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IWKnights Corner For November 1, 2020 (Solemnity of All Saints)

Did you know this about the IW Knights of Columbus?

Father James Sullivan is the current rector of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury, Conn., where Father McGivney grew up in the 1800s. (Image by Christopher Beauchamp)

“This column is part one of a 2-part presentation of a story about a man named Father James Sullivan - not our parish priest but another good man.  This Father Sullivan holds a lifelong devotion to Father Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, will ‘come full circle’ when he concelebrates the K of C founder’s beatification Mass on Oct. 31.  He has prayed for this moment for decades and has become a steward for promoting Father McGivney’s cause for sainthood within the Archdiocese of Hartford.

In May, the Vatican approved a miracle attributed to Father McGivney’s intercession, paving the way for his beatification.  The miracle healed the unborn child of K of C General Agent Daniel Schachle and his wife, Michelle, who has previously received a fatal prenatal diagnosis.  The beatification Mass will be celebrated by Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford.

Father Sullivan has been hoping for, and praying for, this event for years. ‘I have the grace to follow in his footsteps,’ Father Sullivan said.  ‘It’s very personal, it’s very intimate, and his life has become a passion for me.’

Fr. Sullivan is the current rector of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury, Conn., where Father McGivney grew up in the 1800s.  McGivney was born on the banks of the Naugatuck River in Waterbury, and attended the basilica with his family.

Like McGivney, Father Sullivan was born on the southside of Waterbury.  In some ways, he grew up in the shadow of Father McGivney, so it was natural that Sullivan would join the Knights of Columbus.  When he arrived at Providence College in 1978, Sullivan joined the college council there — the council had recently been revived by his uncle, Dominican Father Jack McMahon.  Due to Father McMahon’s efforts, the council had more than 500 members — including Sullivan and his brothers.

A few years after Sullivan joined the council, during the centennial observances of the Knights of Columbus in 1982, Father McGivney’s remains were transported from Waterbury to St. Mary’s Church in New Haven.  Sullivan was an altar server at the event, which was celebrated by Cardinal Agostino Casaroli.  Sullivan refers to that day not only as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” but as a gift.

Two years later, at age 23 years old, Sullivan entered seminary.  He left soon after, not feeling the call to continue a priestly vocation.  For the next 25 years, he operated a contracting business, but he never forgot about Father McGivney.

During that time, he bought a house in Thomaston, Conn., where he made it a practice to plant flowers at gravesites in St. Thomas Cemetery — the same sites that Father McGivney visited when he was a parish priest at local St. Thomas Church.”

More next week or you can link to the full article presented above via one of the following sites.  Also, find more about the Knights of Columbus at  IWKnights9981.com/bulletin or in facebook.com/IWknights9981 and NOW on Twitter at twitter.com/IwKnights.

Links Related to this week’s column:

From lifesaving miracles, visions and more, Father James Sullivan says his vocation – and his family’s lives — was changed due to Father McGivney.
By Andrew Fowler - Knights of Columbus  (10/26/2020)
Click here for Article
Sainthood Cause of Blessed Fr. Michael McGivney
Official Website
By Knights of Columbus  (2020)
Click here for Article
Prayer for Protection in Time of Pandemic
A Novena which seeks Our Lady’s Intercession for Protection in Time of Pandemic
By His Holiness, Pope Francis (3/2020)
Click here for the Prayer

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We would like to talk with you about becoming an IW Knight.  Please visit us on-line at our web site at www.IWknights.com/AboutUs.  Or call Rob Schultz at: (314) 973-2373.

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