A Young Knight of Columbus on ‘Christian Masculinity’ and the Future of the Church

“You can join a brotherhood of men that want to better the world,” he said, “that want to leave the world better than how they found it.”

Miguel Flores, 30, a Knight of Columbus from North Carolina
Miguel Flores, 30, a Knight of Columbus from North Carolina (photo: Courtesy photo / CNA)

“There is no greater authentic masculinity than protecting those who are more vulnerable than you,” Miguel Flores, a young Knight of Columbus, told CNA.

Flores, 30, spoke with CNA at this week’s Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention in Orlando, Florida, about what it means to be a young Catholic man in modern society.

A resident of North Carolina, Flores is a family man, married to his beloved wife, Claudia. Together they have an “amazing” 18-month-old daughter, Alessia.

“Once I became a Knight, it helped my faith in ways that I couldn’t have imagined,” Flores said. “Being a Knight gave me the opportunity to take my faith and go outside the walls of my parish and out into the world.”

Built to Protect

“We’re built to protect; just look at our anatomy,” Flores said. “God put that inside of our DNA to be able to protect others. And the Knights of Columbus are at the front of that with the masculinity that we help men discover.”

He said that by building a brotherhood of men centered on God, the Knights help men learn “how to be the best head of your house, be the best father, be the best husband, be the best son” and to “give yourself for others.”

Flores acknowledged that while it is needed, true Catholic manhood “is a form of masculinity that is under attack.”

“It’s under attack in many ways because we live in a society that is so [preoccupied with] receiving,” he explained. “I want to receive likes, I want to be noticed. I want to get, but we don’t want to give. It’s not a two-way street. We live for the self so much and true authentic love and true authentic Christian masculinity is giving yourself away.”

To Flores, who joined the Knights of Columbus in 2021, the purpose of the order is for Catholic men to be strengthened by one another so that they can stand in the breach for those who have no one else to defend them.

He told the story of how one Knight passed away shortly after his house burned down. The brother Knights in the area banded together to rebuild the family’s home themselves.

“Those men, the Knights of Columbus at that council, they finished rebuilding that man’s home,” Flores said. “Something that he was going to do because he’s supposed to protect his own family, right? But when he was no longer there, the Knights were there.”

“Now there’s a family in Charlotte, North Carolina, who have a home,” he said. “Because of those men who said: ‘Yes, I will give you this, I will give you my time, I will give you my service.’”

“You never know where your ‘yes’ is going to take you,” Flores added. “And there are so many people who need our help. I’ve seen it in my community that whenever there’s a need, men are willing to rise to the occasion. Because it’s something that when somebody else relies on you, that inner instinct, your masculinity, rises to the occasion.”

Rejecting the World’s Anti-Masculine Narrative

According to Flores, men today are in particularly desperate need of something deeper than what society is offering.

“We’re starving,” he said. “We’re starving for something deeper.”

He explores how this hunger for meaning draws men and women to God in his podcast, “Knight’s Talk.”

As a young man in today’s society, as well as the child of Mexican immigrants, Flores feels called to tell young people about the deeper sustenance and meaning that he has found in prayer, the Mass, and the Eucharist.

God is “always calling us,” Flores said, “but if our distractions are louder, we’re not going to hear it.” 

Flores said that “having the ability to find time for prayer, find time for Mass” are crucial to living out authentic masculinity.

Catholic Brotherhood

Flores is very hopeful for the future of the Church, in large part because of the service and brotherhood of the Knights of Columbus. Even as new forms of evil arise that threaten the dignity of human life, such attacks on true masculinity as well as femininity, new heroes will arise in the Church.

“God’s always provided saints when there’s been a need for them. He’s never abandoned his people,” he said.

Flores is confident that many more young men will be finding hope and meaning in the Knights of Columbus for years to come.

“The current landscape that we find ourselves in right now will create soldiers for God,” he said, adding that the Knights of Columbus forms those soldiers in God.

In his own life, Flores said that becoming a Knight of Columbus “elevated my faith.” He said he would encourage any Catholic man, especially young men who are particularly impacted by the current culture, to become a Knight.

“You can join a brotherhood of men that want to better the world,” he said, “that want to leave the world better than how they found it.”

“So, I believe that although it may seem hopeless to some,” Flores said, “Our Lord promised us when he told the apostles that he will be with us until the end of time.”