The Columbian Squires was created from the vision of Brother Barnabas McDonald, F. S. C. Born in Ogdensburg, NY in 1865. Brother Barnabas entered the Christian Brothers novitiate in 1885. After spending years improving conditions in institutions and foster families for needy boys, he was appointed to head the Boys Life Bureau of the Knights of Columbus, and asked to develop a youth organization for the Order. Through his efforts the Columbian Squires program was conceived and, on August 4, 1925, at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Supreme Council in Duluth, Minn., the very first investiture was held and Duluth Circle 1 was instituted.
Beginning in 1924 Brother Barnabas spent several years teaching a graduate course at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and conducting seminars on working with young people. In 1829 Brother Barnabas died at age 64. He is buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, NY. A short distance from his grave stands a large cross erected in his honor by the members of the organization he founded 75 years ago.
Approximately 30,000 Squires belong to more than 1,000 Circles. The Squires are active throughout the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Squires´activities are many, varying from spiritual to active service for the Church and community. Each circle elects officer members from their own rank, teaching skills of leadership and responsibility. The year 2000 marked the 75th anniversary of the Squires — 75 years of providing support to thousands of young men on their way to adulthood.
The Columbian Squires program was begun in order to give young men a better opportunity in life – a chance to receive the leadership training and the spiritual and moral guidance they will need in order to succeed. Many different types of organizations for young men exist in today’s world; what makes the Squires different?
- The purpose of the Squires program is to develop young men as Catholic leaders who understand their religion, who have a strong commitment to the Church and who are ready, willing and capable of living their lives in the manner of the youth Christ.
- A Squires circle is designed to be run both by and for young men. If a squire is to be a leader, he must, to the degree that he is able, be given the opportunity to lead. In the Squires, he is given this opportunity.
- The Squires is an athletic team, a youth group, a social club, a cultural and civic improvement association, a management training program and a spiritual awareness course all rolled into one. The Columbian Squires program is well rounded, because our Church and nations need well rounded men who can lead.
- The above three points make the Columbian Squires different from most other youth organizations in the world today. Finally, the uniqueness of the Columbian Squires is enhanced even more by it association with the Knights of Columbus. Contact the Knights of Columbus for more information.
For those of you who are considering joining the Squires, we are an organization committed to spiritual development, charity, leadership skills as well as intellectual and physical advancement. We also have alot of fun too!
Every October we sojourn to the HEB Foundation Camp, and in April we go on a camping trip. Other activities include game nights, swim parties,miniature golf events and the Christmas Lock In. We also participate in many fundraising events for our adopted charities as well as coordinate or attend several spiritual activities. We are also noted for setting up the St. Mark's Easter egg hunt.
If this all sounds good to you, grab a membership form near the church nursery and send me an email at Stevenmb_98@yahoo.com. I can also be reached at 210-413-2632. Our Chief Squire, John Zapata, would also be delighted to talk to you. We meet every first Sunday morning of the month at Christopher Hall at 9am.
Steven Bauer, Chief Counselor