Thanks to the efforts of Father Michael J. McGivney, on March 29, 1882, the Knights of Columbus was officially chartered as a fraternal benefit society. The Knights of Columbus has grown from several members in one council to more than 14,000 councils and 1.8 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. Our international headquarters is located in New Haven, Connecticut. Local councils are the basic unit of the Knights. Most are based in Catholic parishes, though some have their own council hall within a community. Each local council works to assist with the needs of its community consistent with the principles of the Order. The Order is still true to its founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity. The history of the Order shows how the foresight of Father Michael J. McGivney, whose cause for sainthood is being investigated by the Vatican, brought about what has become the world’s foremost Catholic fraternal benefit society.