HARTFORD— The founder of the Knights of Columbus will be beatified October 31 during a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark, New Jersey, at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, Connecticut.
The Connecticut Knights of Columbus has released a schedule of events for the Beatification Weekend.
On Friday, October 30, 7-9 pm, there will be a prayer vigil for priests at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven.
On Saturday, October 31, 11 am, is the Beatification Mass at Saint Joseph’s Cathedral in Hartford.
On Sunday, November 1, at 12 noon, there will be a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven.
All events will be livestreamed at KofC.org/beatification.
About Father McGivney
Born of Irish immigrant parents in 1852 in Waterbury, Connecticut, Father McGivney was a central figure in the dramatic growth of the Church in the United States in the late 19th century. Ordained in Baltimore in 1877, he ministered to a heavily Irish-American and immigrant community in the then-Diocese of Hartford. At a time of anti-Catholic sentiment, he worked tirelessly to keep his flock close to the faith in part by finding practical solutions to their many problems – spiritual and temporal alike. With a group of the leading Catholic men of New Haven, he founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882 at St. Mary’s Church to provide spiritual support for Catholic men and financial resources for families that had suffered the loss of their breadwinner.
The fledgling group soon became a major force in the areas of evangelization, charity, racial integration, and the defense of religious freedom.
Father McGivney spent his entire priesthood in parish ministry and died of pneumonia on August 14, 1890— two days after his 38th birthday – after falling ill amid a pandemic.
Known by his contemporaries for his devotion to the faith and his embodiment of the characteristics of the “Good Samaritan,” his cause for sainthood was opened in the Archdiocese of Hartford in 1997. St. John Paul II – who was pope at that time – lauded Father McGivney’s principles, stating in 2003, “In fidelity to the vision of Father McGivney, may you continue to seek new ways of being a leaven of the Gospel in the world and a spiritual force for the renewal of the Church in holiness, unity and truth.”
In March 2008, he was declared a Venerable Servant of God by Pope Benedict XVI, who during his visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral cited the “remarkable accomplishment of that exemplary American priest, the Venerable Michael McGivney, whose vision and zeal led to the establishment of the Knights of Columbus.”
(More information is also available at www.FatherMcGivney.org.)