Catholic Charities honored with McGivney award

Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Hartford is proud to announce that it will be one of three recipients of the Blessed Michael McGivney Award from the Connecticut State Council of the Knights of Columbus.

The award “recognizes individuals or organizations who have made significant humanitarian, civic and social contributions to their state, church or country,” according to a statement from the Council.” The awards will be presented at the Council’s annual banquet on March 24 at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville.

“We are deeply honored to be a recipient of this award,” said Marek Kukulka, CEO of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Hartford, which serves people in need throughout Hartford, New Haven, and Litchfield counties. “We share many core values with the Knights and are both devoted to providing help and creating hope for our most vulnerable brothers and sisters, so it is gratifying to know that our work is recognized.”

A banner for Father Michael McGivney hangs above an entrance to the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, where his Beatification ceremony was held Oct. 31, 2020.

Also being honored are the Catholic Charities agencies in Fairfield County and the Archdiocese of Norwich. Together, the three human service nonprofits provide services to every community in Connecticut and “have been ministering to our neighbors as a foundation, helping the needy and most vulnerable to improve their lives,” said the Council statement. “Catholic Charities is well known; however, at times its efforts go unnoticed.”

The award was established by the Council in 1975 to honor Father Michael McGivney, a Waterbury native who became a priest in 1877, founded the Knights of Columbus, and was beatified by Pope Francis and declared “Blessed” in 2020. He was the eldest of 13 children born to Irish immigrant parents and left school at 13 to work in one of Waterbury’s brass mills. 

In 1882, while serving as an assistant pastor at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, he founded the Knights of Columbus as a mutual aid society to help needy families. It has since grown to become one of the largest Catholic fraternal services organizations in the world.

For more information about the Connecticut State Council or the March 24 banquet, visit

Click here to read more about Father McGivney and the Beatification ceremony held in Hartford.

This large tapestry portraying Father Michael McGivney was unveiled at his 2020 Beatification ceremony and remains in the sanctuary at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford.