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Founded on the principles of charity, unity and fraternity, the Knights of Columbus was established in 1882 by Father Michael J. McGivney, assistant pastor of St. Mary's Church in New Haven, Conn., and a group of parishioners. Their intent? To bring financial aid and assistance to the sick, disabled and needy members and their families.

Today, Father McGivney is being considered for sainthood.


Feast Day of Our Founder

August 13 is the recently designated Feast Day of Blessed Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus. Fr. McGivney was born on August 12, 1852 and died on August 14, 1890.  I May 2020, the Vatican gave the official recognition of the miracle healing of an unborn child in the United States, who in 2015, was healed in utero of a life-threatening condition, to which prayers were offered by his family to Fr. McGivney.

For those that do not know about this great man, Fr. McGivney was the Irish-American priest who noticed the continual economic and personal struggles of Catholic families in his home town of New Haven, Connecticut, particularly those whose fathers had died leaving large families without a money earner.  Also noticing the discrimination against Catholics throughout American society (then predominately of the Irish background), particularly in the areas of employment, he would be moved to take action.

As a result of these injustices, Fr. McGivney would found the Knights of Columbus in 1882, the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organizations, with over 2 million members who are part of more than 16,000 local Knights of Columbus councils around the world (primarily in North America), including over 300 on college campuses.  

Fr. McGivney also set up the Knights of Columbus insurance program, one of the largest life insurance programs in North America today. 

Today, millions of Knights worldwide serve the wider community while defending Catholic traditions and values.  


Children sharing.

News & Notes

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The Holy See’s Permanent Observer to OCSE calls for a greater commitment to combat intolerance and discrimination, including against Muslims, Christians and members of other religions.

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