A Search for Faith, Family, and Miracles
by Justin Calanoso

Posts Tagged ‘Catholic saints’

Fr. James Martin on saints and saint making

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

In the run-up to Sunday’s beatification of the late Pope John Paul II in Rome, author and Jesuit priest Father James Martin writes in Slate:

“The naysayers, mainly on the left, see John Paul not as one of the great religious figures of the age, but as a person with whom they often disagreed, particularly on issues of the ordination of women, the Vatican’s response to the sexual-abuse crisis, and treatment of gays and lesbians. The most common arguments against his canonization can be boiled down to two: First, I disagreed with him. Second, he wasn’t perfect.”

The essay is here.

Review/Our Sunday Visitor

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

My Cousin the Saint

Author and critic Mary DeTurris Poust wrote this brief review of My Cousin the Saint for Our Sunday Visitor, the nation’s largest circulating Catholic newspaper:

“Ever since I read the hardcover version of this book, I have been recommending it to friends who are Catholic, friends who are Italian, friends who like adventure travel stories because it is at once a story of pilgrimage, a story of heritage, a story of newly discovered family love. Justin Catanoso’s search for the history behind Padre Gaetano Catanoso, his grandfather’s cousin who was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI, unfolds in beautiful prose that allows the reader to enter into the author’s own spiritual struggles and family celebrations. You will walk away from the book wondering how it is possible you didn’t know about Padre Gaetano long before you joined Catanoso on his quest for faith and knowledge.”

You’re welcome to judge for yourself. Click here.

Newly named saints

Friday, May 1st, 2009

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI named five new saints April 26, including Portugal‘s 14th century independence leader and a priest who ministered to factory workers at the dawn of the industrial era. Speaking in a packed St. Peter’s Square, Benedict praised each of the five as a model for the faithful, saying their lives and works were as relevant today as when they were alive. Full story here.

Why saints

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

The Vatican’s leader of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Bishop Angelo Amato, shares his thoughts on the meaning and importance of saints in this letter.

An excerpt: “The Saints themselves are these ‘seeds of newness,’ people who have fully realized the greatest projects, to live the perfection of love. The Saints are, therefore, precisely the ones who can enlighten the minds of the men and women of our age, who ran reignite in them the faith, who can sustain in them the prospective of the good, who can propose to them generous impulses which can overcome the paralysis of mediocrity, who can help them renew their interpersonal relationships in truth and justice, in such a way that no-one is left marginalised or overcome by despair and distress.”

Miami, Houston and Pittsburgh

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Last Saturday, the op-ed page of The Los Angeles Times carried an column I wrote regarding the old pope, the new pope, my favorite saint and the saint-making process. This weekend, that same column was picked up by the Miami Herald, the Houston Chronicle and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Post-Gazette went the extra step of publishing a photo of Saint Gaetano Catanoso with the piece (thanks to op-ed page editor John Allison).

An excerpt: “A Catanoso saint? What kind of joke was this? Intrigued, I decided to look into this strange family phenomenon. I met with Vatican priests and interviewed relatives in the South of Italy for whom this distant cousin remains a powerful spiritual touchstone. In the process of learning about my relative, I learned plenty about why John Paul was so intent on making saints.”

A Houston reader wrote: “Pope John Paul II might have been a bit profligate in overseeing the canonization of so many saints, but I agree with Catanoso that his heart was in the right place. We Catholics here in America appreciate the Church elevating a few of our own, like the inspiring philanthropist Mother Katherine Drexel, to sainthood.”