With the celebrated founder of the Knights of Columbus, Father Michael McGivney, scheduled for beatification this weekend, Carl Anderson, CEO of the Knights, offers some inspirational words Friday in USA TODAY. He notes that the priest lived just 38 years — and died during the pandemic of 1889-90:

As a young priest, Father McGivney asked what he could do to address the many crises that surrounded him. Everywhere he looked, he saw people drifting away from each other. So, Father McGivney resolved to unite them.

Father McGivney’s key insight was the need for fraternity, which he understood in the widest context of people uniting in common cause. He recognized that when people come together, they turn their attention away from themselves and focus instead on service to others. They strengthen one another, and in doing so, they strengthen society itself.

This vision of fraternity, rooted in unity and charity, drove Father McGivney forward. It led him to reinvigorate a benevolent society for the young people of his parish, a place where they could find wholesome activities and avoid the alienation and waywardness that defined many of their peers…

…It is impossible to separate Father McGivney’s understanding of fraternity from his Catholic faith. Yet his vision of people uniting to help those around them is applicable to Americans of all beliefs. Not only can it meet the needs of those who are suffering in this time of pandemic, it can fill the void that millions of people now feel in their own lives.

Read it all. 

Blessed Michael McGivney pray for us!

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