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Catholic Heroes for Today: Part 5

U.S. sainthood causes flourish in 2011


| Posted 8/11/11 at 1:10 AM

Courtesy of Opus Dei

It’s “American Saints Week” at the Register.

We’ve been looking at updates in the cases of several American men and women whose causes for beatification have been ongoing. Yesterday, we spoke about a new cause, that of Father Aloysius Ellacuria. Today, we look at another cause that was just introduced this year.

Father Joseph Muzquiz

Although devoted to his Basque heritage, Father Ellacuria became an American citizen, as did Father Joseph Muzquiz, who worked and died in the Boston Archdiocese.

Father Muzquiz was one of the first three priests ordained for Opus Dei and the first Opus Dei priest to come to the United States. He arrived in 1949 to establish Opus Dei at the request of St. Josemaría Escrivá, the founder, who supervised Father Muzquiz’s studies in Spain.

In just a decade, the young priest established Opus Dei centers in a number of major cities, including Boston, Washington and St. Louis. Next, he helped bring Opus Dei to Canada and Japan; then he returned to the United States. He died in 1983.

As the vice postulator of Father Muzquiz’s cause, Opus Dei Father David Cavanagh said that Father Muzquiz received the charism from God to begin Opus Dei here, and “he lived it himself — ordinary things, day in and day out. As it said on his prayer card, he has helped people to discover the way of sanctity in ordinary things, how to find joy and peace and Our Lord in daily life. In this country and many places around the world, many people discovered this was possible.”

Father Cavanagh emphasizes the powerful Christian witness Father Muzquiz gave, setting an example by living the teachings of Opus Daily in his priestly duties.

“Certainly, at this time with the scandals,” Father Cavanagh said, “having an example of a priest doing the ordinary priestly duties each day, fulfilling them with great love and trying to do them very well becomes an example to everybody in that regard.” His example “resonates with so many people — that they are called to be saints.”

Tomorrow: American saints’ message: Strive for holiness wherever you are. Register staff writer Joseph Pronechen writes from Trumbull, Connecticut.