The Congregation of Holy Cross has five men in various stages of the canonization process: our founder, Blessed Basil Moreau; Rev. Patrick Peyton, C.S.C.; Archbishop Theotonius Ganguly, C.S.C.; Bishop Vincent J. McCauley, C.S.C.; and Br. Flavian Laplante, C.S.C.
Holy Cross’ first saint is Br. André Bessette, C.S.C., was canonized on Oct. 17, 2010, by Pope Benedict XVI.
In the first stage of canonization, a group such as a religious congregation, parish or diocese makes a request to the bishop to open an investigation to determine if the candidate should be considered for sainthood. This may also be referred to as “introducing the cause.” The Vatican grants what is referred to as a “nihil obstat” (nothing hinders). At this point, a thorough examination begins, which involves the testimony of witnesses before a tribunal and reviewing the candidate’s writings and a study of his or her life. “Servant of God” is the title bestowed on the individual during the investigation process.
The Congregation of Holy Cross has four men in the “Servant of God” stage: Rev. Patrick Peyton, C.S.C.; Archbishop Theotonius Ganguly, C.S.C.; Bishop Vincent J. McCauley, C.S.C.; and Br. Flavian Laplante, C.S.C.
The findings are presented to the Congregation for the Cause of Saints in Rome and the title of “Venerable” is given following a favorable judgment and Papal approval.
“Beatification” refers to the next stage of canonization at which the Pope deems the person to be worthy of belief. A substantiated miracle must be attributed to the person or the person must have been martyred in order to be beatified and receive the title of “Blessed.” Our founder, Rev. Basil Moreau, C.S.C., has reached the “Blessed” stage.
The canonization process is complete when a second miracle is substantiated and the person is formally recognized to be in Heaven. The Pope then declares the Blessed to be a “Saint.” The saint’s feast day is the day of death or when the saint entered Heaven.
The cause for Fr. Moreau’s beatification was introduced in 1946, though it was not until 1994 that the study of his virtues was presented to the Vatican.
On April 12, 2003, Pope John Paul II bestowed the title “Venerable” upon Servant of God Basil Moreau. Three years later, Pope Benedict XVI authorized the promulgation of the decree regarding the miracle attributed to Fr. Moreau. On Dec. 7, 2006, the Holy Father authorized Fr. Moreau’s beatification to take place in Le Mans on Sept. 15, 2007.
Rev. Patrick Peyton’s Cause for Sainthood was introduced by Bishop Sean O’Malley of Fall River, Mass., in 1997.
In June of 2001, the formal Cause of Canonization was introduced at the Vatican and Fr. Peyton received the title “Servant of God.” Of all of those Holy Cross Religious with the title “Servant of God,” Fr. Peyton’s is the furthest along in the process. In June 2012, the Congregation for the Cause of Saints granted a Decree of Juridic Validity to documentation and witness testimony submitted by the diocesan inquiries for Fr. Peyton’s cause.
Archbishop Theotonius Ganguly’s Cause for Sainthood was opened by the Archdiocese of Dhaka in September 2006.
Archbishop Paulinus Costa of Dhaka serves as Postulator of his canonization cause and is overseeing a reconstruction of the life of Archbishop Ganguly on the basis of eyewitnesses and documents to arrive at a judgment on his holiness. His cause remains in the “Servant of God” stage.
In August 2006, the Cause for Canonization of Bishop Vincent McCauley, C.S.C., was introduced in the Congregation of Saints at the Vatican.
Bishop McCauley’s case is continuing to be reviewed by the Diocese of Fort Portal.
Br. Flavian Laplante, C.S.C., was declared a Servant of God on Feb. 13, 2009 – the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes – by Most Rev. Patrick D’Rozario, C.S.C., Bishop of Chittagong Diocese, Bangladesh.
Br. Flavian’s cause remains in its initial stages.