The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded in the United States in 1882, it is named in honor of Christopher Columbus. There are more than 1.8 million members in 15,000 councils, with nearly 200 councils on college campuses. Membership is limited to “practical Catholic” men aged 18 or older.
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.
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.
Alhambra Council #2431 is the third oldest active council of the Knights of Columbus in the San Gabriel Valley, having been chartered on January 10, 1923 at All Souls Church in Alhambra. Parish community leaders had begun to discuss the need to establish a Knights of Columbus Council in early 1922. Later that year, the idea received strong backing from Fr. Henry W. Gross, who was the Pastor at All Souls. Fr. Gross made persuasive public announcements at all masses one particular Sunday about the need for a unit of the Knights of Columbus in the City of Alhambra and Fr. Joseph M. Preciado, CMF, who was then the Pastor of neighboring San Gabriel Mission, made similar appeals. Their words apparently fell on receptive ears, and preparations then proceeded with dispatch. The first Grand Knight of Alhambra Council #2431 was James J. Britt (1922-1923).
Since then, 81 men have followed in his footsteps. Alhambra Council #2431 is a proud member of the San Gabriel Valley Chapter of the Knights of Columbus and District #82 of the California State Council. Our current District Deputy is Gil Vargas, the immediate Past Grand Knight of Alhambra Council #2431.
In addition to being one of the oldest active councils in the San Gabriel Valley, we are also one of the largest with more than 300 members, and the fastest growing, with more than 150 new members in the past four years. Within the past year, we have also re-activated our Squires Circle, Marian #754.
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.