160th Birthday of Ven. Fr. M. McGivney – NYC – Sunday 12 Aug – Mass, Luncheon, Lecture

As a Knight of Columbus, though rather inactive for quite a while, I am happy to let people know about good things the KCs are doing.

For example, this upcoming Sunday is the 160th Anniversary of the birth of Venerable Fr. Michael J. McGivney, who founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882.  He was born on 12  August 1852, and baptized 19 August. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Hartford in 1877.

Thus, if you are in New York City this Sunday, my favorite KC Council, the Regina Coeli Council, #423, is sponsoring a Luncheon and Lecture about Fr. McGivney after the 10 AM Mass at the Church of the Holy Innocents (on 37th between Broadway and 7th Ave near Herald Square).

Fr. McGivney was only 38 when he died in 1890.

When I was did the course, or Studium, with the Congregation for Causes of Saints, one of the positiones I had to read was that of Fr. McGivney.

Although no American-born Catholic priest has yet been beatified or canonized. Fr. McGivney is one of four priests whose life of heroic virtues have been confirmed by decree and who are now called Venerable. The other three priestly Venerables are Nelson Baker (+1936), Solanus Casey (+1957) and, recently, Fulton Sheen (+1979). Three of these four were diocesan priests.  It is possible that Fr. Baker (a late vocation) and Fr. McGivney may have even known each other: it seems that could have attended Our Lady of the Angels Seminary (today Niagara University) at the same time. Here’s a link to the Fr. McGivney Guild, if you are interested in learning more about Fr. McGivney or joining the Guild.

A miracle for his Beatification has been under investigation by the Vatican since 2000.

You may, by the way, notice Q&A on the Guild site discouraging prayer to Fr. McGivney.  There is an explanation.  As part of the process for a cause, it must be established that there is absolutely no public cult direct to the person of the Servant of God in question.  Public cult can dreadfully complicate a cause.  Therefore, prayer is directed to God the Father asking that a miracle be worked through the intercession of a Servant of God.

Please use the combox to provide more information about other events celebrating the 160th Anniversary of Fr. McGivney’s birth.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Michael_Thoma says:

    “As part of the process for a cause, it must be established that there is absolutely no public cult direct to the person of the Servant of God in question. Public cult can dreadfully complicate a cause. ”

    Fr. Z, Why?

  2. acardnal says:

    Curiously, the 130th Supreme Convention of the KofC is underway in Anaheim, California. Many, many bishops and Cardinals are attending in addition to the Apostolic Nuncio. It is being broadcast on EWTN.

  3. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Public cult without permission is a sign of disobedience. Disobedience is a “bad fruit” which tends to discredit the idea that God’s favor is involved, and instead says that it’s just a human thing or a devilish thing.

    Private devotion to a Servant of God or a Venerable is okey-doke, within the limits Fr. Z described above.

  4. introibo says:

    He’s a local boy! His body is entombed at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, which I visit on occasion.

  5. Mike Morrow says:

    One hopes that the cause for US Army Chaplain Emil Kapaun, Servant of God, will also progress.


    A truly heroic person in every sense of the word.

  6. acardnal says:

    Good point, Mike Morrow. And let’s not forget the cause of Chaplain Vincent R. Capodanno, USN, Vietnam, and Medal of Honor recipient whose cause is also moving forward.

  7. JKnott says:

    Father Z, thank you for the information on Father McGivney
    There is a full size statue of Father McGivney, in a gesture of preaching, on public property, in the city of his birth. So far no atheists have filed a lawsuit over it.
    The Dominicans have charge of St. Mary’s in New Haven, on the Yale campus, where the Knights were founded, and where his crypt resides as introibo mentioned. When the church was built, the steeple was not finished. The K of C had the steeple built in recent times and its spire is the tallest structure in the city. Just some trivia.

    The cause for another American born priest from Pilsan, Kansas, Father Emil Kapaun 1916-1951 is up as well and a miracle is under investigation. He entered the U. S. Army Chaplain Corps in 1944 and died in a Korean POW camp after showing great heroic virtue. There is a DVD and a book about him: “Shepherd in Combat Boots.” Great story. It is so good to hear about American priests up for sainthood.

  8. Matt R says:

    I recommend The Grunt Padre, the book about Fr Vincent R Capodanno.
    Also, I hope the cause in the Diocese of Richmond and the Diocese of Arlington proceeds (I can’t remember who is being looked at argh!)
    And don’t forget Fr Flanagan!

  9. Michael_Thoma says:

    Public cult without permission is a sign of disobedience. Disobedience is a “bad fruit” which tends to discredit the idea that God’s favor is involved, and instead says that it’s just a human thing or a devilish thing.


  10. Pingback: Homeschooling, Wisdom, Fr. McGivney, Sex, Coptic Church | Big ?ulpit

  11. sirknight says:

    A quick update, Fr. Z–on yesterday’s broadcast of the Knights’ Supreme Convention, the Supreme Knight in his report said that the supposed miracle that WAS under investigation was determinied not to be a miracle. There is, however, another currently under investigation by the Congregation! Vivat Jesus!

  12. John V says:

    Matt R
    Perahps you are thinking of Servant of God Francis J. Parater, Seminarian.

  13. Denis Crnkovic says:

    I spent eight alternately happy and scary years in New Haven and return there on occasion for various reasons. I was always fascinated by St Mary’s Church which sits smack in the middle of the Yale University campus. Not only fascinated, but pleased that St Mary’s in those days (1970s and 80s) was one of the few places at which one could hear and sing Gregorian chant. Fr McGivney was revered and there was a commemoration of his work on carved on a notice on the church. Since those days the venerable (and, in my humble estimation, certainly “canonizable”) father has been granted a deserved resting place in the church itself. Fr McGivney (whose cause is supported in many places throughout the U.S., including in the basement chapel of St Anthony of Padua Chaurch in Des Moines, Iowa, where the Tridentine Mass is celebrated every Sunday faithfully and reverently ) managed to found, sustain and grow a necessary identity for Catholics in southern New England when anti-Catholic sentiment was so elevated that the “venerable” [sarcasm intended] New York Times in those days ran a nasty, negative article that implied how the construction of St Mary’s on New Haven’s Hillhouse Avenue had marred the beauty of the street and had been built on the backs of the poor. I only ask that the Knights pray for the addition of their founder to the Church’s calendar of saints. (Then it’s on to Father Kundek of Indiana…)

  14. bookworm says:

    Another U.S. priest in the VERY early stages of sainthood process (Servant of God) is Fr. Augustus Tolton, a priest of the Diocese of Quincy (now Springfield), Ill. and one of the first (if not the first) African-American priests in the U.S.


  15. moconnor says:

    Let’s not forget that Fr. McGivney’s vision was to extend to all Catholic men the blessings of being in a group like the Ancient Order of Hibernians, of which he was a member. This was one of the principal reasons the KofC was founded.

  16. Matt R says:

    Yes I would be thank you!
    I learned about his cause from the Scout Chaplain, because Francis. J. Parater was an Eagle Scout.

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