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Catholic Fraternal Life

A Fraternal Benefit Society established in 1884

What Is a Fraternal Benefit Society?

Fraternal Benefit Societies operate under the Internal Revenue Code IRC 501 (c)(8).

A fraternal benefit society is a membership organization that is required to:
Offer life and related insurance products to its members
Be a non-profit
Carry out charitable programs for the benefit of its members and the public.
Societies are organized solely for the benefit of their members and their beneficiaries and not for profit. They are owned by their members and have a representative form of government. Every four years, beneficial members have the opportunity to apply to become a delegate of the Society. The delegates have the privilege of voting on changes to the Society’s Articles of Incorporation and By-laws.

Our History

Catholic Fraternal Life (CFL) was established as a fraternal benefit society in 1884 under the name of Catholic Knights of Illinois. Membership was obtained through the purchase of a life insurance certificate (policy). The Society was licensed to sell life insurance only in the State of Illinois.

The corporation was formed by a group of Catholic men, mostly of German descent, to offer life insurance products, with the intention of providing some financial assistance to their families, in case of their premature death. This became especially important during times of war.

Approximately 425 Catholic men (laity and clergy) became members of this new Society in the first year of its formation.

In 1892, the Society opened its membership to Catholic women. At that time, the name was changed to Catholic Knights and Ladies of Illinois. To become a member, you had to be Catholic or married to a Catholic.

In 1982, the Society started offering annuities to their current members.

In 1993, the Society changed its By-laws to allow the purchase of an annuity to qualify as membership.

In 1996, the Society changed its name to Catholic Fraternal Life to better reflect who they were. At this time, the By-laws were changed to open membership to anyone who supported the mission of the Society.

In 1997, the Society started marketing their Pre-Need product through funeral homes.

In 1999, the Society became licensed in Missouri and in 2000 became licensed in Nebraska.

In 2008, the Society merged with Holy Family Society of the USA located in Joliet, Illinois. The merged companies became known as Catholic Holy Family Society. The newly formed Society was licensed in 19 states which are listed below:

California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

The Society is currently licensed in 20 states, with the admission into the state of Connecticut in 2023.

The Home Office of the Society was located in Joliet, Illinois. The Belleville office remained open and continued to administer life, pre-need and annuities.

At the 2016 Quadrennial Convention, the members elected a new Board of Directors. Some of the newly elected Board members had served on the CFL Board prior to the merger.

In 2017, in an effort to streamline operations and increase profitability, the Board of Directors voted to close the Joliet office. The Belleville office then became the Home Office.

In 2022, the Board along with the delegates, voted unanimously to change the name back to Catholic Fraternal Life.

Our Mission

Define our Mission

Our Mission is to provide families with financial security and to promote goodwill throughout our communities.

Define our Vision

Our Vision is to always remain committed to acting in good faith and in the best interest of the membership by maintaining a strong financial society.

CFL Statement of Values

CFL is committed to assisting individuals and families in achieving financial security through our quality life insurance and annuity products. We also provide financial assistance to communities in need through our fraternal programs.

CFL vows to consistently uphold ethical, moral and legal values and to perform our duties with integrity, honesty and respect.

The CFL Board of Directors, management, employees and agents are committed in gaining your confidence when choosing CFL products for your future financial needs.
Catholic Fraternal Life’s image is represented by our Mission, Vision and Core Value Statements.

Spiritual Director

Bishop Michael McGovern is a native of Chicago where he grew up as the youngest of eight children. He attended Christ the King Elementary School, St. Ignatius College Prep and Loyola University all located in the City of Chicago. After completing a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy at Loyola University, Bishop McGovern worked for several years before entering Mundelein Seminary in 1990. Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago on May 21, 1994, he then served in parishes and as a member of the Chancery staff. Bishop McGovern served as Pastor of St. Mary in Lake Forest (2004-2016) and St. Raphael the Archangel in Old Mill Creek, Illinois (2016-2020). Pope Francis appointed him the ninth Bishop of Belleville on April 3, 2020 and he was ordained and installed as Bishop on July 22, 2020. He is a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, the Knights of Columbus and recently became a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Subcommittee on Health Care.

Board of Directors

Sandy Bouchard


Melvin Weck


Carson Hempen

Vice Chairman

James Hopper

Recording Secretary

Gerri Stock


Michael Steven Jackson


Joe Timmermann


Brian Flynn


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