September 24, 2009 // Uncategorized

Beatification of Knights of Columbus founder seen within two years

By Jack Sheedy

HARTFORD, Conn. (CNS) — Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, said he hopes that consideration of new evidence of a possible miracle will lead to the beatification of the founder of the Knights of Columbus within two years.

Anderson made the remarks to The Catholic Transcript, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Hartford, moments before Hartford Archbishop Henry J. Mansell signed documents containing new information gathered by the tribunal that is investigating the cause for canonization for Father Michael J. McGivney.

The documents, which remain secret, were sealed Sept. 22 in the presence of about 50 witnesses and prepared for delivery to the Vatican.

Father McGivney (1852-90) was a priest of the Archdiocese of Hartford who founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882 in New Haven. The cause for his sainthood formally began in Hartford in 1997.

Anderson said the ceremony marked “a very important day for the cause of Father McGivney because it is the conclusion of the medical evidence and assessment (of) the miracle that’s been submitted, or what we hope will be considered a miracle, and so this is a very important step for us.”

As to how much longer the sainthood process might take, he said, “Well, the fact that the Congregation (for Saints’ Causes) has declared Father McGivney to be (a) venerable servant of God (in March 2008) means that it is now on a higher priority track, so we hope, once all the material that has been obtained through this process is assessed and put in a written report to the congregation, that they’ll act with expedition. So maybe within two years.”

Also present at the signing ceremony was Andrea Ambrosi, postulator or promoter for the cause of Father McGivney’s sainthood. Ambrosi took over the position about a year ago from Dominican Father Gabriel O’Donnell, vice president and academic dean at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, who is now vice postulator.

Ambrosi has been postulator for the causes of about 300 candidates for sainthood, about 10 of whom have become saints, he said.

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