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American bishops set feast day for Saint Teresa of Calcutta



The American bishops have assigned a feast date to Saint Teresa of Kolkata.

The date would be September 5, the date of the death in 1997 of the founder of the Missionaries of Charity. It will be an optional memorial on the US calendar.

The vote was 213-0 with one abstention. Two-thirds of the approval of the Latin rite bishops is required, followed by a “confirmatio” by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

According to a report by Archbishop Leonard P. Blair of Hartford, Connecticut, chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, the dioceses of Minnesota asked the committee in October 2020 to “put” St. Therese’s name on the calendar. ” appropriate “.

“The committee voted unanimously to support this petition at its January 2021 meeting, noting the widespread devotion to Saint Teresa and the inspiring example of her life and ministry,” Archbishop Blair said.

Committee policy, established in 1992, requires four conditions for the inclusion of saints and blessed on the American calendar: they must have been on the appropriate diocesan calendars for at least five years; the candidate’s “cult” “must exist in a significant number of dioceses, larger than the area or region of the country”; the candidate must have served in the United States; and a new inscription would ordinarily have the rank of an optional memorial.

Archbishop Blair noted how Missionaries of Charity currently serve in approximately 30 American dioceses, and the feast of Saint Teresa is classified as a solemnity in the sisters’ chapels. Saint Teresa has also been on the proper calendar of the Archdiocese of New York for “a number of years,” he said.

Liturgical texts have already been written in anticipation of the proclamation of the feast. Archbishop Blair told bishops on November 17 that the Missionaries of Charity were working on finalizing a new text for the Office of Readings for such a feast, and that the texts for the U.S. edition of the Liturgy of the Hours would probably be presented in the course of 2023 for a future vote of the bishops.

He added that the Vatican chose to use the previous spelling of Calcutta, the saint’s adopted home, for the feast. In response to a question from Bishop Earl A. Boyea Jr. of Lansing, Michigan, he said the practice of American bishops is to add the holidays to the national calendar as optional memorials.

“She’s an incredible example of meeting,” said Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay, Wisconsin, who pleaded for the celebration. “Very powerful and effective in moving the heart … I think we would be deeply served by including it in our calendar.”