Father Michael McGivney -- The Fascinating True Story of a Connecticut Priest who Changed History

Release Date: 04/07/2011

Premieres Thursday, April 21 at 9 p.m. on Connecticut Public Television (CPTV)

On October 2, 1881, a group of men, led by their 29-year-old parish priest Father Michael McGivney, met in the basement of St. Mary’s Church on Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut. Together they took a simple idea and helped make the world better. 
Father Michael McGivney, a new CPTV Original docudrama that premieres Thursday, April 21 at 9 p.m., chronicles the life of the founder of the Knights of Columbus, a New Haven-based organization that has become the world’s largest Catholic family fraternal service organization and has since grown to 1.7 million members worldwide helping countless families and individuals.
Born of poor Irish immigrants in Waterbury, Michael McGivney (1852-1890)knew all too well the struggles of immigrant families. When his own father died suddenly, he was summoned to return home from his seminary studies in Maryland to help care for his mother and siblings. All throughout the immigrant community, he saw families split apart and devastated by the untimely death of the father and wage earner. And he vowed to one day help remedy the problem.
 
The one-hour special recounts McGivney’s founding vision for the Knights of Columbus: to offer a life insurance program for widows and orphans of deceased members. Through archival footage and dramatic recreations, the film offers with gripping clarity the struggles of McGivney to help his parishioners; the early start of the burgeoning Knights of Columbus organization in New Haven; his reassignment to a parish in Thomaston, Connecticut; and his eventual battle with pneumonia, dying at the age of 38.     
 
In 2008, the Vatican declared McGivney “venerable,” and he is considered a strong favorite to become the first American-born priest to be declared a Catholic saint.
  
Father Michael McGivney is being distributed nationally and will air on various public television stations nationwide over the coming months.
 
Father Michael McGivney is made possible by the support of the Knights of Columbus.
 
Father Michael McGivneyis produced by Lou Reda Productions and distributed to public television stations nationally by Connecticut Public Television.
 
About Connecticut Public Television
CPTV is a media service of the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN). It is a locally and nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming, including UConn Women’s Basketball, original documentaries and educational programming. CPTV has built a reputation as a leader in children’s programming, including playing an historic role in bringing Barney & Friends™, Bob the Builder™ and Thomas & Friends™ to public television. The station offers 11 hours of positive, nurturing children’s programs each weekday, reaching 50,000 to 70,000 households daily. The Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network also includes WNPR, an affiliate of National Public Radio, Public Radio International and American Public Media. WNPR serves over 200,000 listeners weekly in Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island with news and information. Its award-winning local programming includes The Faith Middleton Show and Where We Live hosted by John Dankosky. Overall, the network brings a broad spectrum of public affairs, entertainment, sports and educational programming to viewers, listeners and readers. For more information, visit www.cptv.org. 
 
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