The Knights of Columbus
The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization. It was founded by the Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1882, and named in honor of Christopher Columbus. Originally serving as a mutual benefit society to low-income immigrant Catholics, it developed into a fraternal service organization dedicated to providing charitable services, promoting Catholic education and actively defending Catholicism in various nations while holding true to its founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity.
The Knights of Columbus has grown from several members in one council to more than 14,000 councils, with nearly 200 councils on college campuses, and 1.8 million members throughout the United States (including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands), Canada, Germany, Spain, Japan, the Philippines, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Panama, the Bahamas, Cuba, Guatemala, Guam, Saipan and most recently in Poland. The Knights’ official junior organization, the Columbian Squires, has over 5,000 Circles.
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. In the 2010 fiscal year, the Order gave over US$154 million directly to charity (over $1.406 billion in charitable contributions and 653 million man hours in the last 10 years) and performed over 70 million man-hours of voluntary service. Over 413,000 pints of blood were donated. The Order’s insurance program has more than $80 billion of life insurance policies in force, backed up by $15.5 billion in assets, and holds the highest insurance ratings given by A. M. Best and the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association
Our Lady of Lourdes Council
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