“At a time when Catholics and Catholic immigrants were being marginalized, Father McGivney saw the opportunity to bring the men of his parish together to strengthen their faith, to engage in charitable activities, and to protect their families,” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson of the Knights of Columbus said June 10.
“His work has touched millions of lives, and this documentary film provides an excellent introduction to his life and legacy.”
The documentary “Father Michael McGivney” uses archival footage and dramatic recreations to tell the story of the priest, who died in 1890 at the age of 38.
Fr. McGivney, born in 1852 to Irish immigrants in Connecticut before the Civil War, left the Jesuit seminary in Montreal when his father died and continued to study at his diocese’s seminary.
He witnessed Catholic immigrant families who were devastated when their breadwinner died.
He founded the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal charitable organization, to help widows, orphans and families to strengthen the Catholic faith.
The organization now has over 1.8 million members in 15,000 councils worldwide.
The Knights of Columbus said that the documentary shows how the priest’s response to his parishioners’ challenges provides “solutions so timeless they continue to be relevant today.”
In 2008 Pope Benedict XVI officially recognized Fr. McGivney for showing heroic virtue, declaring him “venerable.” The act marked one milestone in his possible path to sainthood.
If he is canonized, he would the first U.S.-born parish priest to be declared a saint.
The documentary on his life has been broadcast on several PBS affiliates. It may be purchased on DVD through the website www.fathermcgivney.org, which also presents more information about the priest.
A documentary about Venerable Michael McGivney, the 19th century priest who founded the Knights of Columbus, is now available on DVD.
Cause for Canonization, Knights of Columbus