Saints

Cause for canonization opened for classmate and friend of Kenrick-Glennon rector

Then-seminarians, from left, Don Kettle, Ragheed Ganni and James Mason visited at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome, circa 1999 or 2000. Father Mason keeps this photo and a holy card of Father Ganni in his breviary.

Iconic imagery of the war in Iraq shows the U.S. Army pulling down the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad's Firdaus Square on April 9, 2003.

While a sledgehammer-wielding man made little headway on the statue base, soldiers rolled up in a tank, wrapped a chain around the statue's neck, covered the face with the U.S. flag and let 'er rip. Hundreds of Iraqis cheered and celebrated their liberation from the brutal dictator.

But not everyone was so moved. In fact, Father Ragheed Aziz Ganni predicted persecution for minority Christians and brethren Chaldean Catholics as a result.

DEAR FATHER | There is a distinction between sainthood and canonization

A helpful distinction needs to be made here. Being a saint isn't reserved exclusively to those whom the Church has declared such. Rather, a saint is anyone who has made it to heaven and now beholds the presence of God. One need not be declared by the Church to receive this honor: only God needs to declare it. So, yes, it's all together likely that there are saints in heaven who weren't Catholic.

But there remains the question of whether the Church could canonize a non-Catholic individual.

‘Rose-colored glasses’ provide vision for St. Louis

Bishop Louis W.V. DuBourg and St. Rose Philippine Duchesne were key builders for the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

However, they always didn't see eye-to-eye. In fact, St. Philippine Duchesne lamented in a letter dated September 1823 that the visionary DuBourg "sees everything through rose-colored glasses," which is among the earliest written usages of the phrase to describe optimism when a situation calls for skepticism or doubt.

Saints take center stage At St. Joseph school

Dressed for All Saints Day at St. Joseph School in Manchester, third-grade students, from left, Ava Wichman (dressed as St. Elizabeth), Noah DeLargy (St. Gregory) and Marianne Coughlin (St. Lucy) waited for the start of Mass.

St. Pope Gregory processed into Mass at St. Joseph Church in Manchester on Nov. 1, walking with his papal staff and wearing papal attire — a white cassock and mitre.

Other saints joined him: St. Anthony of Padua, St. Augustine, St. Clare of Assisi, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Helen, St. Hubert, St. Lucy, St. Patrick and St. Rose of Lima.

Long lines show a deep devotion to Padre Pio

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A police officer genuflected. A man wearing a suit made the sign of the cross. A woman wrote a prayer intention and placed it in a box. Schoolchildren held holy cards against the relics of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, better known as Padre Pio.

The line was long in the early morning of Sept. 27 at Assumption Church in south St. Louis County, which hosted the relics of the beloved Capuchin Franciscan priest from Italy who was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002. It's one stop on a nationwide tour in 18 U.S. dioceses. Mass was to be celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Mark Rivituso that evening.

‘Truly a treasure’

The Society of the Sacred Heart recently received a 200 year-old ciborium that St. Madeleine Sophie Barat gave to St. Rose Philippine Duchesne to bring to the New World in 1818. The ciborium went to places like Cuba and Venezuela before making its way to St. Louis. Despite St. Rose Philippine Duchesne encountering problems like pirates, the chalice survived and made it to St. Louis.

Two saints, Caribbean pirates and faith-filled Religious of the Sacred Heart.

All three — part of a fantastic journey covering five countries on three continents over two centuries — converged at the Sacred Heart Spirituality Forum recently at St. Louis University, delivering a monumental surprise to the St. Louis-based Province of the United States-Canada.

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