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international fraternal benefit society of Roman Catholic men, founded by the Reverend Michael J. McGivney and chartered by the state of Connecticut in the United States in 1882. Besides supplying a wide range of insurance benefits and the opportunity for social intercourse, the organization has been active in religious, educational, war-relief, and social-welfare programs. Since 1948 the Knights of Columbus has sponsored a Roman Catholic advertising program to explain Roman Catholic beliefs and to promote interfaith understanding. Headquarters of the supreme council is in New Haven, Conn., U.S