Category Archives: Sainthood causes

Dorothy Day’s cause for canonization by US bishops

Dorothy Day half-length portrait, seated at de...

The Servant of God Dorothy Day’s cause for canonization may move forward (or not) depending on how the vote goes. The bishops of USA are meeting this week in Baltimore for the annual business meeting.

Dorothy Day is a Benedictine Oblate of Saint Procopius Abbey. She holds the ecclesial title of Servant of God which denotes that the Nihil Obstat (which says that the Vatican is open to the cause moving ahead).
Cardinal Dolan recently said that Day was a woman of the Church –the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Roman Church; she loved her faith. She had a reasonable view of the Church’s ministry, even her sinfulness and yet she held firmly to the intimate connection between the Jesus Christ and the Church.
The anniversary of the Servant of God Dorothy Day’s anniversary of death is forthcoming on November 29 (1980).

Listen to what Cardinal Dolan said about Dorothy Day is here.

Fulton J. Sheen, Mother Angeline Teresa advances another step toward sainthood

Fulton Sheen in prayer.jpg

Two “New Yorkers” advance in the study of their sanctity: Fulton J. Sheen and Mother Angelina Teresa.

Today, Pope Benedict XVI gave his permission for the promulgation of the decree concerning the “heroic virtues” of now Venerable Servant of God Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979). Sheen was a great communicator of the faith in the 20th century. His winning personality and sincerity drew people to Christ.

A wonderful development is the recognition that Brigida Teresa McCrory (1893-1984) known as Mother Angelina Teresa, foundress of the Carmelite Sisters of the Aged and Infirmed, lived a life of heroic virtue. This is good news because it highlights the good work these Carmelite sisters continue to do, notably around the corner from St Catherine of Siena Church (NYC).

 Moreover, he did the same for the former Prelate of Opus Dei, the Servant of God Alvaro del Portillo y Diez de Sollano, Spanish prelate of the Personal Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei (1914-1994). He was the immediate successor to Saint Josemaria.

Angelo Cardinal Amato SDB, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presented these and other causes for sainthood.

UPDATE: Cardinal Dolan writes about the 2 New Yorkers

Pope recognizes Benedictine nun as a saint, others of the USA as having heroic virtue

St Hildegard of Bingen.jpg

This morning the Holy Father had received in a private audience Angelo Cardinal Amato, SDB, Prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, who presented the cases for sainthood that his office has been working on.

Among the many important things decided, the Pope has given us the liturgical memorial of and inscribed in the catalog of Saints of the Universal Church, the model of holiness in the person of Saint Hildegard of Bingen, a German Benedictine nun born in Bermershein in 1089 and who died in Rupertsberg on 17 Septemeber 1179.

What is interesting here is that Hildegard never really went through the same process of canonization that’s done nowadays so you can say the Church is recognizing her sanctity and place with God without the rigorous investigation that is being done for the Venerable Servant of God Michael J. McGivney. In part, this is because through the centuries the Church has changed several times, the process by which it is judged a person is a blessed or saint. Previously, people used the title “saint” with Hildegard as “popular theology and cult of the saints.”

So, with this ecclesial recognition Saint Hildegard of Bingen may be honored officially as a saint of the Church. She may be considered the Church’s newest Benedictine saint.

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Fra’ Andrew Bertie’s study in the cause for beatification opened

Andrew Bertie.jpgThe Grand Magistry of the Order of Malta has informed
its members that the process to study toward the
beatification of the former Grand Master and Prince, Fra’ Andrew Willoughby
Ninian Bertie

His Most Eminent Highness, Fra’ Andrew died in Rome on February 7, 2008 at 78
years (he was born May 15, 1929). Berite was admitted to the Order in 1956 and
was the 78th head of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the successor of Blessed Gerard. Fra’ Andrew was the
youngest son of the 7th Earl of Abigngdon; both sides of his family has royal
ties through the centuries. Bertie was educated at Ampleforth Abbey School,
Christ Church, Oxford and at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the
University of London. He taught French and Spanish for 23 years at the Worth
Abbey School, run by the Benedictine monks.

Bertie arms.jpg

In April 1988, Andrew Bertie was
elected the Grand Master of the Order of Malta, Fra’ Angelo de Mojana di
Cologna. It is long known that Fra’Andrew was followed closely the official
motto of the order is Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum, “Defense of the Faith
and Service of the Poor.” 

Several years ago the Order of Malta was credited to
having about 13, 000 Knights and Dames, 80,000 volunteers (15,000 trained as doctors and nurses), and a presence in 200 hospitals. The Order has an official presence in 120
countries. I am sure the data could be updated.

Fra’ James-Michael von Strobel has been charged to compile a list of
persons in the United States who knew Fra’ Andrew and would support favorably
this cause.

Please contact Fra’ James-Michael if you care to give support in
this endeavor. 

Pope Benedict XVI spoke of Fra’ Andrew and praised “the work of this man of
culture and of his generous commitment in the fulfillment of his high office,
especially in favor of those most in need, and for his love for the Church and
for his luminous testimony of the principles of the Gospel.”

Fra’ Andrew was succeeded by Fra’ Matthew Festing.
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Felix Varela’s cause for canonization moves ahead

Felix Varela.jpegThe Congregation for Saints has told Bishop Octavio Cisneros, an auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn that the Servant of God Felix Varela’s cause has been accepted by the Pope as a man of heroic and cardinal virtue. He will be given the title “Venerable Servant of God.” Cisneros is the vice-postulator of Varela’s cause.

Father Varela (1788-1853) was ordained a priest in Havana and came to the USA to serve as a priest. In 1837 he was appointed the Vicar General of New York diocese, the number two in responsibility for a diocese. He founded the first Spanish language newspaper in the USA, the founder of the New York Churches of the Transfiguration and Saint James and was a delegate to Council of Balltimore with Bishop DuBois.
The Cuban American priest worked for the needs of the immigrants, especially the Irish immigrants at time when the Irish were maltreated. Father Varela was an ardent fighter for freedom here in the USA and abroad;  he spoke for the freedom for the Colonies, from slavery and for the religious freedom of the Church.
Let’s pray that God will soon glorify Father Felix to the Altars.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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