Knights of the Southern Cross

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This article is about the organization in Australia. For the organization in New Zealand, see Knights of the Southern Cross (New Zealand).
Knights of the Southern Cross
Knights of the Southern Cross (Australia).png
Abbreviation KSC
Formation 1919
Type Catholic fraternal service
Headquarters PO Box 216, Campbell, ACT, Australia, 2612
Supreme Knight Colin Walsh
Key people Patrick Minahan and Joseph Lynch

The Knights of the Southern Cross (KSC) is a Catholic fraternal order committed to promoting the Christian way of life throughout Australia.

The Order was founded in Sydney in 1919 with the approval of the Catholic Bishops of Australia. In 1922 it merged with its Victorian counterpart the Knights of St. Francis Xavier.[1]

Branches operate in many Catholic Parishes throughout Australia and membership is open to Catholic men over the age of 18.

St. Mary MacKillop is patron saint of the Knights of the Southern Cross.

The order also established the non-profit aged care organization, Southern Cross Care.

The objects of the order[edit]

  • To promote the advancement of Australia
  • To foster the Christian way of life throughout the nation
  • To promote the welfare of members of the Order and their families
  • To encourage spiritual,social and intellectual activities amongst members of the Order
  • To conduct and support educational, charitable, religious and social welfare work


The Order was founded in 1919 in Sydney at a time Catholics were regarded with suspicion by the Protestant majority in Australia.[2] The two co-founders werePatrick Minahan, a boot manufacturer and member of the NSW Legislative Assembly, and Joseph Lynch, a school inspector.[3] Within a year of its establishment over 1,000 men had joined the order from every state in Australia and a national council was established to oversee the organisation.[4]

In the beginning it served to assist Catholics service men returned from World War I to find employment and to defend the rights and interests of the Catholic Church in Australia, a mission which it continues to promote today.[5]

International Alliance of Catholic Knights[edit]

Through the International Alliance of Catholic Knights, the Knights of the Southern Cross are associated with the Knights of Columbus, the Knights of St Columbanus, the Knights of Da Gama, the Knights of Peter Claver, the Knights of the Southern Cross (New Zealand) and the Knights of Saint Columba.