U.S. Bishops Will Discuss Adding John Paul II Prayer to Liturgical Calendar

USCCB will vote on the measure during their upcoming general assembly.

(photo: Official beatification portrait)

WASHINGTON (EWTN News)—The U.S. bishops will consider including two new sets of prayers in the Proper of Saints calendar — one for Blessed Pope John Paul II and the other for Blessed Marianne Cope — during their upcoming fall meeting.

At the Nov. 14-16 general assembly in Baltimore, the bishops will vote on adding the prayers as part of several liturgical items up for discussion.

“Because blesseds are not normally inscribed on the universal calendar, it is left to the local authorities to suggest the inscription of the observance of a blessed on a diocesan, religious or national calendar,” the U.S. bishops’ conference said in an Oct. 18 press release.

The Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship issued a decree in April 2011 permitting the celebration of a Mass of Thanksgiving for Blessed John Paul II in local churches at the discretion of diocesan bishop during the year following the late Pope’s beatification. Pope John Paul II was beatified on May 1, 2011.

But beyond that year, the universal norms for the liturgical year and the calendar don’t allow the observance of memorials for blesseds unless they are designated on a particular local calendar.

At the bishops’ June meeting in Seattle, the Committee on Divine Worship proposed the optional memorial of Blessed John Paul II for Oct. 22 to be officially added to the Proper Calendar for the U.S. dioceses.

For approval, the move will require a two-thirds vote from the Latin Church members of the bishops’ conference next month, as well as confirmation by the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship.

The bishops will also consider a request for the optional memorial of Blessed Marianne Cope to be added to the calendar.

Mother Marianne Cope was beatified in May 2005. During the 19th century, she spent her life in Hawaii caring for patients with leprosy.

The request was made the minister general of the Sisters of Saint Francis of the Neumann Communities and by the bishops of Syracuse, N.Y., — where she entered religious life — and Honolulu, where she served for many years. The Archdioceses of Los Angeles and San Francisco have also recently petitioned to have the observance added to their calendars.

Although the texts for Blessed Marianne Cope’s memorial have already been confirmed for use by the Congregation for Divine Worship, the bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship will present them in November to the full body of the bishops for approval.

During their fall assembly, the bishops will also vote on a new English translation of the Rite for Blessing the Oil of Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick, as well as the Rite for Consecrating the Chrism.


The Earth is Not Our Mother

“The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate.”—G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy