The Knights of Columbus is the the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization.
Who We Are
Founded by the Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1882, the order was named in honor of Christopher Columbus. Originally serving as a mutual benefit society to low-income immigrant Catholics, it developed into a fraternal benefit society dedicated to providing charitable services, promoting Catholic education and actively defending Catholicism in various nations.
Membership is limited to “practical” Catholic men aged 18 or older. Membership consists of four different degrees, each exemplifying a different principle of the Order. Councils have been chartered in the United States (including some territories), Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Cuba Guatemala, Guam, Saipan, South Korea, and on U.S. military bases around the world.
For its support for the church and local communities, as well as for their philanthropic efforts, Pope John Paul referred to the Order as a “strong right arm of the Church”. Within the United States, on the national and state level, the Order is active in the political arena lobbying for laws and positions that uphold the Catholic Church’s positions on public policy and social issues. The order does not endorse candidates.
Knights of Columbus Insurance
Since our founding in 1882, the primary mission of the Knights of Columbus has been to protect families from the financial ruin caused by the death of the breadwinner. From that humble start, the Order has grown to include top-rated life insurance, long-term care insurance and retirement products. With more than $90 billion of life insurance policies in force, backed up by $19.8 billion in assets, it holds the highest insurance ratings given by A. M. Best and the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association. All investments are strictly made with organizations that practice the same moral beliefs of the Catholic Church and insurance is issued only to Brother Knights and their immediate family members.