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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson today announced the creation of a new pilgrimage destination named for the Order’s founder. The Blessed Michael McGivney Pilgrimage Center will be located at the current Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven, Connecticut.
Fr. McGivney, a priest in the St. Mary’s Parish in New Haven, founded the Knights of Columbus 138 years ago to enable Catholic men to support one another and their families with spiritual and temporal needs. On May 27, 2020, Pope Francis approved a decree recognizing a miracle attributed to Fr. McGivney’s intercession, qualifying Fr. McGivney for beatification.
At today’s opening Mass of the Knights of Columbus’ 138th annual Supreme Convention, Archbishop Leonard P. Blair of the Archdiocese of Hartford shared that Father McGivney’s beatification Mass will take place on Oct. 31, 2020, at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, Connecticut. At that liturgical celebration, an apostolic letter from the Holy Father will be read along with the bestowing of the title “Blessed” on Father McGivney. This is the step just prior to sainthood. An additional miracle attributed to Father McGivney’s intercession will be required for his canonization as a saint.
Supreme Knight Anderson said, “For members of the Knights of Columbus and many others, the news of the beatification is a time of great joy and celebration. Father McGivney ministered to those on the margins of society in the 19th century, and his example has inspired millions of Knights to follow his example in their own parishes and communities.”
Father McGivney served his flock during the pandemic of 1890, before himself becoming ill and dying of pneumonia. Today’s opening Mass of the Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention was celebrated by Archbishop Blair at St. Mary’s in New Haven. In addition to being the historic location where the Knights was founded, Father McGivney’s remains are interred there.
Anderson added, “While the museum will continue to recount the Knights’ history, it will also broaden its mission by focusing more on the spirituality and charitable vision of our founder and his legacy. A visit to the Blessed Michael McGivney Pilgrimage Center will enhance the formative experience of a pilgrimage to Father McGivney’s tomb at St. Mary’s.”
It is anticipated that COVID-19 restrictions will be in place on the date of the beatification, and preparations to broadcast the Mass to a worldwide audience are being made so that the public might join the celebration.
The Knights of Columbus is one of the world’s leading fraternal and service organizations with
2 million members in more than 16,000 parish-based councils. During the past year, Knights around the world donated more than 77 million service hours and $187 million for worthy causes in their communities. The organization also provides financial services to groups and individuals, resulting in more than $112 billion of life insurance in force, and through its money management firm, Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors, it invests in accord with Catholic social teachings. From helping children in need, to providing wheelchairs for the disabled, to helping stock food banks, to offering top-rated and affordable insurance products to its members, the Knights of Columbus has supported families and communities for more than 138 years.
Nearly a century before the Second Vatican Council, Venerable Michael McGivney’s prescient vision empowered the laity to serve Church and neighbor in a new way. Today, the Knights of Columbus is one of the largest Catholic organizations in the world with 2 million members in North and Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, and Europe.
The miracle recognized as coming through Father McGivney’s intercession involved an unborn child in the United States who in 2015 was healed in utero of a fatal condition after prayers by his family to Father McGivney.
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.”
Two recent books also tell the story of Father McGivney and his legacy: Parish Priest (2006), his biography; and the The Knights of Columbus: An Illustrated History(2020).
More information is also available at www.FatherMcGivney.org. Photos and other visual resources are available
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