Late-19th century Connecticut was marked by the growing fraternal benefit societies, anti-Catholic prejudice and dangerous factory working conditions that left many families fatherless. Recognizing a need in his community, Father Michael J. McGivney, the 29-year-old assistant pastor of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Conn., gathered a group of men at his parish on Oct. 2, 1881. He proposed establishing a lay organization to prevent Catholic men from entering secret societies antithetical to Church teaching, uniting Catholic men and helping families of deceased members.
To demonstrate their loyalty to their country as well as their faith, these men took Christopher Columbus — recognized as a Catholic and celebrated as the discoverer of America – as their patron. The Knights of Columbus elected officers in February 1882 and assumed corporate status on March 29.
In addition to the Order’s benefits, Catholic men were drawn to the Knights because of its emphasis on serving one’s Church, community and family with virtue. Fraternity and patriotism were added to the Knights’ founding principles of charity and unity in 1885 and 1900, respectively.
1882: The Knights of Columbus is born on Feb. 6, 1882, when the first members choose Columbus as their patron. Immediately after the Order’s March 29 incorporation, Father McGivney sends a diocesan-wide appeal for new members to priests.
Found in 1908 our council services the churches of Jesus the Good Shepherd, St Matthews, and Our Lady of Fatima, along with our community. We support the following local charities; Desiard Street Shelter, Catholic Charities, Camp Quality Med Camps, JGS and Fatima Youth Groups, Life Choices of Monroe, and many other worthwhile activities.