Category Archives: Sainthood causes

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.”

Pope Paul on the way to sainthood, others move ahead

English: President John F.Kennedy visits Pope ...

US President John F.Kennedy visits Pope Paul VI.

The Prefect of the Congregation for Saints, Angelo Cardinal Amato, SDB, in the course of an audience with His Holiness today, received permission to promulgate a decree certifying those whose causes have been studied and have reached a particular place in the ongoing work of judging who are candidates as saints. There is a human process in “saint-making” but true be told, ONLY God makes saints.

Notable on the list moving ahead is the Servant of God Pope Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Montini) who died on August 6, 1978. 
Montini of Milan was the 261st pontiff taking the name “Paul VI” and followed John XXIII (now a Blessed) and was before John Paul I (who’s cause for sainthood is also being studied). Paul is among with many others on the move.The list presented to Pope Benedict today is here.
Who was Pope Paul VI? Vatican Radio’s Veronica Scarisbrick helps to answer the question.
Pope Paul there are three new saints and many others who now move up the proverbial ladder. The pope is now referred to as the Venerable Servant of God Pope Paul VI.
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Dorothy Day’s 32nd anniversary of death


Day's Funeral procession.jpgToday is the 32nd anniversary of death of the Servant of God Dorothy Day. The Benedictine Oblate from Brooklyn Heights, NY, who is remembered for her conversion to Christ and His Church and with Peter Maurin founded The Catholic Worker Movement.

In recent days we’ve learned that the bishops of the USA are standing behind Day’s cause for canonization advancing it to the next canonical stage. While the process may be protracted for some, it is a good and substantial process to ascertain the claim of sanctity of the person in question. As an editorial, I tend to think 30 years is a good amount of time between the death of a person and the study process commencing; in my humble opinion I think it was far too short of time for Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II beatifications; both are saints in my opinion, but I think the process can’t be shortchanged because of cosmic popularity.

Day was a Benedictine Oblate of St Procopius Abbey.

The Archdiocese of New York is in charge of the cause of canonization. You can contact the office at 212-371-1000, ext. 2474.

The following letter to the editors by Kenneth Woodward regarding the funeral of Dorothy Day which sheds some light on the New York Archdiocese’s involvement. Many are falsely led to believe the Church was callous because no bishop was present at the funeral Mass. Apparently, truth prevails. Read the letter.

To the Editors:

Your story on Dorothy Day and the bishops ignores a number of facts concerning her funeral, which I attended.

As it happened, Cardinal Terrance Cooke of New York wanted her funeral held in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where the congregation would certainly have included many bishops, but the Catholic Worker community insisted that the funeral held in the neighborhood where Dorothy had lived so the poor could attend. Few actually did. At the church door each mourner was greeted by Cooke himself, not dressed in a cardinal’s finery but in a simple black cassock. Cooke did not stay for the mass because he did not want his presence to draw attention away from the woman for whose sake we mourners had gathered. Later, he held a memorial mass for Dorothy at the cathedral.

Cooke was a conservative churchman. So was Cardinal John O’Connor who formally initiated the cause on behalf of Dorothy Day’s canonization. Paradoxically, it was Father Daniel Berrigan and other members of the “Catholic Left” who opposed the effort to canonize Dorothy Day. Details can be found in my book, “Making Saints,” first published in 1996. Berrigan feared that in the canonization process the narrative of Day’s life would be stripped of its radical Christian elements. Those fears would indeed be realized if “Saint Dorothy” were to be venerated solely for her remorse for having had an abortion in the years prior to her conversion to Catholicism.

Kenneth L. Woodward

You also be interested to read the Eulogy given by the former Dominican Friar Geoffrey B. Gneuhs on December 2, 1980.

The “man from the Veneto” who was John Paul I

luciani.jpgMany of us only know the name Albino Luciani. He was the one who became Pope John Paul I in 1978 and lived only 33 days as the Supreme Pontiff. That was 34 years ago; I was only 9 when the smiling pope appeared and then departed. I often think of what the face of the Church would’ve been like had he lived longer.

Celebrating the 100th birthday of Pope John Paul I (17 October 1912), L’Osservatore Romano and Il Messaggero di sant’Antonio organized a symposium on November 8 learn more about this enigmatic man. An editorial in L’Osservatore Romano gave but a peek of what was learned.
Indeed, it’s interesting to hear that JPI followed three assumptions: “detachment from the world, obedience to superiors, and absolute faithfulness to the institution” in his ministry and that he was a lover of books. Me too. Apparently, JPI liked authors as diverse as Aesop, LaFontaine, Mark Twain (his favorite) to Chesterton and Dickens, among many. He also liked rock music and the comics. For a priest of the mountains he was an educated, curious and humane person. His cause for canonization is being studied.
Luciani spoke of the Second Vatican Council using soccer terms. Good for him. He got the point across to those who likely wouldn’t know where to begin to understand the complexities of a Ecumenical Council.
Read the editorial for yourself.
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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]yahoo.com.
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