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U.S. Bishops Affirm Advancement of the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of Servant of God Cora Louise Evans
Posted on 11/16/2022 08:30 AM (USCCB News Releases)
BALTIMORE - At their annual fall Plenary Assembly, the bishops of the United States held a canonical consultation on the cause of beatification and canonization of the Servant of God Cora Louise Evans, lay woman.
Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, and Bishop Daniel E. Garcia of Monterey, facilitated the discussion by the bishops. By a voice vote, the bishops expressed support for the advancement of the cause of beatification and canonization on the diocesan level.
A brief biography of Cora Louise Evans was provided by the Diocese of Monterey:
Cora Evans was born July 9, 1904 and was raised as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She married Maclellan (“Mack”) Evans in the well-known Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah. That event was the turning point in her life. She later claimed that the ceremony left her disillusioned and disappointed with her faith, especially the doctrine that placed man-made gods above the God of Abraham. “I was without a God and religion but had gained a very wonderful husband. As I looked at him and learned to love him more and more, I resolved to help find a God for him. After ten years of searching, we found the One True God in the Roman Catholic Church,” she said.
In the decade that followed, Cora and Mack had three children. When they suffered the loss of their child, Bobby, when he was ten months old, Cora looked into many religions for comfort and consolation. Her upbringing prevented her from inquiring about Catholicism.
On December 9, 1934, while living in Ogden, Utah, Cora was ill in bed and the radio was on the other side of the room. Alone and too ill to get out of bed to change the station when the Catholic Hour began broadcasting, Cora listened to Monsignor Duane Hunt talk about the Blessed Mother and the teachings of the Catholic faith. His message conflicted with the negative stories Cora had been told about Catholics, and as soon as she recovered from her illness, she went to nearby St. Joseph Catholic Church to inquire about the faith and have her questions answered. Her inquiry led to a series of meetings, including debates in her home between the parish priest, Reverend Edward Vaughn, and several Mormon bishops. Cora appreciated Father Vaughn’s demeanor and the clarity of his responses to questions about Catholic doctrine
Cora was baptized into the Catholic Church on March 30, 1935 and received her first Holy Communion the next day. Her husband and daughters, LaVonne and Dorothy, followed her lead a few months later. She died March 30, 1957.
Cora influenced many Mormons to visit St. Joseph Catholic Church, inviting them to open house gatherings, and years later, Father Vaughn wrote a letter confirming that through Cora’s evangelization efforts, there were hundreds of conversions of Mormons to the Catholic faith.
The cause of beatification and canonization of the Servant of God Cora Louis Evans was formally opened in June 2010.
U.S. Bishops Affirm Advancement of the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of Servant of God Mother Margaret Mary Healy-Murphy
Posted on 11/16/2022 08:30 AM (USCCB News Releases)
BALTIMORE - At their annual fall Plenary Assembly, the bishops of the United States held a canonical consultation on the cause of beatification and canonization of the Servant of God Mother Margaret Mary Healy-Murphy, foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate.
Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, and Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, M.Sp.S., of San Antonio, facilitated the discussion by the bishops. By a voice vote, the bishops expressed support for the advancement of the cause of beatification and canonization on the diocesan level.
A brief biography of Mother Margaret Mary Healy-Murphy was provided by the Archdiocese of San Antonio:
Margaret Mary Healy was born on May 4, 1833, to Jane Murphy Healy and Richard Healy in Cahersiveen, County Kerry, Ireland. When she was only five years old her mother died in childbirth, and over the next few years, Margaret watched her family and the rest of Ireland struggle to survive the ravages of famine.
Margaret immigrated to America with her father when she was 12 and her father died shortly after their arrival. She accompanied her brothers, aunts, and uncles when they made their way across several southern states and eventually to Mexico, where they operated a hotel. Upon marrying John Bernard Murphy in 1849, Margaret and her family moved to Texas. While her husband was traveling for business, Margaret ministered to the pastoral and material needs of her neighbors, reportedly even riding 35 miles on horseback to secure medicine for Yellow Fever victims.
With the Civil War brewing and her husband away, most likely for safety, Margaret moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, helping her neighbors with chores and cooking meals for those in need. After the war, Margaret volunteered at St. Patrick’s Parish, even as the Yellow Fever epidemic reached the city. She worked alongside the pastor, Reverend John Gonnard, who later died from the illness. One of the patients Margaret tended to – Mrs. Delaney – entrusted her daughter, Minnie, to Margaret’s care. Margaret and John Bernard adopted Minnie and sent her to a boarding school in New York with the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur. They also adopted Margaret’s goddaughter, Lizzie, who had lost her mother as well. Upon graduation, both girls entered the religious life with the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament Sisters.
Following the death of her husband in 1884, Margaret operated a tuberculosis hospital in Corpus Christi. After a few years, she moved to San Antonio. In 1887, responding to a plea from the bishops during the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore, she was inspired to use her own finances to build the first black Catholic Church and school in the city. With racial prejudice prevalent, she struggled with securing finances to sustain her project and maintain a stable faculty. In 1893, with the blessing of Bishop John C. Neraz, Margaret founded a new religious congregation, the Sisters of the Holy Ghost, now known as the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate. These sisters supported Margaret’s mission of working with the poor and people of color. Mother Margaret Mary Healy-Murphy died on August 7, 1907, leaving behind 15 sisters, two postulants and three missions. Even today, her congregation continues “manifesting the compassion of Jesus to the poor” in the United States and Zambia.
On June 28, 2022, Archbishop García-Siller announced his intention to formally open the diocesan phase of investigation into the life of Mother Margaret Mary Healy-Murphy.
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