How to Join
Are you interested in joining and becoming a member of the Knights of Columbus?
Imagine being part of an organization that fills your heart and your mind with the joy of giving to others and the feeling that comes with making a difference.
Knights are Catholic men, 18 years of age and older, who are committed to making their community a better place, while supporting their Church. Being a Knight is more than camaraderie; it is being involved with your community; it is supporting your local Catholic Church, while enhancing your own faith; it is about protecting and enhancing your family life.
Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to practicing devout Catholic men in union with the Holy See. A practical Catholic is one who lives up to the Commandments of God and the precepts of the Church.
Our eight-page Overview Booklet (pdf, 415k) gives additional information about what it means to be a member of the Knights of Columbus.
To see what we do locally click link at right to our annual Events Calendar.
Every Knight is happy to propose eligible Catholic men for consideration as members. To join you will need to complete an Application (Form 100) which is available from any member of the Knights of Columbus. After completing the application you will need to meet with our admissions committee, and then attend a First Degree Ceremony. Our annual dues are $25.00
Contact Financial Secretary Bud Swedkowski 610-630-0861 if you would like an application or if you want to learn more about the Knights!
How Knights of Columbus Council #7565 was started.
by Dr. Casimir A Janicki
After I was appointed District Deputy for the 19th District by State Deputy William M. Harper, I went to a District Deputy's seminar at State College, PA on July 8 and 9, 1978 (exhibit #1). Since New Council Development was a high priority with the State Deputy Harper, I suggested that the Trooper area centered around Visitation and St Teresa Parishes be considered as a potential new council area. John Carney, Chairman of New Council Development gave me the necessary information and literature to get started.
My wife had a good rapport with Monsignor John C. Larkin (he was a member of Council # 3633, Perkiomen Valley Council). I had my wife Toni, talk to the Monsignor to soften him up so to speak. After several informal discussions with him, a formal dinner discussion was held at the Perkiomen Bridge Hotel in Collegeville with John Carney, Mike O'Reilly (a General K of C Insurance agent), Edgar Middelton (field agent for K of C Insurance), myself, and Msgr. John Larkin. Msgr. Larkin gave his oral approval to solicit new members at Visitation with the intent to form a new Council. I sent in form #133, " Notice of Intent to Establish a New Council" to the Supreme Council, on around the beginning of November. A reply from Supreme Administrator for New Council Development Donald Dreiling was received (exhibit # 2). Monsignor Larkin, who really had no problems with the Knights of Columbus, put in writing for us his concerns regarding membership in the Knights of Columbus and that he did not want the new council to be solely a parish organization (exhibit #3). He wanted the Knights of Columbus members to be truly "the right arm of the Church".
Since I wanted the new Council to succeed and not be viewed by neighboring Councils as a rival for new members, I contacted Phoenixville Council #1174,Perkiomen Council #3633 and Norristown Council #772 for their help. Grand Knight Vince Fennel of #1174 and Grand Knight Joe McMahon of #3633 and Financial Secretary Walter Knapp of #772 offered their help and provided members to distribute literature both at Visitation and St Teresa Parishes. My wife and children (daughter Camille and son Casey), K of C Insurance agents Ed Middeton and Mike O'Reilly distributed literature and answered questions after the masses. Supreme Knight, Virgil Dechant sent a letter of encouragement (exhibit #4). Insurance agent Middelton provided a list of members in the area who had membership in out of state Councils . All the prospective members who filled a card requesting further information were personally contacted as well as those holding membership in out of state councils. Lapsed members from the area Councils were also contacted to determine if they would be willing to reinstate membership in the new Council.
There were several informal meetings on when and where to get started. Letters were sent inviting prospective members (exhibit #6) and to out of state members (exhibit #7) to our first formal organizational meeting held at the Lower Providence Community Center on March 28, 1980. This was followed by a second meeting held April 18th, 1980. Letters were mailed announcing this meeting and the degree date (exhibit #8). At this meeting Bill Drolet was elected Grand Knight and Al Posyden nominated to the Supreme Knight as Financial Secretary. These were key people that led to the success of the fledging Council.
The First and Second degrees were held on April 20, 1980 at Phoenixville Council #1374. The First Degree team was all members of the Phoenixville Council. They were Gazo Szabo as Chancellor, William Hesser as Grand Knight, Vince Fennel as Deputy Grand Knight, William Ruffing as Financial Secretary, William Wisneski as Warden, and Julius Ashton and George Philappanics as Guards. The Second Degree was held after the First Degree. The Second Degree team was all members of Phoenixville Council except for brother Bill Fries of Perkiomen Valley Council #3633. They were Grand Knight William Ruffing, Deputy Grand Knight I. J. Subinski, Chancellor Gazo Szabo and Guards Bill Fries and Paul Gleason. The members who took their degrees that day are given in a letter noted as exhibit 9. They were:
Anthony Baranowski Michael Baranowski Thomas Boyle
Thomas Butler Gregory Fornal Kevin McArdle
John McCann Charles Mehl James Monaghan
Francis Ponzio Anthony Terranova Robert Tschoepe
Peter Van Duyne Stanley Vilitski John Vuotto
The Degrees were a great experience as evident by the letter from John Carney, State Membership Director(exhibit 10) The Council now had sufficient members to establish a New Council. Supreme Director Frank Sullivan of the Membership Department wrote and stated that the Supreme Secretary assigned number 7565 to the Council (exhibit 11).
A letter from the Supreme Knight, Virgil Dechant, announced the appointment of Afred Poysden as Financial Secretary of the Council (exhibit 12). Exhibit #13 is a letter form Supreme Secretary Scheiber to District Deputy Janicki asking that I assist in the training of Al Posyden in his duties as Financial Secretary. A training film was shown and discussed with Al with several other members in attendance. A letter from Frank Sullivan, Supreme Director, was given to Grand Knight William Drolet, congratulating Bill of being elected the first Grand Knight (exhibit #14). Bill was one of the names on the list of out of state members who were invited to transfer to the new Council.
The final chapter in the Council formation process was the taking of the Third Degree by those members of the Council requiring it. The Third Degree was held on Sunday June 26, 1980 at the Church Hall of Holy Trinity Church, Phoenixville Pa. The Degree was put on by the Delaware Valley Board of District Deputies and was held at Phoenixville because of Pope John Paul 1 Council. The Application for Charter for the Council was then initiated and the Charter members as of June 26, 1980 were as follows (exhibit # 15 ):
William C. Drolet Alfred J. Posyden Stanley A. Szpindor
Charles A. Sardo Anthony M. Baranowski Michael A. Baranowski
Mark G. Mazur Camille J. Speece Stanley A. Vilitski
William G. Romano Kevin J. McArdle John J. McCann;
Anthony S. Terranova Robert J. Tschoepe Gregory J. Fornal
James L. Monaghan Charles E. Mehl Peter H. Van Duyne
Thomas E. Boyle Francis D. Ponzio Thomas E. Butler
John W. Vuotto Chester A. Scherer Bruno Petrillo
Dominic V. Damico Raymond P. Marion Willaim F. Conway
Edward W. Wallace Anthony A. Varela John J. O'Connor
Michael J. Vattimo William M. Youts Edmund A. Hollingsworth
Daniel I. Kopcik John R. Burns James J. Kelly
Elmer J. Kuntz George D. Johnson Edward W. Ruane
Matthew I. Bucko John C. Kees Gustav A. Widmann
Richard G. Shaefer
The Council voted to name itself Pope John Paul l Council really in honor of Pope John Paul ll. Since Order rules did not allow the naming of a Council for a living person, the members voted for the next best name.
The Officers of the first year were as follows:
Grand Knight: William Drolet
Deputy Grand Knight: Stanley Szpindor
Warden: Charles Sardo
Chancellor: John McCann
Recorder: John O'Connor
Treasurer: Edward Hollingsworth
Advocate: Thomas Boyle
Outside Guard: Anthony Baranowski
Inside Guard: Michael Baranowski
Trustee: Anthony Varella
Trustee: William Romano
Trustee: William Conway
The Council voted to join the Valley Forge Chapter of the Knights of Columbus, and the delegates chosen were: William Drolet, Stanley Szpindor, Charles Sardo, Charles Mehl and Raymond Marion. (years later I transferred my membership from Perkiomen Valley Council to Pope John Paul l Council in order that my son could join the Order in the Council he aided by handing out KofC literature in its beginning.)
I may have missed some things or neglected some people. For this I am sorry, because it was not intentional, and we can make changes to this short history.