Saint Push Moves Ahead
by Susan Evans
Tribune Democrat- 2 March 2007
LORETTO — The
effort to canonize Prince Gallitzin will take another step forward with a
ceremony scheduled for March 11 in Loretto, and the bishop is hoping for an
Demetrius Gallitzin, the priest who brought Catholicism to this region, died in
1840 and was the first priest educated and ordained entirely in the U.S.
The diocesan drive for sainthood, in part spurred by Frank and Betty Seymour of
Loretto, received a boost in 2005 when the Vatican declared that Gallitzin could
now be referred to as “Servant of God.”
The next major step will be held in Loretto, with the March 11 opening session
of what’s formally called the Diocesan Inquiry for the Cause of Canonization
for Servant of God Demetrius Gallitzin.
Bishop Joseph Adamec will preside over the 3 p.m. session at the Basilica of St.
Michael the Archangel and said he is hoping for a record attendance.
“This is a rare moment in the history of our diocese,” the bishop said in a
“My wish is that this occasion be recorded by history as one where the
faithful filled the basilica to capacity. Such an outpouring will be of great
assistance in proving the reverence that the Servant of God (Gallitzin) commands
among the faithful to this day,” he said.
The procedure for the inquiry will be for the bishop to administer oaths to
those who will be involved in the process. That will include the Seymours, who
have chaired the diocesan task force for canonization.
They have spent years researching the life and times of Gallitzin, who was known
as the Apostle of the Alleghenies.
The son of a Russian prince with Lithuanian roots and a German countess,
Gallitzin gave up his wealthy heritage to serve as the only priest from
Lancaster to St. Louis.
If the years-long drive for his canonization is successful, Gallitzin would
become one of only a few with ties to the United States elevated to sainthood.
In 2004, a Russian television crew filmed a documentary about Gallitzin, which
Roman Catholic clergy and area historians hope will assist the cause for his
Locally, the Seymours have been scouring the area for artifacts attached to
Gallitzin’s name, such as signatures, glasses, books or sacramentals to add to
During his visit with Pope John Paul II in 2004, Adamec had the chance to praise
the contributions of Prince Gallitzin, while putting in a plug for Gallitzin’s
sainthood. Also as part of the process, Adamec has asked the bishops of
Pennsylvania and New Jersey for their input.
The next step will involve forwarding the March 11 testimony to the Vatican as
evidence in favor of Gallitzin’s sainthood.