Glastonbury Knights of Columbus Turn 100!


The Rev. John A. Fleming Glastonbury Council #2533 of the Knights of Columbus will commemorate its 100th anniversary with a Mass and reception on Sunday, May 5, 2024, at 11:15 at SS. Isidore and Maria Parish, 2577 Main Street, Glastonbury. 

One hundred years ago, when the U.S. had just 48 states, the average home cost $2,500, and gas prices were around 20 cents a gallon, a group of Catholic gentlemen came together in the basement of St. Augustine Church in South Glastonbury. Their purpose? To petition the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus to organize a Glastonbury Council. 

On May 4, 1924, 53 original members were granted a charter and began practicing the Order’s principles of Charity, Unity, and Fraternity. 

At that time, members were expected to pay dues of $5 annually – the 2024 equivalent of $90.74. Members today pay less than half of that (adjusted for inflation) annually as they proudly continue the Council’s unbroken century-long tradition of community service and brotherhood. 

Since its beginning, the Glastonbury Council has sponsored Church and community events, including Amateur Nights, Communion Breakfasts, Children’s Annual Outings, Daughters of Isabella, Bazaars, Strawberry Festivals, Card Tournaments, Retreat Movements, a Women’s Voting League, and Benefits for the St. Paul Building Fund.

Parish and community involvement continues today. Council members participate in the annual Connecticut March for Life, processions to celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi, and prepare meals for people experiencing homelessness. Council fundraising efforts currently support three local food banks, the Little Sisters of the Poor, the Glastonbury Special Olympics, and the Coats for Kids program for Glastonbury Social Services. In addition, the Council offers scholastic awards to member children, and financial and emotional support to a seminarian yearly.

Then, as now, our leadership has guided us with steady hands and faith-filled hearts. The first Council Chaplain, Father John A. Fleming, labored zealously for the material and spiritual advancement of Glastonbury’s Catholic churches. His devoted parishioners and the Council sincerely appreciated Father Fleming’s tireless efforts to ensure their well-being. To show their gratitude, the Council was renamed in his honor in 1932. 

The first Grand Knight of the Council, Frank Breen, started a tradition of leadership that is modeled and practiced today. Seventy gentlemen have carried the title of Grand Knight and fulfilled their duties with faith and distinction. Council members have served the Connecticut State Council as Committee and Program Chairman, District Wardens, District Deputies, and District Masters. Two members, John C. McKeone Sr. and Gary P. McKeone, served as State Deputy, and one member, James T. Wilson, is currently serving as State Warden. 

Council members have also served our country in war and peace, with members having served in every armed conflict since World War I.  

Council 2533 has served multiple parishes locally, including St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. Dunstan, St. Augustine, St. Christopher, Our Lady of Peace, and Blessed Sacrament. Today, we continue serving the Catholic parishes of Glastonbury, East Hartford, and Marlborough: SS. Isidore and Maria, St. Dunstan, St. Edmund Campion, North American Martyrs, St. Isaac Jogues, and St. John Fisher. 

As we have for 100 years, the Knights of Columbus Rev. John A. Fleming Council #2533 will continue to provide a place where families can come together, strengthen our faith, and help those in need in our parish and community by putting our Catholic faith into action right here in Glastonbury and beyond. 

The Knights of Columbus, headquartered in New Haven, is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded in 1882 in Connecticut by Blessed Michael J. McGivney to assist working-class and immigrant Catholics in the United States, today, the approximately two million members of the Knights put their faith into action through a broad range of charitable causes locally, nationally, and internationally with financial contributions and hands-on service.