Venerable Michael J. McGiveny

Founder of the Knights of Columbus

 Father Robert V. Zylla, OSC

General History of the Order: 

On Oct. 2, 1881, a small group of men met in the basement of St. Mary’s Church on Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut. Called together by their 29-year-old parish priest, Father Michael J. McGivney, these men formed a fraternal society that would one day become the world’s largest Catholic family fraternal service organization.

They sought strength in solidarity, and security through unity of purpose and devotion to a holy cause: they vowed to be defenders of their country, their families and their faith.

These men were bound together by the ideal of Christopher Columbus, the discoverer of the Americas, the one whose hand brought Christianity to the New World. Their efforts came to fruition with the incorporation of the Knights of Columbus on March 29, 1882.

They were Knights of Columbus.

College Councils:

The first College Council was at The Catholic University of America, Keane Council 353 (it has since moved off-campus). Today, the University of Notre Dame Knights of Columbus Council 1477, founded in 1910, is the oldest college council in the country, followed by the councils at St. Louis University and Benedictine College. In 1919, Mount St. Mary's College and Seminary council 1965 became the first council attached to a seminary, at what is now Mount St. Mary's University. In 1937, the University of Illinois became the first public university with a Knights of Columbus Council, The Illini Council Number 2782.

Over 14,000 Knights are members of 200+ College Councils worldwide.

Our Council:

The history of this council starts 28 years after the founding of the Order. On June 18th, 1919,  106 students of Mount St. Mary's University Council No. 1965 were granted a charter from the Supreme Council and started operating. Since then, the council has remained active and has never been suspended (this makes council 1965 the longest continuously active college council in the order. All councils founded earlier then 1965 have been suspended at some point in their history).

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