Order of the Knights of Saint Columbanus
The Order of the Knights of Saint Columbanus is an Order of Catholic laymen dedicated to the service of Christ in daily life. It was founded in Belfast in 1915 by James K. Canon O’Neill as a means of furthering the Lay Apostolate in Ireland. Canon O’Neill had a particular interest in the Church’s social teachings and was especially influenced by the encyclical Rerum Novarum of Pope Leo XIII. He conceived the Order as means of furthering the Catholic faith and Catholic education.
The Order welcomes into its ranks Catholic men aged 21 and over who are in full communion with the Church and who would wish to bring to the service of Christ their talents and skills in the promotion of Christian values and principles in society for the greater Honour and Glory of God the Father.
The Order has four main objectives:
• To promote by personal and group action the extension of a practical Christianity in all phases of life.
• To maintain a fraternal society of Catholic Lay leadership.
• To honour the Faith.
• To prepare its members for the Apostolate.
The Order’s motto is Instaurare Omnia in Christo (‘To restore all things in Christ’). Knights must attend to their own spiritual formation and salvation while extending this witness to Christ in the world. Christian example is necessary in the family, in the world of work and in public life. The goal of maintaining our country Christian in outlook, thought and action is guided by the twin principles of charity and justice. Members of the Order are invited to draw inspiration from its patron Saint Columbanus, who preached the good news of salvation with zeal across Europe.
The Order in Ireland is also a member organisation of The International Alliance of Catholic Knights . This entity brings together Catholic fraternal societies from many different countries.
Since 1923 the Order's headquarters have been located at Ely House in Dublin. Click here to visit the official website of the Order of the Knights of Saint Columbanus.
The Order in the Parish of Drumcree
The basic unit of the Order is the Primary Council known as a CK. Portadown is designated CK 9. A number of Primary Councils together form a Provincial Area. There are 12 such Areas covering all 32 counties in Ireland. Portadown belongs to Area 3 which encompasses most of the Archdiocese of Armagh.
Members of the Order in Portadown have engaged in many activities both personally and collectively to support the Faith at parish level. Initiatives have included the sponsorship of prizes for religious education in schools; assistance with the provision of Radio Housebound; and the publication of a booklet on Children’s Prayers.