Joyful Celebrant

Mosaic in the chapel at the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council office in New Haven, Conn.

Father McGivney was not one to stint when it came to celebrating. Whether preparing for the great feasts of the liturgical year or civic and religious holidays, Father McGivney was energetic and creative, working behind the scenes so that such events would bear spiritual fruit and provide good wholesome fun.

Father McGivney often served as master of ceremonies for liturgical celebrations throughout the diocese, a role that required a sense of reverence and attention to detail. The beauty of the Easter decorations at St. Mary’s Church was reported in the secular press, and the Holy Thursday repository was judged exquisite by many.

With an Irish name, and ministering to a largely Irish immigrant congregation, Father McGivney placed considerable emphasis on the annual celebration of St. Patrick's Day. Dramatic presentations and musical revues in the local rented hall required plenty of foresight in providing sets and costumes, or simply rehearsing the performers. Father McGivney was in the thick of all these activities.

St. Mary’s annual fair was an event that ran several days, and Father McGivney was always concocting new ways to entertain the parishioners, especially the young men and women who were the special object of his priestly love and concern. On one occasion he went all the way to New York to get just the right costumes and props. Another time, at the parish picnic, he insisted that there should be enough hired horses so the young, who were anxious for a horse and buggy ride, would not have to wait too long in line.

McGivney carried this priestly love and concern with him wherever he went, touching the hearts of many along the way.