Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Knights of Columbus Founder Michael J. McGivney

Michael "Mike" Vasaturo is a graduate of St. John's University in New York and has worked for New Haven Terminal in Connecticut since 1989. Mr. Vasaturo currently serves the company as vice president and CFO. Beyond his work responsibilities, Michael Vasaturo is an active member of the Knights of Columbus.

Out of a growing hostility toward Catholic immigrants and unsafe factory working conditions, Father Michael J. McGivney and a group of elected officers launched the Knights of Columbus in 1882. At the time, Father McGivney was 29 years old and served as an assistant pastor of St. Mary's Church in New Haven, Connecticut. The goal of the Knights of Columbus was to unite Catholic men and provide financial support to families of deceased members while emphasizing church, virtue, and community.

The child of Irish immigrants, Michael McGivney was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, in 1852. He attended school in a working-class neighborhood, but at the age of 13, left to work in a brass factory. 

Three years later, McGivney left the factory and traveled to Quebec with his pastor to prepare for seminary admission at the College of Saint-Hyacinthe. McGivney later attended Niagara University and St. Mary's College. 

Beginning his ministry on December 25, 1877, at St. Mary's Church in New Haven, Father McGivney provided pastoral care and service to the community until his untimely death in 1890. McGivney's funeral service is thought to be one of the most attended in the history of Waterbury, Connecticut.