Founded on the principles of charity, unity and fraternity, the Knights of Columbus (K of C) was established in 1882 by Father Michael J. McGivney, assistant pastor of St. Mary's Church in New Haven, Conn., and a group of parishioners. Their intent was to bring financial aid and assistance to the sick, disabled and needy members and their families.
The Knights of Columbus has evolved to a global Catholic fraternal service order. Membership is composed of (and limited to) practicing Catholic men. It has grown to support refugee relief, Catholic education, local parishes and dioceses, and global Catholic causes. The Knights promote the Catholic view on public policy issues, including opposition to same-sex marriage, abortion, and birth control.
The organization provides certain financial services to affiliated groups and individuals. Its wholly owned insurance company, one of the largest in the world, underwrites more than two million insurance contracts, totaling more than $100 billion of life insurance in force. The order also owns the Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors, a money management firm which invests in accordance with Catholic social teachings.
As of 2019, there were nearly two million members around the world. Women may participate in K of C through the Columbiettes and other female auxiliaries, and boys may join the Columbian Squires. The Order comprises four different "degrees", each one of which exemplifies one of the core principles of the order. There are more than 16,000 local Knights of Columbus councils around the world, including over 300 on college campuses.
Contact Past Grand Knight Bob Duerr for more info on joining the Knights of Columbus, or visit us at www.koc.org.
On an evening in September of 1968, a group of men from St. Mary Catholic Church in Rockledge and Blessed Sacrament Parish in Port St. John met to discuss the foundation of a Knights of Columbus council on the mainland in the Cocoa-Rockledge area. A request for the institution of the Father Charles Spellman Council was approved by the Supreme Office and the Charter (inside front cover) for Council 6125 was officially received, dated November 24, 1968. A total of 95 members from the two parishes were included in the charter.
The first Grand Knight was Leo A. Armacost. In exchange for the use of St. Mary's parish hall, Fr. Charles Spellman Council No. 6125 established responsibility for the parish bingo, and provided financial support to the parish, as well as supplementing the Council Treasury.
Having a very active membership, this manpower was ever present to support both parishes' programs, as well as the needs of civic communities. A variety of activities nurtured the spiritual growth of both parishes in ongoing ministries of liturgy, CCD, Parish fairs, and building renovations to the church and elementary school.
In 1983, the council organized the Charles Spellman Building Association to plan for the future expansion of its membership with a council home of its own. Five lots were procured in Rockledge as an investment for the future plans of a building. This allowed St. Mary Hall to once again be utilized for parishioner needs. After more thought, the members decided to buy property in Cocoa with a building already available on the grounds. A contract was signed and the building property on Aurora Avenue in Cocoa was now the new council home.
The Cocoa council hall saw renovations and improvements to the building and its property in the years that followed. Members, their wives, families and friends enjoyed the fellowship of meeting at various dinners, socials, dances, picnics, bingo, and youth activities.
For the past fifty years, Council 6125 has been blessed with outstanding leadership and the strong support of its members, which allowed the council to grow from 95 original members to the approximately 300 members it now enjoys. As the council grew, so did plans for a new home. The Charles Spellman Association completed the planning procurement of land and building of a new council hall on Fiske Blvd. in Rockledge. The dedication and grand opening of the council home we enjoy today was made on February 23, 1990. One of the rooms included within the walls of the new home was the council lounge. This room was eventually named “Ted's Lounge” in honor of PGK Ted Adams. Ted was instrumental in the establishment of the council's Friday Night dinner socials for members, their families, and the widows of deceased members. The Main Hall is dedicated to Msgr. Terence Farrelly who played an instrumental role as council chaplain.
Our council achievements could not have been realized had it not been for the spiritual guidance of Msgr. Farrelly. Msgr. Farrelly was recognized for his spiritual leadership by the State Council and the Diocesan of with an appointment as Diocesan Chaplain by Emeritus Bishop Thomas Grady. Until his passing in 2014, Msgr. Farrelly continued to bless us with his spiritual influence as Chaplain Emeritus. Following Msgr. Farrelly as our Chaplain was the pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church, Fr. Brad Beaupré, C.S.C. Upon his retirement in 2018, Fr. Brad became Chaplain Emeritus, and the new pastor of St. John the Evangelist, Father John Britto Antony, C.S.C, assumed the role as our current council chaplain.
For the past twenty years, as our council has continued to grow and to expand our participation in the community, so too has our commitment to the first principle of our Order: “Charity”. With the final payment of the mortgage notes for the building in 1999, Council 6125 turned its attention to enhancing charitable contributions to the churches, schools, community organizations, and less fortunate individuals and families in our local area. Our annual contributions to charitable causes have reached up to $25,000 each year.
Contact Past Grand Knight Bob Duerr for more info on joining our Council 6125 of the Knights of Columbus, or visit us at www.koc-6125.org for information about our events.
After a number of years since bingo was last played in the hall, our council joined forces with St. George’s Catholic Community (based at PAFB) in 2008 to re-establish a weekly bingo for the community, alternating responsibilities each week for staffing and operating the bingo games Interest from St. George parishioners waned and they dropped away after the first year, leaving the full operations for the council to staff. For the past twelve years, our council has been successfully using bingo proceeds to fund a significant portion of our annual charitable donations, now totaling over $100,000 in benefits to our select community organizations.
With the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown in mid-March 2020, our regular face-to-face bingo sessions on Wednesday evenings at our hall in Rockledge FL have been suspended. We are currently testing resuming our normal program remotely and using this website to enable players to purchase their gamecards in advance online. We expect that the program sessions will be similar to our traditional in-person program, except the number of games may be abbreviated and game prizes will be adjusted based on the number of participants.
Contact Past Grand Knight Bob Duerr for more info on joining our player community at Knights of Columbus Council 6125 Bingo or visit our website www.6125bingo.org.