On Oct. 2, 1882, a small group of men met in the basement of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Connecticut. They were 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 organization.
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.
The Knights of Columbus was formed to render financial aid to the widows and orphans of their members. The Knights of Columbus contributes time and energy to service in the communities.
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 Orders insurance program has expanded substantially to serve more effectively the Knights growing membership.
The Order is still true to its founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity.