On October 2, 1881, a small group of men met in the basement of a church in New Haven, Connecticut.
Gathered together by their priest, Father Michael J. McGivney, they formed a fraternal society called the
Knights of Columbus in honor of the Catholic explorer who had brought Christianity to the New World. Originally
conceived as a mutual aid society, the Knights of Columbus was dedicated to helping Catholic families in need—
people in the community who, in many cases, were excluded from unions and other organizations that provided
social services to so many others. The members also vowed to be defenders of their nation and their faith.
Well over a century later, the Knights of Columbus is going strong and, with over 1.8 million members, it has
extended its reach to embrace people around the world. Through fascinating text and photographs, The Knights
of Columbus: An Illustrated History tells the story of an organization that, through war and peace, has remained
“the strong right arm of the Church,” bringing help and hope to people everywhere.
Andrew T. Waltheris the Director of Media Relations for the Knights of Columbus. Previously, he worked as a freelance journalist and taught writing for several years at the University of Southern California. He currently serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations.