About Us


On October 02, 1881, a small group of men met in the basement of Saint 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. 

The Order has been called "the strong right arm of the Church," and has been praised by popes, presidents and other world leaders, for support of the Church, programs of evangelization and Catholic education, civic involvement and aid to those in need. 

Father McGivney's founding vision for the Order also included a life insurance program to provide for the widows and orphans of deceased members. The Order's insurance program has expanded substantially to serve more effectively the Knights' growing membership. Year after year, the Knights of Columbus has earned the highest possible quality ratings for financial soundness from A.M. Best and Standard & Poor's. The Order provides the highest quality insurance, annuity and long-term care products to its members, along with many other fraternal benefits. 

The Supreme Council is the governing body of the Knights of Columbus and is responsible for the development of the organization as a whole. Supreme Council duties include establishing the Order in new regions and setting up regional authorities, defining and advancing its values and goals, undertaking organization-wide initiatives, promoting awareness of the Knights' mission worldwide, and protecting the families of members through its extensive insurance program. Members working in local, or subordinate councils, however, carry on the majority of the Knights' beneficial work. [Source]

(ca. 1920 - 1922)

"The Harvard Knights of Columbus Club was formed about 1920 for the purpose of uniting, in social and religious objectives, all Knights of Columbus then at Harvard University. The organization was definitely approved by the Regent whose letter of approbation was in the records. The national officers of the Knights also approved the unit which was similar in aim, though not in form, to the Knights of Columbus Councils then established in other educational institutions."

"The primary organizer of the group was Pedro Albizu y Campos, of Ponce Puerto Rico, a graduate of the College and then a student in the Law School. Associated with him, as charter members, there were, besides the writer, John J. Toohy, '21, Edward H. Pendergast, '22, a graduate student named McMahon, and Vincent A. Burns and a student named Farley, the last two named being students in the Law School. The names of the others are forgotten, but there were several others, and there were also some students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who joined as associate members. The writer cannot recall the membership figures."

"For two academic years, the club functioned successfully holding several meetings of business and social nature. At least two of these meetings were held in the quarters of the Cambridge Council of the Knights and two at least in the Harvard Union. It was at one of these latter that the then Professor, but now Reverend, Robert H. Lord, of St. John's Seminary, Brighton, addressed the assembly and was, at the same time, elected to honorary membership. A dance was also held at the Union."

"In May 1921, in conjunction with the Harvard Catholic Club, the club attended a Corporate Communion in St. Paul's Church and breakfasted at the Union. This meeting was memorable in both numbers and speakers, for among the latter were James Byrne of New York, then a Fellow of the College, Professor Lord, Professor Mercier, and Professor J.D.M. Ford who was the toastmaster, and the late Reverend John J. Ryan, then pastor of St. Paul's Church and chaplain of the club."

"The writer can give no information about the club subsequent to 1922 when the aforementioned Mr. Toohy had the records. The records did, however, contain minutes, correspondence, and probably souvenir cards. It is unlikely that the club existed after 1922, as there were not many Knights in the University and very few in the College. Membership in the club required membership in the Knights of Columbus, and because men seldom join fraternal orders until after student days, the scarcity of Knights is understood. Moreover, most of the men who were active in the club left the University about 1922."

Cf. Letter from Edward C. Donahue, Harvard University Archives
Call Number: HUD 3491

(2006 - Present)

The first members of our college council were received into the First Degree of the Order or transferred their membership on the Feast of All Saints, Wednesday, November 01, 2006. At a meeting on Tuesday, November 14, 2006, council officers were elected and the membership resolved to name the new council in memory of His Holiness Pope John Paul II, recently Beatified by Holy Mother Church.

Thirty-one young men, joined by their chaplain Father William Murphy, welcomed nine more brothers into their ranks on Monday, December 11, 2006. The council was honored by the presence of dignitaries from the Massachusetts State Board of Officers at both degree ceremonials.

The Charter, which today is proudly displayed in the Harvard Catholic Chaplaincy Lounge, was granted by the Supreme Council on the same day. These forty-one Catholic gentlemen, spanning multiple academic concentrations and programs from across the university, formed the charter class of the council, as listed below:
Abraham Alvarez, Harvard College '09
Donald M. Aubrecht, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Jonathan V. Brewer, Harvard College '07
Michael V. Brewer, Harvard College '07
Juan J. Carmona, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Vincent M. Chiappini, Harvard College '09
Sangu J. Delle, Harvard College '10
Carlos E. Diaz Rosillo, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Ryan M. Donovan, Harvard College '07
John A. Dunn, Harvard College '09
Iheanacho O. Emeruwa, Harvard College '09
Carlo Garcia, Harvard College '09
Karl J. Hirt, Harvard College '10
Thomas R. Jackson, Harvard College '08
Paul L. Kolb, Harvard College '08
Lawrence F. Kuklinski, Harvard College '10
Jeffrey Kwong, Harvard College '08
Christopher B. Lacaria, Harvard College '09
Thomas J. Lawless, Harvard College '10
Kyle R. Leingang, Harvard College '07
Nicholas R. P. Lewine, Harvard College '10
Christopher N. Lewis, Harvard College '09
Edward M. Likovich, Harvard College '06
Joseph P. Luna, Harvard College '09
Ryan M. McCaffrey, Harvard College '07
Anthony J. Micallef, Harvard College '10
Rev. William F. Murphy, Harvard Undergraduate Chaplain
Jason C. Murray, Harvard College '08
Justin S. Murray, Harvard College '07
Alan C. O'Connor, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Simon P. Orozco, Harvard College '09
Michael J. Page, Harvard Extension School
Vincent J. , Harvard College '08
Marlowe A. Rillera, Harvard College '09
Christian A. Rocha, Harvard College '09
P. Justin Rossi, Harvard College '09
Odeviz Soto, Harvard College '07
Joseph M. Stujenske, Harvard College '10
Daniel J. Sullivan, Harvard Law School
Peter A. Syski, Harvard College '08
Scott A. Templin, Harvard Divinity School
Brother Knights Leo J. Keliher, Harvard College '10, and Daniel J. Schulte, Harvard College '09, were welcomed into our Order on Monday, February 12, 2007. These Knights were inducted into the First and Second Degrees at Knights of Columbus Council #94 in Lexington, Massachusetts. Grand Knight Elect Michael V. Brewer and Deputy Grand Knight Elect John A. Dunn also received their Second Degrees.

The majority of the Council members were inducted into full membership in the Order and received their Third Degrees on the memorial of Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, Saturday, April 28, 2007.