Knights of Columbus
About the Knights
On February 6, 1882, in New Haven, Connecticut, where the Knights of Columbus were first born. Recognizing a need in his community, Father Michael J. McGivney, 29 year old Assistant Pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in New Haven, gathered a group of men at his parish and proposed establishing a lay organization.
The goal of this organization would be to prevent men from entering secret societies whose teachings were adverse to those of the Catholic Church. He wanted to unite men of Catholic faith and provide for the families of deceased members.
As a symbol that allegiance to their country did not conflict with allegiance to their faith, the organization’s members took as their patron Christopher Columbus who is recognized as a Catholic and celebrated as the discoverer of America.
There are four core principles that the Knights of Columbus follow: charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism.
The Knights of Columbus of Peru, Indiana was chartered as the 718 Council on November 30, 1902. Meetings were held twice a month at the Odd Fellows Hall for two years and then at the Concord Hall for two years. Then the Council moved to the Bearss building at 62 North Broadway until the opening of the new Council Chambers on November 4, 1923, at 18 East Sixth Street. In 1965, the Council Hall caught on fire and the damage was comprehensive. Peru’s American Legion provided their facilities for a temporary meeting space. After much hard work of Council 718, a new hall at the same location began to be rebuilt in February of 1966 and opened late that summer.
As an organization providing for social recreation of the members and their families and in assisting all parish entertainments, Council 718 became an integral part of St. Charles Borromeo Parish. This Council was also a faithful supporter in establishing the Gibault Home for Boys in Terre Haute, Indiana. This Council was among the first three Councils in the state to complete their full quota for both the original Gibault building and its addition. Today, Gibault serves boys and girls and has provided life-changing opportunities for more than 8,600 children and their families.
Peru Council has not only served the National and State Councils, but it has also been honored by them. Over the years, Council 718 has received several awards for its accomplishments. In 1996–1997, they received the Father McGivney Award for all their efforts. The Knights of Council 718 have worked beyond the scope of its Church and Council. For many years they have held an annual “Tootsie Roll Drive” for a free-will-offering. All the proceeds from this drive have gone to the learning disabled of Miami County.
Peru’s Fourth Degree (Patriotic Degree) Knights, have been around for many years. The Fourth Degree is a Knight’s life commitment to serve his Church and his Council. A Knight and his Lady are to do their utmost to serve. The Fourth Degree has its Color Guard with full regalia that often serves at Masses, funerals, and formal presentations. Any Third Degree Knight that is in good standing may apply for the Fourth Degree. The Degree is not attained with age nor wisdom, but dedication.
If you would like more information about our local Knights of Columbus Council, please contact our Grand Knight, Brian Gabriel at 765-438-7276 or Bob Dwyer at 765-472-4970
For information about the Knights of Columbus Council 718 scholarship program, click here.