Apostle to the Young

There was in Father McGivney some spark, some magnetism, which drew the young to him. He was at ease with little children and lost some of his natural reserve and formality with them. But it was to the young adults of his day that he was given a particular mission. Father McGivney was bonded to the young men and women of his flock in a mutual admiration and respect that endured even after his death in 1890. He was relatively young himself, only 25, when he began his first priestly assignment at St. Mary's Church in New Haven, Conn., and so, he understood their aspirations as well as their struggles and temptations.

"Apostle" means "one who is sent." Father McGivney was sent by God to the young people of his time to lead them along a secure path to Christian adulthood. In an age experiencing the growing despair and violence of teenagers and young adults, it is imperative that we look to models such as Father McGivney to learn the art of drawing the youth of our society to a life of moral excellence and the nobility of Christian service of God and neighbor. No stranger to adversity, Father McGivney is an apostle to those who struggle to find meaning and purpose in life. He is a heavenly patron for young men and women of the third millennium.