Who are the Knights?


Mission

The purpose of the Knights of Columbus College Councils is to promote the moral, intellectual and spiritual development of the future leaders of civil society, the Order, and the Church through witness to the Gospel and dedication to the principles of charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism. 

The first college council was established in 1910 at the University of Notre Dame. And today there are more than 260 college councils.

From the Beginning

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 Knights were 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 in progress, brought about what has become the world's foremost Catholic fraternal benefit society. 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 and world.


Our Principles

Charity - Our Catholic faith teaches us to “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Members of the Knights of Columbus show love for their neighbors by conducting food drives for local soup kitchens, by volunteering at the 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. Together we can accomplish far more than any of us could individually. It means 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 throughout your college experience.

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 due to industrial work. 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 – 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.