06 Oct The Church at Her Best
By Fr. Roger Landry at The Anchor
The purpose of Christian life is to become a saint, the goal of priestly formation is to become not just a priest but a holy one, and the point of all future priestly apostolate is to strive to sanctify others.
These lessons and experiences all came back to me very early last Saturday morning as I was driving to concelebrate the first beatification in the history of the United States, Sr. Miriam Teresa Demjanovich’s in Newark’s stunning Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
The ceremony was more moving than any beatifications or canonizations I had attended at the Vatican. The beauty of the Basilica, the most beautiful Gothic Cathedral in our country, surely had something to do with it. Concelebrating the ceremony — something only bishops do in the Vatican — was a great joy. Attending a beatification Mass in English was more special that I had anticipated. But the main reason it was so powerful, I think, was because sanctity was being celebrated not in a far away land but “close to home.”
The most heartwarming part of the liturgy was when 58-year-old Michael Mencer, who 50 years ago was cured of juvenile macular degeneration through the intercession of now Blessed Miriam Teresa, brought her relics into the sanctuary. He was a living, walking testimonial to her sanctity and spiritual closeness.