love for their neighbors by conducting food drives and donating the food to local soup kitchens and food pantries, by
volunteering at Special Olympics, and by supporting, both spiritually and materially, mothers who choose life for their
babies. Knights recognize that our mission, and our faith in God, compels us to action. There is no better way to
experience love and compassion than by helping those in need, a call we answer every day.
Unity – None of us is as good as all of us. Members of the Knights of Columbus all know that – together – we can
accomplish far more than any of us could individually. So we stick together…we support one another. That doesn’t
mean that we always agree or that there is never a difference of opinion. It does mean that – as a Knight of Columbus
– you can count on the support and encouragement of your brother Knights as you work to make life better in your
parish and community.
Fraternity – The Venerable Michael J. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus, in large part, to provide assistance
to the widows and children left behind when the family breadwinner died – often prematurely. The Order’s top-rated insurance program continues to do this today, as do individual Knights, who last year gave more than 10 million hours of their time to assist sick and/or disabled members and their families. In the Knights of Columbus, we watch out for and take care of one another.
Patriotism – Members of the Knights of Columbus, be they Americans, Canadians, Mexicans, Cubans, Filipinos, Poles, or Dominicans, are patriotic citizens. We are proud of our devotion to God and country, and believe in standing up for both. Whether it’s in public or private, the Knights remind the world that Catholics support their nations and are amongst the greatest citizens.
Supreme Council Office
The Knights of Columbus international headquarters is located in New Haven, Connecticut. Led by the Supreme Knight, the chief executive officer of the Knights, the office provides administrative support and leadership for our more than 14,000 local units.
The Supreme Council has more than 75 state council organizations to help guide regional activities that are consistent with the principles of the Order.
Each state council is divided into districts - groupings of several local councils.
Local councils are the basic unit of the Knights. Most are based in parishes, though some have their own council hall within a community. Each local council works to assist with the needs of its community consistent with the principles of the Order.
Every council is assigned a certified insurance agent, who is a Knight, and whose job it is to provide our top-rated products focused on the financial needs of members' families.
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 works.
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 through its life insurance, annuity and long-term care programs, 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.