The Columbian Squires, the official youth organization of the Knights of Columbus, was established under the direction of Brother Barnabas McDonald, F.S.C. on August 4, 1925 with the institution of Duluth Circle 1 in Duluth, Minn. Since then, Squires circles have been instituted throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Phillipines, Cuba, Panama, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands and Guam.
Just as the Knights of Columbus goal is a Council in every Parish, the Squires goal is a Circle in every Council. By striving toward this goal, the Knights of Columbus are giving an increasing number of Catholic young men the opportunity to learn the skills and attititudes of Catholic leadership. With every new Circle, we get closer to that goal. There can be few undertakings more important than developing young Catholic leaders with belief and values that will define their character for a lifetime. Thie is what the Columbian Squires program is designed to do.
In the words of Brother Barnabas, "The supreme purpose of the Columbiam Squires is character building."
The Columbian Squires program strives to provide “the spiritual, cultural, civic, social and physical improvement of its members, and the development of their leadership qualities,” (section II, Article II of the Laws and Rules of the Columbian Squires).
The Squires is an international fraternity of approximately 25,000 Catholic young men, ages 10 to 18, in over 1,500 circles worldwide. Circles exist, or have existed, throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Panama, Cuba, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and on U.S. military bases abroad. Local Knights of Columbus councils and assemblies sponsor Squire circles, which may be based either in a council/assembly hall, in a parish building, a parochial, private, public or military school, or on a military installation. The Squires involves young men in programs to benefit the Church, the community, as well as in recreational and social activities.
The Squires Emblem includes a Maltese Cross upon which are the letters “P”, (physical fitness); “I”, (intellectual development); “S”, (spiritual growth and the practice of our faith); and “C”, (citizenship and civic life). The large letters “C” and “S” intertwined with the Cross respectively represent Christ and Squires. The “K” centered on the cross symbolizes the Knights of Columbus. Esto Dignus, the Squires’ motto encircling the emblem, is Latin of “Be Worthy.”