On Oct. 2, 1881, a small group of men met in the basement of St.
Mary’s Church on Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut. Called
together by their 29-year-old parish priest, Father Michael J.
McGivney, these men formed a fraternal society that would one day
become the world’s largest Catholic family fraternal service
They sought strength in solidarity, and security through unity of
purpose and devotion to a holy cause: they vowed to be defenders of
their country, their families and their faith.
These men were bound together by the ideal of Christopher Columbus,
the discoverer of the Americas, the one whose hand brought
Christianity to the New World. Their efforts came to fruition with the
incorporation of the Knights of Columbus on March 29, 1882.
They were Knights of Columbus.
The Order has been called "the strong right arm of the Church," and
has been praised by popes, presidents and other world leaders, for
support of the Church, programs of evangelization and Catholic
education, civic involvement and aid to those in need.
Father McGivney’s founding vision for the Order also included a
life insurance program to provide for the widows and orphans of
deceased members. The Order’s insurance program has expanded
substantially to serve more effectively the Knights’ growing
Year after year, the Knights of Columbus has earned the highest
possible quality ratings for financial soundness from A.M. Best and
Standard & Poor’s. The Order provides the highest quality insurance,
annuity and long-term care products to its members, along with many
other fraternal benefits.
The Supreme Council is the governing body of the Knights of
Columbus and is responsible for the development of the organization as
a whole. Supreme Council duties include establishing the Order in new
regions and setting up regional authorities, defining and advancing
its values and goals, undertaking organization-wide initiatives,
promoting awareness of the Knights’ mission worldwide, and protecting
the families of members through its extensive insurance program.
Members working in local, or subordinate councils, however, carry on
the majority of the Knights’ beneficial work.
From The Knights of Columbus Web Site -