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Bishops approve moving forward four possible saints' causes


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BALTIMORE (CNS) -- During the U.S. bishops' fall general assembly Nov. 14-16 in Baltimore, they approved by voice vote the sainthood causes of four men and women as part of the episcopal consultation in the Catholic Church's process for possible canonization.

The four candidates are Julia Greeley, a former slave who lived in Colorado; Sister Blandina Segale, a Sister of Charity who served on the frontier; Father Patrick Ryan, who ministered to those suffering yellow fever; and Msgr. Bernard Quinn, who fought bigotry and established a black church and orphanage in Brooklyn, New York.

The four causes were presented individually to the group of bishops prior to their vote Nov. 15.

Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver, presented Greeley's cause to the bishops because she lived her adult life in Colorado and ministered there to those in poverty while she was poor too.

Greeley was born a slave in Hannibal, Missouri, sometime between 1838-1848. She lost the use of her right eye from an assault by a slave owner. Freed from slavery by the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, she went to Colorado, where she became Catholic a few years later.

As a lay Franciscan, closely affiliated with the Jesuits at her parish, she was actively involved in promoting the faith and devotion to the Sacred Heart. She died in 1918.

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