Illinois State Council Knights of Columbus


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"Chosen to Go and Bear Fruit that will Remain."


About the Illinois State Knights of Columbus

Brief History

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 was formed to render financial aid to members and their families. Mutual aid and assistance are offered to sick, disabled and needy members and their families. Social and intellectual fellowship is promoted among members and their families through educational, charitable, religious, social welfare, war relief and public relief works.
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. The Order has helped families obtain economic security and stability through its life insurance, annuity and long-term care programs, and has contributed time and energy worldwide to service in communities.
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 Illinois Knights of Columbus is first and foremost a Catholic, family, fraternal, service organization that "has an active part to play in the life and activity of the Church" -Pope Benedict XVI. Councils were seen by our founder, F. Michael J. McGivney, to be parish necessities. To be the strong right arm of the Church, councils must necessarily be the strong right arm of the parish.


Our Mission is to proclaim to society the social doctrine of the Church by living the principles of the order.

Charity, through which we support life, recognize and preseve the dignity of all life, promote social justice, and render financial aid to our members.

Unity, through which we hope to achieve our high aims; support our Church, our Holy Father, our Bishops, Priests, and clergy; and advance the Christian cause.

Fraternity, through which we fulfill our duty of love to our brothers and our fellow man.

Patriotism, through which we preserve our system of government.

Strategic Directions

I. Promote the Social Teachings of the Church The laity is, as Pope Pius XII said, "the front lines of the Church." If Catholic Social teaching is to be more than a dead letter, it must be absorbed and put into action by laity. Life is found by refusing to accept society the way it is and, through service or advocacy, striving to make it better. Needs are best understood and satisfied by people who are closest to them and who act as neighbors to those in need. Power and responsibility, insofar as is possible, belong at the local level.

II. Promote Growth The Illinois State Council will encourage a growth culture throughout our jusisdiction that integrates Programming + Charities + Membership as one and inseparable. If we are not growing we are losing ground.

III. Provide Education and Training The Illinois State Council shall contribute to the formation of its members by providing education and training to ensure that key stakeholders at all levels have the necessary skills, knowledge, and abilities to perform effectively.

IV. Build an Organizational Culture Based on Our Vision and Goals The Illinois State Council's organizational structure must make the best use of our resources and allow us to achieve our high aims. It must promote our vision based on goals with outcomes that are specific, acheivable, and measurable in an environment that pools collective intelligence and stimulates creative thought to improve performance. Such an organizational culture also promotes constant improvement in all areas and activities with accountability for positive results.

V. Promote Effective Communications The Illinois State Council must effectively communicate with the family that is the Illinois Knights of Columbus and with the public we serve. Effective Communications are critical to our ability to continue to thrive, to form collaborative relationships, and to remain viable in a world where many distractions compete for the time and talent of potential members.


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