Ven. Michael McGivney may not be a household name, but I’m willing to bet that you are familiar with his work. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus, a massive Catholic fraternal and charitable organization. Since its founding in 1882, the Knights have grown to over 2 million members across the world.
Michael was born in 1852 in Connecticut, the first child of Irish immigrants. He was ordained a priest in 1877, just five years before founding a fraternal organization for Catholic men focused on unity and charity. Fr. McGivney knew the importance of the layperson’s role in the Church and sought to strengthen the faith and vocation of Catholic men.
On May 26 of this year, Pope Francis approved the decree for a miracle that has been attributed to Fr. McGivney’s intercession. He will soon be beatified. Daniel Schachle, the father of the miracle recipient, joined Michael O’Neill on his program, The Miracle Hunter® on Relevant Radio®, to discuss his son’s miraculous healing.
When Daniel and Michelle Schachle found out that their thirteenth child had Down Syndrome and non-immune fetal hydrops, they were told that his condition was not treatable and there was no hope for his survival. “Our doctor told us that she had been doing this for 30 years in high risk medicine and she had never seen a child survive this type of hydrops diagnosis,” said Daniel.
Daniel, a Knight of Columbus, refused to believe that there was no hope for his son’s life. He turned to Fr. Michael McGivney, to whom he and his family had a devotion for over a decade. “I just asked Fr. McGivney to pray for my son, to save his life. I never asked anything to be done about Down Syndrome; that was a gift, as far as we were concerned, to our family and to our other children. … But I asked him, ‘Please pray for my son, please pray that his life be spared. And if you pray for him we will name him after you.’”
Michelle had been set on naming her son Benedict, but she agreed to pray for Fr. McGivney’s intercession and they emailed their family and friends asking them to pray for his intercession as well.
The next time Michelle and Daniel went in for an ultrasound of their unborn child, a different doctor told them that the fetal hydrops had disappeared. She said to them, “I guess there’s always hope.”
“That’s when my wife told her we were changing the name to Michael McGivney then. And in kind of a blessed moment the doctor said, ‘Michael McGivney? I know who that is. Why are you changing his name?’ And she told the doctor the story and she said, ‘My dad was a Knight. This is phenomenal,’” explained Daniel.
Michael Schachle was born on May 15, 2015. This is the same day that the first Knights of Columbus council was chartered in 1882.
“We’re not perfect people … we try to do what God wants but we’re still not perfect people. And God had mercy on us by allowing us to be a part of this,” said Daniel. “And it’s not about us. It’s about a bigger thing. It’s about the message of Fr. McGivney.”
Listen to the full interview:
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