Father Michael McGivney was born in Waterbury, Conn., on August 12, 1852. His parents, Patrick and Mary (Lynch) McGivney, had arrived in the great 19th century wave of Irish immigration. Patrick McGivney became a molder in the heat and noxious fumes of a Waterbury brass mill. Mary McGivney gave birth to 13 children, six of whom died in infancy or childhood. Therefore, the first child, Michael, with four living sisters and two brothers, learned early about sorrow and the harsh grip of poverty. Thanks to his parents’ example, he also learned about the powers of love and faith, and family fortitude.
Through the Knights of Columbus, Father McGivney gave Catholic laymen a new opportunity – the chance to grow in holiness while contributing to their parishes, communities and the security of their families. Today, more and more Church leaders are recognizing his spiritual genius in animating the laity.