Honoring Father Michael J McGivney

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This weekend we mark the birth and death of Father Michael McGivney, Founder of the Knights of Columbus.  He was born in Waterbury on August 12, 1852. His parents, Patrick and Mary (Lynch) McGivney, had arrived in the great 19th Century wave of Irish immigration.

On October 2, 1881, a small group of men met in the basement of St. Mary’s Church on Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut. Called together by their parish priest, Father Michael J. McGivney, these men formed a fraternal society that would one day become the world’s largest Catholic family fraternal service organization.  Today it is the largest society of Catholic men in the world, with more than a million and a half members in the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, and several Central American and Caribbean countries.

In mid-August of 1890— over 100 years ago—one of the largest funerals in the history of Waterbury, Connecticut took place. The throngs who attended were grieving the death, at age 38, of Father Michael J. McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus.  Delegations were present from almost every one of the 57 K of C councils which had sprung up in the Order’s first eight years. The bishop of Hartford and more than 70 of Connecticut’s Catholic priests were joined by many civic leaders.

Father McGivney pray for us as we continue the work you started in 1881.