Knights of Columbus

Thanks to the efforts of Father Michael J. McGivney, assistant pastor of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven on March 29, 1882 several of his parishioners and the Connecticut state legislature 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 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 13,000 councils and 1.7 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 and Saipan.

Diocese of Phoenix

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix  was established on Dec. 2, 1969 by Pope Paul VI. The diocese, comprising 43,967 square miles, includes the counties of Maricopa, Mohave, Yavapai, and Coconino (excluding the territorial boundaries of the Navajo Indian Reservation), and also includes the Gila River Indian Reservation in Pinal County.

Arizona and the Valley of the Sun (Metro Phoenix) are rapidly growing areas in the Southwest, and the Diocese of Phoenix has grown with it. When the Diocese of Phoenix was established in 1969, the Catholic population numbered around 180,000. There were 51 parishes, 61 missions, and a total of 182 diocesan and religious priests. Today, those numbers have drastically changed.

The history of the Catholic Church in Arizona is synonymous with the growth and history of the state of Arizona. Franciscan and Jesuit missionaries were the forerunners of the European civilization who brought European culture and Catholicism to the Southwest.

The beginning of the Catholic Church in Arizona can be traced back to the year 1539; 47 years after Columbus discovered the Americas. A Franciscan friar named Marcos de Niza traveled up through the Gulf of California into a northern territory, which had never been explored. He planted a cross on the land and named it "the New Kingdom of St. Francis." As a result, Padre Marcos de Niza is called the discoverer of Arizona and New Mexico.

Institute of Guadalupan Studies

St. Juan Diego was canonized on July 31, 2002, and shortly thereafter the Institute of Higher Guadalupan Studies (ISEG) was created by the Archdiocese of Mexico and the Movement for the Canonization of Saint Juan Diego. The institute continues to research this event and to bring it to the attention of the world. It’s a message and an image that today’s human being so needs.

Archdiocese of Mexico

With more than 7 million Catholics, the Archdiocese of Mexico is the largest Roman Catholic archdiocese in the world.

On Dec. 12, 1527, a great Franciscan, Brother Juan de Zumarraga, was named the first bishop of the new Diocese of Mexico. He was appointed by Pope Clement VII on Sept. 2, 1530. On the same date, the papal bull Sacri Apostolatus Ministerio created the Diocese of Mexico as a dependency of the Metropolitan of Seville.

With this solemn act, the Church responded to a vital reality, since some years before the conversion of the New World had begun.  Evangelism and faith, baptism and grace, were forming a new ecclesiastical community. Pope Paul III, with the bull Super Universas Orbis Ecclesias, dated Feb. 12, 1546, elevated the Diocese of Mexico to a metropolitan see, with Michoacan, Antequera, Tlaxcala, Chiapas, Guatemala and Nueva Galicia as subordinate dioceses. In 1547, Brother Juan de Zumarraga was named metropolitan archbishop, a post he held only a short time until his death on June 3, 1548.

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