October 1, 2017
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley
September 23, 2017
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Praised be Jesus Christ! This is a day of rejoicing for the Church in Oklahoma, the United States, and indeed for the Church in Guatemala and beyond. I want to express my appreciation to all of you for being with us to witness this historic and grace-filled event and to share our joy as we give thanks to God for the witness of Blessed Stanley Francis Rother, priest and martyr.
I am especially grateful for the presence of Cardinal Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Thank you for your beautiful homily and your support throughout the process that has led us to this glorious beatification.
I am grateful for the presence of Msgr. Walter Erbi, who represents our nuncio, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, who though unable to be here today has taken a keen interest in everything pertaining to the Cause of Blessed Stanley. Please express to him our appreciation for all his support.
I appreciate the presence of so many of my brother bishops, priests and deacons and so many consecrated women and men. It’s wonderful to see our seminarians and I am confident that through the witness and intercession of Blessed Stanley Rother many more young men and women will respond to God’s call to the priesthood and consecrated life by following the example of this good shepherd and missionary disciple.
Many have come great distances and I want to acknowledge especially those who have traveled from Guatemala to honor Padre A’plas, including my brother bishops and priests and the faithful associated with the parish of Santiago Atitlan. You honor us by your presence.
An extraordinary day like this does not happen without the dedication and generous efforts of many people. I want to begin by acknowledging Archbishop Beltran, who had the vision and confidence to initiate the process for the Cause of Father Rother 10 years ago. You assembled an extraordinary tribunal of dedicated men and women who worked very hard to gather testimony and to lay the foundation for what we celebrate today. Many of these tribunal members are present as well. Thank you!
I need to acknowledge my staff, the best in the world, who did the heavy lifting in preparing for this beautiful beatification. Thank you for going the extra mile so often in attending to the countless details of preparation, planning and execution. I am grateful for the army of volunteers who have assisted with all the details of hospitality, including the musicians, choirs and liturgical ministers. What a beautiful celebration this has been!
Finally, I am grateful to the donors and benefactors who have helped underwrite the cost of this day, especially the Knights of Columbus, Our Sunday Visitor, the dioceses of Tulsa, Little Rock and Boise, Idaho, the Catholic Extension Society and EWTN. Thank you for your generous support!
There are many more who could be named, but know that I am profoundly and personally grateful for your involvement.
Our work is not yet complete. God’s mercies are not exhausted! We turn our attention now to the process of canonization! Blessed Stanley Rother, pray for us!