The Dispatch: More from CWR...

Saints in the News, March 2021

News from Rome, Malta, Massachusetts, Nottingham, Los Angeles, and Brooklyn.

Detail from "Christ Glorified in the Court of Heaven" by Fra Angelico (Wikipedia)

Pope Francis moves causes forward

VATICAN CITY – Vatican News reports that Marcello Cardinal Semeraro, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, recently presented for approval by His Holiness Pope Francis the causes of several candidates on the way to sainthood. The Holy Father authorized the Congregation to promulgate a decree on the miracle attributed to an Italian laywoman Armida Barelli, clearing her for beatification. One of the seven decrees on heroic virtues concerns an English priest.

The seven are:

– Servant of God Fr. Ignatius Spenser, CP, ancestor of Winston Churchill and Princess Diana, a convert and member of the Passionists who tirelessly worked for the conversion of England.

– Servant of God Albino Alves da Cunha Silva, diocesan priest, born on 22 September 1882 in Codeçôso, Portugal, and died in Catanduva, Brazil, on 19 September 1973.

– Servant of God Maria Felicita Fortunata Baseggio (nee Anna Clara Giovanna), a nun of the Order of St. Augustine. She was born on 5 May 1752 in Ferrara, Italy, and died in Rovigo, Italy, on 11 February 1829.

– Servant of God Floralba Rondi (nee Luigia Rosina), a professed member of the Congregation of the Poverelle Sisters. She was born on 10 December 1924 in Pedrengo, Italy, and died in Mosango, Democratic Republic of Congo, on 25 April 1995.

– Servant of God Clarangela Ghilardi (nee Alessandra), a member of the Congregation of the Poverelle Sisters. Born on 21 April 1931 in Trescore Balneario, Italy, she died in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of Congo, on 6 May 1995.

– Servant of God Dinarosa Belleri (nee Teresa Santa), a member of the Congregation of the Poverelle Sisters. Born on 11 November 1936 in Cailina di Villa Carcina, Italy, she died in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of Congo, on 14 May 1995.

– Servant of God Elisa Giambelluca, a lay member of the Teresian Institution. She was born on 30 April 1941 in Isnello, Italy, and died in Rome on 5 July 1986.

Association founded to forward cause of married couple

VALTETTA, Malta – The Maltese newspaper the Independent reports, “Archbishop Charles Jude Scicluna has approved the setting up of the Henry and Inez Casolani Association within the Archdiocese of Malta.”

The newspaper reports the association was set up to promote the cause of the beatification and canonization Henry and Inez Casolani, a lay married couple who led a simple yet devout and exemplary Christian life.

According to the paper, the archdiocese notes, “the spirituality of the Casolani couple was nourished by daily Mass, the frequent reception of the sacraments, prayer, the Rosary, regular visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and daily reflection on the Word of God.

“Their words and deeds left an indelible mark around them, giving witness to the love of God and neighbour, living wholeheartedly the Christian virtues. Following their death, many friends and acquaintances of the couple testified to their devout and holy life. Their reputation of holiness increased, as more people ask for their intercession for their needs.”

Bishop’s beatification cause concludes first phase

ROME – The beatification cause of the Italian Servant of God Bishop Guglielmo Giaquinta has concluded its first phase, the Diocese of Rome has reported.

A Sicilian, Giaquinta received consecration as bishop of the Diocese of Tivoli in 1968. He served in this position until 1987, when he resigned for health reasons. He died in Rome in 1994.

According to Catholic News Agency, “He devoted his life to promoting the universal call to holiness. To advance this mission, he founded the Pro Sanctity Movement, which includes a secular institute of women and an institute of priests.”

The Vicar of Rome Angelo Cardinal De Donatis “formally closed the diocesan phase of Giaquinta’s cause for beatification in a rite held at the Lateran Apostolic Palace on Feb. 12.”

Divine Mercy promoter dies

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Father Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, who served 20 years as vice postulator for the canonization cause of St. Faustina Kowalska, has passed away.

“The Lord, in His mercy and love, was faithful to Fr. Seraphim and graciously helped him at every stage of his work in the promotion of the Divine Mercy message and devotion,” the Marians of the Immaculate Conception wrote in a Feb. 12 announcement, according to CNA.

A Massachusetts native who was born in 1930 and ordained in 1956, he grew up in a parish that was “the first in the western hemisphere to have a Divine Mercy Image enshrined within it.”

As CNA noted, “The Divine Mercy image originated in Poland, after Christ appeared to Sr. Faustina Kowalska. Christ asked her to become an apostle and secretary of his mercy, by writing down his messages of Divine Mercy for the world in her diary.

“Christ also asked Sr. Faustina to have an image painted of his Divine Mercy, with red and white rays issuing from his heart, and to spread devotion to the Divine Mercy novena.”

His order made him vice postulator in North America for St. Faustina’s cause, which culminated in her 2000 canonization by Pope St. John Paul II.

Since 1995, he was his religious order’s primary promoter of the Divine Mercy. He was also rector of the Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge.

Pilgrimages promoted to Mother Potter’s tomb

NOTTINGHAM, UK – Once the COVID crisis has abated, Bishop Patrick McKinney of the Diocese of Nottingham is asking people to make pilgrimages to the tomb of Mother Mary Potter, foundress of the Little Company of Mary, at his See’s St Barnabas Cathedral, CNA reports.

“When the COVID situation improves, I would encourage people to pray at her tomb in the cathedral and to seek her prayerful intercession,” His Excellency recently said during Mass in his private chapel.

“A miracle that could be attributed to Mother Mary’s intercession would certainly speed up the Church’s careful process of canonization.”

Born in 1847 in London, she first entered religious life in Brighton with the Sisters of Mercy. Later, however, she felt called to found an order that would serve the sick and dying. With her bishop’s invitation, she founded the Little Company of Mary in 1877.

“She eventually founded the Little Company of Mary, whose members wore a black habit and a distinctive pale blue veil. They fed the poor, educated local children, and visited the sick and dying.”

Pope Leo XIII, himself a Servant of God, gave the order his blessing five years later in 1882 and invited the Sisters to open a house in Rome.

The congregation has houses in Illinois, California, Indiana, and Ohio, as well as in several countries around the globe.

She died April 9, 1913, and received the declaration of heroic virtues and the title “Venerable” in 1988 from Pope John Paul II.

Documentary on American Venerable released

SACRAMENTO – The Los Angeles archdiocesan newspaper the Angelus reports, “A new documentary on Venerable Bishop Alphonse Gallegos, a California pastor and auxiliary bishop of Sacramento, will air on EWTN Feb. 20 at 2:30 p.m. LA time, just in time for what would have been the bishop’s 90th birthday.”

The film was shot in Watts, the section of Los Angeles where Gallegos (pro. “Guy-yay-gose”) was raised, Sacramento, Oxnard, Calif., and other locales from the late bishop’s life.

According to the Angelus, “Bishop Gallegos died in a traffic accident in Sacramento in 1991. In 2005, the cause for his canonization was opened, and in 2016, Pope Francis named him venerable.”

Tolton Spirituality Center now open

CHICAGO – Brooklyn’s diocesan newspaper The Tablet reports that supporters of the beatification cause of the Servant of God Augustus Tolton, the first known black priest of slave descent, has opened “the Tolton Spirituality Center to help Catholics learn from his examples.”

According to the paper, “Funding for the Tolton Spirituality Center comes from a $1 million grant awarded by the Thriving Congregations Initiative of Lilly Endowment Inc. The pharmaceutical giant, Eli Lilly & Company, created the Indianapolis-based endowment in 1937.

“‘We are quite pleased that Lilly Endowment saw value in this dream of local lay Catholics to assist participating parishes in drawing upon the inspiration of Father Augustus Tolton,’ said Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Perry. He is the postulator of Tolton’s canonization cause.”

“The five-year grant helps the center provide online seminars on how Catholics and their parishes can work toward cultural unity through spiritual renewal, restoration, and reconciliation.


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About BK O'Neel 25 Articles
BK O’Neel writes from Pennsylvania.

1 Comment

  1. It is welcome news that a Spirituality Center opened to help Catholics learn from the example lived by Servant of God Augustus Tolton. This priest, Father Augustus Tolton, is a reflection of the virtues of humility, forbearance and charity. He gave himself to the service of those whom he encountered, he spent himself for God and neighbor. Begging Father Augustus to intercede for the State of Illinois, America and all of us. Amen.

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