The Dispatch: More from CWR...

Saints in the News, September 2021

News from Italy, Rwanda, Paraguay, Poland, and Illinois.

'Christ Glorified in the Court of Heaven' (1428-30) by Fra Angelico []
'Christ Glorified in the Court of Heaven' (1428-30) by Fra Angelico []

Italian priest beatified

BOLOGNA—A parish priest of Bologna who served his parishioners during World War II at the cost of his own life was beatified September 26.

Fr. Giovanni Fornasini was ordained as a Bolognese parish priest in 1942 at the age of 27. During the war, after his city was bombed by the Allies, he would desperately pick through the rubble in an attempt to find survivors.

According to Catholic News Agency, “When Nazi troops carried out a mass killing of at least 770 Italian civilians in the village of Marzabotto between Sept. 29 and Oct. 5, 1944, he sought to bury the dead.

“After receiving permission from an SS captain, the young priest left on Oct. 13 to bless and bury victims of the Marzabotto massacre, but never returned.

“His body was recovered at the site as the war neared its end in April 1945 and an examination revealed that Father Giovanni had been brutally beaten before he was killed.”

Genocide couple promoted for beatification

KIGALI, Rwanda—Cyprien and Daphrose Rugamba are being considered for beatification. The two were a couple who always did good works and strove to be a center of unity between Tutsis and Hutus before the Hutu-led genocide against the Tutsis in 1994.

The couple and their six children were killed in that genocide on April 7 of that year.

“People who lived with them and knew them for their extraordinary works came forward and put in their request for the investigation to begin, when they presented evidence of how their lives changed because of the Rugambas, we started the journey of the investigations at the smallest level,” Father Jean-Bosco Ntagungira, parish priest at Regina Pacis Church in Gasabo District told Rwanda’s The New Times.

Paraguayan relics returned

ASUNCION, Paraguay (Agenzia Fides) – It was a great mobilization, perhaps the largest since Paraguay experienced the pandemic, that of the Catholic faithful to welcome the relics of María Felicia de Jesús Sacramentado, known as “Chiquitunga”, the first Paraguayan beatified, who arrived at the Asunción International Airport on Tuesday, September 21. The relics were sent to Rome three years ago for a conservation process.

After the Mass celebrated in the airport parking lot in the presence of the faithful and the authorities, the urns were transferred to the monastery of the Discalced Carmelites, the order to which the Blessed belonged, who died in 1959 at the age of 34. There was a large presence of faithful despite the arrival time of the plane from Rome, around 5 in the morning, local time, which was broadcast by most of the country’s radio and television stations.

“Chiquitunga was chosen especially by God through various ministries for her perfection in holiness: she was an apostle, catechist, teacher, evangelizer and tireless servant, both in action and in prayer,” said Bishop Adalberto Martínez of Villarrica, birthplace of the blessed. The bishop asked for the intercession of “Chiquitunga” to obtain the release of the three people kidnapped in the north of the country by the guerrillas and of whom nothing is known, including the former president of the country Óscar Denis.

Polish beatifications

WARSAW (— On Sunday, September 12, the Great Feast of Faith in Warsaw, the Church in Poland celebrated the beatification ceremony of Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski, teacher of Saint John Paul II, and Mother Elipita Rosa Czacka.

Cardinal Wyszynski was Archbishop of Poland from 1948 to 1981, he is considered the tutor of Saint John Paul II and the pastor who saved the faith of the Poles in the difficult times of communism.

Mother Elżbieta Róża Czacka (1876-1961) was a blind nun who founded the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Servants of the Cross and created the Lasky Opera, a center for the education of blind children and dialogue with unbelievers.

New Sheen vice postulator

PEORIA—The beatification cause for Ven. Fulton J. Sheen has a new vice postulator.

Sister Lea Stefancova, FSJB, was named to the post in early September.

“It’s a work of promoting somebody for sainthood. You almost shrink thinking about it,” Sister Lea said.

Msgr. Stanley Deptula, executive director of the Archbishop Fulton John Sheen Foundation, had no doubts about her appointment, though.

“Over her many years of serving as the curator of the Sheen Museum, she has really become a true expert in Sheen’s life and legacy,” he told The Catholic Post. “She is quite familiar with the process of the Cause and has gotten to know many of the friends of Sheen around the world.”

A vice postulator represents the bishop during the diocesan phase of a cause. The person is tasked with getting interviews, collecting evidence, and reading through all documents related to the person whose cause is in question.

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About BK O'Neel 29 Articles
BK O’Neel writes from Pennsylvania.

1 Comment

  1. I do hope the postulators for Bishop Sheen’s beatification are aware of the most thorough and scholarly work about him. Its title: AMERICA’S BISHOP: The Life and Times of Fulton J.Sheen by Prof. Thomas C Reeves. There are plenty of hagiographies out, but the Bishop would have been the first to insist he wasn’t a plaster saint. He was a fine and highly influential example to Catholic and Protestant, Jew and agnostic alike. What could be more admirable in this cynical age?

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