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June 6, 2005
SAINTHOOD EFFORT FOR PRINCE GALLITZIN TAKES STEP FORWARD
Bishop Joseph Receives Permission from Vatican to Continue Process
(HOLLIDAYSBURG, PA) – The process that could eventually lead to the Reverend
Prince Demetrius A. Gallitzin being declared a saint has taken a step
forward, the Most Reverend Bishop Joseph V. Adamec of the Diocese of
Altoona-Johnstown has announced.
The Congregation for Saints of the Holy See recently notified Bishop Joseph that
the diocesan process for submitting the name of Father Gallitzin for eventual
canonization could continue. The Vatican issued the permission in response
to a letter of request from the Bishop, which he authored in
“In effect, the Congregation states that it sees no obstacle at this time to
proceed with the process that could result in a possible declaration of
sainthood,” said Bishop Joseph.
The Bishop said the Congregation now refers to Father Gallitzin as “Servant of
God”, a title by which he shall be known for the remainder of the process
which usually takes years to complete.
A diocesan task force, chaired by Betty Seymour of Loretto, performed the
preliminary work on studying the possibility of submitting Father Gallitzin’s
name to the Vatican. As a result of their efforts, the letter from Bishop
Joseph was sent as the first step in the canonization procedure. The task
force also includes representation from the neighboring Diocese of Erie as it
considers Father Gallitzin the first Vicar General of that church.
In his letter, Bishop Joseph noted that Father Gallitzin “never wavered in his
service of the Church in the wilderness of Western Pennsylvania”. The
Bishop also accented the fact that Father Gallitzin “surrendered his wealth”
and “gave up his family” as a member of Russian royalty to serve as the only
priest people could call upon from Lancaster, PA to St. Louis, MO.
Since receiving the Holy See’s permission, Bishop Joseph has taken the next
step of the process by asking the diocesan bishops of Region III (Pennsylvania
and New Jersey) for their input. Bishop Joseph will follow up by
appointing members to two commissions—historical and theological—that will
continue the study of presenting Servant of God Demetrius Gallitzin as a
candidate for beatification and canonization.
In addition to the formal steps required by the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop
Joseph is also asking the faithful of the area to submit any useful information
or miraculous intervention on the part of the Servant of God Demetrius Gallitzin
to the Chancery Offices of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.