Father Seyfried Council was founded in 1903 making it one of the oldest councils in New York State. The Council takes its name from Father Seyfried, a former pastor of St. Joseph’s Church from 1928 to 1943. During his tenure, the parish underwent significant expansion with the addition of the school and convent, which is now the Parish Center.
Being a member of the KofC is a great opportunity to be involved in the life of the parish. Some activities include Family Picnic, Lenten Soup Supper, Thanksgiving Hospitality and Easter Bunny Breakfast on Holy Saturday to support our Seminarians. Fr. Seyfried Council works with community families sponsoring High School Scholarship Program, Essay Contest on the meaning of Christmas at Holy Family Regional School, Free Throw and Soccer Contests. We conduct annual drives to benefit Long Island Blood Center as well as food and clothing for the St. Vincent de Paul Society. The Knights have been intimately involved with a number of other Organizations for various fundraisers.
Our Fraternal Council meets at 8 PM on the second Monday of the month at our hall located at 44 Church Street across from St. Joseph’s. We hold social nights, yearly fishing trip, Charity Golf Outing, Super Bowl party, Valentine’s Day dance and Crèche lighting events for our family members. If you are considering joining us, we have information for you to read at home.
The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic men's fraternal benefit society that 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 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 throughout the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Guatemala, Guam and Saipan. Through 2010, the Knights worldwide have collected and distributed in excess of $155 million for charity and contributed over 70 million hours in volunteer service.-Knights of Columbus website.
We are fortunate to own a building with facilities on two levels conveniently located across the street from St. Joseph's Church. A very close working relationship between the church and our council has benefited both organizations. Our hall is also available for member and community rentals.
Father Michael J. McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus.
The Knights of Columbus was founded by an Irish-American Catholic priest, The Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney in New Haven, Connecticut. He gathered a group of men from St. Mary's parish for an organizational meeting on October 2, 1881 and the Order was incorporated under the laws of the U.S. state of Connecticut on March 29, 1882. Though the first councils were all in that state, the Order spread throughout New England and the United States in subsequent years.
The primary motivation for the Order was to be a mutual benefit society. As a parish priest in an immigrant community, McGivney saw what could happen to a family when the breadwinner died and wanted to provide insurance to care for the widows and orphans left behind. He himself had to temporarily leave his seminary studies to care for his family when his father died. In the late 19th century, Catholics were regularly excluded from labor unions and other organizations that provided social services.
In addition, Catholics were either barred from many of the popular fraternal organizations, or, as in the case of Freemasonry, forbidden from joining by the Catholic Church itself. McGivney wished to provide them an alternative. He also believed that Catholicism and fraternalism were not incompatible and wished to found a society that would encourage men to be proud of their American-Catholic heritage.
McGivney traveled to Boston to examine the Massachusetts Catholic Order of Foresters and to Brooklyn to learn about the recently established Catholic Benevolent League, both of which offered insurance benefits. He found the latter to be lacking the excitement he thought was needed if his organization were to compete with the secret societies of the day. He expressed an interest in establishing a New Haven Court of the Foresters, but the charter of Massachusetts Foresters prevented them from operating outside their Commonwealth. The committee of St. Mary's parishioners McGivney had assembled then decided to form a club that was entirely original.
McGivney had originally conceived of the name "Sons of Columbus" but James T. Mullen, who would become the first Supreme Knight, successfully suggested that "Knights of Columbus" would better capture the ritualistic nature of the new organization. The Order was founded 10 years before the 400th anniversary of Columbus' arrival in the New World and in a time of renewed interest in him. Columbus was a hero to many American Catholics, and the naming him as patron was partly an attempt to bridge the division between the Irish-Catholic founders of the Order and Catholic immigrants of other nationalities living in Connecticut..
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