Father Michael McGivney portraitFather Michael McGivney was the founder of the Knights of Columbus, a fraternal organization whose aims are to provide support for its members and their families. He was born in 1852 in Waterbury, Connecticut, one of 13 children, six of whom died very young. The family learned early about sorrow and the harsh grip of poverty. However, young Michael also learned about the powers of love and faith, and family fortitude.

Father Michael McGivney recognized the importance of education as a way for people to integrate themselves into their new cultural environment and to earn a living. He saw prayer as a force for daily sustenance. He believed in the transforming power of the good news of Jesus. He humbly accepted his own frailty, and full of gratitude he praised God’s love for mankind.

Father Michael was plugged into the source of all life. He was a hero in an unassuming way responding to the call to holiness. He developed a serious case of pneumonia in January 1890 and he died on August 14 of that same year. The cause for his sainthood is under consideration by the Vatican. He was given the title “Venerable Servant of God” by the Holy See in March 2008. The bestowed title of “Venerable” marks an important step on the journey to beatification and canonization.

Our school is fortunate to have such an illustrious patron. We honour his memory by living out the gospel of Jesus. We share with our Pope Benedict XVI the hope that schools and organizations like the Knights founded by Father McGivney “will make every effort to draw young people to Jesus Christ and to help them understand that the true meaning and value of life is to be found in the generous gift of self to God and to others.”