On Wednesday, we reported that the path to canonization for Blessed Marianne Cope has been clearedafter a Vatican congregation has confirmed a second miracle attributed to her intercession. The final step for her canonization is approval by Pope Benedict XVI. The Vatican decision was announced Dec. 6 by the sister’s religious community, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities in Syracuse, N.Y., and by Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva. At the same time unconfirmed reports surfaced that an announcement will be made in mid-December about the approval of a second miracle attributed to Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha’s intercession, which would clear the way for her canonization.
There also is news about other sainthood causes. In mid-November, Catholic New York, newspaper of the New York Archdiocese, reported that with approval from the Vatican, the cause for Bishop James A. Walsh has been formally opened, The bishop was co-founder in 1911 of the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, better known as Maryknoll. A ceremony took place Nov. 9 at the New York Catholic Center in Manhattan. According to Catholic New York, the cause for Maryknoll co-founder Father Thomas Frederick Price is pending in Raleigh, N.C.
In the Diocese of Peoria, Ill., the home diocese of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Msgr. Stanley Deptula, executive director of the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation, announced that this Sunday there will be a Mass to close the investigation tribunal that examined an alleged miracle attributed to the intercession of the archbishop. It will be celebrated at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria, All the official documents related to the case will be sealed for shipment to Rome at the Dec. 11 Mass.
“If the pope approves this alleged miracle, we could have the first beatification ever on American soil here in Peoria, Illinois,” said the foundation.
A tribunal of inquiry was sworn in last September to investigate the case of James Fulton Engstrom, who celebrated his first birthday Sept. 16, 2011. His parents, Travis and Bonnie Engstrom, believe James is alive because of the intercession of Archbishop Sheen. On the day of his birth he was considered stillborn, though his mother had had a healthy pregnancy and experienced “a beautiful, short labor.”
James was without a pulse for the first 61 minutes of his life. It was only when doctors at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria were ready to call the time of death “that his little heart started beating.”
The archbishop’s cause was officially opened in 2002. The Sheen Foundation centralized its operations in the diocese in 2007.