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How Fr. McGivney, the new American blessed, fought anti-Catholic prejudice

The legacy of Fr. McGivney is the organization he founded – the Knights of Columbus. But beatification recognizes how he lived.



This weekend, there will be six US citizen Blesseds, with the beatification of Fr. Michael McGivney. The priest founded the Knights of Columbus, the well known fraternal organization that has taken up thousands of charity projects throughout the world.But Fr. McGivney’s beatification recognizes his personal life of sanctity, not the work of the Knights. And that life was a stepping stone to bring about a changed role for Catholics in the United States.


Many Americans today have no idea how hard it was to be Catholic and American just some short years ago.


But that was the reality that the McGivney family — and the families of friends and neighbors — lived every day.


And it was part of the inspiration for the Knights of Columbus, which would be a safety net so that widows and orphans wouldn’t have to face unspeakable miseries.


McGivney was born in 1852 and he founded the Knights 30 years later.


It was in part thanks to McGivney and the Knights that Catholics little by little took on a much different role in the United States.

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