Category Archives: Sainthood causes

Father Edward Flanagan, Servant of God

The events of March we have missed yet another fruit of America’s holiness when the revered founder of Boys Town, Father Edward Flanagan’s cause for canonization was opened in Omaha, NE, and declared a Servant of God.

Fr Flanagan with kids.jpgServant of God Father Edward Flanagan (1886-1948) was a native of County Roscommon, Ireland, on July 13, 1886  he was born the 8th of 11 children of John and Nora Flanagan. In 1904, he came to the United States. Flanagan first studied for the priesthood at  Dunwoodie Seminary with the intention of being a priest of the Archdiocese of New York; illness prevented his further studies and he eventually moved with his family to Omaha. There he was accepted as a seminarian and sent to Rome’s Capranica College, with classes at the Gregorian University but finished his studies in Innsbruck’s Royal Imperial Leopold Francis University. Flanagan’s ordination to the priesthood happened on July 26, 1912 and he offered his first Mass in St. Ignatius Church, Innsbruck, Austria. He was a priest for the Diocese of Omaha. Father Flanagan was assigned Saint Patrick’s Church, O’Neill, NE. In March 1913, he was appointed Assistant Pastor to Saint Patrick Catholic Church in Omaha. His natural qualities of generosity to the poor and marginalized and prayer were made manifest.

With the permission of Bishop Jeremiah Harty, on December 12, 1917, Father Flanagan opened his first Boys’ Home in a run-down Victorian mansion in downtown Omaha. In his lifetime Father Flanagan helped more than 6,000 boys. During a tour of Europe, he fell ill and died of a heart attack in Berlin, Germany, on May 15, 1948. At the request of the Father Flanagan League Society of Devotion (FFLSD), Archbishop George Lucas, of the Archdiocese of Omaha has accepted responsibility for the beatification process. On March 17, 2012, Lucas formally opened the cause of canonization at a service of prayer at Immaculate Conception Church (Boys Town), bestowing the title of “Servant of God” upon Father Flanagan. Dr. Andrei Ambrosi is the Postulator for the cause. 

More information may be read here.

Father Joseph Walijewski’s cause for beatification opened

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Father Joseph Walijewski (1924-2006), a missionary to Latin America, is now part of a long list of Americans who are being studied by the Church for possible sainthood.

Father Walijewski’s cause for beatification opened by Bishop William P. Callahan, bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse, WI, March 19, 2013. Dr. Andrea Ambrosi will be the postulator. Walijewski was born to poor Polish immigrant parents in Grand Rapids, Michigan on March 15, 1924; ordained priest for the Diocese of La Crosse in April 1950; and began missionary work in Bolivia in 1956; he died on April 11, 2006, suffering pneumonia and acute leukemia. Father Joseph also served in Ecuador and Peru. While in Peru, he helped organize breakfast stations that fed 8,000 children per day where he founded in 1987 the Lima orphanage Casa Hogar Juan Pablo II, the House of John Paul II.

Oscar Romero’s 33rd anniversary

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The Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world.

Archbishop Oscar Romero, assassinated 33 years ago today, offering Mass in San Salvador.

Archbishop Romero is remembered as a Church leader of hope in a country that was ravaged by poverty, injustice and oppression.

In the face of incredible injustice, the Archbishop knew the Church to be a beacon of faith, hope and charity, recognized his responsibility to be a witness to these virtues and to challenge the oppressors, especially those who claimed to be Catholic. Romero’s cause for canonization is being studied.

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Walter Ciszek: Chained, but Free

Walter Ciszek.jpgFather Walter Ciszek (1904-84) is likely to be one the 20th century’s finest American priests –ever. If you don’t believe me read John Levko’s “Chained, but Free: How Walter Ciszek gained spiritual liberation in Lubyanka prison.” 

If you still don’t believe my assertion, read Ciszek’s With God in Russia and He Leadeth Me. Still lacking the same conviction that I have proposed, then you are hopeless. Father Walter Ciszek is not great because he survived 23 years of Soviet prison life; he’s the finest American priest’s of the 20th century because he allowed God to use his humanity and the Soviet prison to point to someone greater: Jesus Christ.
The Levko piece is a terrific testament to a life completely in communion with God. The article is too complicated to be digested here so you’ll have to read it for yourself. Enjoy it, but spend some time thinking and praying about what you’ve read.
You can read Father Jim Martin’s piece on Father Ciszek here.

Dorothy Day: former atheist, social advocate & journalist, moves toward sainthood

Rome Reports, a work of a group of laity covering news items concerning the Catholic Church particularly in Rome (the bulk of their reporting) but the reporters also cover other stories of interest to the Christian world. 

As you know I am hoping with eagerness for positive news on the studies related to the cause for canonization of the Servant of God Dorothy Day. Rome Reports did a news piece today: “Dorothy Day: former atheist and social advocate journalist, on the way to sainthood.”

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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