McGivney Institutions and Memorials
A number of institutions and memorials have been named in honor of Venerable Father Michael McGivney.
at John Fisher Seminary
A stained-glass window depicting Father McGivney was dedicated Sept. 12, 2009, at St. John Fisher Seminary in Stamford, Conn.
Supreme Chaplain Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport celebrated a dedication Mass at the seminary chapel. The Mass was attended by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson and his wife, Dorian.
The window was created by Rohl’s Stained and Leaded Glass Studio of New Rochelle, N.Y.
• McGivney Center for Cancer Care
• McGivney Hall at Catholic University
• Window at National Shrine
• Father Michael J. McGivney Academy
• McGivney House
• Father Michael J. McGivney Boulevard
• Father Michael J. McGivney Building
• St. Mary of the Cataract Church
• Sacred Heart Church, Norwichtown
• Calgary Knights Honor Father McGivney
• Father McGivney Memorial Sculpture
• Utah Bishop Blesses Stained-Glass of Father McGivney
• Statue Blessed in Father McGivney’s Own Parish
• ‘Place of Honor’ in Ottawa Basilica
Insurance General Agent Marc Madore donated $2,000 to the Venerable Michael J. McGivney Honoris Committee, chaired by Michael O’Neill. The funds will be used to establish and maintain a honoris (place of honor) to Father McGivney in the grotto of St. Patrick’s Basilica in Ottawa. Both the committee and the agency aim to increase devotion to Father McGivney through this site.
.A 4-foot statue of Father McGivney stands at the center of the prayer site, in front of kneelers, and there are canonization prayer cards available in both English and French. Copies of Columbia magazine in English and French are also placed on tables. The windows on the back wall of the honoris shows the Order’s emblem, Fourth Degree emblem, Squires emblem and the Knights of Columbus Insurance shield.
Explaining his donation and devotion to Father McGivney, Madore commented that it was “fitting that the insurance division of the Order be in a position to promote Venerable Father Michael McGivney,” given the fact that the priest founded the Knights to provide financial protection to families. “We’ve come full circle,” Madore noted.
In the Connecticut parish where Father Michael McGivney served as pastor, a statue of the founder was installed by the local council and blessed by the current pastor. With the encouragement of Father Robert J. Grant, Atlantic Council 18 of Thomaston purchased the 4-foot, gold-colored statue of Father McGivney from the Supreme Council Supply Department and had it installed just inside the front entrance of St. Thomas Church. During Sunday Mass, Nov. 11, Father Grant blessed the statue and asked parishioners to turn to Father McGivney as a heavenly intercessor in times of trouble and illness.
A Fourth Degree honor guard took part in the ceremony.
Also attending the Mass and blessing ceremony were Connecticut State Deputy Ralph Grandpre, a member of Council 18, and Vice Postulator Brian Caulfield, who delivered a brief talk after Mass on the life and legacy of Father McGivney. He stressed the fact that Father McGivney, who served as the second pastor of St. Thomas Church from 1884 till his death in 1890, walked the very grounds of the parish, which renamed the street outside the church Father McGivney Way.
Showing that they serve as the “strong right arm” of their pastor, the Knights of Bishop Joseph Federal Council 14399 in South Ogden, Utah, jumped at the chance to bring an image of Father McGivney to their parish church. When Past State Deputy Ray Lopez was visiting the council, which meets in Holy Family Church, the pastor, Father Patrick Elliott, brought him to a spot where he said he wanted to install a stained-glass window of Father McGivney. It was a tall order, given the expense of original stained-glass, but with Lopez’s encouragement, the council stepped up for the challenge.
Council 14399 worked with a liturgical designer to create and install the window, which was blessed by Salt Lake City Bishop John C. Wester on Aug. 18, 2012. The $20,000 cost was raised through council breakfasts, bingo, raffles, fish fries and a golf tournament. Grand Knight David Donahoe and Past Grand Knight Joseph Hudak led the effort. “Basically, the people in the parish have supported us in the things we’ve done,” Donahoe said.
“The stained glass certainly enhances a building in the Catholic Church used for worship,” Father Elliott told the Ogden Standard-Examiner newspaper.
Father McGivney occupies a place in the church near a stained-glass image of Blessed (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta.
As a memorial to her late husband, Fourth Degree Knight Raymond Pelishek, Peggy Pelishek commissioned a sculpture of Father Michael McGivney and donated it to his council — La Crosse (Wis.) Council 839.
The sculpture took a year and a half to complete. and it was crafted by Father Joseph Watson while he was in residence at Our Lady of Spring Bank Abbey in Sparta, Wis. Father Watson began by making charcoal drawings of Father McGivney based on photographs, drawings and paintings he was able to find. His next step was to sculpt a three-dimensional likeness in clay that served as a base from which to make a mold. Father Watson experimented with a variety of materials (including plaster, dental stone and gypsum products), finally settling on using orthodontic stone — a material that is used by dentists to fabricate models used when straightening teeth.
Father Watson originally intended to make a relief wood carving, but after determining that approach would not work, he decided to make a cast instead. Because a mold was used to cast the sculpture, additional pieces of the artwork can also be cast.
The cherry wood framework that encases the sculpture was created by a local woodworker.
With support from Calgary local councils and the Supreme Council, Knights donated $235,000 to renovate an old Protestant church into the new Father Michael J. McGivney Hall at St. Mary’s University College, the only school of its kind in Canada that prepares teachers to work specifically in Catholic schools. A plaque commemorating the Order’s contribution was blessed by Calgary Bishop Frederick B. Henry in a ceremony on the campus.
The Hospital of Saint Raphael in New Haven, Conn., founded and sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth, has been a leader in cancer care for more than 50 years.
Several years ago, that care took on new dimensions with the dedication of the Father Michael J. McGivney Center for Cancer Care. Part of the Saint Raphael Healthcare System, the cancer center offers a multidisciplinary treatment approach to help patients and their families face the terrible challenges of this dreaded disease.
On June 2, 2009, the Saint Raphael Healthcare System dedicated the
new Hamden Campus of the Father Michael J. McGivney Center.
Father McGivney's name has become a household word among the staff and patients of the cancer center named in his memory. An imposing statue of Father McGivney stands in the front of the center. Sculpted by Stanley Bleifeld, the statue captures a youthful Father McGivney's strength and determination in caring for the poor and the suffering. The sculpture was donated by the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council.
With an $8 million grant from the Knights of Columbus, The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., renovated a prominent building on campus into McGivney Hall.
McGivney Hall will serve as the new home for the North American campus of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, a graduate school of theology affiliated with the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, as well as CUA.
Several years ago, Knights of Columbus Supreme Chaplain Bishop Thomas V. Daily, bishop emeritus of Brooklyn, N.Y., blessed a new stained-glass window of Father McGivney at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The window is in the lower sacristy of the Crypt Church of the National Shrine and was a gift from the Knights. The National Shrine has similar windows of Mother Teresa, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and the late Cardinal John Krol of Philadelphia.
Side altars and chapels throughout the basilica commemorate the contributions and piety of Catholics of every ethnic heritage. Dedicated to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, the basilica now represents the history of Catholicism in the United States and has become, in effect, a national church.
Built at the cost of $20 million by the York Catholic School District in the early 1990s, Father Michael J. McGivney Academy is a state of the art high school with 1,450 students. Stained-glass windows at the school contributed by Markham Knights of Columbus depict Father McGivney comforting widows, orphans and the sick.
The Victoria Human Exchange Society in British Columbia named its newest home for Father Michael J. McGivney. The eighth opened by the society, the home serves men with little means who are working to acquire skills they need to achieve independence. Knights of Columbus on Vancouver Island and the Knights of Columbus (B.C.) Charity Foundation contributed start-up funding for the house.
Father Michael J. McGivney Boulevard
On April 18, 2004, city officials in Waterbury, Conn., Father McGivney’s hometown, renamed one of their city’s main streets Father Michael J. McGivney Boulevard. The city officials were joined at dedication ceremonies by Hartford Archbishop Henry J. Mansell, Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson and more than 200 Connecticut Knights and their family members.
Father McGivney street signs were unveiled on Waterbury’s Grand Street, which is home to city and state offices. A small park at one end of the street features a large bronze statue of Father McGivney that was dedicated in 1957 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Knights.
After recounting Father McGivney’s life and the founding of the Knights, Archbishop Mansell described Father McGivney as an "ideal priest" who understood the needs of his parishioners and responded with "effective action" by founding the Knights. Father McGivney, he said, "stands for ideals" of service, and the Knights stand for the "building up of society for the common good."
Immaculate Conception Parish in Waterbury, Conn., where Michael McGivney worshiped as a boy and where he celebrated his first Mass, named its new meeting hall, a former Episcopal church, for Father McGivney.
Mosaic at St. Mary of the Cataract Church, Niagara Falls, N.Y.
The most eye-catching feature of a $200,000 renovation at 157-year-old St. Mary of the Cataract Church in Niagara Falls, N.Y., is a series of eight roundels, or round portraits, that adorn the church's interior. The mosaics feature North American saints such as Elizabeth Ann Seton, Frances Xavier Cabrini and Katharine Drexel, as well as Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha and other notable American Catholic figures.
One image is of Father McGivney, who studied in the early 1870s at the College and Seminary of Our Lady of Angels — now Niagara University.
Father Michael H. Burzynski said his church's new look will bring greater attention to the cause of Father McGivney’s sainthood.
"We’re a great American church, overlooking [Niagara] Falls and serving as the chief tourist church for the area. We're bringing him to the attention of many of the hundreds of thousands of people who come here from all over the world," Father Burzynski said.
Thus far there has been a positive response when worshipers learn the name behind the face of Father McGivney. "It’s been fantastic. People will say, 'Oh, Father McGivney… I’ve heard of him,'" Father Burzynski said.
Front Doors at Sacred Heart Church in Norwichtown, Conn.
Father McGivney is memorialized at Sacred Heart Church in Norwichtown, Conn., where 18-inch stained-glass insets in new mahogany doors grace the church's entrance. The windows are part of a $450,000 renovation of the church, funded by parishioners and Knights of Columbus of White Cross Council 13 in Norwich.
Father McGivney's face is featured on a blue-green diamond background at the center of one of the new doors. The Knights of Columbus emblem is located at the center of the adjacent door. Each stained-glass inset is surrounded by gold, amber and purple scrollwork that matches the pattern on the church’s main doors.
Artists from Bovard Studio of Fairfield, Iowa, created the stained-glass tribute.
The newly renovated church was rededicated in Jan. 2004, during a Mass celebrated by Bishop Michael R. Cote of Norwich. The bishop blessed the new doors and the altar.
Council 13 paid for the renovation with the money they received and invested from the sale of their council home.