Below is a little project that was my brain child and now is the albatross around the neck of my workload. Great project, lots of work.
The letter is being sent by our seminarians at St. Mary's to the Knights of Columbus councils in every diocese that sends here.
February 28, 2010
Dear Brother Knights,
On December 22nd, 1877, Father Michael McGivney was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Baltimore, Maryland. As his family eagerly awaited his return to serve the Church in Connecticut, the community at St. Mary’s Seminary and University celebrated the great occasion. Seminarians from across the country who were studying under the watchful care of the Sulpician Fathers, and within the walls of the nation’s oldest Catholic seminary, raised their glasses to honor the gift of priesthood and a man filled with spirit and hope. One hundred and thirty-two years later another group of seminarians, united by the bonds of brotherhood, and same fraternal spirit that Father McGivney experienced during his time in Baltimore, will gather again to raise a glass and offer a prayer for a humble Irish priest and the brotherhood of Catholic gentlemen he inspired.
Earlier this past fall, when we returned to Saint Mary's for another year of seminary studies conversations spontaneously began in our hallways, classrooms, and across the dining room tables. As seminarians studying for the priesthood in the Year for Priests, we began to reflect upon our own journeys to answer God’s call. After sharing stories and memories, something incredible happened. Despite the various paths that brought us to the seminary, one thing remained constant: the prayers and support of our brother Knights. Whether from the mountains of West Virginia or the northern reaches of Maine, Knights of Columbus Councils, large and small alike, were a major part of our vocations and an indispensable source of support. With our rector’s blessing and encouragement, we decided to commission, and fund ourselves, a life-sized bronze bust of Father Michael McGivney, brother Knight and graduate of our seminary. Our intention in undertaking this project has always been simply to honor the Knights for their unwavering support and defense of the Church, her priests and seminarians, in a special way during this Year for Priests.
On Saturday, April 17th, our community will gather to celebrate the Eucharist, which is at the heart of our faith. We have Bishop Denis J. Madden, Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore and brother knight, to unveil and bless the bust and place it proudly in our seminary. There it will serve as a constant reminder to our community of the outstanding contribution and witness of Father Michael McGivney and you, his Knights of Columbus. As seminarians, we do not get the opportunity to say thank you enough to all of you who work so hard to support us. Your witness and example are profound and they serve as a constant reminder of what it means to serve God and His Church. We hope that Father McGivney will continue to inspire young men in their journey to priesthood, just as all of you have for us. We can think of no better place to honor Father Michael McGivney than a seminary steeped in rich tradition and proud to be America’s first, a seminary proud to call him one of its sons. We honor, we thank you and we invite you to join us and Knights from across the country on this special day. On this day to honor all of you, and a day one hundred and thirty two years later for another group of seminarians filled with hope to offer a prayer and raise a glass to an Irish priest and his brother knights who have left their indelible marks on our Church, nation, and most importantly our hearts.
Yours in Christ,