Father Hathaway’s weekly column – July 26, 2020


Congratulations to our new Knights of Columbus Fitzgerald Council #459 officers! Installed here at the Basilica on July 25, they are: Grand Knight Damon Baldini, Deputy Grand Knight Dan Feliciano, Recorder John Kim, Financial Secretary Zach Waters, Treasurer Will Arritt, Chancellor Jim Burkart, Lecturer Chuck Zakrzwski, Advocate Robby Meara, Warden Zach Novak, Inside Guard Ryan Moy, Outside Guard Ken Hyatt, First Trustee Steve Teslik, Second Trustee Joe Castillo and Third Trustee Buck Coates.

My thanks to outgoing Grand Knight Steve Teslik and his hardworking, dedicated team for all they’ve done for the parish and community this past year. I look forward to great things from our Knights in the year to come!


In good news for Knights of Columbus here and around the world, Pope Francis has approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of Knights founder Father Michael J. McGivney. The Holy Father’s approval paves the way for Father McGivney to be beatified on October 31. The miracle involved an unborn child in the United States who was healed in utero of a life-threatening condition in 2015 after his family prayed for Father McGivney’s aid.

Born in 1852 in Waterbury, CT, Father McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882. Amid the anti-Catholic climate of his time, Father McGivney established the Knights to provide spiritual assistance to Catholic men and financial help for families that had lost their breadwinner. Today it is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization, with nearly two million members in more than a dozen countries.

Father McGivney was serving a parish in Connecticut when he died of pneumonia in 1890 at the end of a global pandemic that started in 1889 and lasted two years. According to The New York Times, recent research suggests it was caused by a coronavirus not unlike the one responsible for today’s COVID-19 pandemic.

Once Father McGivney is beatified, he will be called “Blessed” and may be publicly venerated – that is, adored or asked for intercession – in areas or churches closely associated with his earthly  life. A second miracle must be attributed to him before he can be canonized by the pope. After canonization, a person is given the title of “Saint,” appointed a feast day and can be publicly venerated by Catholics and in Catholic churches anywhere in the world.  Father Michael McGivney, pray for us!


On Thursday, October 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the Basilica, author Robert Royal, president of the Faith and Reason Institute based in Washington, DC, will speak on “A Catholic Defense of Christopher Columbus.” Among his many books is 1492 and All That: Political Manipulations of History, published in 1992, the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus. I hope you can join us that evening to learn more about this very timely issue.

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