Saturday, October 14, 2006

Good News

You can stir things up in the Catholic Church and still turn out OK. Free Republic provides proof in its report on one of our soon-to-be saints, Blessed Mother Theodore Guerin.
The celebration of a new saint offers a respite from the lawsuits and settlements that have dominated much of the discussion of the U.S. church in recent years, and Guerin's life story can inspire those struggling in their own faith, said members of the religious order she founded, the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods.

"The bishop here in Vincennes was impossible to work with, yet she always kept her faith. She held on to it," said Sister Marcia Speth, one of the order's leaders. "In that way, she witnesses to us how to be today in an imperfect, flawed, sinful church."

Guerin led a group of six French nuns who arrived in Indiana on Oct. 22, 1840, to establish a community in the woods outside Terre Haute. She and Vincennes Bishop Celestin de la Hailandiere struggled over control of the fledgling order, and he dismissed Guerin from her vows, threatened her with excommunication and banished her for a time from St. Mary-of-the-Woods. She did not return until after his resignation in 1847.

In that way, she is like many saints who found themselves bucking church authorities while alive, only to be acclaimed as saints after their deaths, said the Rev. Richard McBrien, a theologian at the University of Notre Dame and the author of the 2001 book "Lives of the Saints."

"So many leading figures who had tussles with their bishop or other high-ranking ecclesiastical officials were later rehabilitated. History remembers them, but not the officials who gave them a difficult time," McBrien said. "I dare say that Mother Guerin, as a soon-to-be-canonized saint, will achieve an elevated status that will forever elude the bishop who dismissed her."
Blessed Mother Guerin's canonization is set for tomorrow. Definitely a happy ending.


At 7:23 AM, October 15, 2006, Blogger Steve Bogner said...

It really is interesting to see how some of these official-saints irritated the institutional church in their day... thanks for posting her story - I hadn't heard about that before.

At 10:54 AM, October 17, 2006, Anonymous dirtycatholic said...

I love those troublesome saints! It just goes to prove that there are all sorts of ways of being holy!

At 9:36 PM, October 17, 2006, Blogger CafeCath said...

Steve - Irritation can be so productive!

Dirty - A warm welcome to you and the Mr. You're cooking up a nice little blog there. You're both welcome here anytime.

At 11:43 PM, February 05, 2007, Anonymous Felicity said...

"some of these official-saints irritated the institutional church in their day..."

"Irritation can be so productive!"

Yes, some of the saints did "irritate" some of the bishops but can you show me any example in the entire canon of saints, where a saint ever defied Church Teaching?


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