What is the Order of Knights of St Thomas More?
The Order is a catholic men's fraternity. It is modelled on the Orders of Catholic Knights such as the Knights of Columbus in the US, Knights of St Columba in the UK and Knights of St Columbanus in Ireland.
Where will I find branches of the Order?
We call them "chapters". Currently there is only one chapter of the Knights of St Thomas More. This is located at St Anthony's Parish in Kraainem, to the east of Brussels in Belgium. This parish is the largest english-speaking parish of any denomination on continental Europe..
Does the Order have any international recognition?
The Knights of St Thomas More was established under the guidance of the International Alliance of Catholic Knights (IACK). This body represents the interests of the Orders of Knights in different countries, coordinates activities between them, and supports the development of new orders in different countries.
How is the Order recognised by the Church?
The Knights of St Thomas More is a member of the International Alliance of Catholic Knights. This organisation is recognised in a Decree from the Pontifical Council for the Laity “as a private international association, according to the codes 298 - 311 and 321 - 329 of the Code of Canon Law”.
What other Orders of Knights are there?
There are 16 Orders of Knights that are members of the International Alliance of Catholic Knights.
Knights of Columbus North America
Knights of Da Gama South Africa
Knights of Marshall West Africa
Knights of St. Columba United Kingdom
Knights of St. Columbanus Ireland
Knights of St. Mulumba Nigeria
Knights of Peter Claver United States
Knights of the Southern Cross Australia
Knights of the Southern Cross New Zealand
Knights of Saint Virgil Austria
Fraternal Order of St. Peter & Paul The Gambia
Diplomatic Order of St. Gabriel United Nations
Knights of St. Thomas the Apostle Pakistan
Knights of Mary, Queen of Peace Mauritius
Knights of St. Thomas More Belgium
Knights of St. Matia Mulumba Uganda
How did the Order come to be founded?
For several years Brussels-based Irish members of the Knights of Saint Columbanus had been meeting once a month at Saint Anthony’s Parish Hall in the hope of eventually having enough members to establish a council. A group of Americans, mostly servicemen and diplomats assigned to duty in Brussels and some of them members of the Knights of Columbus, became interested in assisting the Irish members establishing a council of Catholic Knights. Other interested members from New Zealand, Nigeria and the United Kingdom soon joined them.
They invited the Secretary General of the International Alliance of Catholic Knights (Brother Tony Rouse KCSG) to discuss options within the International Alliance. From this discussion a unanimous decision was made to establish a new Order of Catholic Knights in Belgium. The Order was officially established with an inaugural mass at St. Anthony's Parish church on 28 April 2001. The decision to establish under the name of Saint Thomas More was inspired by the heroic example the English Saint set during a time of apostasy and schism. His heroic loyalty to the church sets an example that Catholics everywhere, not just in Europe, must be prepared to follow.
Who can become a Knight?
Membership in the Order of Knights of Saint Thomas More is open to all confirmed Catholic men who:
· Are not less than 18 years of age
· Are living a life of faith as a Roman Catholic
· Will give loyalty to the Order of Knights of Saint Thomas More, its Aims and Objectives
· Strive, in all respects, to lead exemplary lives.
Do women participate in Orders of Catholic Knights?
Since their inception, Orders of Catholic Knights have been established for men only. Other organisations within parishes and communities involve men and women, but these could never be Orders of Knights. Today, this is not seen as ‘exclusion’ of women, but a positive opportunity for men to be able to discuss, practice and develop their Faith with other, like-minded men.
In many countries where there are orders of Knights, groups of women have established parallel groups for themselves, enjoying a similar environment.