Thanks to the efforts of Father Michael J. McGivney, assistant pastor of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven and some of his parishioners, the Connecticut state legislature on March 29, 1882, officially chartered the Knights of Columbus as a fraternal benefit society. The Order is still true to its founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity.
The Knights was formed to render financial aid to members and their families. Mutual aid and assistance are offered to sick, disabled and needy members and their families. Social and intellectual fellowship is promoted among members and their families through educational, charitable, religious, social welfare, war relief and public relief works.
The history of the Order shows how the foresight of Father Michael J. McGivney, whose cause for sainthood is being investigated by the Vatican, brought about what has become the world's foremost Catholic fraternal benefit society. The Order has helped families obtain economic security and stability through its life insurance, annuity and long-term care programs, and has contributed time and energy worldwide to service in communities.
The Knights of Columbus has grown from several members in one council to more than 15,000 councils and 1.85 million members throughout the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, Guatemala, Guam and Saipan.
The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Catholic family fraternal service organization with 1.85 million members. It provides members and their families with volunteer opportunities in service to the Catholic Church, their communities, families and young people.
As a member of the Knights of Columbus you and your family enjoy many benefits, including 12 free issues annually of Columbia magazine, the world's largest Catholic family magazine, eligibility to join the Knights of Columbus top-ranked life insurance program, and many more family and personal benefits.
Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to practicing Catholic men in union with the Holy See, who are at least 18 years old. A practicing Catholic is one who lives up to the Commandments of God and the precepts of the Church. Application forms are available from any member of the Knights of Columbus.
Testimonials - Why We Joined
- "The first and most important part is that someone from the council asked me after mass one day. I gave it some thought and said what the heck. I had time. My kids were growing up fast. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. So when I joined I was surprised by the things that knights get involved and the rest is history." Vinny Ruiz, Jr. - JOINED: 2000
- "My uncle, Millio Mancini, was a past Grand Knight of council #3928. He was also a charter member of the council. After I was married to his niece we use to go to the after mass breakfast sponsored by council #3928. He was after me for years to join the council. I kind of shrugged him off. One time at the breakfast he responded by stating you can eat our food but you won’t join. My wife started laughing so I joined. It has been a great 36 years and I have enjoyed it greatly. I am a past Grand Knight, District Deputy and am presently going through the chairs again." Carl E. Swan - JOINED: 1978
- "I joined as a result of the carnival. Attended St. George carnival with my family and saw how hard the Knights were working for the church. Getting more involved in St. George parish was something I wanted to do and I saw the Knights as a good way of doing that." Carl Bergquist - JOINED: 1992
- "I was raised in Guilford and active in the Saint George parish. Beginning in catechism, serving as an altar boy, and then moving onto the active CYO, I learned to give to the church. At the same time, I planned to enjoy the social activities. Although being away for twenty years, I returned to the area. As an active member of this organization I wish to continue planning and participating in activities." Dan Walker - JOINED: 2002
- "I was a young father in my mid-thirties living in Milwaukee in the mid-seventies. The local K of C council had a great softball team. I was asked to join the Knights to play softball. It was and continues to be a great experience. I no longer play softball, but I’m still very much involved with the Knights." Doug Stokely - JOINED: 1997
- " To help out with community services and to participate in functions sponsored by the Knights of Columbus." John Sieviec - JOINED: 1989