Maltese Cross emblem
|Motto||Esto Dignus (Be Worthy)|
|Formation||April 4, 1925|
|Type||Catholic youth organization|
|Headquarters||New Haven, Connecticut|
The Virgin Islands
|Knights of Columbus|
The Columbian Squires is an international youth fraternity run by the Knights of Columbus for Catholic boys between the ages of 10 and 18. It has been described as “an athletic team, a youth group, a social club, a cultural and civic improvement association, a management training course, a civil rights organization and a spiritual development program all rolled into one.” "The Squires is designed to develop young men as leaders who understand their Catholic religion, who have a strong commitment to the Church and who are ready, willing and capable of patterning their lives after the Youth Christ." The formation of new Squire Circles in the United States and Canada is discouraged, since the Catholic Church has a desire to move youth activities from exclusive clubs into the local parish youth groups.
The Squires were established under the direction of Brother Barnabas McDonald, F.S.C., together with Supreme Director Daniel A. Tobin on August 4, 1925. At that time there was a national interest in youth in the United States, as reflected by the development of the Boy Scouts of America and the Big Brother movement.
The Boy Movement Committee of the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus sent questionnaires to each Grand Knight and after receiving the responses met with Brother Barnabas. Brother Barnabas had gained a national reputation for his pioneering work with delinquents and orphans.
As said by Brother Barnabas, “The supreme purpose of the Columbian Squires is character building.” Squires have fun and share their Catholic faith, help people in need, and enjoy the company of friends in social, family, athletic, cultural, civic and spiritual activities. Through their local circle, Squires work and socialize as a group of friends, elect their own officers, and develop into Catholic leaders.
|Squire Advancement Program|
|Level 1: Page|
|Level 2: Shield Bearer|
|Level 3: Swordsman|
|Level 4: Lancer|
|Level 5: Squire of the Body of Christ|
Each Circle is supervised by a Knights of Columbus Council or Assembly and has an advisory board made up of either the Grand Knight, the Deputy Grand Knight and Chaplain or the Faithful Navigator, the Faithful Captain and Faithful Friar. Circles are either Council based, parish based, or school based, depending on the location of the circle and the Knight counselors.
The Squires officers consist of Chief Squire, Deputy Chief Squire, Bursar Squire, Notary Squire, Marshall, Sentry, Arm Captain and Pole Captain. Adults (members of the Knights of Columbus) fill the roles of Chief Counselor, Chancellor and the Priest fills the role of the Father Prior.
There are more than 25,000 Squires around the world. The 5,000th Squires Circle was recently instituted at St. Mary's Catholic High School in Phoenix, Arizona. Squires circles have been instituted throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, Cuba, Panama, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and various United States Air Force bases abroad.
The emblem of the Squires symbolizes the ideals which identify a squire. On the arms of a Maltese cross are the letters "P", which represents the physical development necessary to make the body as strong as the spirit; "I", which stands for the intellectual development needed for cultural and mental maturity; "S", which represents the spiritual growth and practice of our faith and "C", which stands for the development of citizenship and civic life. The larger letters: "C", representing Christ and also Christopher Columbus; "S", the Squires; and "K", the Knights of Columbus, by whom the Squires program is sponsored, are intertwined in the center of the cross. They are the three foundations of the program.
The Latin motto, "Esto Dignus", encircles the emblem. Translated into English, it means "Be Worthy."
In 1996 the Virginia State Council of Knights of Columbus endorsed the Squire Roses as the official youth group for young ladies, aged 10 to 18, in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Since then the Squire Roses have expanded into new Knights of Columbus jurisdictions, growing in both size and stature. The Squire Roses have their own ceremonials, logo, and slogan, each similar yet distinct from the Squires.
An unofficial logo for the Columbian Squires in Virginia shows a coin with the Squires logo on one side and the Squire Roses logo on the other. The slogan beneath this coin states: "Squires and Squire Roses – two sides of the same coin."
In Canada, the Squire Roses are called Squirettes.
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