Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The first person to be beatified on U.S. soil was raised in the Byzantine Catholic Church!

"And even in the world I felt very intensely that if people only sought God in all earnestness they would find Him. And if all would only make use of the ordinary duties and trials of their state in the way God intended, they would all become saints," wrote Sr. Miriam Teresa to her spiritual director (Letter to Father Benedict, O.S.B., August 19, 1926).  
Carpathian Connection Article
This spiritual director perceived something very special in Sr. Miriam Teresa, a Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth.  He perceived a life of heroic virtue and cooperation with the grace of God, which the Church will proclaim publicly this Saturday, October 4, when she is beatified (proclaimed "Blessed") at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J.--the first person ever to be beatified on U.S. soil.  The Church beatifies and canonizes (the final step in the process of declaring sainthood) certain members of the Body of Christ in order to hold them up as examples of virtue for the faithful--with the hope that all the faithful will seek to learn from their example and to emulate their virtues as they are able in their state of life.  As you can see from the above quote of Sr. Miriam Teresa, this young woman, who died at the age of 26 in 1927, felt very strongly that all people can become saints.

Her spiritual director played an important part in assuring that the wisdom she gained from her life with Christ would be available to others.  He asked her to write a set of spiritual conferences which he would then give to her and the other novices, without revealing their source.  After her death, he posted a note on the bulletin board which stated, "The conferences that I have been giving to the sisters were written by Sr. Miriam Teresa."  These conferences were later published in book form with the title, "Greater Perfection." This book, and her biography, are available through the Sisters of Charity.  Her teachings on prayer are especially helpful.
"As long as we try we need never fear or worry, for we are advancing.  Only when we give up trying have we cause for real anxiety about our progress...for we feel secure.  But it is a false security, in which a proud self and a prouder devil have steeped us" (Greater Perfection, Conference 13).
In addition to her beautiful teachings and the historic nature of her beatification, there is yet another exciting aspect of her life...Sr. Miriam Teresa was raised in the Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholic Church!  She was baptized at St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church in Bayonne, N.J.  She attended the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station, N.J., and entered the Roman Catholic community she was familiar with from her college days, the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth.  Bishop Kurt Burnette, the Byzantine Catholic bishop of the Eparchy of Passaic, will celebrate a Liturgy of Thanksgiving on Sunday, October 5, at 3:00 p.m., at her home parish in Bayonne.

We are happy to introduce you to our new friend!  For more information about Sr. Miriam Teresa, here are some resources:
National Catholic Register Article
Sisters of Charity Page

1 comment:

Leave us a comment!