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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
The history of the Order shows how the foresight of Father Michael J. McGivney,
whosecause 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 stabilitythrough its life insurance, annuity and
long-term care programs, and has contributedtime and energy worldwide to service in
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, theBahamas, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, Guatemala, Guam and Saipan.