Founded on August 4, 1925 with the institution of Duluth Circle 1 in Duluth, Minn., 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 1,400 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.
Squires EmblemThe 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 for "Be Worthy."
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.
A Squires circle must be sponsored by a council or assembly, but is run by and for young men, under the guidance of several Knights, who serve as counselors. Squires are to be leaders, thus, to the degree they are able, they are given the opportunity to lead, by running their own meetings, investing their own members, setting their circle's agenda and implementing their program of activities.
Squires have fun. They meet new friends; they travel, play sports and socialize. Squires are serious-minded, too. Squires are involved in promoting vocations, marching in defense of unborn life, feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, supporting Special Olympics and promoting Catholic education, among countless other activities. Thus, the Squires circle is 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.