On Saturday, March 24, 2012 the Knights of Columbus Immaculate Heart of Mary Council No. 7560 will celebrate Founder’s Day, marking the 130th anniversary of the reception of its charter from the state of Connecticut. Knights of Columbus councils throughout the world will be joining in this commemoration of 130 years of service, faith and fraternity.
The Knights of Columbus was founded by Father Michael J. McGivney, curate at St. Mary’s parish in New Haven, Conn., and a small group of Catholic laymen. The organization received its charter from the state of Connecticut on March 29, 1882. In forming the organization, Father McGivney hoped to help Catholic men remain steadfast in their faith through mutual encouragement, while establishing an elementary system of insurance so that the widows and children of members in the group who might die would not find themselves in dire financial straits.
The Knights of Columbus is the largest Catholic lay organization in the world, with more than 1.7 million members in the Americas, Asia and Europe. Knights of Columbus rolled up their sleeves and provided a record 70 million hours of volunteer service for charitable causes in 2010, an increase of nearly 800,000.
According to Independent Sector, an organization that tracks volunteerism and estimates the value of volunteer service, the value of an hour of volunteer time last year was $21.36. And that means our volunteer time last year that was worth nearly $1.5 billion.
Among the service programs benefiting from a significant number of K of C volunteer hours were Special Olympics, the Global Wheelchair Mission and Habitat for Humanity. And, Knights of Columbus blood drives drew more than 428,000 donors.
Over the past decade, the amount of volunteer time donated by Knights of Columbus has totaled more than 653 million hours. And the value of those volunteer hours totals more than $12.2 billion.
Local Council No. 7560 has donated over $2,900 to charitable community causes in 2011 and several thousand volunteer hours of community service.
In celebration of Founder’s Day, Local Knights of Columbus Council No. 7560 is sponsoring a 5 p.m. mass and reception on March 24, at JPII. This mass will also celebrate the third anniversary Dedication of Pope John Paul II Church.
Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to any man, over the age of 18, who is a practical Catholic in union with the Holy See.