In 1881, a 29-year-old priest named Michael McGivney brought a small group of men together who wanted to defend their family, country and faith. They met in the basement of St. Mary Parish in New Haven, Connecticut.
The group became the Knights of Columbus, named in honor of Christopher Columbus, a national hero who had brought the Catholic faith to the New World. The Knights' primary principles were charity, unity and fraternity.
Among its charitable endeavors was a life insurance program for widows and orphans of deceased members. Over the years, the Knights have donated more than $1.5 billion to charity (including over $508 million to assist developmentally disabled persons) and given more than 673 million hours in humanitarian service.
- Little Black Book, Diocese of Saginaw