DC Knights Announce February 6th Degree Ceremony

The District of Columbia State Council of the Knights of Columbus has announced an in-person and streaming celebration of the Vigil Mass and Exemplification of Charity, Unity, and Fraternity on Saturday, February 6, 2021. Mass will begin at 4:30pm with the exemplification ceremony following the celebration of Mass in the Redemptor Hominis Church in the St. John Paul II National Shrine. The St. John Paul II National Shrine is located at 3900 Harewood Road NE, Washington, DC 20017 and offers free on-site parking.

For those attending in person, masks covering the nose and mouth will be required at the socially-distanced Mass per the regulations set forth by the Archdiocese of Washington.

While the celebration of Mass and the exemplification ceremony are open to the public, due to space restrictions, we ask that only registered candidates and their family/friends attend at this time. An online registration may be found at the bottom of this page.

For membership information and to become an Online Member, please visit our Membership Page.

Coats for Kids – 2020

As the holiday shopping season officially begins on November 27th, instead of joining in the usual events of Black Friday which are admittedly altered due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the DC State Council of the Knights of Columbus will be giving out free and much-needed gifts to DC-area children in need. On the day after Thanksgiving, new winter coats will be given out at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Northeast DC to any child who needs one as apart of the Knights of Columbus’ annual Coats for Kids program. 

Approximately 18 percent of American children and 14 percent of Canadian children live in poverty. According to the US Census Bureau, many low-income families have scarce resources to cover even the most basic essentials. The Knights of Columbus launched the Coats for Kids program to ensure that every child in North America would have access to a warm winter coat. Since the program started in the District of Columbia in 2009, councils have purchased and distributed more than 500,000 new winter coats to children throughout North America.

This is not the only opportunity to receive a coat for free from the Knights of Columbus. In addition to the event on November 27th, coats will be distributed on December 5th at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church. 

This year, our distributions will be outside and focused on a drive-thru system. Cars will pull up, and, without exiting their vehicle, communicate what size they or their child need. Our volunteers will try to match that size with a preferred color, and then give the coat to the person in the vehicle.

If you cannot drive-thru, no worries! Please feel free to walk up and follow our volunteer’s directions on how best to make sure you get the size and color you need.

If your child or a child you know is in need of a coat this season, please come by and get one:


12:00pm – 2:00pm

3900 Harewood Road NE
Saint John Paul II National Shrine – Parking Lot


9:00am – 12:00pm

1600 Morris Road SE
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church – Parking Lot

More information about these events is available at dcknights.org/coats. It is open to anyone who needs a coat, particularly children ages 2 – 16 years old, subject to availability. 

Blessed Michael McGivney, pray for us!

Today, October 31, Father Michael J. McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, was declared “Blessed,” the final step before being canonized as a Saint in the Roman Catholic Church. Joseph Cardinal Tobin, Archbishop of Newark, celebrated the mass at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Hartford, Connecticut, representing Pope Francis. In the apostolic letter of beatification, Pope Francis praised Blessed McGivney as “an outstanding witness of Christian solidarity and fraternal assistance” because of his “zeal” for proclaiming the Gospel and his “generous concern for his brothers and sisters.”

The miracle recognized as coming through Father McGivney’s intercession involved an unborn child in the United States who in 2015 was healed in utero of a life-threatening condition after prayers by his family to Father McGivney. Michael “Mikey” McGivney Schachle, was present at the Mass with his parents, where they presented the relic of Blessed McGivney to Cardinal Tobin. 

Born of Irish immigrant parents in 1852 in Waterbury, Connecticut, Blessed McGivney was a central figure in the dramatic growth of the Church in the United States in the late 19th century. Ordained in Baltimore in 1877, he ministered to a heavily Irish-American and immigrant community in the then-Diocese of Hartford. At a time of anti-Catholic sentiment, he worked tirelessly to keep his flock close to the faith in part by finding practical solutions to their many problems – spiritual and temporal alike. With a group of the leading Catholic men of New Haven, he founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882 at St. Mary’s Church to provide spiritual support for Catholic men and financial resources for families that had suffered the loss of their breadwinner.

Father McGivney spent his entire priesthood in parish ministry and died of pneumonia on August 14, 1890— two days after his 38th birthday – after falling ill amid a pandemic. Recent scientific evidence indicates that that pandemic – like the current one – may have been caused by a coronavirus.

Known by his contemporaries for his devotion to the faith and his embodiment of the characteristics of the “Good Samaritan,” his cause for sainthood was opened in the Archdiocese of Hartford in 1997. St. John Paul II – who was pope at that time – lauded Father McGivney’s principles, stating in 2003, “In fidelity to the vision of Father McGivney, may you continue to seek new ways of being a leaven of the Gospel in the world and a spiritual force for the renewal of the Church in holiness, unity and truth.”

In March 2008, he was declared a Venerable Servant of God by Pope Benedict XVI, who during his visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral cited the “remarkable accomplishment of that exemplary American priest, the Blessed Michael McGivney, whose vision and zeal led to the establishment of the Knights of Columbus.”

God, our Father, protector of the poor and defender of the widow and orphan, you called your priest, Blessed Michael McGivney, to be an apostle of Christian family life and to lead the young to the generous service of their neighbor. Through the example of his life and virtue, may we follow your Son, Jesus Christ, more closely, fulfilling his commandment of charity and building up his Body which is the Church. Let the inspiration of your servant prompt us to greater confidence in your love so that we may continue his work of caring for the needy and the outcast. We humbly ask that you glorify Blessed Michael McGivney on earth according to the design of your holy will. Through his intercession, grant the favor I know present. Through Christ our Lord, Amen. 

Knights Announce Sept. 26th Mass & the Exemplification of Charity, Unity, and Fraternity

The District of Columbia State Council of the Knights of Columbus has announced an in-person celebration of the Vigil Mass and Exemplification of Charity, Unity, and Fraternity on Saturday, September 26, 2020. Mass will begin at 4:30pm with the exemplification ceremony following the celebration of Mass in the Redemptor Hominis Church in the St. John Paul II National Shrine. The St. John Paul II National Shrine is located at 3900 Harewood Road NE, Washington, DC 20017 and offers free on-site parking.

Masks covering the nose and mouth will be required at the socially-distanced Mass per the regulations set forth by the Archdiocese of Washington.

While the celebration of Mass and the exemplification ceremony are open to the public, due to space restrictions, we ask that only registered candidates and their family/friends attend at this time. An online registration may be found at the bottom of this page.

For membership information and to become an Online Member, please visit our Membership Page.

DC Charities Scholarships

DC Knights of Columbus Charities – the charitable arm of the District of Columbia Knights of Columbus State Council, annually awards scholarships to be used for students going into the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades.

Applicants must be residents of the District of Columbia and be attending, or will attend, a private Catholic secondary school.

A Message from the DC State Council

June 5, 2020


My Brother Knights of the District of Columbia,

Since the senseless and brutal murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, alongside numerous other black men and women across our cities, our country has been wrought with righteous anger in protest and unrest. This is not the first time that we have seen black communities in pain, scared that what happened to George might happen to their father, son, grandson, or brother. Pope Francis reminds us that “we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life.”

Amid the unrest in the District of Columbia, the President and First Lady visited the Order’s Saint John Paul II National Shrine. This event, while seemingly related in proximity to our national pain, was pre-planned, and unrelated in context. No Officers from either the Supreme Council or State Council were present at the event. It was planned many weeks ago by the White House as a way to commemorate the anniversary of the Saintly Pope’s visit to Poland in 1979 and to coincide with the signing of an Executive Order on International Religious Freedom which was instead signed at the White House the same day. While we stand for religious freedom in our country and around the globe, the character of the visit changed given the President’s inappropriate photo opportunity outside of St. John’s Episcopal Church the day before.

The Saint John Paul II National Shrine, while owned and operated by the Knights of Columbus, is not managed by the DC State Council. Therein, the DC State Council was not aware of and did not have any input as to the Presidential Visit which took place on Tuesday.

As DC Knights of Columbus, we stand for unity, which is what has inspired us to welcome all Catholic Men, regardless of their race, into our ranks for generations. We have heard from Brother Knights and families throughout the district who are hurting, upset, and angry at the events of the last few weeks. We stand united with them. Racial justice is a pro-life issue – the equality of every man and woman is at the core of what we believe and who we are as Catholics. At this time, we pray for unity, especially within our Order and our District. Beginning on Sunday, June 7, and concluding on Monday, June 15, Knights of Columbus around the country will be praying a Novena for National Unity & An End to Racism. Please join us as we pray and work to expel the sin of racism and hate from our hearts and our society.

We remain, as we always have, in solidarity with our Church, her priests, and her bishops. We will continue to work with the Archdiocese and our parishes to advance the mission of our soon-to-be-beatified founder Fr. Michael J. McGivney. As DC Knights, we are committed to serving our in every community throughout the District. In the following weeks and months, we will be in dialogue with members of the Community to discuss their thoughts and feelings regarding recent events, which we hope to be able to use to change the way we approach racial justice in our community.

We are Christ’s Brother. We wear His Name. We must bear this Cross.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., during the March on Washington in 1963, told us that “Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.” It is still that time. We must work together, and move forward committed to the principles and ideals that we originally joined the order for – to be our brother’s keeper.



Brandon J. Brown
State Deputy

Christopher Pierno
State Secretary

Le N. Nguyen
State Treasurer

Fred “Jazz” Armstrong
State Advocate

Nicholas S. C. Shields
State Warden


Download this letter as a PDF

Join the Knights of Columbus Online

If you’re interested in helping those in need, serving your parish, growing in your faith or having exclusive access to top-rated insurance protection for your family, then the Knights of Columbus is the organization for you. Join during an online exemplification!


State Convention Update

[Editor’s Note: The following email was sent by State Deputy Brandon J. Brown to all Grand Knights and Financial Secretaries of the Jurisdiction.]


Worthy Grand Knights and Financial Secretaries,

Good afternoon, I hope you and your families are safe and healthy. The State Executive team met by conference call last night. During the call, we received an update from Supreme on the current Coronavirus situation and how it has affected the business of not just our jurisdiction, but of the whole order. We also checked in on each other and discussed a game plan for the way forward. 

The Supreme Knight does not feel the situation with the Coronavirus Outbreak will end anytime soon. Per our Supreme Knight, the Supreme Office and State Councils should prepare for a long period (3 – 4 months) of limited contact events. The Supreme Council has established a fraternal working group in New Haven whose job it is to review all facets of this situation on a daily basis. Supreme will also be operating with a skeletal staff in New Haven, as most of their personnel have begun working from home. In addition to keeping tabs on the daily situation around the country, the fraternal working group will be working on new guidelines for meeting along with revised requirements for the Circle of Honor and the Star Council Awards. There will be weekly meetings held between the Regional Growth Directors (RGD) and the home office to better assist councils through this period. RGD’s will continue their regular calls with state officers and inform them of any updates. The Supreme Council will also be sending out updates to everyone via email on a regular basis.

With this information in hand, I have the sad duty of announcing that we will not gather to hold the 121st DC State Convention at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine. In lieu of our normal meeting, the Supreme Knight has directed that all State Conventions shall be “Virtual Conventions” for this year. Supreme will be providing guidelines to the State Deputies as soon as possible. We will aim to hold the Virtual Convention on the same date as our in-person Convention on Saturday April 25, 2020.

I ask that the following forms still be submitted:

Delegate Credentials Form:
Please scan and email to State Secretary Chris Pierno (secretary@dcknights.org). If you don’t have the capability to scan and email it, please mail it to the State Secretary.

Council Program Nominations Forms:
As I have visited the majority of the Councils in the jurisdiction, I know how much great work you have done before everything changed. Please send in your best program in the four service areas to IPSD Otto Heck ([email protected]). I would ask that you scan and send those forms to the worthy IPSD. He will then scan all the forms in and the Past State Deputies will meet via conference call to decide on the four service areas. 

Mass Remembrance Forms:
On the Sunday of Convention, we usually have a closing Memorial Mass for our deceased brother Knights and their families in the jurisdiction. It is still important to remember those who have gone before us marked with the Sign of Christ. Please submit the Mass Remembrance Form to State Executive Secretary Tim Saccoccia ([email protected]). He will compile the names and we will remember those names at a future Mass.

Worthy Sirs, we are living in unprecedented times, but we are Knights. We are united by our faith and brotherhood and we will overcome all that this world throws at us. This is not the first time our order has seen a pandemic. It will withstand this one as it did in 1918. Please stay united with your members and your family. Please stay united with your District Deputies and State Council. Let us continue to pray for each other and pray for our world. I continue to entrust all our brother Knights in the District of Columbia and beyond to Our Lady of Lourdes. May she guide, protect, and keep us all safe.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

Vivat Jesus,
Brandon Brown
State Deputy, DC Knights of Columbus

Coronavirus Novena

Courtesy of the Archdiocese of Baltimore

Archbishop William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore and Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus, invites all the faithful of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and all members of the Knights of Columbus and their families to join him in praying a novena — nine days of prayer — to the Blessed Virgin Mary beginning Sunday, March 15.

The novena, inspired by a prayer by Pope Francis, asks Mary for her intercession and protection from the coronavirus. A video from the archbishop follows, with the text of the prayer below. To download a copy for printing, click here and to download a card version for printing, click here.


Full prayer: 

O Mary,
you always brighten our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who, at the Cross, took part in Jesus’ pain while remaining steadfast in faith.
O loving Mother,
you know what we need,
and we are confident you will provide for us as at Cana in Galilee.
Intercede for us with your Son Jesus,
the Divine Physician,
for those who have fallen ill,
for those who are vulnerable,
and for those who have died. Intercede also for those charged with protecting the health and safety of others and for those who are tending to the sick and seeking a cure.
Help us, O Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who took upon himself our sufferings and carried our sorrows,
so as to lead us, through the Cross,
to the glory of the Resurrection. Amen.

Under thy protection we seek refuge, O Holy Mother of God.
In our needs, despise not our petitions, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.


COVID-19 Coronavirus Response

State Deputy Brandon J. Brown of the District of Columbia State Council sent this message to Grand Knights in response to calls from the Supreme Knights and CDC.
Yesterday afternoon the Supreme Knight sent out guidance and recommendations on how Councils should proceed during the pandemic of the Coronavirus. As State Deputy of this Jurisdiction, it is my responsibility to ensure that all brother Knights are being as safe as possible during these times. The State Officers & Staff care for the health and safety of all our Knights and their families.
With the suggested recommendations below, I would ask the following-
  • Hold all Council meetings via conference call. The State Council uses freeconference.com to hold executive meetings and will continue using this method for the near future. I suggest Grand Knights sign up for an account. The use of freeconference.com is free and there are no charges unless you want to use an 800 number.
  • Any Council that have upcoming Fish Fry, please meet with your Pastor to access the situation and consider cancelling it. This should be a decision between the Council and the Pastor. I am not telling you to cancel, but seek guidance. I understand how much these Fish Fry’s mean to the Council, Parish and local community but consider the risks, and have that conversation with your Pastor. [Please notify [email protected] if you cancel a Fish Fry]
  • The upcoming State Combined degree scheduled for Saturday March 20th is cancelled. We had great momentum with the last month’s degree but the JPII Shrine has reduced its staff to essential personnel and I wouldn’t want anyone getting sick from attending. If you have candidates please visit them at their home and conduct the Combined Degree via video. Please notify IPSD/State Ceremonials Otto Heck if you use this method or need assistance. You can also have new members sign up via the online method.
If there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me or the State Officers to answer any questions. If there are any brother Knights or their family who become sick, please let me know so I can notify the State & Associate Chaplains for prayer and possible anointing of the sick.
I entrust our jurisdiction to Our Lady of Lourdes during this difficult time. May Our Lady heal all those that are sick and give their family the strength to care for them.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Pray for us.
Mary Queen of the Knights, Pray for us.

Below you will find compiled resources from various governmental resources in regard to responding to and preventing the spread of COVID-19. Please use them as you need. 

Information for Families and Households: