Message from the Grand Knight
Greetings, My name is Michael Barrachina, I am the Grand Knight of St, Anthony’s Council #56 of the Knights of Columbus in Litchfield Ct. and want to welcome you to our council website. I am honored to be serving as the council’s presiding officer for the current year. If you are already a member of the Knights and of our council you will find our website useful in keeping up with events and council news. If you are not currently a member of the Knights, I would like to take a moment to briefly describe the Knights of Columbus organization and what we do to serve our Churches, St. Anthony of Padua, Our Lady of Grace, Monifort Missionaries at the Lourdes Shrine and our community.
The Knights of Columbus was founded in 1882 in New Haven, CT by Fr. Michael McGivney, pastor of a parish in a working class section of the city. The young Fr. McGiveny had seen a need for a fraternal organization for working Catholic men a, primarily factory workers, to provide them an opportunity for fellowship and activities as a means of strengthening their families, their catholic faith and providing mutual support for the members. Fr. McGiveny also identified a serious need for financial assistance for families where the husband/father, usually the only breadwinner in the family, was seriously injured or killed on or off the job.
To accomplish the latter, Fr. McGiveny established an insurance fund, paid into by the members, for the financial security of member’s families who had found themselves in just such dire straits. Out of this small beginning, the Knights of Columbus has grown into an organization of 15,100 councils and all most 2 million members throughout the United States with a strong presence In Canada and other countries. The Knights continue to promote the ideals of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism originally laid down by Fr. McGiveny. This is accomplished through the basic unit of the Knights, the local council, which usually maintains a relationship with one or more parishes in its geographical area. With guidance and assistance from the state and national offices, the work of the Knights is accomplished in the council through its officers and directors who guide the council in its charitable work and in its mission to be of service to the church and the community.
Concomitantly, in accordance with Fr. McGiveny’s vision, the national organization of the Knights operates an insurance program for the benefit of its members and their families and provides life insurance and long term care insurance policies as well as annuities. The Knights of Columbus insurance arm continues to receive the highest ratings from two national insurance rating companies and currently has more than $99 million dollars of coverage in force. There is no obligation on the part of any member to purchase insurance through the Knights, but one who is considering buying such a policy would do well to consider this excellent program.
Our council, celebrated its 125th anniversary this year (2015), we engaged in a number of fund raising event throughout the year. Through our fund raising efforts we are able to make a number of scholarships donations to local schools and support national agencies that promote or serve pro-life issues, unwed mothers, children and adults afflicted with physical and developmental disabilities, the Special Olympics as well as to our churches, local Food bank and those in need in our community.
If you are a Catholic man and have come to our website because you think you might be interested in the Knights, I encourage you to look us over. We are always interested in men who might be seeking a fraternal and service organization through which they can be of service to the Church, our parishes and our community and where they can enjoy the companionship of like minded men. And while the Knights are a male only organization, we hold our families in the highest regard and virtually all of our events and celebrations are open to our families and friends.
I would be pleased to meet with you and your families to talk about the Knights and what we can offer you. And be sure to check out our state website for more information or you can contact me at 860-836-9794 or by Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Barrachina Grand Knight