Responding to many inquiries about Catherine McAuley's cause for canonisation, Members of the Mercy International Association (MIA) in April, 2007 decided to approach the task with a new sense of urgency.
They endorsed the move by the Postulator, Sister Brenda Dolphin (pictured right), to appoint three vice Postulators for the process. In so doing they were conscious that from many walks of life and from many parts of the globe, people whose lives have been touched by the story of Catherine have been expressing a wish that she be recognised as a saint.
Among the tasks of the vice Postulators will be the responsibility to gather and encourage the gathering of stories about Catherine to show how Catherine's life influences people. Her life of generous service to the needy, her deep faith and her trust in providence have been the inspiration not only for thousands of Mercy Sisters but also for their associates, families, friends, colleagues, co-workers and companions in ministry.
Whilst the enduring influence of Catherine's life and work, and the influence of her compassionate and practical concern for the poor are considered by many to be miraculous, what is required for Catherine to be beatified is a miraculous cure; and a further miracle is needed for her canonization. With Catherine McAuley's vision as our shared inheritance MIA is called at this time to promote the vision in ways that are creative, life-giving, appropriate to the times and sufficiently compelling to claim Catherine as a canonised saint.
In the light of the extent of the World Mercy family and in the interests of greater cohesiveness in the work of promoting the Cause, three Vice-Postulators were appointed by the Postulator in accordance with the procedures of the Congregation for Causes (Rome).
The role of the Vice Postulator like that of the Postulator is to:
- Defend the interests of the Petitioner
- To collaborate with competent ecclesiastical authorities
- Seek and promote truth in all circumstances
The named Vice Postulators are:
Sheila Carney rsm
Vice Postulator for the Americas including Canada and the US Province of the Congregation
Anne Hannon rsm
Birr, Offaly, Ireland
Vice Postulator for Europe and Africa
Caroline Ryan rsm
Vice Postulator for Australia & PNG, New Zealand and the Philippines.
Each Vice Postulator will have an advisory board to assist her in her work of:
- Making Catherine and the Charism of Mercy as widely known as possible in her area
- Encouraging prayer through the intercession of Catherine.
These sisters as well as other members of the international committee will be promoting awareness of the life, vision and virtues of Catherine among members of the Mercy Congregation throughout the world as well as among the public. They will also keep us informed of developments and will respond to any contributions or queries regarding the cause.
Other members of the International Committee in addition to the postulators are:
- Maria Villegas rsm (Philippines)
- Antonia Blake rsm (New Zealand)
- Diane Smyth rsm (Newfoundland)
- Dolores McGee rsm (Sunderland, Federation G.B.)
- Patricia Bell rsm (Institute, G.B.)
- Annette McCartan rsm (Union, G.B.)