Declared venerable in 2008, Fr. Michael Joseph McGivney was born the eldest of 13 in an Irish immigrant family in Connecticut. During his studies to become a priest, his father died, necessitating McGivney's return to the family to help raise the younger siblings. He later went back to his studies and was ordained a priest. His life experience led him to found the the Knights of Columbus in 1882
, a “fraternal benefit society” whose mission is to aid and offer assistance to sick, disabled and needy members and their families. Now with over 1.9 million members worldwide, the organization founded by McGivney’s tireless work has had an enormous impact.