Knights of Columbus: September 2009 Archives

The cause for beatification and eventual sainthood of Father Michael J. McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, took another step on September 22, 2009, with the submission of a supplemental report on a potential miracle attributed to the priest's intercession.

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The Knights of Columbus announced today that officials from a supplemental tribunal of the Archdiocese of Hartford -of which Fr. McGivney was a parish priest- formally sent a new report to the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints through Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, the current postulator of McGivney's cause. The information gathered by the tribunal included testimonies from witnesses to the supposed miracle as well as the statements of several medical doctors about the circumstances surrounding the reported miracle. Dominican Father Gabriel B. O'Donnell, the current vice-postulator and former postulator, has worked on the cause for a number of years with the assistance of a variety people, not least was Millie Millea, the former secretary at the McGivney Guild.

In the context praying Sext (midday prayer), the brief ceremony in which the new report was signed and presented to Archbishop Henry J. Mansell was attended by Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, other Supreme Officers and other Knights of Columbus officials, three relatives of Father McGivney and a number of archdiocesan officials.

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The submission of the new report "marks an important step forward. The Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints will now have valuable additional testimony that clarifies and adds significantly to the original submission," Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said.

"Father McGivney's beatification would be an important event," Anderson added, "not only for Knights of Columbus, but for the many thousands of parish priests who quietly do the Lord's work in parishes each day and regard him as an outstanding example for priests everywhere.  In this 'Year for Priests' it is an especially appropriate step forward." When beatified, McGivney will be the first US diocesan priest beatified.

The cause for Father McGivney's sainthood was opened by Hartford Archbishop Daniel A. Cronin in December 1997. In 2000, the cause was presented to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints;  Pope Benedict XVI declared him "Venerable Servant of God" on March 15, 2008.

Father McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882 and died on August 14, 1890 at the age of 38. At the time of the founding of the Knights of Columbus he was a curate at Saint Mary's Church (New Haven, CT).

For pictures of the event see this link.

[this articled was first published at CNA and edited for clarity] 

The Rimini Meeting, mentioned here before, invited Carl Anderson, the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus to address the more than 700,000 attendees on August 28, 2009. In his address he spoke about the common, practical spirituality of the Knights as influencing works of Charity. Knowing that "Christ plays in ten thousand places, Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his", Anderson advocated a life of charity that spurs all people --at least it ought to-- to build a civilization of love based on real, lasting hope.

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The point for Catholics is not to set up another group of "do-gooder" structure no matter of the brilliance of the idea which has no grounding in the dignity of man and woman and/or with some vague understanding of Christianity, but to form a companionship, friends who are rooted in Christ Jesus. Only then can we truly, actually care for another. Many can argue rightly that people who have no faith or don't share faith in Christ can build a loving and caring society. True and there are bountiful examples of this being done all around the world. But for those who claim to be Christians, substance over sentiment is what drives. I don't do something and meet Christ. Rather, I have met Christ and therefore I live differently with myself and with my brothers and sisters around me. Otherwise we have beige Catholicism and we don't need more of that stuff.

In my opinion, Carl Anderson touches on this point: our Christian lives are not sustained by a something but a someone: Christ who sacrificed himself for us on the cross and then rose from the dead. This is the hope Christians have. If we forget this point then we Catholics are no different than the Elks lodge and that may be OK for some but I think being Catholic means something more: that we come to know our God is a personal way through helping others. Ask yourself: How am I different after I've done something for my neighbor? Has my life in Christ changed, or not? Mr. Anderson draws on sacred Scripture & Theology as well as the works of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Particularly re-read Deus caritas est.

Carl Anderson's talk can be read here

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Knights of Columbus category from September 2009.

Knights of Columbus: August 2009 is the previous archive.

Knights of Columbus: November 2009 is the next archive.

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