Bulletin Columns Catholic Church

“IWKnights Corner (Bulletin Insert) for April 21, 2019 (Easter Sunday)

Did you know this about the IW Knights of Columbus?

Father Michael J. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, CT in 1882.  He envisioned and formed a Catholic order that would help Catholic men to remain steadfast in faith while providing insurance for their families.  Although he is a heroic figure to many of the today’s Knights – little is known about him since he died at a young age (38).  There is an interesting list of little known facts about Father McGivney.  The following are the final five (5) items of the list.

  1. He ministered to inmates.
    Father McGivney was responsible for ministering to inmates in the city jail. One inmate was 21-year-old Chip Smith, who — while drunk — shot and killed a police officer.  Smith was convicted for first-degree murder and sentenced to be hanged.

Father McGivney visited him daily, and, on the day of Smith’s execution, the priest was filled with sorrow.  Just before he died, Smith comforted him: "Father, your saintly ministrations have enabled me to meet death without a tremor.  Do not fear for me, I must not break down now."

  1. He was only 38 years old when he died.
    And that’s actually not surprising — life expectancy was short for priests in Connecticut in the 19th century, when the Catholic population was growing, disease was common and the priests were overworked.
  2. He’s on the path to sainthood.
    His cause for canonization is open, and he was given the title “Venerable Servant of God” by the Holy See in 2008. You can help promote devotion to this Servant of God — click here to join the Father McGivney Guild.
  3. His belongings were burned when he died.
    When Father McGivney died of tuberculosis, his personal items were burned to prevent the spreading of the disease. Only a small number of his writings and belongings survived.
  4. He is known to intercede especially in four areas (from Columbia magazine):
  • Employment and finances.Just as parishioners looked to Father McGivney for help when “No Irish need apply” was often included in job postings, so today many receive help when they are laid off or seeking a better job.
    Substance abuse.  In Father McGivney’s day, alcoholism afflicted the immigrant population, and many now find relief from drug or alcohol abuse after praying to him.
    Family reconciliation. Father McGivney helped immigrant families struggling to stay together and to make ends meet.  Today, Father McGivney continues to respond to the prayers of families.
    Return to the faith.   Father McGivney founded the Order to keep men from joining anti-Catholic societies.  Today, many Catholics receive favors when calling upon him to help their fallen-away children return to Mass.

This article originally appeared on the KofC.org site – you can find the link to the entirety of this article featured on the KofC.org web site at www.IWKnights.com/bulletin or at facebook.com/IWknights9981 and NOW on Twitter at twitter.com/IwKnights.

Links Related to this week’s column:

    By Andrew Butler (3/28/2019)

    • Maybe you’re an old pro and already knew that Father Michael J. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, Conn. in 1882. Maybe you already knew that he envisioned a Catholic order that would help Catholic men to remain steadfast in faith while providing insurance for their families. But you probably didn’t know these facts:


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