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 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.
Deacon Mike J. O'Brien Council #15161 was founded in October 2010 and is based in Our Lady of The Assumption (OLA) Catholic Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Our council has experienced tremendous growth. We started with just over 40 members and our current membership stands united at over 150 members.
We hold our monthly business meeting on the third Monday of every month in Moylan Hall. The meeting is scheduled from 7pm - 8pm. Our officer's meeting takes place on the Thursday before our monthly business meeting of every month from 7pm - 8pm in the Upper Room.
As a member of the Knights of Columbus you and your family enjoy many benefits, including 12 free issues annually of Columbia magazine, the world's largest Catholic family magazine, eligibility to join the Knights of Columbus top-ranked life insurance program, and many more family and personal benefits. Here a just a few additional benefits:
KNIGHTS of COLUMBUS ROSARY – Blessed by the supreme chaplain, presented during the First Degree exemplification to each new member.
DAILY MASS OF REMEMBRANCE AT ST. MARY’S CHURCH – Mass for deceased members and their wives, and deceased members of the Squires program, at birthplace of the Order.
FAMILY FRATERNAL BENEFIT – For eligible families: a) Pays $1,500 for the child who dies before the age of 61 days; b) Pays $750 for the child who is stillborn at least 20 weeks after conception; c) Offers guaranteed-issue insurance up to $5,000 to any child under age 18.
ORPHAN BENEFIT – $80 monthly allotment for orphans of eligible families; up to $7,000 in college scholarships available.
MEMBER/SPOUSE FRATERNAL BENEFIT – Accidental death coverage for member and spouse at no cost.
WIDOW BENEFITS – a) Continues to be covered under the Member/Spouse Fraternal Benefit; b) May purchase life insurance, long-term care insurance, or annuities up to one year after insured member’s death; c) Receives a free lifetime subscription to Columbia; d) Eligible with her children for scholarships, student loans, etc.
SCHOLARSHIPS – Scholarship programs for higher education available to members, their spouses and children.
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT – Opportunity to build personal leadership skills, public speaking ability, organization skills, etc.
FOURTH DEGREE – Eligibility to join the “Patriotic Degree.”
HONORARY LIFE MEMBERSHIP at Age 70 with 25 years of membership.
MEMBERSHIP CARD – Entitles participation in all Catholic, fraternal and social activities in nearly 13,000 councils throughout the world.
ACTIVITIES – FAMILY/YOUTH/RELIGIOUS/SOCIAL/ATHLETIC – Participation in a variety of programs and activities conducted by local councils.
Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to practicing Catholic men in union with the Holy See, who are at least 18 years old. A practicing Catholic is one who lives up to the Commandments of God and the precepts of the Church. Application blanks are available from any member of the Knights of Columbus.
Any Third Degree member in good standing, one year after the anniversary of his First Degree, is eligible for membership in the Fourth Degree. The primary purpose of the Fourth Degree is to foster the spirit of patriotism by promoting responsible citizenship and a love of and loyalty to the Knights' respective countries through active membership in local Fourth Degree groups (called "assemblies"). Certain members of the Fourth Degree serve as honor guards at civic and religious functions, an activity that has brought worldwide recognition to the Knights of Columbus.
Fourth Degree Members of council #15161 are members of the Atlanta Assembly. The Atlanta Assembly meets on the 1st Wednesday of every month at 7pm at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Buford Highway.