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By Knights of Columbus, 10/6/2017
Ever wonder why Father Michael J. McGivney chose Christopher Columbus as the namesake for his new benefit society? Why would he and his Irish Knights name their Catholic fraternity after an Italian explorer rather than a saint?
Because, in a time when anti-Catholic and anti-immigration hostilities ran strong, the American public embraced this famous explorer.
Father McGivney and his Knights understood that using Columbus as their Order’s namesake asserted an important truth: that not only was there a place for Catholics and immigrants within American society, but that such a person had already played a part in creating the young, free world around them.
Today, there are those who contest Columbus’ achievements and protest the national holiday held in his honor. However, we Knights celebrate his holiday, knowing that Columbus gave voice and representation to generations of Catholics, helping pave a path for the diverse society we have today.
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