Eye on History: 1920s Columbian Squires Baseball

In the early 1920s, the Knights of Columbus began focusing on the spiritual, intellectual and physical development of young men in its communities across America, Canada and Mexico. A group called the Columbian Squires was formed nationally in 1925 to provide social, civic, spiritual and physical activity for boys from 12 to 18.

The young men in this picture formed the Squires baseball team in Racine, Wisconsin. Racine founded its Columbian Squires group in April 1923, two years before the Knights of Columbus made the program available across North America.

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“By the design of God there is a particular time in a boy’s life when he seeks a man upon whom to mould his character, and it is our task to get the right kind of men to serve as such models,” said Brother Barnabas McDonald, F.S.C., founding director of the Columbian Squires.

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The Squires motto is Esto Dignus, meaning “Be Worthy.”

Speaking to the Wisconsin Knights of Columbus state convention in May 1925, Brother Barnabas said, “Between the ages of 12 and 18 is the most important period of the boys life. Every boy needs a hero to worship. Pity the boy whose hero is the professional pugilist and the bootlegger.

“At this time of life, the boy begins to need the friendship of a man. That his home does not supply this need, that his school fails him and that his church cannot meet his needs, does not change his nature. Companionship he must have, and he gets it where he can — in the street or up the alley.”

The Squires program continues to this day, with more than 1,500 local groups active worldwide. Boys ages 10 to 18 are eligible to participate in a wide array of programs and activities.

©2015 Treasured Lives

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