History 歷史

Growth of the Knights of Columbus 哥倫布騎士會的成長

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

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 Knights of Columbus.

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.

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 outside ratings agencies. The Order provides the highest quality insurance, annuity and long-term care products to its members, along with many other fraternal benefits.

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.

1881年10月2日,一群男士應二十九歲的堂區司鐸彌額爾•麥基夫尼神父的召喚,聚集在紐海文市曉侯士街聖瑪利亞聖堂的地庫,他們成立了一個友愛慈善
團體,日後成為全世界最大的天主教家庭友愛服務組織。

他們為共同的理想尋找力量,和在為團結的目標和神聖的原由尋找安全感﹕他們發誓成為國家﹑家庭和信仰的護衛者。

他們被發現美洲﹑和一手將基督信仰帶到新世界的哥倫布的理想所維繫,他們的努力在1882年3月29日哥倫布騎士會成立時得以實現。

他們就是哥倫布騎士。

哥倫布騎士會被稱為『聖教會強而有力的右臂』,因支持聖教會﹑福傳和天主教教育﹑參與公民事務和援助有需要的人而獲得教宗﹑國家元首和其他世界領
袖的讚揚。

麥基夫尼神父的創會遠見亦包括提供給離世會員的寡婦和孤兒的人壽保險計劃,哥倫布騎士會的保險計劃已大大擴展到更能有效服務哥倫布騎士會數目不斷增加的會員。

一年復一年,哥倫布騎士會都能贏得外界評估機構給予最高的健全財務評級,哥倫布騎士會提供最高質素的人壽保險﹑養老金和長期照顧計劃給它的會員﹐和其他很多福利。

哥倫布騎士總會是哥倫布騎士會的管理機構﹐負責整個組織的發展﹐總會的任務包括在新的地區成立屬會和設立地區管理機構﹑定出和促進騎士會的價值和目標﹑帶領整個組織﹑推動騎士會的全球性任務﹐和利用全面的
保險計劃保障會員的家庭﹐屬會會員則參與哥倫布騎士會的慈善工作。