NEW HAVEN, Conn., March 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Knights of Columbus has announced a new program to assist dioceses with short-term financing as many dioceses and their parishes reel from the effects of the pandemic.

The Knights has established a $100 million fund, with up to a $1 million secured line of credit per Catholic diocese. The program will be available for 60 days beginning on Monday, March 30.

«It is critical for us to support the Catholic Church in the United States at this time, so that the Church can continue to provide irreplaceable spiritual and charitable support, and can keep the staff supporting its mission and outreach employed,» said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson. «Our fund is designed specifically to help dioceses and their parishes weather this pandemic financially so that they can continue their important work – now and after the pandemic.»

The lines of credit will have a very competitive interest rate equivalent to that of the one-year Treasury bill, plus 225 basis points (2.25%).

The line of credit has a two-year term. At the end of that term, dioceses will have the option to convert the line of credit to a Knights of Columbus church loan, fully amortizing at the prevailing rate for a term selected by the borrower of five, 10 or 20 years – the same low-interest terms offered by the Knights’ existing and long-standing ChurchLoan program. The Knights of Columbus has been a key lender to parishes and dioceses for more than a century, and the ChurchLoan program remains a key source of financing for Catholic parishes and institutions.

In addition to the offer of financing to dioceses, the Knights of Columbus is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with a number of grass roots and community programs. The organization has urged its members to help support those in need of food and other essentials, and to participate in blood drives – a longstanding K of C tradition. It was the Knights who pioneered nationwide blood drives in the United States in the 1930s.

About the Knights of Columbus

The Knights of Columbus is one of the nation’s premiere volunteer and charitable organizations. Last year, Knights worldwide donated 76 million service hours, and more than $185 million to charitable causes in communities throughout the Americas, as well in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. From helping children in need, to providing wheelchairs for the disabled, to organizing blood drives, to helping stock food banks, to offering top-rated and affordable life insurance to its members, the Knights has been at the service of the community and the Church for more than 130 years.

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SOURCE Knights of Columbus