The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic men’s fraternal benefit society formed in 1882 by Father Michael J. McGivney, while he was pastor of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, CT. Having lost his own father at a young age, and wanting to help keep families together should disease or an untimely death befall a family, Father McGivney formed the Knights of Columbus to help render financial aid to the member’s widow and his family.

Today, the foresight of Father McGivney, and the Order’s founding principles continue to preserve, promulgate and passion The Knights of Columbus. Our founding principles benefit both communities and the active membership, and they are what the Knights of Columbus is all about.

The 4 Principles of The Knights of Columbus

Charity- In 2015, the Knights of Columbus at all levels raised and donated more than $175 million to charitable causes. Members also performed over 73.5 million hours of volunteer service. Both of these accomplishments are all time highs for the Order.

Unity- 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. In the Knights of Columbus, we watch out for and take care of one another.


  1. The Knights of Columbus has over $100 billion of life insurance in force and $22 billion in assets under management. No insurer in North America is more highly rated than the Knights of Columbus.

  2. Our insurance program was rated “A++”- “Superior” by A.M. Best, the highest rating available for financial strength for the 40th year in a row.

  3. Also in 2016 for the third year in a row, The Knights of Columbus has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute, the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, as a 2016 World’s Most Ethical Company.

Patriotism- There comes a time when duty extends beyond our own lives, beyond how we lead our families, and into how we serve our fellow man. The Patriotic Degree allows K of C members to take this one step further. “Sir Knight” is more than a title — it’s an honor.