Archive for the ‘saints-in-the-making?’ Category

Newman’s friend

November 13, 2009

Deacon Jack Sullivan, the man whose miraculous cure has been attributed to the intercession of Cardinal John Henry Newman, recently visited the Birmingham Oratory, the great (and soon to be beatified?) cardinal’s spiritual home.  Sullivan served as deacon and preached at a Mass celebrated at the Oratory.

Article with some great photos here.  Additional photos here.


John Paul II to be “beatified within months”?

November 2, 2009

That’s a grabber of a headline — at least for fans of the late, great Pope.  But it’s a real one and just up today, on the website of the London Telegraph.  I have to say, I’m a bit skeptical. 

The claim that JP2 will beatified “by 2010” was put forward recently by the Mayor of Rome, in public statements made while on a visit to Krakow. 

First of all, he is not exactly a high-ranking Vatican official … or a Vatican official of any kind, for that matter.  Secondly, we’re already into November, which means a beatification by 2010 would need to take place in the next 8 weeks or so.  And I have a feeling that when the beatification of John Paul II actually does happen, it will be an event of massive proporations that will take months, even a year, of planning and preparation.

This does raise the interesting question of where it will happen.  Almost all beatifications in the B16 pontificate have taken place in the homeland of the new blessed, presided over by the local bishop or the head of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.  Will JP2’s be in Poland?  On the other hand, he was the Bishop of Rome and “belonged” to the Universal Church for over a quarter of a century.  Does that, plus the added element of the level of global interest even outside the Church, mean it could be held in Rome? Presided over by the Pope himself?  Not difficult to imagine happening.

Brother Andre moves closer canonization

October 28, 2009

The theological commission for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints voted unanimously last week in favor of a miracle attributed to the intercession of Brother Andre Bessette.  The miracle still must be considered and officially approved by the bishops who make up the Congregation; when that happens, the next step would be to expect a date announced for Brother Andre’s canonization.

Helpful local coverage here.

(Thanks to Matt at Sacred Heart Radio for the tip.)

Sheen cause video

September 13, 2009

This brief video on the Sheen beatification cause is from  Nothing  new, though.  (I’m not too familiar with Rome Reports, though I’ve seen the show that airs on EWTN; I’d think an outfit like Rome Reports should probably know better than to make the mistake of saying Sheen “was  archbishop of New York and Rochester.”)

Romero’s Cause

August 29, 2009

Some interesting commentary went up at the America blog yesterday on the cause of Archbishop Oscar Romero.  It’s based on comments made recently by Fr. Jon Sobrino, suggesting that it’s politics that has kept the Romero beatification from happening.  If so, that seems unfortunate. The post points out that the thirtieth anniversary of Romero’s death is approaching in March ’10.

St. Kateri soon?

August 13, 2009

Today Fr. Jim Martin, SJ, at the America blog, pointed out an article on a Canadian news site indicating that the canonization cause of Kateri Tekakwitha may be heading into the home stretch.  The article, “Mohawk woman could be declared saint by Vatican,” opens:

More than 320 years after her death, a Mohawk woman is on the cusp of canonization as the Vatican reviews newly collected evidence of a miracle that could place her among the saints.

Just what the recent miracle is that’s been attributed to the intercession or divine intervention of Kateri Tekakwitha, known as the Lily of the Mohawks, remains a closely guarded secret.

Evidence of the miracle — which took two years to compile — was sent to Rome last month in a diplomatic pouch through the Vatican embassy in Washington, D.C., said Monsignor Paul Lenz, the church official who was charged with finding a miracle that could qualify Kateri for sainthood.

The matter now rests with the Vatican’s Secretariat for Beatification and Canonization, which will issue a recommendation to the Pope, who will make a final decision on Kateri’s beatification, said Lenz.

Fr. Martin’s comment is excellent:

Kateri is astonishing.  (A good summary of her life is at the Catholic Encyclopedia.)  What must it have meant for her to become a Christian in the midst of a culture that often considered the Christian missionaries not simply a threat, not simply “sorcerers,” but the bringers of death and disease?  And unlike her French Jesuit friends, Kateri did not grow up in a thoroughly Christian culture, and so she had no warm childhood memories of happy times in a local parish church upon which to draw in difficult times, nor did she have a deep knowledge of Scripture, tradition and the lives of the saints to support her in the midst of persecution, as did Isaac Jogues, Rene Goupil, Jean de Brebeuf and the others.  Her heroism was just as great as that of the Jesuit martyrs.

‘One of Australia’s True Heroes’: Blessed Mary MacKillop

August 7, 2009

mary_mackillop_2Tomorrow is the feast of Blessed Mary MacKillop, and the 100th anniversary of her death.  She became better known to Catholics around the world last year, when Pope Benedict XVI made a visit to her tomb during the World Youth Day events held in Sydney and commented publicly about how impressed he is by her story.  But she was already a hero to many, many  Australians, both inside and out of the Church Church:

“In the vastness of the Australian continent, Blessed Mary MacKillop was not daunted by the great desert, the immense expanses of the outback, nor by the spiritual ‘wilderness’ which affected so many of her fellow citizens. Rather she boldly prepared the way of the Lord in the most trying situations,” the pontiff said.

“With gentleness, courage and compassion, she was a herald of the Good News among the isolated ‘battlers’ and the urban slum-dwellers. Mother Mary of the Cross knew that behind the ignorance, misery and suffering which she encountered there were people, men and women, young and old, yearning for God and his righteousness.”

Thousands are expected in North Sydney at Mary MacKillop Place, a spiritual, cultural and hospitality center at whose chapel the tomb of the holy woman is located. Cardinal George Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, will concelebrate a Mass at St. Mary’s Church to mark the feast day.

Sr. Brigette Sipa, Director of the Mary MacKillop Center, said it was unlikely that Pope Benedict XVI would announce Mary’s canonization on her feast day, a news report from the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn says. However, she added that the day was still significant and an opportunity “to remember and pay respects to one of Australia’s true heroes.”  (source)

More recently, there has been a bit of a dust-up over some comments that Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made leading up to his visit to the Vatican last month.  He said he wanted to encourage the Pope to canonize MacKillop, which led many to gnash their teeth about mixing Church and State.  Seemed silly to me.  It seems rather obvious that, as an Australian politician, Rudd recognizes that a new Australian saint could result in a good shot in the arm for his nation’s economy — or even simpler, the guy just wanted something to talk about with the Pope. 

I’m sure Mary is comfortable with the controversy still swirling around her.  She knew a good bit of it in her own day. 

Blessed Mary MacKillop, pray for us!

St. Cory of the Philippines?

August 5, 2009

Maybe you’ve seen some of the chatter this week raising the issue of canonization for Corazon Aquino, ex-president of the Philippines, who died August 1.  Here’s one of the more articulate examples

A snip:

If sainthood is officially conferred on Cory, she would be the first modern-day Filipino, and a woman and president at that, to be given the sacred honor. It could be argued that Cory’s practice of her faith in all aspects of her life—as a Filipino patriot, national leader, wife, widow, mother—was widely known and documented.

Pope Benedict XVI called Cory a woman of deep unwavering faith. It was her display of courage after her husband Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. was assassinated in 1983 and when she was called upon to lead an oppressed nation that showed the kind of woman she was. The spiritual overtones of the 1986 People Power that ended the Marcos dictatorship were due in part to Cory’s spiritual charisma.

Thrown into public life, this housewife born to a wealthy family became a national leader, a recognized world figure whose religious faith influenced her actions and pervaded her personal life.

Journalist Malou Mangahas who covered the Aquino presidency wrote: “As president, Cory took her oath of office before the Constitution, but defined her politics by the canons of her faith, the heavenly virtues of charity, diligence, patience, kindness, temperance and humility. If politics were a test of sainthood, we can count by the fingers of one hand the Filipino politicians who would make the grade. In my book, as a journalist who had covered Cory then and now, even with sometimes testy results, Cory would be in top running.”

More NLM on Newman

July 22, 2009

The New Liturgical Movement blog posted the third of its three-parter on Cardinal Newman yesterday.  Some rarely seen photos, including one of the Cardinal’s private chapel and the interesting detail it includes: a large portrait of St. Francis de Sales over the altar.

Somewhat meatier than any of those three, though, is still another NLM post yesterday, including these snips:

Newman’s importance to the future of Catholic Christianity is a theme dwelt upon by Father Ian Ker of the University of Oxford.

He writes that ‘Newman will be seen, I am convinced, as the Doctor of the post-conciliar Church, who not only anticipated the teachings of the Second Vatican Council but who also in his theology was insistent on what Pope Benedict XVI calls “the hermeneutic of continuity”’.


The exemplification of the unity of intellectual and spiritual depth, not only in Newman’s teaching but also in his life, leads Fr Beaumont to ‘look forward to his eventual canonization and also, I fervently hope, to his being declared Doctor of the Church.’

‘The witness of Newman’, writes Fr Jonathan Robinson, ‘like that of his patron St Philip Neri, the Founder of the Oratory, was based on personal holiness, a holiness that was rooted in the conviction that sanctity is only possible through the imitation of Christ, and in the acceptance of the suffering this inevitably brings.’

Newman relics

July 17, 2009

Part II on Cardinal Newman is up at the New Liturgical Movement.  It features some interesting information about the (very few) relics recovered from Newman’s tomb earlier this year.  Also, excellent photographs. 

Kudos and thanks to NLM and the unnamed author of the posts.

(I blogged on the mystery of Newman’s relics here.)