Protector of Christian Family Life
Sent to serve the young of his flock, Father McGivney in turn “sent” the young men under his guidance and direction into the world to become good husbands and fathers, true knights for God and country.
His work with the young was but a steppingstone to the formation of strong Catholic families. His dedication to the ideal of Christian manhood, expressed so clearly in the founding of the Knights of Columbus, was never allowed to obscure his ultimate goal of protecting the good of the entire family unit. Just a couple of years after the Order was established, he began to limit his involvement in the Knights, so as to be available to his whole flock.
Though focused on the task at hand, he never lost sight of his ultimate purpose: to care for and strengthen Christian families.
In a sense, the founding of the Knights of Columbus was a means rather than an end; a means to strengthen husbands and fathers so that they could, in turn, strengthen their families in the faith and secure their material well-being.
Father McGivney also regarded politics as a means to build a better society and protect the Christian family life. An example of this regard can be seen below in an excerpt from one of Father McGivney’s sermons, which was recorded by the New Haven Observer in 1884.
“My friends, the political campaign is rapidly drawing to a close and the time has come to decide which of the numerous presidential candidates shall receive your vote. In casting your ballots you should look well to the responsibilities under which every citizen of this free government is placed. Let not the soft or alluring words of tricky politicians, or the seductive dollar turn you a hair's breadth from your lawful path. Vote not as other men dictate, but rather like men with the interest of your country at heart. Vote according to the dictates of your own consciences.”