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Supreme Council Mourns Passing of Paul McGlinchey


(July 27, 1937 - May 1, 2009)

Paul M. McGlinchey


Paul M. McGlinchey


Paul M. McGlinchey, who worked at the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council headquarters in New Haven, Connecticut, for 34 years and was Administrative Assistant to the Supreme Knight at the time of his retirement in 2005, passed away May 1 after battling cancer. He was 71 years old and received the Anointing of the Sick from Supreme Chaplain Emeritus Bishop Thomas V. Daily.

Papal Message of Condolence

Quiet, unassuming and hard-working, Paul McGlinchey was the epitome of a Knight of Columbus and a true Catholic gentleman. He loved the Church and the Order, and devoted himself wholeheartedly to both. He was a dedicated husband to his wife, Lina, and loving father of three children and grandfather to three.

Pope John Paul II receiving Paul and Lina McGlinchey at the Vatican

Pope John Paul II receiving Paul and Lina McGlinchey at the Vatican.

As Administrative Assistant to two Supreme Knights, Virgil C. Dechant and Carl A. Anderson, Brother McGlinchey oversaw all business pertaining to the Executive Office of the Supreme Knight, from high-profile papal events and meetings to day to day correspondence, and represented the Supreme Knight around the world, from Alaska to the Philippines.

Paul and Lina McGlinchey greet Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Paul and Lina McGlinchey greet Mother Teresa of Calcutta before the Knights of Columbus presented the first Gaudium et Spes Medal, the Order’s highest honor, to Mother Teresa in New York in 1992.

Supreme Knight Anderson said in a statement: “Paul McGlinchey was an invaluable assistant to me and to Past Supreme Knight Virgil Dechant during his many years of service at the Supreme Council headquarters. He had a deep knowledge of the Order’s history and traditions, and a love for the Catholic faith that inspired his life and his work. Even after his retirement, he continued to work on special projects for the Supreme Council, up until the time his cancer was discovered.” 

The Supreme Knight continued “His presence, his wise guidance and, most of all, his friendship will be greatly missed by me and all his colleagues and brother Knights. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Lina and his entire family at this time.”

Growing up in Harrison, New Jersey, Paul attended Holy Cross School and St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark. He began his undergraduate education at Seton Hall University in 1955 and continued his studies at Immaculate Conception Seminary and the University of Louvain in Belgium.

Paul and Lina McGlinchey are joined by Supreme Knight Carl and Dorian Anderson and Past Supreme Knight Virgil and Ann Dechant in November 2005.

In 1961, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served two years on a U.S. base in Germany and was honorably discharged.  Returning to the United States, he joined a New York City publishing company, becoming managing editor of several publications.

In 1971, he joined the staff of the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council, as the associate editor of Columbia. In 1978, he was promoted to assistant to Supreme Knight Virgil Dechant, and he continued in that position when Carl Anderson was appointed Supreme Knight in 2000.  He retired in 2005.

In 2004, Brother McGlinchey helped to coordinate President George W. Bush’s appearance at the Supreme Convention in Dallas, Texas.

During his years at the Supreme Council, Paul served as a consultant to the Order’s Board of Directors on a number of committees, including those pertaining to Church Activities, Vocations, Catholic Education, Family Life, Pro-Life, Media, Ceremonials and Museum.

He was past grand knight of Holy Family Council 8882, which is based at the Supreme Council headquarters, and a member of the board of Morality in Media, a pro-family watchdog group based in New York City.

In 1985, he was named a Papal Knight of St. Gregory, an honor for distinguished laymen, by Pope John Paul II.

In a 2005 tribute to Brother McGlinchey at the time of his retirement, Past Supreme Knight Virgil Dechant honored his long-time aide as “a very loyal, a very wise, a very prudent and a great, great confidant” who served “ [as my Administrative Assistant] very admirably, and I must say he served that same way for our present Supreme Knight.”    The Past Supreme Knight continued:  “I think the one thing that really is so important to say about Paul is that he understood the word service.  He gave great service to the Office of Supreme Knight and great service to the Order, and in so doing brought great honor to the Order and to the Church, and Paul, for that we’re grateful.”

Paul M. McGlinchey addressing State Deputies and General Agents in November 2005, as Supreme Knight Anderson looks on.

Addressing State Deputies and General Agents at the time of his retirement, Brother McGlinchey concluded his remarks: “When a man takes his degree and we count him as a brother ‘Knight’ it is not an honorary title. My message that I would leave to you today is that it is a title that needs to be earned, every day and every way.”

The members of the Order now mourn and honor a man who we will always proudly remember as a most distinguished and deserving brother Knight.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, birthplace of the Order, on Wednesday, May 6, at 10 a.m. 

Expressions of condolence can be sent to:

The McGlinchey Family
c/o Executive Office of the Supreme Knight
Knights of Columbus Supreme Council
1 Columbus Plaza
New Haven, CT  06510-3326