the current technology themselves. I could go on and on but I am also hoping the Knights will change for the better and thrive throughout my lifetime! It would be great to get a group of young Knights together online to start throwing ideas around and possibly propose them to supreme!


  9. Tom Ashby says:

    I disagree with the changes. People recognize with our regalia.


  10. Matt says:

    You sir, are exactly correct. The greatest majority of the “Board or Directors” are aging Baby Boomers. Online information or access to ones Council information is limited to the Grand Knight and Financial Secretary or Faithful Navigator and Comptroller. Making any changes at all hinges on the Financial person. It is way archaic in the age of online billpay. Yet, isn’t funny how my insurance can be auto withdrawn. Even then, that system needs a change- not the Regalia.


    • Thang Bui says:

      We need to change the uniform to get younger people to join.” All fraternal organizations are suffering in the membership department, particularly with younger members. It is a problem of how young people view such organizations, their attitudes on what constitutes meaningful social engagement, and their perceptions of the benefits (or lack thereof) in joining such an organization. This is a problem that is not unique to the Knights of Columbus and the solution has to involve how we communicate to young people and how we present the opportunities that exist for them with the Knights of Columbus that don’t exist elsewhere. I don’t think changing the 4th Degree uniform is going to solve the problem.


  11. Dale A Simoneaux says:

    Bad decision. I for one do not like the look.
    Looks like an European Country Club costume.
    Maybe it is time for me to go…. from a PKG, PDD and 4th Degree.
    Dale A Simoneaux


    • says:

      By any chance did you have a relative by the name of Fr Henry Simoneaux, an Oblate if Mary Immaculate? At the time I knew him (1960-1964) he was the rector of St. Anthony’s Seminary in San Antonio, Texas. I don’t recall when he died…likely about mid to late 60’s.
      Your name caught my attention. Don’t believe I’ve come across it since the 60’S.
      Peace, John S


  12. Field Agent Todd says:

    I would love to see more millennials in leadership positions in council. But for that to happen we need more millennials to join and that seems to always be a challenge. The major objection I get is “I don’t have time.” How do we recruit young men? We have fantastic fraternal benefits for young families which these young men have or will soon.


  13. Tim says:

    As a 4th generation PKG, following in the footsteps of my father, grandfather, and great grandfather. We are all PGK’s of the same council. It blows my mind how the council’s have been struggling for members. The problem is the incorporation of technology. As our council has a fb page, that’s it. We should be hooked up with our churches websites, and our community websites. Activity working with the change in the generational gap. Our young members are the ones we need involved, molding them to understand the order and it’s values. They are the next generation to carry the tourch.


  14. Kurt Stauffer says:

    AGREED! With most of your points. Stepping back even further, the problem with the Knights is that leadership is too paternalistic. A fraternity is fluid, flexible, ever changing. Not from on high but from within the ranks. But I disagree with your assessment of the new regalia. The new regalia is classy and timeless and simple. Qualities that millennials cherish. As a knight I am constantly apologizing for and explaining away the plumage and swords to anyone under age 55. And as one myself, would never wear the current outfit. It is too proud, too pompous, to paternalistic. Totally out of touch with regular folks. I get that some may see that as an escape and as a chance to feel uplifted, but that is not anywhere described as a reason for our order.


  15. Thang Bui says:

    Sir Knights.
    Like many others, I feel a need to express my opinion on the new uniforms. For the record, I do not like them and don’t know if I will ever spend the money to buy one. From the comments I have read, support for the new uniforms seems to fall into three categories: 1) No one joins because of the current regalia 2) Uniform change is necessary to appeal to younger members 3) the uniform doesn’t matter so stop complaining about a hat. I would like to address all of these issues.
    First, no one joins because of the regalia.
    Second- “We need to change the uniform to get younger people to join.” All fraternal organizations are suffering in the membership department, particularly with younger members. It is a problem of how young people view such organizations, their attitudes on what constitutes meaningful social engagement, and their perceptions of the benefits (or lack thereof) in joining such an organization. This is a problem that is not unique to the Knights of Columbus and the solution has to involve how we communicate to young people and how we present the opportunities that exist for them with the Knights of Columbus that don’t exist elsewhere. I don’t think changing the 4th Degree uniform is going to solve the problem.
    Third, “stop complaining about a hat.” This is an over simplistic view of the distaste for the new uniform. From the comments I’ve read, many brother knights certainly don’t like the look and feel of the new uniforms, but they are more upset about the process. They feel slighted by Supreme. There is a great quote about slights in the movie Hoffa which I think is applicable here (quote can be found online). There is understandable anger at the perception that Supreme showed indifference to the order’s most active members. Members who form the backbones of our councils and assemblies were disregarded in the hopes that some unguaranteed membership gain would be realized in the future. While we are certainly expected to obey our superiors in the order, we are also human. When we get cut it hurts. And this decision cut a lot of people and a lot of people feel hurt because of it. Compounding the hurt, is the lack of explanation from Supreme on why this was necessary. The Catholic gentlemen that made this decision must do the gentlemanly thing and offer a full and fair explanation of the process and an honest evaluation of the reaction of the membership.
    one word “tradition”. The Knight Color Guard like the priest vestment are the a few of the last vestige of Catholic tradition. What’s next, Priest done Mass in suits …. or jeans.
    I would say that my observation of the days events does not include too many smiling faces. I am extremely disappointed with this change. The fact that supreme did not solicit a dialogue before making this change is even more disconcerting.
    I definitely will not buy the new uniform. If I am not allowed to wear the regalia anymore, I will just stop going to call outs, but I will stay loyal to my assembly and the knights.

    Vivat Jesus! Viva Cristo Rey!
    S.K Thang Bui


  16. Ed Ivey says:

    When I join 52 years ago the organization was a lot different. The instillation for each degree was different and he had great meaning. That has changed. It seems to me we have been dumbing down our organization. I always thought the 4th degree was a patriotic and the formal degree. I do think the new look would formalize the first three degrees only without the beret.


  17. Charles Dallas Dorsey says:

    I’m 74 years and this Sir Knight who wrote the article is right on point. I feel that the Supreme officers and board are out of touch with the membership whether they be young, middle age or old like myself. I feel the Supreme Board’s attitude “I’m the Board and know what is best”.


  18. Michael Schultz says:

    I am a PGK and currenty the Captain in our Assembly – Ah so many things to repond to:
    Regalia change will bring us few new 4th Degrees. Put 20 men in this in a group of 200 and you will not know who is an Honor Guard member but place those same men in that group with capes and chapeaus it is very apparent who are the KCs.
    Still a lot of questions, have been told cost of new regalia is still about $500. At least with a tux you can wear it to other formal activities. If Supreme does not lighten up on regulation as to when and where we can wear this we will have a single use item making this an organization for those who have descretionary income only and not an inclusive group. Supreme Knight in a post-Convention letter stated this will include a sword yet the Vice-Supreme Commanders who debuted this at Convention were not wearing one so I am confused if we will or will not and if so… up goes the cost again.
    As for technology yes as an organization we are behind but so are most fraternal organizations. I agree we should take the lead and hopefully this will not only increase our visibility but our membership. Our Council has an active webpage and are considering FB and Twitter plus linking to the local parish websites within our perview.
    In it’s heyday the KCs only competed against other fraternal organizations for young men now those men are giving time and talent to many other groups and we need to enlighten them that they can still do all of that as a Catholic Gentlemen and a KC. Their children now are in a dozen different club sports and academic activities. Again we need to educate them that as a KC they can still be in all of these with their families and at the same time posture a fine example of what a Catholic is and how the KCs benefit all not just fellow Catholics. Our numbers always rose dramatically after a war WWI, WWII, Korea our current military involvements are smaller in scale, smaller units with shorter but multiple deployments so there is a change in dynamic there too (don’t rail on me about military as I am spouse of a retired Army COL, father of a USMC Corporal, father in law of a USAF Captain and son of a USAF Master SGT (ret) so been there done that as a military family).
    Educating Catholic men and their familes is our most important need, providing that on social media is an outstanding way to do it but face to face will still give us the best results. The others will keep people informed of activities. A change in 4th Degree Regalia will not bring a groundswell of young men into our ranks, We as KCs are the ones who will do that


  19. Pat Jennings says:

    One of the best, insightful commentary written on this topic. I am one of the septagenarians who joined when I was 19. Carrying on the tradition of my father which is now being obliterated is painful to experience.

    Because I live in a small town, our assembly covers several councils from similarly size towns. Other than our monthly meeting and occasional honor guard detail, I have nothing in common with the other 4th members from the other towns.
    I would like to speak with Supreme management about some ideas I have.
    Vivat Jesus!


  20. SK. Vernon W. Bergman FC, PGK, PFN says:

    I to think that the new Regalia isn’t really modernizing. Granted, a feathered hat and cape with a sword isn’t modern, but you can bet anything that the majority of the public know that we are the Knights of Columbus walking in a parade or meeting the service men and women coming home at the airport. To me this old Regalia represented a distinguished and respected look. I can recall when the Sisters of the CPPS changed from their habits to modern street clothes. The comments that I recall as a young man, were “I lost all respect for them”. I agree that we need to get more into the information age.
    The family demographics from the 60’s, 70’s and some of the 80’s has changed. It should be the Knights as a Fraternall organization to lead the men and women of this age into the future with Religion as a foundation, along with technology.


  21. JR says:

    At 34, being a member since 18, but only recently completing 4th degree, this really saddens me. The regalia has always identified us. Friends of mine for years asked where my hat and sword were, and I always said I’d have it one day(although I’ve always been an active member, I just never made a 4th degree ceremony til recently.) Is it the end of the world?- No, but to this author’s point- the reasoning totally misses the point ( which possibly highlights the ACTUAL problem we’re facing.) Brothers, we can keep this alive, either way, but I just hope those at the top wake up and listen to people like this author. Well done, Sir Knight.


  22. Carl R. Brucker says:

    I personally think there is nothing wrong with the traditional regalia. Whoever proposed this is a SOCIALIST COMMUNIST.

    A beret has always been symbolic of a Militant group or military status. Is that what the K of C is turning into or wants to attract? Think about it!


  23. Alain says:

    I have to say that if our supreme knight is not a fan of changes, then why would he go with such drastic changes knowing very well that this would not sit well with most sir knights. There has to be more to the story. I will NOT wear this new uniform. I will NOT stand down till I know the real reasons.


  24. adair hemel says:

    I am planning on taking my 4th degree exemplification later this month, and do not intend to don the new regalia. Although, I agree, the clothes do not make the man or the organization, I offer these questions: Should the Church, to entice more priests, do away with the traditional vestments, and let a priest offer mass attired like a protestant minister? Is there a reason that we must change tradition, when this is a draw to so many. Is there, as I suspect, a politically correct, reason for the supreme council to decide this. I’m sorry if this offends, but the beret and sport coat remind me of a sixties jazz club, not a fraternal organization of practicing Catholics! I agree with trying to interest younger members, but this is a problem of not only the KofC, but of the Church as a whole. It isn’t acceptable to me to lower standards or expectations to increase numbers! Perhaps the supreme council should put this to the membership before assuming and demanding. This could prevent many problems I believe.


  25. John says:

    I agree that we have to change with the times, but millennials also have to recognize that the world doesn’t revolve just around them and that they have to recognize tradition.


  26. Christopher J. Burgoyne says:

    As an Honorary Life member of the 4th degree, I think that changing the traditional dress of the Honor Guard is a mistake. I do not think that the new Honor Guard uniforms will bring younger members into our ranks. Why try to fix something that is not broke ?🇺🇸


  27. mmajeres says:

    I think you nailed it here, Alex. The issue is NOT the new regalia (love it or hate it), it’s how to attract, recruit, involve and retain the next generation of Knights, and whether current leadership (at the Supreme, State, and Council levels) is on the best path forward.

    I don’t know how many people have looked at the resolutions ( passed at this supreme convention, but it appears to me that there are other changes coming down the pike that, like the regalia change, are INTENDED to appeal to younger candidates, but are coming from thoughts “that the Catholics in their 20’s today are just like the Catholics who were in their 20’s fifty years ago.” As an young-Boomer/pre-Millennial, I fear you’ll be rewriting this soon to deal with those steps


  28. Vince M says:

    I am a PGK, PFN, and current DD, and also happen to be 37 years old with my first child. I definitely identify with most of the key points in this article. However, It seems that Alex has not held a lot of the Executive Officer positions in his council, otherwise, he would understand a little better the unique issues that come with Administration of a huge international organization with 1,000’s of subordinate councils and would also recognize the huge leap forward in technology adoption by the Order over the past 4 years. However, I do believe that continued and even more modernization is needed from the technology and culture standpoint to keep the Knights relevant in the future. The fact that older members tend to dominate all the major officer positions is part of the issue of why you don’t get a lot of younger guys with more Council and State Leadership experience and also why their voices are not heard as much. I have fought upstream against this my entire tenure as a Knight.

    My biggest disagreement with the author is that it is not just the baby boomers that are killing the Knights. Our own young generation of men are at least 40% culpable of the state of the Church and Knights. I’m not going to go into a huge psycho/sociological explanation of this, but simply stated, we tend to engage from afar on our keyboards and phones, and need to get down and dirty and be more assertive in becoming disciples of Jesus Christ and leaders of our Councils and Church. Instead of complaining about how all the old guys are ruining everything, get off your ass and become one of those leaders that makes the big decisions and impacts you want to see. Vivat Jesus!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Simon says:

    Great posts and excellent comments. I am 33 and have been a Knight in British Columbia, Canada for about 8 years. I spent two years serving as College Council Coordinator at the State council level and will confirm I heard similar sentiments from other young adults.

    I have also served as the FS for two separate councils. Regarding your transfer issue the problem is indeed an FS not doing their job well. However, an online transfer process, including email prompted approvals, would make this much more efficient. It is embarrassing how technologically behind the organization is with most of its administration and reporting.

    I have shared your blog post with our current State Council so that they are aware.


  30. Artyboy says:

    Modernizing the Knights with modern times…mmm, we all know what happens when tradition falls into that pit…just saying


  31. Edward Miller says:

    This new uniform looks more like the American Legion’s uniform! We want to be unique not to look like another organization!!!


  32. Mark Anthony R. Rivera, PGK, PFN says:

    Then my dream of wearing purple, green and gold cape including the gold plated sword is over.


  33. Gary Rolla, DGK says:

    The blogger is hitting the nail right on the head. Communication is preached within the order from Supreme to Council. We hear the same things year in and year out from Supreme followed by State. What has Supreme done to develop and integrate the use of IT to facilitate it’s smooth use by the State, Council Officers as well as for communicating with council members? KofC Officers desire to spend less time on paperwork and forms and more time on charitable member programs/activities that appeal to their membership as well as with their families. IMHO our time on earth is our most precious gift from God each of us only have so much regardless of station in life. Developing, integrating and using the tools of automation to streamline for the “good of the order” should be one of Supremes highest priorities. Yes, Charity is our most important priority. However; how much better could the KofC do charity if it streamlined its IT tools and processes completely centralizing and reducing it’s administrative (forms) and communication’s burdens inherent with our orders business? Automating processes already being manually completed means defining their requirements from council to Supreme. We have the technology… it will cost money to do it correctly, if it is not done; the cost will be even greater to the KofC membership in the long-term. IMHO Supreme should be providing it from a centralized base flowing out to the international, State, District and local councils. All of the forms completed and submitted to state, supreme can be done on-line with pull down menus etc. Even council and individual participation level reports could be done from their phone, laptop, tablet or desktop with appropriate pull down menus, texts and email for the council activities/functions knights participate. Yes, defining requirements takes time, but these manual processes have been being completed for many years and supreme knows what it needs annually and has the budget to facilitate an update for council-state-supreme side I.T. in our fraternal partnership. Think of how much time it would save the order and distress relieved. Addressing council/state electronic communications the council, district, state level should have integrated email, text and social networking app/software for instant updates on activities. The app/software should interface email, texts and social media posts automatically to a council’s Facebook/Twitter/Instagram pages etc. One app it could be used for is to fill-in “prayer requests” the app/software disseminates all platforms simultaneously. Have a five year plan if it helps with built in reviews for updates. Again, IMHO it’s time Supreme takes the “devil” by the horns and develops and integrates an institutional International IT and social networking platform for our order.


    • Gary Rolla says:

      When I read the new uniform looks more like a retired military man’s special forces outfit I had to agree. The church has not changed it’s faith and moral dogma’s in 2000 years and it still has cradle Catholics and converts, not as many as we’d like. However; I guess Supreme is “banking” on a rush of new knights who want to wear a beret. Don’t hold your breath.


  34. Bob Rebollar says:

    Thank you for a straight forward perspective. It was thoughtful and well articulated. As a “boomer” and a membership chairman, I thought your input was helpful and appreciated. I hope you continue w/your involvement in the Knights. You truly are our future.


  35. Adam Gautie says:

    I totally agree. I’m a millennial that is a financial secretary of my local council. I can’t believe how incredibly hard it is to conduct business with my state and the Supreme council. They are so bureaucratic it’s unbelivable. I also have insurance policies with the Knights and their customer service is like the local
    DMV. Given their insurance is more expensive then competitors, that’s just horrible; but I still like to give to charity. It’s disheartning…


  36. George Penton says:

    Sure, I’ll buy some Girl Scout cookies! (Oops, that wasn’t the Girl Scouts, that was the Knights of Columbus.)


  37. John says:

    I actually believe that the change in regalia is a great thing as the old one was too flamboyant and expensive to say the least. Also I agree somewhat with the tone of the author despite his opinion on the change. I agree other things do need changing as well. I think the mandatory tuxedo requirement at the exempflication needs to be removed and allow the members to wear their best suit. Not everyone feels comfortable wearing a tux and many of us feel that tuxedos are for the rich and snob crowd.

    PluS the location of the degree can be intimidating as well as in the state I live the assembly rents a five star hotel ballroom to have it instead of council hall, church or church social hall, or someplace less fancy. Many feel the Knights in this environment feels unChristianlike as with the black tux does not make the lower middle class knight or even poor knight feel comfortable.


  38. Michael Schultz says:

    The new uniform is no less expensive than the traditional regalia. At $525 plus tailoring, baldric and sword you are over $700. In WI our Exemplification candidiates can wear a back or blue suit, tux not required.

    So 2% of the Knights join the HG and a chapeau or a beret is going to make the determination for a new 25-40 year old. If that is the case we are missing the point – we are not promoting the Order properly and letting men with and without families know the benefits of the Order. Growing in your faith, active in your church and in “the Church”, supporting our clergy, benefiting our community etc.

    Brother Knights All – Talk to prospects about the Order not the uniform/regalia. As a PGK and current FN my Council visits revolove around what we can do for you to become a better man, a better christian and a better Catholic. And what you as a Knight can do to promote charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism. Being a Catholic and a Knight is not easy right now but then throughout the historyof the Church and the Order that has been the norm or Fr McGiveny would not have had to consider the need to form our beloved Order in the basement of St Mary’s Church.

    Bless you all and may God bless the Knights of Columbus


  39. Albert Araujo Sr. says:

    I became a 4th degree Knight as soon as I could and joined the CC and was as proud as any other SIR KNIGHT . Here in Bakersfield Ca. We have lost members of the 4th degree that refuse to wear the new uniform, before there might be 12 to 17 in Regalia now 4 to 6 in the new uniform show up. We don’t have a rush of new Knights coming in , I miss our Regalia that so many in the world even noncatholics know when the see a knight . I am a Faithful Pilot.


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