The Supreme Council marked the 130th anniversary of the founding of the Knights of Columbus at a Mass on March 29th in St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, where the Order began. Attending the Mass were relatives of Venerable Michael J. McGivney, an honor guard of Fourth Degree Knights, and Knights from Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and New York.
March 29th marks the day when Connecticut state approved the charter of the Knights of Columbus in 1882.
The main celebrant and homilist at the Mass was Father Joseph P. Allen, O.P., pastor of St. Mary’s, and a member of Father McGivney Council 10705, which is based at the New Haven church. In his homily, he said that the 1.8 million Knights throughout the world share the charism of Father McGivney, based on the Order’s principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism. “We are challenged to reflect our vocation as Knights, and we do so if we uphold the ideals of the Knights which had been given 130 years ago, and if we look to our founder Father Michael J. McGivney for guidance.”
In the early years, the Knights of Columbus experienced obstacles to growth which were overcome “because God wanted this work to continue, as it does continue today because of you and your brother Knights,” said Father Allen.
Two relatives of Father McGivney participated in the Mass. The first reading was read by John Walshe, great grandnephew of Father McGivney, and the gifts were brought up during the Offertory Procession by Margaret Ransom, great grandniece of Father McGivney, and her husband, Robert Ransom, who is an employee at the Supreme Council.
After Mass, Father Allen led supreme officers to the tomb of Father McGivney located in the rear of the church, where they recited the Prayer for Canonization along with the congregation. Father McGivney was declared Venerable in 2008, when the Vatican recognized his heroic virtue, and a miracle attributed to his intercession is needed for him to advance to beatification.