NEW HAVEN, Conn., June 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A documentary on the life of the young Connecticut priest who founded the Knights of Columbus is now available on DVD. The film previously aired on several PBS affiliates throughout the United States.
Father Michael McGivney chronicles the life and times of the founder of what has become the world's largest Catholic fraternal group, with more than 1.8 million members organized in 15,000 councils around the world. A strong charitable force within their communities, the Knights donated more than $167.5 million and 70 million hours to charitable causes last year alone.
Born in Connecticut of Irish immigrant parents just a few years before the Civil War, Michael McGivney grew up in a time when millions of Catholic immigrants were struggling to overcome poverty and prejudice.
His own family was not spared. When his father died suddenly, McGivney left the Jesuit seminary in Montreal to return home. He was able to continue his studies at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, thanks to the financial help of the bishop of Hartford. Throughout the immigrant community, he saw families split apart and devastated by the untimely death of a breadwinner. These tragedies and his experience as a young parish priest had a deep effect on him, leading him to found the Knights of Columbus to aid widows and orphans, protect Catholic families, engage in acts of charity and strengthen the faith of its members.
"At a time when Catholics and Catholic immigrants were being marginalized, Father McGivney saw the opportunity to bring the men of his parish together to strengthen their faith, to engage in charitable activities, and to protect their families," said Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. "His work has touched millions of lives, and this documentary film provides an excellent introduction to his life and legacy."
Through archival footage and dramatic recreations, the gripping one-hour film covers Father McGivney's short but eventful life of 38 years and provides a window into his unique solutions to the challenges his parishioners faced — solutions so timeless they continue to be relevant today.
Showing the range of his pastoral actions, from ministering to prisoners to aiding widows and orphans, the documentary reveals a priest committed to helping those on the margins of society, a priest who may one day be the first American-born parish priest to be declared a saint. In 2008, the Vatican declared Father McGivney "Venerable," a significant step on the road to sainthood. His cause for beatification is under consideration at the Vatican.
The film can be ordered by visiting http://www.fathermcgivney.org/ .
SOURCE Knights of Columbus