Who are the Knights?
The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic family fraternal service organization with over 1.9 million members. It provides members and their families with volunteer opportunities in service to the Catholic Church, their communities, families and young people.
In 1882, Father Michael J. McGivney gathered a small group of parishioners in St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Conn. His purpose was to establish a group of men, united in their faith and to provide for Catholic families in times of need. This was the beginning of the Knights of Columbus.
Guided by the principles of charity, unity, and fraternity members of the Knights of Columbus work to overcome the hardships that people face in their parishes and communities. We are a growing organization – more than 1.9 million members – and for over 130 years have committed to overcome the challenges of the need for food, shelter, warm clothing and financial security, as well as provide aid for widows and orphans in our local communities.
Joining your local council of the Knights of Columbus can change your life. As a Knight, you have the opportunity to strengthen your parish, give back to your community, grow in your faith and gain exclusive access to our portfolio of top-rated insurance products to financially protect your family. Councils conduct many programs that support your parish and community including:
- Various prayer and Eucharistic adoration programs
- Participating in the Coats for Kids and Food for Families programs
- Encouraging vocations to the priesthood and religious life
By joining your local council does not mean that you need to sacrifice quality time with your family. By volunteering an hour here or an hour there – with your family – can make an enormous difference in your life and in the lives of others.
Our charitable activities encompass an almost infinite variety of local, national and international projects. From international charitable partnerships with Special Olympics
, the Global Wheelchair Mission
and Habitat for Humanity
to our own Food for Families
and Coats for Kids
projects and other purely local charities, the opportunity to work together with fellow Knights and their families is virtually endless.
If you’d like to be a part of an international organization of more than 1.9 million Catholic men whose principal work involves helping others in need, we’d like to meet you and invite you to join us.
Cumulative figures show that during the past decade, the Knights of Columbus has donated $1.5 billion to charity, and provided more than 673 million hours of volunteer service in support of charitable initiatives.
Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to men 18 years of age or older who are practical (that is, practicing) Catholics in union with the Holy See. This means that an applicant or member accepts the teaching authority of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals, aspires to live in accord with the precepts of the Catholic Church, and is in good standing in the Catholic Church.
As a member of the Knights of Columbus you and your family enjoy many benefits, including 12 free issues annually of the Columbia magazine, the world’s largest Catholic family magazine, eligibility to join the Knights of Columbus top-ranked life insurance program, and many more family and personal benefits.
By being an active member of Council 4386 you will participate in Church, Youth and Family activities, as well share in Community Service and many other Council events.
How To Join
Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to practicing Catholic men in union with the Holy See, who are at least 18 years old. A practicing Catholic is one who lives up to the Commandments of God and the precepts of the Church. Application blanks are available from any member of the Knights of Columbus or by contacting the membership chairman of Holy Family Council, Dennie Lortie at 969-8421.
Any Third Degree member in good standing, one year after the anniversary of his First Degree, is eligible for membership in the Fourth Degree. The primary purpose of the Fourth Degree is to foster the spirit of patriotism by promoting responsible citizenship and a love of and loyalty to the Knights’ respective countries through active membership in local Fourth Degree groups (called “assemblies”). Certain members of the Fourth Degree serve as honor guards at civic and religious functions, an activity that has brought worldwide recognition to the Knights of Columbus.
Knights Of Columbus Insurance
Since our founding in 1882, 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 and retirement products.
With more than $99 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 best way to learn about our products is by arranging a visit with a local field agent. Your agent can custom design an insurance program to meet your current needs, help you plan for the future or simply explain the many fraternal benefits that come with membership. To contact the agent in your area, use our convenient Find An Agent feature.
To learn more about insurance or our products, please use the links on this page. To get a rough estimate of the amount of life insurance protection you and your family need, use our Life Insurance Calculator. The Knights of Columbus is Your Shield of Protection for Life.