Metuchen Diocese finalizes investigation of alleged miracle attributed to nun

By James McEvoy

Catholic News Service

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — The Diocese of Metuchen has formally completed its investigation of an alleged miracle attributed to the intercession of Mother M. Angeline Teresa McCrory. The testimony and evidence collected are now on their way to the Vatican for further review.

Mother Angeline founded the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm. Today the sisters, whose motherhouse is in Germantown, N.Y., operate 17 facilities in the United States and Ireland.

The inquiry involved a child who was diagnosed with a genetic disorder prior to birth, but was born without the condition.

Metuchen Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski presided over a ceremony marking the completion of the investigation Sept. 21 in the chapel of the St. John Neumann Pastoral Center in Piscataway. He expressed joy at the opportunity for the diocese to remember the Gospel message as well as the mysterious works of God.

The bishop called Mother Angeline a much-needed role model for disciples of Jesus Christ.

Lori Albanese, diocesan chancellor and notary of the investigation, said the four-month inquiry involved gathering facts and testimony from witnesses, including those who prayed for the intercession of Mother Angeline and the original physicians who cared for the child.

Additionally, two independent medical experts were interviewed to verify the child’s current state of health, she said.

Due to rules of confidentiality, Albanese said, the identity of the child could not be released, but she did say the family lived in close proximity to the Metuchen Diocese.

The collected testimony will be presented to the Congregation for Saints’ Causes at the Vatican by Andrea Ambrosi, the postulator of Mother Angeline’s cause.

Through a translator, Ambrosi, an Italian canon lawyer, said it would be premature to set a timetable for the cause.

“It’s not going to be overnight,” he said. “It’s difficult to set a time because there are so many other causes” being investigated.

Mother Angeline’s case includes more than 2,000 pages of documentation to be studied by the congregation, he said. The cause itself was formally opened 10 years ago.

The church’s process leading to canonization involves three major steps. First is the declaration of a person’s heroic virtues, after which the church gives the sainthood candidate the title of “venerable.” Second is beatification, after which he or she is called “blessed.” The third step is canonization, or the declaration of sainthood.

In general, two miracles must be accepted by the church as having occurred through the intercession of a prospective saint, one before beatification and the other before canonization.

Born Bridget Teresa McCrory in Mountjoy, Ireland, in 1893, Mother Angeline joined the Little Sisters of the Poor at age 19 but in 1931 in New York she founded the first modern congregation dedicated to the care of the elderly and ill. She died Jan. 21, 1984, her 91st birthday, at the order’s motherhouse in Germantown.

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