Pius XII Council - No. 4765

Knights of Columbus


On April 1 1959, when PIUS XII Council 4765 was chartered by the Knights of Columbus little did anyone realize how closely the Council's history would parallel the voyage of its patron, Christopher Columbus. Indeed, this tiny Council began its voyage into the unknown in an atmosphere of adventure. The members were a mixture of seasoned and inexperienced voyagers. All, however, shared those vital ingredients for success . . . . faith, courage and enthusiasm.

As the years ticked away some enthusiasm waned just as the voyagers of old. But the stalwarts carried on with true Columbian spirit, even through the difficult times of suspected mutiny and defections from the ranks. These were trying times when lesser men would have quaked and surrendered. There were lean years when meetings were held in rented halls and the basement of St Thomas Aquinas Church in Croydon. The years of struggling to build a sound and stable Council which could make a contribution to the Church and the community

Despite almost insurmountable obstacles the richness in talent and charity prevailed to produce an enviable record. of this record reads as follows:

  • $ 8730.00 donated to the poor, Churches, and other worthy charities
  • 18360 man hours donated to orphans, wayward boys, retarded children,mentally ill, Churches, and Brother Knights in distress.
Efforts in a modest Council Home, are not included in these figures. All of this took place in the first ten years.

It was the focus on the Council Home that led to the continued growth in membership and in our renewed fraternal spirit. New members caught that spirit and rolled up their sleeves to help with the building renovations and repairs as well as the regular council activities. Examples of these activities were the building of a new altar platform at St Thomas Aquinas Church to facilitate moving the altar so that the priests could face the congregation; teen age dances were held in the council hall; St Thomas Aquinas Home and School Association development and leadership; driver training for boys at St Francis school in Bensalem PA.; fund raising for a host of these and many other activities. Indeed, service and progress were moving forward hand in hand.

Fast forward from those halcyon years to the present. The passing years took their toll. Members became older, retired, failing health, death, and in some cases simply lost interest. Many efforts to recruit new members were not sufficiently successful; the responsibilities for the council activities and the Home Association fell upon fewer and fewer members. When expenses exceeded income, it became necessary to sell the Council Home.

It was decided by the small group of still able and active members to dedicate their efforts to the needs of St Thomas Aquinas Parish in Croydon PA. Meetings were held in the old school building where close liaison with the pastor of the parish identified areas in which the K of C could be of additional assistance. The wayside shrine on Route 13 had always been a favorite project of the council so more attention was directed to that purpose. The statues of Our Lady and St Therese of Lisieux (Little Flower) were repaired and refinished. The statue of St Jude was replaced. The interior of the shrine was cleaned and freshly painted. Padded Kneelers were refurbished and inspirational prayers were printed and displayed. Word began to circulate in the parish that the Knights were becoming more active in helping the Church. This acknowledgement led to more interest by the younger men in the parish, and a slow but steady growth in membership. The new members not only brought with them new blood, but new talent, fresh ideas, and an eagerness to help the Parish of St Thomas Aquinas.

The year 2003 marked a new beginning for the Pius XII Council 4765. Renewed interest by older members was also evident and their support and participation was most welcome and appreciated. The torch is now passing on to the new members and new leaders. Our prayer is that they will carry the torch to reflect the best of being a Knight of Columbus and to serve as the right arm of the Church.

This concludes our brief history to August 31, 2004