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.
Since our founding, the primary mission of the Knights of Columbus has been to protect families from the financial ruin caused by the death of the breadwinner.
In the beginning, Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney and his fellow Knights “passed the hat” to benefit widows and orphans.
From that humble start, the Order has grown to include top-rated life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability insurance, and retirement products.
With more than $95 billion of insurance in force and a full-time field force of more than 1,400 serving our members and their families, we are proudly fulfilling Fr. McGivney’s vision.
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, 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 14,000 councils and 1.8 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.