The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic benefit society, open to practicing Catholic men 18 years or older in union with the Holy See. Founded in the basement of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, CT in 1882 by Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, the Knights of Columbus today has a membership of more than 1.9 million members across the globe. As a fraternal benefit society, the Knights of Columbus cares for the financial needs of its members and their families through its insurance program, which has received the highest ratings possible from A.M. Best and been named a World’s Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute. As the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization, the Knights of Columbus has provided both financial aid and volunteer hours to organizations such as March for Life, Special Olympics, World Youth Day, the Global Wheelchair Mission, the U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs, as well as parishes and communities around the world. In the past decade, the Knights of Columbus has contributed $1.5 billion and 690 million hours to charitable projects.