Vatican Roundup

Vatican Roundup Second miracle attributed to Sister Dulce is recognized by decree and she will be proclaimed Saint, says the Vatican. Photo Credit: Site OSID
 Brazilian ‘Mother

Pope Francis advanced the sainthood causes of four men and four women, including Blessed Dulce Lopes Pontes, the ‘Mother Teresa’ of Brazil. The Pope signed the decrees on May 13 during a meeting with Cardinal Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes. The Vatican published the decrees on May 14.

The Pope recognised the miracle needed for the canonisation of the Brazilian nun, who was a member of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.

Born in 1914, she was known to Brazilian Catholics as Sr Dulce, the mother of the poor. She founded the first Catholic workers’ organisation in the state of Bahia, started a health clinic for poor workers and opened a school for working families. She created a hospital, an orphanage and care centres for the elderly and disabled. She was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by then-President Jose Sarney in 1988.

Francis also authorised the publication of a decree recognising a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Josephine Vannini and another decree he signed recognises the miracle needed for the beatification of Sr Maria Ripamonti, also known as Sr Lucia of the Immaculate. Born in Italy in 1909, she was a member of the Handmaids of Charity. She died in 1954.

The Pope also recognised the heroic virtues of Auxiliary Bishop Giovanni Battista Pinardi of Turin, Fr Carlo Salerio, Marianist Fr Domingo Lazaro Castro, Capuchin Fr Salvatore da Casca and Mother Maria Eufrasia Iaconis.


Promote ‘culture of resurrection’, Pope urges

Like their founder, St John Baptist de La Salle, the Christian Brothers’ must continue their educational mission and restore life to areas where poverty and suffering have taken away the hope of a future, Pope Francis said.

Meeting with 300 members of the LaSallian Christian Brothers at the Vatican on May 16, the Pope encouraged them to promote a “culture of resurrection”, especially in those existential contexts where the culture of death prevails”.

“Do not tire of going in search of those who find themselves in the modern ‘tombs’ of bewilderment, degradation, discomfort and poverty, to offer hope for a new life,” he said.

The Christian Brothers’ meeting with the Pope coincided with the 300th anniversary of St John Baptist de la Salle’s death.


Francis appoints

New Mexico bishop

Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Peter Baldacchino to head the Diocese of Las Cruces, New Mexico – making him the first diocesan bishop associated with the Neocatechumenal Way to serve in a mainland US diocese.

Bishop Baldacchino (58) has been an auxiliary bishop of Miami, Florida since 2014. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Newark in 1996.

As a seminarian in Newark, he studied at the Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University but lived at the Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary.

Bishop Baldacchino’s formation was in part guided by the Neocatechumenal Way, a post-baptismal itinerary of Christian formation first approved by Pope Paul VI and supported by each of the subsequent Popes.

Seminarians who discern their vocation while involved with the Neocatechumenal Way are encouraged to place special emphasis on the universal missionary character of the priesthood and offer themselves, at the discretion of their local bishop, in service to the New Evangelisation anywhere in the world.

He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Newark on May 25, 1996.