How does one quit the Knights of Columbus?

I wasn’t sure where to put this and hadn’t seen any specific threads on quitting the KoC, but if there are please point me to them.

I joined the Knights shortly after moving to St. Louis in 2004, partly because my then-girlfriend, now wife,'s grandfather was heavily involved and had been a Deputy Grand Knight, and also because a friend of mine was a Knight. In one tumultuous but exciting year, I got married, I went through the 1st, 2nd and 3rd degrees, quit my job and went full-time to grad school. My classes conflicted with Council meetings so I simply stopped attending in 2006. I learned in the middle of 2007 (while writing a paper) that I had been elected, in absentia, Secretary for the Council. I called the Council Grand Knight, told them I really couldn’t be involved, and was encouraged to just come when I could.

Fast-forward five years, I have a new very full-time job, two kids, and am living in a different city and I’m still receiving dues notices and the Columbia magazine (which I promise myself I’ll set aside time to read but it usually goes unread). I had figured they’d just move me off the rolls after so many missed dues payments, but I heard the other day from my wife’s grandfather that the Council Grand Knight asked if I was attending at another Council nearby. So now my wife, already annoyed by the stack of Columbia magazines, told me to either join with the local Council or tell them I quit.

How does one do that? I’ve not paid dues in five years and I’m still listed on the Council rolls. There’s nothing on the Knights website with instructions and I’m really not eager to stand in front of this Council and tell them “yeah, I should’a let you know back before the first Obama administration that I wasn’t going to be able to continue this.” Suggestions?

I just wouldnt worry about it. Toss the magazines, and youre done. You are pretty active on CAF so I imagine you are pretty into your faith. Who knows, a few years from now you might want to get more active into the Knights and you will still be a member. I met an older knight who had a 25 year membership pin on his coat. He said he was only active the last few years of those 25, but they awarded it to him anyway since he signed up so long ago. You just never know.

I wish I knew. At first I tried to maintain my membership but they only mailed my membership card once (despite my request every year for it). I wouldn’t even be able to present myself to a local council without that card. Since then, I’ve attempted to resign every year. I’ve moved multiple times and it seems random which of my former addresses they send correspondence to.

Since the council is still paying for my membership regardless of whether I pay them, I really do wish they would drop me from the roll so they could put those funds to a more worthy work.

Ok, now I’m curious since I have toyed with joining. How much does it cost to be a Knight? What are the fees? (I thought it was free since you give up a lot of your time, which is also money.)

I don’t know of any formal process to renounce one’s membership. I think you probably just start recycling their mailings. :shrug:

My husband is a Knight. I believe the fee was either $10.00 or $25.00. I get the fee for the Knight’s confused with the fee for Men’s Club, so I’m not really sure which is which!

According to the website it’s $35 per year.

I’ve called and emailed my local council periodically over the past 8 months several times probably 15-20 altogether to join the Knights and I’ve never heard back so I’d rather just not bother. I was going to resign from the Masons when I joined the Church in September but I’ve come to a conclusion I just wont attend and I’m not going to bother with the knock off version that we have.


I received an email from our treasurer regarding non-payment of dues. I replied in formal language that I was disassociating myself from the organization and no longer wished to be affiliated with them in any way. He replied, asking of financial hardship was the reason. I responded “no”, but I didn’t have the heart to tell him the real reason why.

I became disillusioned with the group when New York passed their gay marriage law by the slimmest of margins, thanks to a couple of “Catholic” state senators, who also happened to be Knights themselves. Once must be a faithful Catholic in good standing with the Church to join, but once on the inside, anything goes?

As just to make it clear, I posted my statement on Facebook, along with this:

Good Night, Knights! - RealCatholicTV

I’m sorry for your frustration, but the Knights are not a knock-off of the Masons.

Like many large organizations, what they look like on the local level can vary a lot from place to place depending on those involved. So try not to let your poor experience on the local level color your impression of the group as a whole. The Knights raise hundreds of millions of dollars for charitable causes and members donate millions of man hours in service. They do a lot of good things.

I don’t doubt that they’ve done a lot collectively. I didn’t mean to insinuate that. But the three degrees? From the outside it seems to be pretty similar to the masons.

One does not just walk up to a council and demand membership. One must be invited - sponsored, if you will.

True, there are occasional “membership drives” but the same rule applies.

There are actually four degrees, but a member attaining the 3rd degree is considered to be a full member. The 4th degree is optional, and has a separate organizational structure in place.

From the inside, there is very little in common with the Masons, but this is not the thread to address that.

Having been involved in the Knights for many years, the usual process to “resign” is to inform the council that you have last paid dues to, that you wish to resign. They then have to complete paperwork with the “home office” in New Haven, CT to remove you from the roll.

Often, this does not happen. There is pressure on the councils to maintain membership. If they are billed at $35 per member, often the council will pay the $35 in order to NOT drop a member. There’s not a lot you can do about that situation; and that would cause you to continue to receive Columbia magazine.

Once a member does not pay their annual dues, a process is supossed to be started whereby the financial secretary attempts to contact the member to ascertain whether they will be paying their dues, if there’s a hardship in paying but they’d like to remain members, or if they wish to resign from the K of C. “Attempts to contact” are often phone calls, and in some cases, actual home visits. If they receive no response through these means, they should begin the process of removing the member from the roll. There is paperwork involved, and the loss of members negatively impacts the council’s annual reporting of membership and any incentives gained from the Supreme Council for membership.

As mentioned above, the councils do not like to remove members from their rolls due to the negative impact; but when the non-paying members begin to accumulate, a council is often forced, due to economic reasons, to remove the members who are not paying.

I didn’t demand membership, not sure where you got that. I called and emailed in regards to joining. I never heard anything from them. Besides visit the website–
“If you are a practical Catholic man, age 18 or older, we welcome you to join the leading organization of Catholic laymen.”

Sounds like you are welcome to join sans demanding.

There is a process to renounce membership. Notify the Financial Secretary of the Council that is sending you the bills, in writing, that you no longer wish to be a member. Viola!

Dues are customarily $35 per year but can vary based on Council.

Many Councils are glorified beer and football watching clubs.

Others (like mine ;)) are vehicles for organized service to the Church, usually at the parish level. We’ve purchased a beautiful chalice for our parish, donated $1,000 for purchase of vestments, and are helping a parish family in need with Christmas expenses.

A Council is usually no better than its leadership, and the support it gets from its pastor.

In short, the KofC is a useful, but not indispensible organization.

Any practicing Catholic Gentleman over the age of 18 would be welcome to join. The membership committees are only human. Many times phone calls aren’t returned, and questions go unanswered.

Please make another effort to join if you truly want to be a part of a top-notch organization of Catholic men.

Agreed. It has a lot to do with the programs that are in place currently, the ability of the leadership to maintain the programs that are in place, and for an influx of new members with new ideas to institute new programs, when possible.

Thanks for the responses. My council’s fees were $35 every 6 months. The council itself sat on a very fat pile of cash, nominally being saved up for constructing a new council house but I don’t know if they ever did. Beyond the Tootsie Roll drive, we had no service opportunities during my year there, and it really was a glorified beer and baseball club with a Christmas party that should have started with taxis instead of letting those guys drive.

It is neat to see the councils doing a lot of good in the back of the Columbia - apparently some are far more active than others. My experience is also colored from having been in a service-focused fraternity in college that had service events every month - from painting a newly-built homeless shelter to bringing a swing band to the local retirement home (the residents loved to watch and would clap along, even if they weren’t able to dance) to sponsoring story days for the kids at the public library. We did alot, so going to that Knights council was very much a letdown, probably why I didn’t do much in the first place. My life is really too busy to be giving time to something that doesn’t accomplish much.

I’ll write the Financial Secretary, whoever that is now. A lot of the guys in that chapter have since passed away.

You can’t get out and I can’t get in.

Some years back I tried to join the KofC but heard nothing. Then I received anotice which stated that I was 3 years overdue in my dues. I had never heard that I was a member.

Then I moved. I was very active in my previous parish. But my new one has no programs going on which I could get involved with (I have become active in my wife’s Lutheran parish for some spiritual involvement. While here I tried to join two different KofC councils and heard nothing. Then I contacted Hartford and they informed me that they contacted them and they should be contacting me. Neither did. Eventually I thought I did join a council several years back but have since heard nothing and do not know when or where they meet.

There is still nothing in my parish to get involved in. But joining the KofC now? After all this trouble I do not want to continue trying to become a naive rookie when I should be an experienced veteran. I am now too old to start. Time is passing me by