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                                                           Etowah Council 12826

About Us

Our History

On Oct. 2, 1881, a small group of men met in the basement of St. Mary’s Church on Hillhouse Avenue in NewHaven, Connecticut. Called together by their 29-year-old parish priest, Blessed Father Michael J. McGivney, these men formed a fraternal society that would one day become the world’s largest Catholic family fraternal service organization.
Fr. McGivney

They sought strength in solidarity, and security through unity of purpose and devotion to a holy cause: they vowed to be defenders of their country, their families and their faith.

These men were bound together by the ideal of Christopher Columbus, the discoverer of the Americas, the one whose hand brought Christianity to the New World. Their efforts came to fruition with the incorporation of the Knights of Columbus on March 29, 1882.  They were the Knights of Columbus

The McGivney Prayer

Recite the Prayer with Archbishop Lori (VIDEO)

Bishop Lori
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  God, our Father, protector of the poor and defender of the widow and orphan, you
  called your priest, Blessed Father Michael J. McGivney, to be an apostle of Christian
  family life and to lead the young to the generous service of their neighbor. Through
  the example of his life and virtue may we follow your Son, Jesus Christ, more
  closely, fulfilling his commandment of charity and building up his Body which is the
  Church.Let the inspiration of your servant prompt us to greater confidence in your
  love so that we may continue his work of caring for the needy and the outcast. We
  humbly ask that you glorify your venerable servant Blessed Father Michael J.
  McGivney on earth according to the design of your holy will. Through his
  intercession, grant the favor I now present (here make your request). Through Christ
  our Lord.


    The Order has been called "the strong right arm of the Church," and has been praised by popes, presidents and other world leaders, for support of the Church, programs of evangelization and Catholic education, civic involvement and aid to those in need.

Blessed Father McGivney’s founding vision for the Order also included a life insurance program to provide for the widows and orphans of deceased members. The Order’s insurance program has expanded substantially to serve more effectively the Knights’ growing membership.

Year after year, the Knights of Columbus has earned the highest possible quality ratings for financial soundness from A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The Order provides the highest quality insurance, annuity and long-term care products to its members, along with many other fraternal benefits.

Supreme The Supreme Council is the governing body of the Knights of Columbus and is responsible for the development of the organization as a whole. Supreme Council duties include establishing the Order in new regions and setting up regional authorities, defining and advancing its values and goals, undertaking organization-wide initiatives, promoting awareness of the Knights’ mission worldwide, and protecting the families of members through its extensive insurance program. Members working in local, or subordinate councils, however, carry on the majority of the Knights’ beneficial work.


Council History

Chartered on December 9th, 2000, the Etowah Council Number 12826 began as a roundtable of St. Michael's the Archangel Church Council 11768 in Woodstock. We chartered after achieving a membership number of 30 under our first Grand Knight, Ed Bogan.

Now, we are nearly 80 members strong and growing! Fully one third of our Council have been compelled to continue on as 4th degree Sir Knights serving with Assembly 2771.

...Our Principles...

First Degree = Charity

The Order is dedicated to the principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism. A First Degree exemplification ceremony, by which a man joins the Order, explicates the virtue of charity. He is then said to be a First Degree Knight of Columbus and after participating the subsequent degrees, each of which focuses on another virtue, rises to that status.

Second Degree = Unity

There are four "Degrees" of Knighthood within the Knights of Columbus. The initiation ceremonies into each of these Degrees (the ceremonies themselves are also called "Degrees") are the only facets of the Order which are not made known to non-members. Each of the Degrees is designed to exemplify one of the four Principals of the Order: Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism. The Degrees must be taken in order.

Every applicant must take the First, or Membership, Degree before he can be considered a Member of the Knights of Columbus. Once he has taken his First Degree, he becomes a member in good standing in the Order. To reach full Knighthood, members must also take the Second and Third Degrees, and all members are strongly encouraged to do so.

Third Degree = Fraternity

Upon reaching the Third Degree a gentleman is considered a full member. The first ritual handbook was printed in 1885 but contained only sections teaching Unity and Charity. Supreme Knight Mullen, along with primary ritual author Daniel Colwell, believed that the initiation ceremony should be held in three sections "in accord with the 'Trinity of Virtues, Charity, Unity, and Brotherly love.'" The third section, expounding Fraternity, was officially adopted in 1891

Fourth Degree = Patriotism

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.

The Fourth Degree is the highest degree of the order. Members of this degree are addressed as "Sir Knight". Fewer than 18% of Knights join the Fourth Degree, which is optional.

The Fourth Degree has its own structure separate from that of the Council. Fourth Degree Assemblies gain their membership from Third Degree members of several Councils within a larger geographic area. The most visible members of the Order are often the Fourth Degree Color Corps, with their colorful capes, chapeaux
and sabers.