A Brief History: The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic, Family Fraternal Organization. We began in the basement of St. Mary’s Church in 1882. We were founded by Fr. Michael J. McGivney, a Catholic Priest who was moved by the plight of the many widows and orphans in his parish. Times were pretty tough in those days for Catholic families – when the breadwinner died, (and they often died young because of the working conditions of the day) the widows and orphans had no safety net and were often left destitute. He called the men of his parish together to unite them in faith and provide assistance to the widows and orphans. Because of Fr. McGiveny’s vision and our founding principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism our Order has grown to over 1.7 Million members in over 12,000 councils in North America and beyond as of 2017. Fr. McGivney’s plan to provide assistance to the widows and children of departed members has grown to be among the strongest and most stable organizations in the world.
How We Work: Every member belongs to a unit that we call “Council”. Each council has elected Officers. Elections are held each year. The Grand Knight is elected as leader and he has a team of elected
officers and members to help organize the working of the council. Monthly Council Meetings are
held to organize and facilitate the work of the Council. All members are asked to attend the
All the good works we do are informed by our four core principles:
Charity – Our Catholic faith teaches us to “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Members of the Knights of Columbus show love for their neighbors by conducting food drives and donating the food to local soup kitchens and food pantries, by volunteering at Special Olympics, and by supporting, both spiritually and materially, mothers who choose life for their babies. Knights recognize that our mission, and our faith in God, compels us to action. There is no better way to experience love and compassion than by helping those in need, a call we answer every day.
Unity – None of us is as good as all of us. Members of the Knights of Columbus all know that – together – we can accomplish far more than any of us could individually. So we stick together…we support one another. That doesn’t mean that we always agree or that there is never a difference of opinion. It does mean that – as a Knight of Columbus – you can count on the support and encouragement of your brother Knights as you work to make life better in your parish and community.
Fraternity – The Venerable Michael J. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus, in large part, to provide assistance to the widows and children left behind when the family breadwinner died – often prematurely. The Order’s top-rated insurance program continues to do this today, as do individual Knights, who last year gave more than 10 million hours of their time to assist sick and/or disabled members and their families. In the Knights of Columbus, we watch out for and take care of one another.
Patriotism – Members of the Knights of Columbus, be they Americans, Canadians, Mexicans, Cubans, Filipinos, Poles, or Dominicans, are patriotic citizens. We are proud of our devotion to God and country, and believe in standing up for both. Whether it’s in public or private, the Knights remind the world that Catholics support their nations and are amongst the greatest citizens.