The Knights of Columbus was started in 1882 when Father Michael McGivney and a small group of men founded a society designed to provide some security for widows and orphans of Catholic parishioners. Father McGivney’s idea grew into an Order of Catholic men and their families, dedicated to promoting the ideas of charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism. Today there are nearly a million and one half members in over 9,000 local units throughout the world.
His initial plan of providing financial security for his parishioners has developed into an extensive life insurance program open to every member and his family. The Knights of Columbus now ranks in the top 6% of Life Insurance companies in North America with more than $13 billion of insurance in force.
In 2012 the Knights of Columbus donated $167 million to charitable and benevolent causes. The Knights of Columbus have also given over 70 million man hours to volunteer services, from blood drives to meals-on-wheels.
Every K of C Council provides a variety of opportunity for family involvement including dances, parties, athletic events, Communion breakfasts, family Masses, outings, and lots more.
In 1955 the Belfast Council was organized by Rev. Charles I. Brown. The first Grand Knight was Lucien Roy. This new Council was named for William S. Brannagan who built and donated St. Francis of Assisi church in 1890 and a few years later built and donated the parish rectory. The William S. Brannagan Council is one of approximately 74 Councils in the State of Maine and has about 50 members.
Each year the Belfast K of C completes about 25 to 30 service activities in the following categories: youth, church, community, family, and council. For example, an annual Tootsie Roll Drive has generated thousands of dollars to help the handicapped of our area.
Although a K of C hall was built on route 137 in the mid-seventies, it was sold approximately 10 years later. The members of the Belfast Council presently meet on the second Wednesday of the month in St. Francis of Assisi Parish Hall and are committed to keeping the memory of William S. Brannagan alive by following his examples of charity, integrity and devotion to God.