Sainthood pushed to raise diversity
Cecile Springer is hoping days like Sunday can help revitalize the Catholic Church.
Springer and several parishioners at St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland have been among Catholics researching and promoting sainthood for three black American women.
Pittsburgh Bishop David A. Zubik celebrated a special Mass, in which Springer and nuns from New Orleans participated, to draw attention to the cause.
“We have never had African-American women even thought of in the context of becoming saints,” Springer said. It “is a miracle in and of itself.”
There are so few saints from the United States that adding some, especially from the black community, can be a big inspiration to people, bringing more into the church, Springer said. There's been a growing push in the church to have multi-cultural committees, and many have taken up this cause, said Sister Clare of Assisi Pierre, a school principal from New Orleans who helped lead the events at St. Paul.
Being promoted for sainthood are: Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange, born in Cuba of Haitian parents, the founder of a religious order for black women and founder of a school for black girls in Baltimore; Mother Henriette DeLille, who helped yellow fever victims and started Sisters of the Holy Family in New Orleans; and Sister Thea Bowman, a Mississippi native who entered religious life in Michigan and made visits to Pittsburgh promoting inter-cultural understanding, church officials said.
“In our church, we don't see many people of color. And we don't think of our founding communities being of African-American race,” Pierre said. “But we have very influential people of African-American descent who have made significant strides for the Catholic church and have done tremendous humanitarian work.”
Timothy Puko is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7991 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Wedding aboard Pittsburgh’s Gateway Clipper ends in arrests
- Pittsburgh police force’s diversity worsens since ACLU filed discrimination lawsuit in 2012
- Revenue from special Pennsylvania Monuments license plates to help maintain monuments at Gettysburg
- Allegheny County’s crime lab ranks up there with world’s best
- Trac Fabrication all-terrain wheelchairs open world for disabled
- Pennsylvania amusement ride website leaves readers hanging
- TED Talks event to appeal to Pittsburgh millenials
- Family of Children’s Hospital transplant baby urges feds to change cochlear implants policy
- Toll road system traces roots to Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania Turnpike
- Former McCandless ice cream shop owner convicted of sex charges
- Heavy rain prompts flood advisory for Allegheny, Westmoreland counties