Father Michael McGivney
Docudrama chronicles the life of the founder of the Knights of Columbus
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 CPTV Original docudrama that premiered Thursday, April 21, 2011, chronicles the life of the founder of the Knights of Columbus, an 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, start the burgeoning Knights of Columbus organization and eventually lose his own 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.