Monsignor Eugene F. Marshall
Knights of Columbus
Pittsfield, Massachusetts

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K of C Council 103
Habitat for Humanity

  Through the ongoing efforts of  local Knights,  our council  continues to exemplify the Knights' spirit of community volunteerism by supporting  local  Habitat for Humanity projects.

  We will be organizing another outing soon.  If  you would like to participate in a cause that serves both our Church and our Community, please do not hesitate to join in. 

  Don't feel you can't contribute to this noteworthy endeavor because you never or rarely participate in K of C functions, or because you're not a professional tradesman.  -   Your involvement is both welcomed and wanted!!   Your Brother Knights will make you comfortable in helping the Knights help others.

  Phone Grand Knight Rich Brady
at 464-6009 to answer this calling for your services and sign up for our next
Habitat for Humanity work outing!

You'll always have something more valuable to give than money.


 Oil on Canvas By Richard W. Whitney, 1989
Father McGivney and the History of the Knights

Born in Waterbury, CT on Aug. 12, 1852, Michael J. McGivney was the oldest of 13 children of Irish immigrants Patrick and Mary Lynch McGivney. Michael was baptized at Immaculate Conception Church in Waterbury and attended grammar school there.

In the summer of 1868 Michael enrolled at St. Hyacinth Seminary in Quebec. After two years of training he transferred to Our Lady of the Angels Seminary in Niagara Falls, and then enrolled at St. Mary’s Seminary in Montreal.

Seminarian McGivney then studied theology at St. Mary’sSt. Mary’s Church in New Haven, CT Seminary in Baltimore in 1873, and on December 22, 1877, was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Hartford by Archbishop (later Cardinal) James Gibbons of Baltimore. Father McGivney was assigned to St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, CT, reporting on Christmas Day, 1877.

In the1800's anti-Catholicism was a strong force in the nation, drawing circa 1880especially in Father McGivney's New England. A majority of parishioners at St. Mary’s were Irish immigrants who were forced into low-paying and dangerous jobs. Many Catholic fathers died young, leaving widows and children destitute.

It deeply concerned Father McGivney that some secular fraternities, hostile to Catholicism, were attracting young Catholic men who sought membership as a means of social advancement.

Father McGivney began to formulate a plan to address these social and spiritual issues. He conceived an organization of Catholic men that  would provide a death benefit and burial expenses for members. The organization was meant to actively serve the Church and combat rampant anti-Catholicism of the day. The name "Knights of Columbus" was chosen to symbolize knightly ideals of service to church and community, and as testimony that the discoverer of the Americas was Catholic. The Order was officially chartered by the State of Connecticut on March 29, 1882.

Shortly after the Knights of Columbus came into existence, Father McGivney was named pastor of St. Thomas Church in Thomaston, Conn. He died at St Thomas Life Photo - Circa 1880'sfrom tuberculosis on August 14, 1890, just two days after his 38th birthday.

Growth of the Knights of Columbus
On Oct. 2, 1881, a small group of men met in the basement of St. Mary's Church on Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut. 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 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 Life Photo - Circa 1880'sprovides 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 organizational development as a whole. Supreme Council duties include establishing chapters in new locales, setting up regional authorities, as well as defining and advancing core values and goals. Additional duties involve undertaking organization-wide initiatives, promoting awareness of the Knights' mission worldwide, and protecting families of members through an extensive insurance program. Members working in local, or subordinate councils, however, carry on the majority of the Knights' beneficial work.

From humble beginnings, Father McGivney’s dream has flourished into an international Catholic family fraternal benefit society which boasts nearly 1.6 million members in more than 11,000 local councils in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean and Central America.

Fr. McGivney and Immigrants painting by Antonella Cappuccio

Visit the Official Father Michael J. McGivney web site here.


Council 103 Meetings:

Held on the Second and Fourth Tuesday of the Month in the Council Chambers.
* Trustees  7:00 PM
      * Officers   7:15 PM
      * Council    7:30 PM

Council 103 Provides Wheelchair Lift

Shaun Murphy stands near as his children, Molly and Patrick, enjoy the aid of the wheelchair lift that was paid for by Msgr. Eugene F. Marshall Council 103 in Pittsfield. Knight Paul DiVirgilio, far right, organized the council’s effort to raise $4,395 lift for the children, who have spinal muscular atrophy.


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