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Two members of the Carmelite Family declared 'Venerable'
30 June 2012

Mother Angeline
On 28th June 2012 Pope Benedict XVI gave his consent to the promulgation of the 'Decree of Heroic Virtues' recognising the holiness of two members of the Carmelite Family.

Both are associated with the Church in New York. They are:

This means that these two Servants of God are now known by title of 'Venerable', an important stage in the process of canonisation. For a Christian to be formally considered a 'blessed' or 'saint' in the Roman Catholic Church, it is necessary to show that they lived a life of 'Heroic Virtue', demonstrating their faith in Jesus Christ by the outstanding holiness of their life.

Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa was born in Ireland, and after growing up in Scotland became a Little Sister of the Poor. While working in the Bronx, New York, U.S.A., she and six companions separated themselves from their former congregation to found, with the help of the Cardinal Archbishop of New York and the Carmelite friars there, a new Congregation affiliated with the Carmelite Order, known as the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, in Germantown, New York.

Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa died in 1984. Her reputation for holiness was widespread, and so in 1992 the process for this to be officially recognised by the Church began. The initial phase of a canonisation enquiry begins in the candidate's diocese, and the diocesan phase of the cause, conducted in the Diocese of Albany, New York, was initiated with Father Mario Esposito, O.Carm. (now Prior Provincial of the Saint Elias Province) as Postulator. Doctor Andrea Ambrosi is the postulator for the present phase of the cause in Rome.

As previously reported on this website, a miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa is being investigated that, God-willing, might eventually lead to her beatification, now that her 'Heroic Virtue' has been confirmed. For a brochure about Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa McCrory (in PDF format) produced by her congregation please click here.

The Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm have seventeen houses in the United States and one in Ireland. The Sisters are leaders in the area of geriatric care and strong defenders of the sanctity of life, in keeping with the charism of their founder.

The Vatican's latest promulgation of a decree of 'heroic virtue' also declared 'Venerable' the popular Catholic broadcaster Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen who died in New York (where he had been an auxiliary bishop) in 1979. His work of evangelisation through television and radio touched the lives of millions worldwide. A master communicator often called the world's first 'televangelist', he had the gift of preaching the Gospel in a way easy to understand (to access some of his recordings click here). His passionate rhetoric was sometimes controversial and not to the taste of all Catholics, but certainly thought-provoking.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen on the cover of 'Time' magazine in 1952.

Archbishop Sheen had a strong attraction to the Carmelite Order and was in regular correspondence with Carmelites for much of his life. His special bond of friendship with the Order was sealed on 17th July 1948 when at the age of 53 he made his profession as a member of the Carmelite Third Order. He was at that time Professor of Philosophy and Religion at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. His profession was received by the Prior General of the Carmelite Order, Most. Rev. Kilian Lynch, O. Carm., at a ceremony in Whitefriars Hall, the Order's house of studies in Washington. One of the most dedicated promoters of Fulton Sheen's cause for canonisation was the late Fr. J. (Joe) Linus Ryan, a friar of the Irish Province of Carmelites, who had a close personal friendship with the Archbishop. For further information on Archbishop Sheen's connection to the Carmelite Order please click here.

To hear a recording of Archbishop Fulton Sheen preaching at the Carmelite Church in Whitefriar Street, Dublin, in 1973, click on the arrow in the YouTube box below.