“Who Was Michael McGivney and What Does He Have to Say to Us Today?”
Revisiting the person of Michael J. McGivney, a son of Irish immigrants who discerned his vocation to the priesthood in the mid-19th century and became captivated by a zeal for pastoral ministry. Who was Michael J. McGivney? What were the motivating factors in his desire to pursue a life of priestly pastoral ministry? This segment will consider: the times in which McGivney lived and the forces that motivated him to establish the Knights of Columbus; the Church and issues of his era; how Catholic population tripled between 1860-1890; effects of passage of “Blaine Amendments” prohibiting use of public funds for parochial education; America in the 1870s and the impact of Reconstruction; the 15th Amendment in 1870; the rise of labor unions and surging immigration; the first telephone exchange (1878) in New Haven, CT; effects of the Industrial Revolution; as well as Fr. McGivney’s own family circumstances and context as a member of a largely Irish immigrant community.