Michael Mcgivney.jpgDaily we pray for the beatification of the Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus. His cause for canonization has been advanced because we are convinced he deeply contemplated the face of Christ and truly knew the Lord by entering into his sacrifice of love. In imitation of the Lord who came ‘not to be served but to serve,’ Father McGivney poured out his life, “in service to one, in service to all.” He was that priestly grain of wheat, which, like the Lord died and was buried, and then in the power of the Holy Spirit produced abundant fruit.


By being with his people in their need – the people of this very parish [St. Mary’s Church, New Haven, CT] – Father McGivney followed Christ; where Christ was, there was Father McGivney.


Our founder saw Christ in the multitudes that packed this Church each Sunday, and especially in the hardworking men whose faith he strove to bolster. He found Christ in families bereft by the death of husbands and fathers and indeed in a man condemned to die.


He sought the Lord in the lay leadership he raised up in the basement of this Church, men to whom he entrusted his fledgling organization conceived in the genius of holiness. In the power of the Holy Spirit, Father McGivney sought to write the law of love on the hearts of those first Knights of Columbus by creating an Order whose first and more enduring principle was charity. His love for Christ, and for his Church, and for the beloved Knights of Columbus did not diminish when be moved to Thomaston to serve as a pastor. He was merely 38 years of age when he died having poured out his life in acts of love for his people that replicated the mystery of Christ’s sacrificial love that he celebrated each day in the Mass.


This is an excerpt of Bishop William A. Lori’s homily from the March 29th Founders’ Day Mass, Saint Mary’s New Haven, Connecticut. Bishop Lori is the Bishop of Bridgeport and the Supreme Chaplain for the Knights.