McGivney, Michael Joseph

McGivney, Michael Joseph, 1852–1890, American Roman Catholic priest, founder of the Knights of Columbus, b. Waterbury, Conn. After studying at seminaries in Canada and the United States, he was ordained a priest in 1877. Assigned to a largely immigrant parish in New Haven, Conn., he founded (1882) the Sons of Columbus (soon the Knights of Columbus) as a fraternal mutual aid society. He continued to expand the organization until his death, and the Knights is now the largest Catholic fraternal organization in the world. He was declared a Venerable Servant of God by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008.

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