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5 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven, Connecticut │Photo by Jeff Bruno © Knights of Columbus

Our warmest wishes for a joyful Christmas and a grace-filled New Year
Father Michael J. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus in St. Mary’s Church, New Haven’s oldest Catholic parish, in 1882. By decree of His Holiness Pope Francis, this exemplary parish priest was raised to the honors of the altar and declared Blessed Michael McGivney on October 31, 2020, in Hartford, Connecticut. Father McGivney was ordained in Baltimore on December 22, 1877, and celebrated his first solemn Mass on Christmas Day. Early in 1878, he began his first priestly assignment as a curate at St. Mary’s, where he established the Knights of Columbus to protect Catholic families and provide a practical path for men to live the truth of Christian charity.

In this photo, the official image from Father McGivney’s beatification is seen with the sanctuary and apse of St. Mary’s in the background. During preparations for the extensive repair work and recent restoration of St. Mary’s, sponsored by the Order, several decorative elements were discovered from the time of Father McGivney’s ministry in New Haven. These were reintroduced as part of the restoration, which was completed in August 2020, in time for the 138th Supreme Convention and beatification.