Today (March 29th) we honour the work of a Catholic Organization considered to be the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization – The Knights of Columbus.
We recognize today the organization's founder, the Venerable Father Michael Joseph McGivney, born on August 12, 1852 in Waterbury, Connecticut, died August 14, 1890 in Thomaston, Connecticut. On March 29, 1882, while Pastor at St. Mary's Church in New Haven, Connecticut, Father McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus with a small group of parishioners.
Today, the Knights of Columbus has almost two million members world wide, donating about $175 million annually to a broad range of charities. The organization originally developed into a fraternal benefit society dedicated to providing charitable services, promoting Catholic Education and actively promoting Catholic values. Last year alone, Brother Knights volunteered over 70 million hours to charitable services.
Many of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board staff are directly involved with local councils in Hamilton. Many students over the years have benefited from the charitable acts of the Knights as recipients of graduation awards, receiving sponsorship for special events and projects, participating in athletic events like the Basketball Free Throw Competition as well as the Keeping Christ in Christmas, and the Anti- Substance Abuse poster contests.
Over the last few years, the Knights of Columbus has been a major donor and has had a major presence at our annual Catholic High School Graduates Mass celebration, bringing together graduates from our seven secondary schools to celebrate Catholic education with the Bishop. This year Graduate Mass celebration will take place on Wednesday, May 10, 2017.
Today, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board would like to recognize the legacy of the Venerable Fr. McGivney, and the work and service of our local Knights of Columbus Councils in Hamilton, who continue to be an integral part of our mission and vision of believing, achieving and serving. In solidarity, please begin your school day with prayers below.
O Great and Glorious God, you imbued your holy priest, Father Michael J. McGivney, with deep priestly virtue and especially with pastoral concern for the poor, the orphan, the widow, for the Christian Education of youth, for the protection of the faith of the working man of his day.
Now that his priestly ministry continues to spread to countless millions throughout the world through the efforts and influence of the Order of the Knights of Columbus, which Father McGivney founded, we beseech you, Heavenly Father, to raise Your faithful servant, Michael, to the honours of the altar. We ask this favour through our Lord Jesus Christ and His holy mother, Mary and our mother.
God, our Father, protector of the poor and defender of the widow and orphan, you called your priest, Father Michael J. McGivney, to be an apostle of Christian family life and to lead the young to the generous service of their neighbor. Through the example of his life and virtue may we follow your Son, Jesus Christ, more closely, fulfilling his commandment of charity and building up his Body which is the Church. Let the inspiration of your servant prompt us to greater confidence in your love so that we may continue his work of caring for the needy and the outcast. We humbly ask that you glorify your venerable servant Father Michael J. McGivney on earth according to the design of your holy will. Through his intercession, grant the favor I now present (here make your request). Through Christ our Lord. Amen.http://www.fathermcgivney.org/mcg/en/http://www.kofc.org/en/