Promising News

Put Out in to the Deep
By Archbishop Paul Coakley
April 1, 2012

Among the many joys and splendid memories of my recently concluded ad limina visit there is one which offers the hope of truly lasting and far-reaching effects. More on this below!

First, I want to thank you for your prayers for the ad limina trip. It was a grace-filled experience. As expected, during our pilgrimage to the threshold of the tombs of the apostles we (the bishops of Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas) conducted an intense round of meetings with various dicasteries of the Roman Curia. This was the necessary business portion of the visit. The spiritual dimension of the pilgrimage included time for prayer and Masses at the major basilicas of the Eternal City. One of the most precious personal experiences was a private meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, accompanied by the other two Bishops of the Province of Oklahoma City: Bishop Slattery of Tulsa and Bishop Taylor of Little Rock. We discussed with the Holy Father the pastoral situation in each of our dioceses as well as our common concerns and challenges. I assured him of the prayers and the support of the faithful of the Archdiocese.

After concluding the full course of events I scheduled an additional appointment at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to express my support for the cause of the Servant of God, Fr. Stanley Rother. During my meeting with the Prefect, Cardinal Amato, he was eager to assure me that significant progress had just been made. After careful study of the cartons of materials which the Archdiocese had submitted on behalf of Father Rother, the Congregation had just affirmed the “juridic validity” of the case. This is the first, but very significant, affirmation by Congregation in the continuing process that we hope will lead ultimately to the canonization of Father Stanley Rother.

 

The next immediate step is to begin the development of a “positio”. The positio is the formal presentation of evidence based on all of the testimony that has been received. It is a detailed report which will demonstrate that Father Rother died as a martyr for the faith. When the positio has been completed, a process that will take between one and two years, it will be presented to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and to the Holy Father. It is the Pope who makes the ultimate judgment regarding martyrdom. If the Holy Father affirms that Father Rother died as a martyr, then permission will be granted for his beatification immediately.

We have come to an important moment in this process. It is very important that we increase our prayers for Father Rother’s beatification and canonization. If Fr. Rother is judged to have died as a martyr, a miracle obtained through his intercession will not be required for his beatification. However a miracle obtained after his beatification will be necessary in order for him to be canonized as a saint.

The beatification and canonization of Father Rother would be a great blessing for the whole Church, particularly for the Church in America and Guatemala. The Blesseds and the Saints are reminders that we are all called to holiness of life. Holiness is possible. Our vocation is to become saints. The evidence of holiness is the most compelling witness in the work of the New Evangelization and the renewal of faith. I am firmly convinced that the Lord desires to grant this gift to the Church. Our part is to pray with confidence and perseverance for the beatification and canonization of the Servant of God, Fr. Stanley Rother.

Father Rother Cause Timeline

 

 

December 2, 2016 Pope Francis recognized the martyrdom of Father Stanley Rother of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, making him the first martyr born in the United States. The recognition of his martyrdom clears the way for his beatification.

 

June 14, 2015 Vatican commission approves martyrdom in the Cause of Oklahoma’s Servant of God Father Stanley Rother

 

September 3, 2014 Servant of God Father Stanley Rother’s Positio is presented to Congregation for the Causes of Saints by Archbishop Paul Coakley and Dr. Ambrosi.

 

June 27, 2012 Congregation for the Causes of Saints name an official Relator for the Cause of Father Stanley Rother. The Relator together with the collaborator (Dr. Ambrosi) from outside the Congregation will prepare the Position Paper (Positio) on martyrdom.

 

May 2012 Congregation for the Causes of Saints affirmed the “juridic validity” of the case of father Rother.

 

Documents are reviewed. Second the documents are reviewed for the content. Was the three questions for martyrdom answered? Was his his life, ministry and death fully reviewed? 

 

Documents are reviewed. First the documents are reviewed for the process. Were the rules/guild lines followed? Was all the proper documents there? 

 

Box of documents arrives at the office of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in the Vatican. 

 

July 20, 2010 Closing of the Archdiocesan phase of the Cause of Canonization of Father Rother.

 

October 5, 2007 Canonization Tribunal is sworn in and the Archdiocesan phase of the Cause of Canonization of Father Rother begins.

 

USCCB votes to support opening a cause of canonization for Father Rother in Oklahoma.

 

Vatican approves the moving of the cause of Father Rother from the Diocese of Sololá-Chimaltenango, Guatemala to The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.

Diocese of Sololá-Chimaltenango, Guatemala approves the moving of the cause of Father Rother from the Diocese of Sololá-Chimaltenango, Guatemala to The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.

 

 July 28, 1981 Father Stanley Rother killed in his rectory in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala.