Thanks to the efforts of Father Michael J. McGivney, assistant pastor of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven and some of his parishioners, the Connecticut state legislature on March 29, 1882, officially chartered the Knights of Columbus as a fraternal benefit society. The Order is still true to its founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity.

The Knights of Columbus has grown from several members in one council to more than 13,000 councils and 1.7 million members throughout the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, Guatemala, Guam and Saipan.

The Massachusetts Knights of Columbus is the third oldest jurisdiction of the Order. The Knights in Massachusetts are proud to boast of its continuing efforts of practicing its Order's principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism. Throughout its 250 councils in the state, its 45,000 members conduct numerous programs that directly benefit the Catholic Church, local communities, families, the youth, and vocations.

Through the Knights of Columbus RSVP Program, councils, assemblies and Squires circles “adopt” one or more seminarians or postulants and provide them with financial assistance and moral support.

RSVP money is used by seminarians and those in religious formation for tuition and books, car insurance and maintenance, travel during vacations, emergency expenditures and other living expenses.

Knights provide more than financial support, though. Members write letters to students, sponsor dinners for them, invite them to join the Order and, most importantly, pray for vocations.

Last year, financial help from councils to future priests, sisters and brothers, exceeded $2.6 million. A total of 4,513 seminarians and postulants received RSVP support from more than 2,500 local units. Since the inception of the program, the Order has provided more than $38 million in aid through RSVP, helping 61,196 men and women follow their vocations.