Over one hundred national and hundreds more local Catholic lay organizations serve the Church and provide direct services in communities throughout the United States. We are blessed to have two of these organizations here at St. Paul: the Knights of Columbus and Ladies Auxiliary, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic men's fraternal benefit society founded in 1882. Today, it is the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization.
The Knights of Columbus with the help of the Ladies Auxiliary have been involved in a large number of service projects that include programs with groups like Habitat for Humanity and Special Olympics, providing new winter coats to children, stocking food pantries, and helping victims of disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, the explosion in West Texas and the tornados in Oklahoma.
One of the largest charitable organizations in the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international, nonprofit, Catholic lay organization of almost 800,000 men and women who as volunteers provide person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in 149 countries.
Charity and assistance programs include home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief, job training and placement, food pantries, dining halls, clothing, transportation and utility costs, care for the sick, the incarcerated and the elderly, and prescription medicine.
In 2013, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul provided more than $794 million in tangible and in-kind services, made more than 1.7 million in-person visits, and helped almost 12 million people.