A Catholic Family Fraternal Benefits Society

Founded on the principles of charity, unity, and fraternity, the Knights of Columbus works to better the lives of those in their communities and around the world.

Father Michael J. McGivney
Thanks to the efforts of Father Michael J. McGivney, assistant pastor of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven and some of his parishioners, the Connecticut state legislature on March 29, 1882, officially chartered the Knights of Columbus as a fraternal benefit society. The Order is still true to its founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity.
Venerable Servant of God
The Vatican is currently investigating his cause for Sainthood and has bestowed upon him the title of Venerable Servant of God.

Prayer for Canonization

The prayer for the Canonization of the Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney is recited by members of the Order around the world. You can download a printable prayer card here.

The Life and Legacy of Father McGivney
We invite you to watch this short two minute video on the life and legacy of Father Michael McGivney.

The Knights 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 its 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 15,100 councils and 1.9 million members throughout the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, Guatemala, Guam, Saipan, Lithuania, Ukraine, and South Korea.
Billion +
Dollars of Insurance in Force
Place waiting for you.

Council #1646 - Wappingers

Chartered: June 16, 1912
Parish: Church of St. Mary, Our Lady of the Falls

Wappingers Council #1646 was chartered on June 16,1912.  We are aligned with Church of St. Mary, Our Lady of the Falls, Wappingers Falls, NY. We have provided charitable services for St. Mary’s Church, and other local organizations for more than 110 years. Some of our activities include presenting rosaries to children receiving their first Holy Communion; donating to St. Mary’s Religious Education and St. Mary’s food pantry, as well as preparing food baskets during the holidays for local families; maintaining a memorial garden and Monument Dedicated to the Unborn in St. Mary’s Cemetery; providing financial assistance to seminarians, supporting the St. Mary’s Respect Life Committee, sponsoring blood donation drives, and supporting local youth sports programs. Wappingers Council #1646 collaborates with other councils in the Hudson Valley Chapter to do charitable works which are too big for one council.  For example, we support Special Olympics, Maternity Home of the Hudson Valley, Habitat for Humanity, sending ill children to the Marian Shrine in Lourdes, France, and supporting Veterans programs

Our Principles

All the good works we do are informed by our four core principles:
Our Catholic faith teaches us to “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Members of the Knights of Columbus show love for their neighbors by conducting food drives and donating the food to local soup kitchens and food pantries, by volunteering at Special Olympics, and by supporting, both spiritually and materially, mothers who choose life for their babies. Knights recognize that our mission, and our faith in God, compels us to action. There is no better way to experience love and compassion than by helping those in need, a call we answer every day.
None of us is as good as all of us. Members of the Knights of Columbus all know that – together – we can accomplish far more than any of us could individually. So we stick together…we support one another. That doesn’t mean that we always agree or that there is never a difference of opinion. It does mean that – as a Knight of Columbus – you can count on the support and encouragement of your brother Knights as you work to make life better in your parish and community.
The Venerable Michael J. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus, in large part, to provide assistance to the widows and children left behind when the family breadwinner died – often prematurely. The Order’s top-rated insurance program continues to do this today, as do individual Knights, who last year gave more than 10 million hours of their time to assist sick and/or disabled members and their families. In the Knights of Columbus, we watch out for and take care of one another.
Members of the Knights of Columbus, be they Americans, Canadians, Mexicans, Cubans, Filipinos, Poles, or Dominicans, are patriotic citizens. We are proud of our devotion to God and country, and believe in standing up for both. Whether it’s in public or private, the Knights remind the world that Catholics support their nations and are amongst the greatest citizens.

The 4th Degree

For most men who follow Jesus, there comes a time when duty extends beyond our own lives, beyond how we lead our families, and into how we serve our fellow man. That's what the Knights of Columbus is all about. The Patriotic Degree allows K of C members to take this one step further. "Sir Knight" is more than a title — it’s an honor.
Standing Firm in Support of the Order
Knights of the Patriotic Degree are dedicated to the personal development and continued honor of brother Knights. We are always there to offer leadership, guidance, and encouragement.
Proudly Serving the Country
Knights of the Patriotic Degree glorify God by serving our communities and nations as though Christ were the one being served.
Unwavering Support of the Faith
Knights of the Patriotic Degree hold unwaveringly to what is right and honorable, working to keep God in the civic arena, serving the life of the Church, and defending laws that recognize the sanctity of life and true religious liberty.
Honoring the Legacy of Knighthood
The Color Corps is an elective division of the Patriotic Degree that presents a visible reminder of our service to the community.
Knights of Columbus Councils represent the first three principles of the Order. Knights from multiple councils come together to form 4th Degree Assemblies.
4th Degree Emblem

Our council is affiliated with the WAPPINGERS 4th Degree Assembly #0770.

The Knights of Columbus insurance story begins in the winter of 1882 in the basement of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Conn. It was there that our Venerable founder, Father Michael J. McGivney, gathered the men of his parish together to create a solution to a recurring problem.

It was a cold reality that had confronted Father McGivney all too often — not only in the lives of his parishioners — but in his own. As a seminarian, he was forced to leave school and return home to aid his family when his father died unexpectedly.

Many Catholics — most of whom were immigrants — were working and living in unfavorable conditions. And many, tragically, were dying young, leaving behind widows and orphans with insufficient financial resources.

Though this story of financial ruin for Catholic families was common, Father McGivney was convinced that there was a way to change the ending. He knew that if the Catholic men in his parish came together in mutual aid, widows and orphans could receive the support they needed.

He also knew that if Catholic men banded together, united by charity and unity, they could strengthen their faith, their families, and their communities.

So, he established the Knights of Columbus, and with it, a “pass-the-hat” insurance system to protect the Catholic families in his parish. Over time, that system has evolved, and today we stay true to our founding mission through our multi-billion dollar, top-rated insurance program. Members in the United States and Canada have exclusive access to our insurance program and products, including life insurance, retirement annuities, long-term care insurance, and disability income insurance.

A Shield for Life

Our insurance program offers several different products for members in all stages of life.

Visit the Insurance Website

$100+ Billion Strong

Our insurance program has more than $100 billion of in force policies and over $21 billion in assets. Year after year the Knights insurance program out performs the competition.

Top Rated

For 40 consecutive years, the Knights of Columbus has earned the highest possible rating for financial strength, currently: A++ (Superior) from ratings agency A.M. Best.


The Knights of Columbus has been recognized as a 2016 World’s Most Ethical Company® by the Ethisphere® Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices.

Easy to obtain

With agents across the United States and Canada, members can take advantage of a variety of insurance products.

Find Council #1646's Agent