The Knights of Columbus Founders Day is observed every March 29. This marks the day on which Father Michael J. McGivney met with other Catholics who shared similar beliefs to form the order’s first council in the basement of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Connecticut. The order has close to two million members in over 16,000 councils and was created in response to hardships suffered by the poor, Catholics, and Irish immigrants. The Knights promote the Catholic view on certain controversial public policy issues, such as opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion.
History of Knights Of Columbus Founder's Day
Michael Joseph McGivney, born on August 12, 1852, was an Irish-American Catholic priest living in New Haven, Connecticut. He founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882 at a local church to serve as a mutual aid and fraternal insurance organization for working-class and immigrant Catholics in the United States (U.S.). McGivney passed away in Thomaston in 1890 from pneumonia. In 1996, the Archdiocese of Hartford began the process of canonizing McGivney. He had been approved for beatification on May 27, 2020, meaning that McGivney could be declared ‘blessed,’ the step just before sainthood. A further miracle attributed to McGivney’s intercession will be necessary before he is canonized as a saint.
Throughout the 20th century, the Knights of Columbus grew to become the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization. It helps refugees, Catholic education, local parishes and dioceses, and global Catholic social and political concerns. The Knights advocate for the Catholic viewpoint on public policy issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion. In addition, they provide financial services to individuals and institutional Catholic markets. Its financial advisors also invest in following Catholic social principles. The order is devoted to four principles, also known as degrees. These are charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism. The members must possess these degrees to build a sense of communal brotherhood.
The Knights of Columbus Founders Day is observed to honor and remember how Knights are important to communities and parishes. Councils are to take part so that they are reminded of some of the accomplishments of the Knights of Columbus, what the ideals of the order are, and what the achievements of the local council are.
Knights Of Columbus Founder's Day timeline
He is born to Irish immigrant parents, Patrick and Mary (Lynch) McGivney.
Michael J. McGivney establishes the Knights of Columbus as a mutual benefit society for Catholic immigrants in New Haven, Connecticut.
The cause for his canonization starts in the Archdiocese of Hartford.
Pope Francis authorizes McGivney’s beatification, and it means that McGivney can be declared ‘blessed.’
Knights Of Columbus Founder's Day FAQs
Can a woman join the Knights of Columbus?
Yes, by becoming a member of the Columbiettes. The main requirement to be a member of this organization is to be a Catholic woman.
What is the motto of the Knights of Columbus?
The words ‘Vivat Jesus!’ are a slogan or password for the Knights of Columbus, meaning ‘Jesus lives!’
Can a non-Catholic join the Knights of Columbus?
No, you cannot. You have to be Catholic to join the Knights. To join the order, you must be baptized and have completed your communion and confirmation.
How to Observe Knights Of Columbus Founder's Day
Post the portrait of Father Michael McGivney
A way to honor Father Michael McGivney is by posting a portrait of him. You can have some materials ready to inform the public who this celebration is for.
Hold an appreciation night
Another way of celebrating this special day is by honoring your chaplain and the priests of your parish. Prepare a delicious dinner and enjoy it with them.
Go to the church
Reserve a mass to share with your family and plan a picnic or a get-together with them after it. Spending time with your loved ones is the best way to enjoy this day.
5 Interesting Facts About The Knights
World War I period
The Knights established military welfare centers in the U.S. during World War I, and they took part in veteran employment, education, and occupational training programs after the war.
The Knights of Columbus challenged a law
The Knights of Columbus challenged the Oregon Compulsory Education Act, which disallowed parochial schools, including Catholic schools, in that state.
The organization’s publications
“The Gift of Black Folk” by W. E. B. Du Bois, “The Jews in the Making of America” by George Cohen, and “The Germans in the Making of America” by Frederick Schrader are a series of publications produced to combat discrimination toward racial and religious minorities.
Funds for economic depression
The National Council encouraged local councils to establish funds to help members afflicted by the 1890s depression, a U.S. economic crisis.
Donations in 2018
Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said that they had donated over $185 million and 76 million volunteer hours toward charity projects in 2018.
Why Knights Of Columbus Founder's Day is Important
The organization is committed to charity
Nowadays, the Knights are well known for their commitment to community service and charity. Since its beginnings, the organization has had charity purposes to help vulnerable people.
McGivney was a very important figure
He was not just a man of great compassion and courage, but also a man of deep empathy. The legacy is still alive in the Knights of Columbus, whose purpose was to protect the faith of Catholics.
He is said to have performed miracles
The Vatican announced the approval of a miracle involving the healing of an unborn child from a life-threatening condition. Proof of a miracle attributed to the candidate’s intercession is required by the Vatican for the next step in the process — beatification.
Knights Of Columbus Founder's Day dates