There are three core tenets to Knighthood in the Knights of St. Patrick. The second tenet is Work, and more elaborately Doing the Work of the Lord. Once you have an ongoing and growing relationship with Jesus Christ through your prayer life He will begin to ask you to do His works. As a Knight you are called to discern at least two of these works you are called to do and then to seek out two different Catholic organizations whose mission is the performance of those work, and then, Get To Work.

Types of Work

The Catholic Church recognizes two types of work that can be performed for the Lord, physical and spiritual. Human beings are not simply bodies whose only needs are food and shelter and we are not simply souls inhabiting a body whose only needs are right teaching and grace. Human beings are body-soul composites and as such we must care for both other people's bodies and their souls.

The Corporal Works of Mercy

These works come from Matthew Chapter 25 verses 31-46, directly from the mouth of our Lord Jesus Christ, and are provided to us as being directly tied to our salvation. Simply put, if you do not do these works, you should not expect to be granted salvation on the last day. Christ's exhortation is for us to: Feed the hungry, Give drink to the thirsty, Welcome the stranger, Clothe the naked, Care for the sick, and Visit the imprisoned.

In the course of history and upon review of Sacred Scripture the Church has broken the corporal works of mercy into these seven categories. Each category represents a bodily, or corporal, need that the faithful should provide to the needy, both within our community and without.

Feed the Hungry

Give Drink to the Thirsty

Shelter the Homeless

Care for the Sick

Care for the Imprisoned

Bury the Dead

Give Alms to the Poor

The Spiritual Works of Mercy

These works have always been a part of the Christian tradition and they seek to tend to the spiritual needs of the members of the body of Christ and the whole human race. They involve working with other people, educating them about the faith, correcting wrong ideas or thoughts, and leading them deeper into a relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ.

The Church over the centuries has categorized the spiritual works of mercy into seven groups. Each category represents a spiritual need that the faithful should provide to the needy, both within our community and without.

Counseling the Doubtful

Instructing the Ignorant

Admonishing the Sinner

Comforting the Sorrowful

Forgiving Injuries

Bearing Wrongs Patiently

Praying for the Living and the Dead



Get to Work

Now that you know what to do, you need to go do it. There is no emphasis on the corporal or the spiritual works of mercy and no emphasis on any particular work among the works of mercy. The goal is to find at least two organizations performing one or more of these works, joining that organization, and then start doing the work.

Boots on the Ground and Hands in the Field

As a Knight of Saint Patrick your participation in these organizations is to be the ever present, or at least as often as you can, helping hands. You should strive to be someone that the organization knows it can count on to show up and do the job when called upon. Leadership in your chosen organizations is not required and you should be very weary of becoming a leader in whatever groups you join. Your time will be necessarily split between at least two organizations, getting too involved in any one of them will cause you to neglect the other one(s). Your goal as a Knight is to fight in the army, not lead it.

One Church, one community

Most organizations you join, except for the very narrowly defined organizations, will perform more than one of these works. For instance a parish RCIA group might Counsel the Doubtful and Instruct the Ignorant. Whatever the number of works the organizations performs you are still required to join more than one organization. The goal here is not simply to do as many works as possible, but to do those works broadly in your community. To know when your community as a whole is Caring for the Sick and to be able to reach across organizational boundaries to get everyone involved.

One Body of Christ

Your involvement in multiple organizations will make you a hub in the many turning wheels of your catholic community. You will get to know many other people involved with organizations at many levels. You will begin to gain a broad picture of the health of the Church around you. You will know, from how the different organizations you are in handle the problems around to, what needs to be done and who needs to be called on. Your ultimate goal in joining and participating in many different groups is not to earn merit badges but to become the visible and real link that bridges the gaps between different parts of the Body of Christ.