.- During his homily Saturday morning at the Mass for Clergy and Religious at St. Patrickâs Cathedral, Pope Benedict XVI made special mention of âthat exemplary American priestâ Venerable Michael J. McGivney, founder of the New Haven, Connecticut-based Knightâs of Columbus.
On March 15, Pope Benedict declared Father McGivney a âVenerable Servant of God.â The priestâs cause for canonization is presently being considered at the Vatican. Father McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882 in New Haven to strengthen the faith of and to provide financial assistance for Catholic men and their families.
In his Saturday morning homily, Pope Benedict told Americaâs clergy that the âsecret of the impressive growth of the Churchâ was a âunity of vision and purpose â rooted in a faith and a spirit of constant conversion and self-sacrifice.â
âWe need but think of the remarkable accomplishment of that exemplary American priest, the Venerable Michael McGivney, whose vision and zeal led to the establishment of the Knights of Columbus,â Pope Benedict said.
Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson, head of the Knights of Columbus, issued a statement on Saturday responding to the Popeâs praise for Father McGivney, whom Anderson called a âprime exampleâ of an American cleric.
âThe Popeâs selection of Father McGivney as a role model for todayâs priests and religious is very important for us,â Anderson said. âThousands of priests are among the 1.7 million members of the Knights of Columbus, including Cardinal Egan and hundreds of others in the Archdiocese of New York.
âEach and every day, all of us in the Knights of Columbus look to Father McGivneyâs vision and example as a guide to our work of charity and evangelization.
âAt a time when our priests are in need of our support more than ever, the Popeâs promotion of Father McGivney as a role model for clergy everywhere is both timely and enormously appreciated. We pledge our fervent support for his call to revitalize and renew the Catholic Church here and around the world.â
Carl Anderson has outlined his vision for Catholic renewal in his recent book âBuilding a Civilization of Love: What Every Catholic Can Do to Transform the World.â