Blessed Father Michael J. McGivney

Founder, Knights of Columbus

Did you know on his journey to the founding of the Knights of Columbus, Blessed Father Michael McGivney was inspired by his seminarian studies at St. Mary’s Seminary & University right in downtown Baltimore?

As a seminarian from 1873 to 1877, Father McGivney worshipped in the 1808 Seminary Chapel (pictured below), now listed on the National Registry of Historical Places and open for tours.

Most importantly to the Knights of Columbus and the millions of those who have benefited from their generous and selfless endeavors, the young seminarian discerned his vocation at St. Mary’s and—following his ordination at the Baltimore Cathedral in 1877—took the lessons of the Sulpician Fathers back to New Haven, Connecticut, where he founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882.

As an esteemed member of the Knights of Columbus, whether a Maryland native or welcomed guest from a visiting council, you are invited to tour the site at St. Mary’s on Paca Street, and walk in Father McGivney’s footsteps!

St. Mary’s Seminary Chapel (1808)

As a seminarian, Michael J. McGivney would have worshipped in the Upper Chapel.

This perfectly preserved chapel, on the National Registry of Historic Places, is open for tours today.

Father Michael J. McGivney

Michael J. McGivney as a seminarian

Blessed Michael McGivney spent four years (1873-1877) studying at Saint Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, under the direction of the Sulpician Fathers. He was ordained a priest December 22, 1877 in America’s first cathedral by Archbishop James Gibbons. Blaine Carvalho is Administrator of Saint Mary’s Spiritual Center, the historic site connected to three important 

American Catholic figures. In this fourth biographical presentation about Father McGivney’s life, Blaine shares the experiences of seminarians who studied there during Father McGivney’s time and explains Baltimore’s prominence in the early U.S. Church.

Download and print these informational brochures about Fr. McGivney

Click each image to open the brochure as a PDF in a new window.

Knights of Columbus
Minor Orders