GLEN CARBON — Students, faculty, staff, school families, members of the Knights of Columbus, priests, and Bishop Thomas John Paprocki all celebrated the beatification of now Blessed Father Michael McGivney at Father McGivney Catholic High School in Glen Carbon Oct. 31 with Mass and a light reception.
Father McGivney began his priestly ministry in 1877 in Connecticut and died at the age of 38. He is known for founding the Knights of Columbus. Father McGivney Catholic High School is the only school in the United States named after Father McGivney.
On May 27, Pope Francis approved a miracle attributable to the intercession of then-Venerable Father McGivney, paving the way for his beatification Oct. 31, which formally took place during the beatification Mass in Connecticut.
The miracle involved the healing of Michael Schachle, now 5, from fetal hydrops, a dangerous accumulation of fluids that gathered throughout the body of the unborn child. The seemingly hopeless situation was met with prayers by his parents, Daniel and Michelle Schachle of Dickson, Tenn., asking Father McGivney to intercede for their child. The healing was investigated by experts and deemed to have no medical or scientific explanation. An additional miracle attributed to Father McGivney’s intercession will be required for him to become a saint.
“I truly believe Blessed Michael McGivney’s second miracle has already occurred,” Father McGivney Catholic High School President, Father Jeffrey Goeckner said. “After many challenges, sacrifices and much prayer, Father McGivney Catholic High School opened its doors in 2012 and welcomed 19 freshman. This was the first new high school to open in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois in over 80 years. To date, our high school has successfully educated and faithfully formed over 400 students while promoting ‘a culture of life.’ Truly a miracle.”
In choosing a name for the local Catholic high school, the founders wanted to honor a person who was committed to the same values they hoped to instill in its future graduates. The search for a person who dedicated his life to service, family, and youth led them to an American parish priest — Father Michael McGivney. A man ahead of his time, Father McGivney has come to be known as “Apostle to the Young” and “Defender of Christian Family Life.” Father McGivney was an idealist whose youthful vision and commitment to families led to the creation of his legacy — the Knights of Columbus.
Father McGivney Catholic High School Principal Joe Lombardi, explains, “Their pillars of unity, charity, fraternity, and patriotism are the foundation of Father McGivney Catholic High School’s mission. We are very proud of what our school has accomplished, and we know that Father McGivney’s intercession helped get us here.”