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What the Knights of Columbus founder can tell us today


Priest collar. Photo credit: alphaspirit via wwwshutterstockcom CNA

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New Haven, Conn., Apr 4, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- When parish priest Father Michael J. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882, he showed that holiness has a timeless quality, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore has said.

“It’s not hard for us to see that Fr. McGivney was a priest of charity and mercy. Pastoral charity permeated his priestly ministry: he was filled with love for his parishioners; engaged with their needs; involved in their moments of joy but also times of loss and sorrow,” Archbishop Lori, Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus, said March 29.

The archbishop spoke on the 135th anniversary of the founding of the Knights of Columbus at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Conn., the church where Fr. McGivney founded the Catholic fraternity that now has 1.9 million members worldwide.

Archbishop Lori reflected on the life of Fr. McGivney, who died in 1890 at the age of 38.

“How many confessions he heard within the walls of this church and how many people’s hearts did he open to the mercies of God,” he said. “It’s not too surprising, then, that when the Knights were founded in this very church their first and abiding principle would be charity – not the ersatz charity that talks big but does little – but a true love and concern for the orphan and widow and the outcast.”

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