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100 Postulators met with the leaders of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints

05/02/2011: General House

Yesterday, January 27, 2011, our group of more than 100 Postulators met with the leaders of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect, His Excellency Marcelo Bartolucci, the new Secretary, and Bishop Bugoslaw Turek, the new Assistant Secretary of the Congregation, respectively.

The meeting took place in the large auditorium at the Augustinian University near St. Peter’s Square. It was a cordial gathering, in an atmosphere marked by simplicity, amiability and a spirit of listening and responding to questions. 

During the question and answer period, the Cardinal Prefect presented one thought in particular that drew my attention. Speaking slowly to underline his point, he said, “When examining a Cause, merely presenting technical aspects of the work is not enough; this needs to be accompanied by very vigorous pastoral and spiritual activity.”

The technical work is handled by Postulators and Vice-Postulators. This includes the coordinating various phases in advancing a Cause: working with a diocesan tribunal and then with the authorities in Rome, drawing up a “positio” and keeping in touch with members of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.

On the other hand, the pastoral y spiritual effort that’s required is the responsibility of all us, our entire family when we are talking about the Causes for Brothers François, Alfano, Basilio and our Martyrs in Spain, China and Algeria. Our pastoral work consists of informing others about the lives of our saints so we all keep them in our prayers, admire them, witness to their lives and most of all imitate them. That’s the way their lives remain vibrant in today’s world. This task belongs not just to the Postulator but every Brother, community and Province. Welcoming into our midst a Saint that God has given us and offering the witness of his life to all Christians is a duty of the entire Marist Family.

There are notable differences between a Cause promoted solely by a Postulator or Vice-Postulators and one that is dear to the heart of a family’s entire membership. The latter has a much better chance to be concluded in a timely way. The reality is that many Causes proceed at a snail’s pace because they are not backed up by fervent prayer.

At the present time the Congregation is examining some 3000 Causes, coming to it from all over the world, holiness being a universal reality. In reality, not very many; about three Causes for every million Catholics,

When it comes to John Paul II, who will be beatified at St. Peter’s on May 1, 2011, one can truly say that he enjoys great acclaim for his life’s holiness. People the world over are invoking this servant of God. In the Church’s recent history he will be the only Pope beatified by his successor. At least a million faithful are expected to be at this event, some predict two million… By far that will be the largest gathering ever to witness a beatification ceremony. John Paul himself presided at so many beatification and canonization ceremonies.  

Getting back to the importance of pastoral and spiritual activities that are centered around promoting our Marist saints, we need to keep a special place for this work in our hearts, our lives, our prayers… In this regard, we can do better.

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