By Jessica Easthope
For the Knights of Columbus, Father Michael McGivney has always been looked at as a saint.
“He was just a parish priest, there was nothing special about him in the sense that he was someone, already was like a Mother Theresa or someone like that who you could think of as a saint,” said John Baer, a Grand Knight at the Monsignor Sherman Council in Glendale, Queens.
Now Fr. McGivney is one step closer to official sainthood.
“It’s fitting that a man, a priest of this stature where miracles have taken place is being beatified,“ said Frank Kotnik, a fourth-degree Knight.
Earlier this week, Pope Francis approved a miracle attributed to Fr. McGivney’s intercession, paving the way to his beatification.
“There was a child that was in distress and it was healed in utero, the parents prayed to Father McGivney and the baby was healed and born perfect,” Father Michael Gelfant, Associate New York State Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus, said of Fr. McGivney’s miracle.
Fr. Gelfant says that knowing the history of the organization’s humble beginnings, possible sainthood for its founder would be a dream come true.
“It’s huge, but what does God have to say about it, and sanctity comes in many different ways,” Fr. Gelfant explained.
Father McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882 to provide financial support to families, often immigrants, who lost their breadwinners.
“These new immigrants today not only have their own families if they’re here, but they have us as well,” said John.
Fr. McGivney died at the age of 38 during a flu epidemic, and it’s his work that has inspired the more than two million Knights across the world to take action during this pandemic.
“The Knights of Columbus in Brooklyn and Queens have assisted Catholic Charities in feeding thousands and thousands of people,” Frank told Currents News.
“We still want to continue, one way or another to help those in need,” added John, “and in Fr. McGivney’s name.”