Michael J. McGivney
|Priest and Founder|
|Born||Michael Joseph McGivney|
August 12, 1852
Waterbury, Connecticut, United States
|Died||August 14, 1890 (aged 38)|
Thomaston, Connecticut, United States
|Venerated in||Catholic Church|
|Beatified||31 October 2020, Cathedral of Saint Joseph, Hartford, Connecticut, United States by Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin (on behalf of Pope Francis)|
|Major shrine||Church of Saint Mary, New Haven, Connecticut, United States|
|Patronage||Knights of Columbus|
Michael Joseph McGivney (August 12, 1852 – August 14, 1890) was an American Catholic priest based in New Haven, Connecticut. He founded the Knights of Columbus at a local parish to serve as a mutual aid and fraternal insurance organization, particularly for immigrants and their families. It developed through the 20th century as the world's largest Catholic fraternal organization.
The cause for his canonization started in the Archdiocese of Hartford in 1996; in March 2008, Pope Benedict XVI declared McGivney "Venerable" in recognition of his "heroic virtue". On May 27, 2020, Pope Francis announced that McGivney had been approved for beatification, which officially happened on October 31, 2020. The pope's action means that McGivney can be declared "Blessed", the step just prior to sainthood. An additional miracle attributed to McGivney's intercession will be required for his canonization as a saint.
He was born to Irish immigrant parents, Patrick and Mary (Lynch) McGivney. He was the eldest of 13 children, six of whom died in infancy or childhood. His father worked as a molder in a Waterbury, Connecticut, brass mill. Michael attended the local Waterbury district school but left at 13 to work in one of the brass mills' spoon-making departments.
In 1868, at the age of 16, he entered the Séminaire de Saint-Hyacinthe in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada. He continued his studies at Our Lady of Angels Seminary, near Niagara Falls, New York, (1871–1872) and at the Jesuits' St. Mary's College, in Montreal, Quebec. He had to leave the seminary, returning home to help finish raising his siblings after his father's death in June 1873. McGivney later resumed his studies at St. Mary's Seminary, in Baltimore, Maryland; he was ordained a priest on December 22, 1877, by Archbishop James Gibbons at the Baltimore Cathedral of the Assumption.
Founding of the Knights of Columbus
From his own experience, McGivney recognized the devastating effect on immigrant families of the father and wage earner's untimely death. Many Catholics were still struggling to assimilate into the American economy. On March 29, 1882, while an assistant pastor at Saint Mary's Church in New Haven, Connecticut, McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus, with a small group of parishioners, as a mutual aid society, to provide financial assistance, in the event of the men's deaths, to their widows and orphans. The organization developed as a fraternal society. McGivney was also known for his tireless work among his parishioners.
The Knights of Columbus was among the first groups to recruit blood donors, with formal efforts dating to 1937 during the Great Depression. As of 2013, the order has more than 1.8 million member families and 15,000 councils. During the 2012 fraternal year, the order donated $167 million and 70 million man-hours to charity.
Cause of beatification and canonization
In 1996, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford opened the cause for canonization, an investigation into McGivney's life with a view towards formal recognition by the Catholic Church of his sainthood. Gabriel O'Donnell is the postulator of McGivney's cause. He is also the director of the Fr. McGivney Guild, which now has 150,000 members supporting his cause.
The diocesan investigation was closed in 2000, and the case was passed to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Vatican City. On March 15, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI approved a decree recognizing McGivney's heroic virtue, thus declaring him as "Venerable."
As of August 6, 2013[update], a miracle attributed to McGivney's intercession was under investigation at the Vatican. On May 27, 2020, the miracle attributed to the intercession of McGivney was approved by Congregation for the Causes of Saints and authorized by Pope Francis.
On October 31, 2020, the beatification Mass of Michael McGivney was celebrated at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Hartford, Connecticut with Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin presiding on the Pope's behalf.
- 1989, the York Catholic District School Board in Ontario, Canada, founded a school named Father Michael McGivney Catholic Academy in his honor. It is located in Markham and currently has 1,400 students.
- Douglas Brinkley and Julie M. Fenster's biography of Fr. McGivney, Parish Priest: Father Michael McGivney and American Catholicism, was published by William Morrow and Company in 2006.
- The Catholic University of America renamed a prominent building on their campus as McGivney Hall.
- A stained-glass window depicting McGivney was dedicated September 12, 2009, at St. John Fisher Seminary in Stamford, Connecticut, by Bishop William E. Lori, of Bridgeport. The window was created by Rohl's Stained and Leaded Glass Studio of New Rochelle, New York.
- Father McGivney Catholic High School in Glen Carbon, Illinois
- List of beatified people
- Roman Catholicism in the United States#American Catholic Servants of God, Venerables, Beatified, and Saints
- "Knights of Columbus Founder Declared Venerable". Zenit.org. March 16, 2008. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011.
- "Knights of Columbus founder Fr. Michael McGivney to be beatified". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "Michael McGivney closer to sainthood".
- "Promulgazione di Decreti della Congregazione delle Cause dei Santi, 27.05.2020". Holy See Press Office (in Italian). May 27, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "Early Years : Father Michael McGivney Office – Philippines". Retrieved June 23, 2020.
- "Father Michael McGivney," Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network Archived September 16, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- "St Mary's Parish | New Haven, CT". ST MARY PARISH. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
- "Knights set record for giving $167 million, 70 million volunteer hours, in 2012", Catholic Philly, June 2013
- "Knights of Columbus unveils new initiation ceremony that will be public". Archdiocese of Baltimore. January 29, 2020. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
- "Annual Report of the Supreme Knight" (PDF). Knights of Columbus. August 6, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Beatification of Fr. Michael McGivney: Example for post-pandemic parish renewal - Vatican News". www.vaticannews.va. October 31, 2020. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
- "Beatification of Father Michael J. McGivney To Be Held Saturday". NBC Connecticut. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
- Father Michael McGivney Catholic Academy
- "McGivney Institutions and Memorials", Father McGivney Guild
- The McGivney Guild
- Third Class Relic of Father Michael J. McGivney
- History of San Salvador Council One – New Haven, CT
- Knights of Columbus Museum-New Haven, CT
- https://www.fathermcgivney.org/en/for-the-media/michael-mcgivney-closer-to-sainthood.html htt
- Brinkley, Douglas; Julie M. Fenster (January 10, 2006). Parish Priest: Father Michael McGivney and American Catholicism. William Morrow Publishers. ISBN 978-0-06-077684-8.
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