ROCKLAND — In honor of Blessed Father Michael McGivney’s feast day (Aug. 13), the Knights of Columbus Limerock Council #136 in Rockland and William S. Brannagan Council #3942 in Belfast will have a public evening Mass Thursday, Aug. 12, at 6:30 p.m. at St. Bernard Church on 150 Broadway in Rockland.

Blessed Father McGivney, who was born Aug. 12, 1852, is the patron and founder of the Knights of Columbus.

In May 2020, Pope Francis approved the promulgation of a decree recognizing a miracle attributed to the intercession of McGivney, meaning he can be declared “Blessed,” a step away from sainthood. He was beatified in October 2020.

The miracle recognized as coming through McGivney’s intercession involved an unborn child in the U.S., who in 2015 was healed in-utero of a life-threatening condition after prayers by his family to McGivney. An additional miracle attributed to McGivney’s intercession will be required for his canonization as a saint.

McGivney is known for founding the Knights of Columbus in 1882.

“Father McGivney has inspired generations of Catholic men to roll up their sleeves and put their faith into action,” Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said.

“He was decades ahead of his time in giving the laity an important role within the Church. Today, his spirit continues to shape the extraordinary charitable work of Knights as they continue to serve those on the margins of society as he served widows and orphans in the 1880s. Father McGivney also remains an important role model for parish priests around the world and left us a transformative legacy of effective cooperation between the laity and clergy.”

Born to Irish immigrant parents in 1852 in Waterbury, Conn., McGivney was a figure in the growth of the Church in the U.S. in the late 19th century.

Ordained in Baltimore in 1877, he ministered to an Irish American and immigrant community in the then-Diocese of Hartford. At a time of anti-Catholic sentiment, he worked to keep his flock close to the faith by finding practical solutions to problems, spiritual and temporal alike.

With a group of leading Catholic men of New Haven, he founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882 at St. Mary’s Church to provide spiritual support for Catholic men and financial resources for families that suffered the loss of a breadwinner.

McGivney spent his priesthood in parish ministry and died of pneumonia Aug. 14, 1890.

For more information about the Mass Aug. 12, call 594-5204.