A painting by Italian artist Antonella Cappuccio depicts Venerable
Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus. In the background are 19th-century Irish immigrants outside St. Mary's Church in New Haven, Conn.

History of Father Joe Lauro
"Born on the South Side of Chicago in 1912, Joe Lauro had one ambition, and only one, to become a priest. But because of an ironic circumstance, he was to be thwarted in this ambition for years. Finally, in 1940, with all avenues to the priest hood seemingly closed, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was given command of a Wellington Bomber and flew 58 missions over Sicily and Italy. After that tour of duty he transfered to the American Air Force and commanded a B-24. In all, he had flown no less than 80 missions before he was returned to the United States. One of his many decorations was the Distinguished Flying Cross, with which he was invested by George VI at Buckingham Palace.
But throughout the war, he remained fast in his original ambition. His dream came true on May 17, 1949, at St. Andrew's Cathedral in Little Rock, Arkansas, when he was ordained a priest." *

He served as a priest to the people of Arkansas from 1949 to 1962, helping to restore St. Elizabeth Church in Eureka Springs and build St. Anne Church in Berryville, Arkansas. In 1962, he felt called to serve the poor people of Ecuador in Central America, which he did until his death from a heart attack in 1971.

*_from the jacket by Lucy Mahoney, William Morrow & Company, Inc.

Knights of Columbus History
On March 15, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI gave his approval to a decree from the Holy See, providing long-awaited recognition to Knights of Columbus Founder Michael J. McGivney. No longer does Michael J. McGivney hold his legacy with the simple title of "father," but now he has officially been recognized as a "Venerable Servant of God."

Late-19th century Connecticut was marked by the growing prevalence of fraternal benefit societies, hostility toward Catholic immigrants and dangerous working conditions in factories that left many families fatherless. Recognizing a vital, practical need in his community, Father Michael J. McGivney, the 29-year-old assistant pastor of St. Mary's Church in New Haven, Conn., gathered a group of men at his parish on Oct. 2, 1881. He proposed establishing a lay organization, the goal of which would be to prevent Catholic men from entering secret societies whose membership was antithetical to Church teaching, to unite men of Catholic faith and to provide for the families of deceased members.
As a symbol that allegiance to their country did not conflict with allegiance to their faith, the organization's members took as their patron Christopher Columbus - recognized as a Catholic and celebrated as the discoverer of America. Thanks to Father McGivney's persistence, the Knights of Columbus elected officers in February 1882 and officially assumed corporate status on March 29.
In addition to the Order's stated benefits, Catholic men were drawn to the Knights because of its emphasis on serving one's Church, community and family with virtue. Writing in The Columbiad in 1898, a year before he was elected supreme knight, Edward L. Hearn wrote that a Knight should live according to the virtues of loyalty, charity, courtesy and modesty, as well as "self-denial and careful respect for the feelings of others." Fraternity and patriotism were added to the Knights' founding principles of charity and unity in 1885 and 1900, respectively.

1882: The Knights of Columbus is born on Feb. 6, 1882, when the first members choose Columbus as their patron. Immediately after the Order's March 29 incorporation, Father McGivney sends the first diocesan-wide appeal for new members to his fellow priests.
1886: By the end of his four-year tenure as supreme knight, James T. Mullen personally presides at the institution of 22 of the first 38 councils. John J. Phelan is elected to succeed him and is the first supreme knight to sense the Order's destiny as a national society.
1890: Father McGivney dies Aug. 14, 1890. His funeral Mass is celebrated in Thomaston, Conn., four days later.

With permission from Knights of Columbus Supreme Council, New Haven, Ct
Our Ethics  (K of C Code of Ethics and Conduct)
Reflecting the moral teachings of the Catholic Church and upholding the core principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism in its good works, the Order makes ethics an essential commitment to its business client relationships.
This commitment to ethical leadership has been recognized in the business community when the Knights of Columbus was named a 2015 World's Most Ethical Company® by Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices. The Order received the same award in 2014, when it was one of only two companies to receive the honor in the life insurance category.
"For more than 130 years, the Knights of Columbus has been protecting the financial future of Catholic families and providing charity to those on the margins of society," said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson. "That founding principle of helping those in need is at work in every aspect of our business, guiding our corporate governance, our professional agency force, our investments, and our day-to-day business operations. It is this continued commitment to our foundational, Catholic principles that is the key to our ethical, sustainable and successful business model."
The Knights of Columbus' principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism serve as the basis of the Order's core values which are Integrity, Professionalism, Excellence, and Respect. Internally, the Order abides by a Code of Ethics and Conduct that demonstrates how the core values guide employees and contractors in difficult situations.
"At the Knights of Columbus, our values influence more than just our investments too. They also inform every aspect of our business, from the way we conduct our business, to the way we sell our products and treat our employees," Supreme Knight Anderson said in his remarks at the Sustainable Investments Conference in Chicago in 2011. "Our marketing code of ethics is based on the Ten Commandments and our 'Golden Rule' requires our sales agents to pledge to those they serve the same standards they would apply to themselves. In addition, we work hard to make sure that the same approach is applied to our employees by offering excellent benefits - including health care and a defined benefit pension - and by maintaining an excellent relationship with both our management and union employees."

With permission from Knights of Columbus Supreme Council, New Haven, Ct
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