Today, we celebrate Founder’s Day, which marks the date on which the Knights of Columbus was granted its charter by the State of Connecticut in 1882 and which honors, in a particular way, our visionary Founder.
This Founder’s Day is the first since Father McGivney’s beatification, and it provides us with an opportunity to reflect upon the importance of that momentous event and its meaning for our Order today.
Blessed Michael McGivney was inspired to create a band of Catholic gentlemen, devoted to the principles of charity and unity — helping those in need; growing in faith and virtue as Catholic husbands and fathers; and providing financial security to families.
I believe that the beatification of Father McGivney was a testament and affirmation of his spiritual vision. And we should each feel encouraged in realizing that vision to this day. For even if the challenges facing Catholic men have changed, the mission set forth by our Founder remains as relevant as ever.
Brother Knights, as many of our communities hope that better days are now before us, we should examine when and how we can return to normal council activities, with all due prudence and in accord with what is possible in our jurisdictions. We should also be inspired by those brave men who weathered a great deal of hardship — including a pandemic — in the first years of the Order, so that the world and our Church might be made better by faithful men standing together. Those early Knights were not rash in their actions, but they were courageous in laying down their lives by serving others, and building up their families, parishes and communities. Together, let us continue to reach out to our neighbors in need and to build up our own families, parishes and communities. In so doing, we will honor our holy Founder and ultimately give glory to God.
Blessed Michael McGivney, pray for us.
Patrick E. Kelly
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