Archbishop to celebrate mass at former Holy Land park

Organizers of a Roman Catholic Mass at a former biblical theme park are hoping to attract several thousand people to the Connecticut hilltop site.

The Mass at the Holy Land USA site is scheduled for Saturday afternoon in Waterbury. Hartford Archbishop Leonard Blair will lead the ceremony.

The event will celebrate the late Rev. Michael McGivney, who created the Knights of Columbus fraternal Catholic group in 1882 and is being considered for sainthood by the Vatican.

McGivney was a Waterbury native and assistant pastor at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven when he founded the group.

Holy Land USA opened in 1955 and once attracted about 40,000 visitors a year before falling into disrepair and closing in 1984. The site still features a 52-foot high illuminated cross.

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