Friday, September 30, 2016

The Answer To Suicide Begins in the Family

September is National Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month. Suicide is a topic that we must always address with a sense of compassion. We must address it with a sense of compassion out of respect for those who struggle with the thoughts, for those who have completed the act, and for those who have lost family members and friends in this manner. It’s a tough topic, but it’s one that needs to be tackled.

According to the Center for Disease Control, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Between 42,000 and 44,000 individuals commit suicide each year, which comes out to about 115 per day, or one every 15 minutes. It is estimated that roughly 25 persons attempt suicide for each person that completes it, which means that well over half of a million people attempt suicide each year in the United States. Studies show that suicide is on the rise, particularly among those who are younger. There has also been a decline in the percentage of Americans who see suicide as morally problematic.

That means Americans are more likely to feel suicidal, and less likely to encounter someone who would tell them it’s morally problematic.

So what is behind the numbers, and why are we seeing a rise in the suicide rates?

This are complex questions, but it should be noted that at the same time the suicide rate has been climbing, religious participation has been declining, the traditional nuclear family is less and less common, and a Godless, morally relativistic society is rising from the ashes of a formerly Christian nation. Certainly correlation does not imply causation, but I think we are kidding ourselves if we believe that these things are not connected to one another.

A look at any survey will reveal a number of risk factors for increased suicidal thinking and preoccupation. Among these risk factors are a lack of meaning or purpose in one’s life, a lack of a sense of belonging, and a hopelessness about the future.

If we want to put a dent in the suicide rate, we need to begin by mitigating some of these risk factors. It’s clear that the first thing we can do to mitigate these risk factors is to strengthen the nuclear family.

The nuclear family is the foundational building block of society. It is where, as individuals, we first learn about our identity, who we are, and why we are. Have you ever met someone and asked them about themselves? This question is commonly met with answers that relate to one’s family, one’s upbringing, and where one is from. That’s because our very identity is rooted in our families.

When my kids get old enough and start asking these types of questions, they will learn that my wife and I love each other very much, and that they are the product of that love. They will know that they belong with us and that we love them unconditionally. The nuclear family is where an individual first learns about belonging. Strengthening nuclear families can help mitigate the rising suicide rate by helping individuals first experience that sense of belonging.

The family is also where we learn about solving conflicts, forgiving others, taking care of ourselves and forming relationships. Another element that we first learn about in our families is worship of our Creator, and it is in this worship that our final end is realized. We are made for Heaven, for union with our Creator.

It is in our relationship with our Creator that we find our sense of purpose, the meaning behind our lives. The most pro-life thing we can do for anyone is to help them understand and accept the reason for their existence. That reason is communion. We are all created for union with God, and that desire for union is first realized and demonstrated in the family.

When we love and nurture our children, we teach them that they belong and that they can take that into the world with them. They don’t have to spend a lifetime wondering whether they belong or not; they already know. When we introduce them to their Creator, we teach them about the purpose and meaning of their lives. They don’t have to navigate a confusing and sometimes cruel world wondering about why they are here; they already know.

Conversely, depriving children of this sense of belonging sets them up for a lifetime of searching for something that has never been learned. It creates an emptiness that individuals sometimes never learn to fill. By failing to teach children about their relationship with their Creator and the reason for their existence, we set children up for a lifetime of searching for meaning and purpose, and oftentimes they find it in the wrong places. Sometimes they even find it in dangerous or destructive places, and this is a tragedy as well.

This is why it is so important for families to cherish their children, and for parents to cherish each other as well. Study after study has shown that children of divorced parents are more likely to commit suicide or experience suicidal thoughts. This is also why going to church and praying with one’s children is so important. It is through the nuclear family that we can mitigate the risk factors for suicide.

It is certainly the case that sometimes, due to factors outside of one’s control, the nuclear family cannot or should not, stay intact. This should not be seen as an indictment of these cases. In these cases, the parent or parents should make every effort to make sure the child knows they are loved by both parents and that the child still belongs in every way as part of the family.

Further, it is clear that building healthy families will not completely erase the problem of suicide in our society. Suicide is a complex physiological and psychological phenomenon. Reading accounts of suicidal persons often paints a picture of intense suffering and darkness. This intense suffering often entails elements that go beyond just relational struggles.

Indeed, many individuals from incredibly healthy families and homes have taken their own lives. In many cases, a family has tried anything and everything to help a suicidal person, sometimes over the course of many years, and nothing seems to help. In those cases, we entrust all parties, the individual and the families, to the mercy and love of God.

While it is clear that building and strengthening families will not completely solve the suicide epidemic, it would certainly put a dent in it.

And if we can put even a small dent in this destructive epidemic, it is incumbent on us to do just that. 

Cullen Herout is a pro-life, pro-family writer. He has a passion for writing about life issues, Marriage, fatherhood, and creating a culture of life. He also hosts a pro-life radio show, which can be heard here. Follow him on Facebook here or at his own blog, Ready To Stand.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Featured Program: Call Me Catholic

Spirit Catholic Radio welcomes "Call Me Catholic" to our lineup of quality, Catholic radio programming. The program will air Saturdays at 12 p.m. CST.

Photo courtesy
“Call Me Catholic" is a new EWTN weekly radio show.

Broadcasting from high atop the Tower of Hope on the beautiful Christ Cathedral Campus in Orange County, Calif., “Call Me Catholic” is a light and lively conversation about the blessings and challenges of embracing a Catholic identity in the modern world. This live one-hour show, a co-production of EWTN Radio and Orange County Radio, is hosted by Peggy Normandin and can be heard Saturdays at 12 p.m. CST on Spirit Catholic Radio, an EWTN affiliate.

The program features high-profile Catholic guests; live callers; commentary on faith in the news and arts; and heartfelt stories about growing up Catholic.

Host Peggy Normandin will leave you energized and excited to tell the world, "You can ‘Call Me Catholic."

Visit the "Call Me Catholic" website here.

Information courtesy EWTN.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Life Lessons Through Faith and Family

Editor's Note: We're excited to share this beautiful reflection from mom and Spirit Mornings co-host Jen Brown. Jen wrote this piece for her parish blog.

Life Lessons Through Faith and Family

Psalms 18:2: "The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."

This is the first time the parish has featured a blog from the point of view of a parishioner. And this is the first time I have ever done a blog ... so you, dear reader, get to ride along for many firsts today. Please bear with me.

Some people will be able to relate to this blog as a parent; others as a single mother of a son.

Most of you might know that I walk with a cane and wear a brace on my right ankle. I was in a terrible motorcycle accident 16 years ago that took the life of my brother and left me with some permanent damage. As a result, my son and I always sit in the four south side floating pews, behind the altar servers, at Queen of Apostles Corpus Christi. This way I can get to Communion and back with ease.

My mother taught me something very important growing up at Mass: we always sat within the first few pews because kids pay closer attention when you're in the front. When I began going to Mass at Queens, I was drawn to the Children's Liturgy of the Word and this little section of the pews where I thought my son Jackson would pay attention. I could always point out what the priest was doing and the important parts of the Mass from where we were sitting.  A parishioner told me this year as my son was getting ready to go off to college that she remembered him as a little boy, sitting there, mouthing along with the priest during the consecration prayers. I thought I was the only one who noticed that! He did pay attention sitting in front.

Another lesson from my mother was to get involved at your parish. Do outreach things because it’s good for others and for you, she said. I didn’t understand this when I was young but as an adult and a mother, at my new parish, it made so much sense. Children’s Liturgy of the Word was something so special to be involved in because Jackson and I could do it together. He helped me prepare the day before, doing the required shopping or putting a skit together. He also got to carry up the book we used in the Mass procession.  For a 5 year old, this was tops! As he grew, Jackson took on bigger roles as he helped me with the children’s liturgy. And as a single parent, if I volunteered to help with something at the parish that usually meant that he was helping too. I hope this idea of "serving others serves you" will translate in his adult years like it did for me. My little boy grew into a fine young man who became a lector at our parish and a Eucharistic minister at his school, St. Albert. I once heard him tell the bishop during an interview what a privilege it is to be an EME and deliver Jesus to others.

Being the parent of a very active youngster, and being an active individual myself, there were also times of great difficulty, when I didn't quite make the right decisions or put my faith first. But prayer was always a way to help ground us both. I tried very hard to end every day with prayer together and start meals with prayer. We were even on the rotation to get the chalice for vocations. Jackson thought that was pretty cool. He had the vocations prayer memorized.

As parents, we can encourage our children's prayer lives to grow in many different ways. We can tell them about different retreats, have them be a part of different ministry groups at school or the parish, and give them gifts that will oriented them in a prayer life. These were all easy things to do when my son was under my roof, and I had him under my protective arms. But this year he graduated and is headed out into the world. I no longer know where he was on a regular basis. I no longer get to pray with him every night. At times I wonder if I did enough or said enough or taught him enough.

During one very tearful spiritual direction session, I was reminded that someone loves my son more than me: our Lord, who sacrificed everything for all of us.

Jackson has been away at college now since June. He got a scholarship to play football at the University of Northern Iowa, and had to be up there early to start working out with the team. It has been hard to go to Mass by myself, to say the Our Father and not hold my little boy's hand. It's hard to trust that the Guardian Angel Prayer that I say sometimes on an hourly basis will get me through to the next moment. But I do it because it DOES. My faith always pulls me through.

My lifetime has been blessed many times over. As parents, children are one of the greatest blessings we get.

I will end with a prideful (indulgent) tale. A lot of hard work, blood, sweat, tears, and prayers culminated this month on Sept. 5 when the University of Northern Iowa played at Iowa State. It was Jackson's first game as a Panther. I had barely made it to my seat to watch him (red shirt freshman) and his teammates run on the field. He ran with them to the end zone, where they kneeled down and prayed. When they were finished, Jackson stood up and made the Sign of the Cross, and I thought my heart might burst - not for pride of his accomplishment as a football player, but for the pride of the love of the Father, whose love had carried us through one more day.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Remembering Monsignor Peter Dunne

This post is being shared with permission from our friend Cullen Herout, blogger at Ready to Stand.
Monsignor Peter Dunne
“Jesus Christ is Lord!”
I can still hear the booming voice echoing through Dowd Chapel on the campus of Boys Town in Omaha, NE. The voice was unmistakable in its passion and its clarity, and for many years, was a mainstay in my experience of attending Mass.
Every once in awhile, the world is graced with a priest who is so holy, so reverent, and so in love with the Eucharist that his whole life becomes a witness to the love God has for the world.
For the last twenty years, I have had the privilege of knowing such a priest. Monsignor Peter Dunne passed away on October 8th, 2015, after serving the Archdiocese of Omaha for over seven decades. My mother was his caregiver for the final twenty years of his life, making sure that he was able to serve as a priest in the fullest capacity for as long as he could.
My memories of Monsignor Dunne go back to when I was in middle school. He said the 11:40 Mass every day over the summer at Boys Town’s Dowd Chapel. Since I enjoyed being an altar server, I approached and asked if I could serve as the daily altar server for his Masses over the summer. I considered it a great honor to be able to assist him during Mass every day. It was there that I first noticed his devotional love of the Eucharist, his passion for preaching, his unrelenting faith, and his love for the children of God.
I began going to Confession with him on a regular basis. As a young teenager, my experience was characterized by the sheepish feeling of always having to confess the same sins, but even then I remember the understanding and gentleness with which he heard confessions. He was always tough on me, calling me to something greater. He didn’t sugarcoat sin as so many do nowadays. He reminded me how selfish sin is, but I never left that confessional confused about how much Christ loved me. The confession always ended with, “Keep up the good work, you’re doing a great job”. How he managed to be tough on me, remind me of the selfishness of my sin, and show me how much Christ loved me all at the same time, I may never know.
There is a plaque that sits on a shelf in his now-empty apartment. There are two pictures juxtaposed alongside each other: one of him as a young priest, and one of him as an older priest. The caption reads, “Uncompromising Faith, Legendary Love”. This caption sums up what it was like to know Monsignor Dunne, and probably answers the question about how he conveyed what he did during the sacrament of Confession.
203As the years passed, his health gradually declined. At Mass, his homilies became repetitive, but somehow people did not seem to tire of hearing the messages he continued to drive home. Each of his regular listeners could undoubtedly repeat the beginning of the Baltimore Catechism: “Who made you? God. Why? To know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world so as to be happy with him forever in the next”. And in that booming voice:  “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength, and the second commandment is like it…”.  He continually told us, “forgive, forgive, forgive.”  And, in his last months, every conversation and prayer ended with, “Here I am, Lord, I come to do Your will.”
In 2011, at the age of 92, with the advent of the new Roman Missal and his eyesight having deteriorated to the point that he could not read the new prayers, Monsignor Dunne had to discontinue his Masses in public.  His archbishop dispensed him from the new missal and gave him permission to continue celebrating the old Mass in private which he did up to the last month of his life.
Over a period of several years, my mother would host a brunch each Sunday at noon, and occasionally I would stop in for this. Eventually Monsignor Dunne, unable to see or hear very well, could no longer join in our conversations over brunch. Health scares came and went until finally one came and claimed his life. He died peacefully, surrounded by loved ones, and I have little doubt his soul went straight from his deathbed into the arms of Christ.
Monsignor Dunne has now passed on from this life and is probably partying all day, every day in Heaven. During the funeral proceedings, which seemed much more like a celebration than a funeral, the Archbishop made a few comments, musing about how fun it might be to think about all the lives Monsignor Dunne had touched in his 71 years as a priest. I am certainly among those lives that he touched, and so here are a few aphorisms that will forever be etched into my memories of Monsignor Peter Dunne.

“He is Lord of all or not at all.”

This is perhaps my favorite of all his adages. He was always quick to remind his audience that “Heaven is all the way to Heaven now and hell is all the way to hell now”. He taught that our lives should be a complete and humble acceptance of God’s will and that, by doing so or not doing so, we can taste Heaven or hell even now . He did not shy away from reminding us that hell is real, and we can choose to go there. He fought against the complacency that comes when we forget that our eternal souls are on the line in the way we live our lives. He had a real live passion for encouraging people to place Christ at the center of their lives, and that there is no way to “half-serve” Christ or be a “part-time” Christian.
This truth calls us to leave our sin behind and fully embrace Christ as our Lord and Savior. It calls us to consistently seek repentance for our wrongs and place them at the foot of the cross. In a world consumed by relativism and selfism, this is a jarring sentiment that demands a response on the part of the believer. And as the adage implies, the response has eternal consequences.

“There is no happiness in sin; it is a contradiction in terms.”

This is self-evident, as it is universally known through our experiences. In all my time knowing Monsignor Dunne, he constantly preached virtue and encouraged me to turn away from sin. Of course he knew that this was easier said than done, but he always reminded me of the unhappiness and sorrow that comes from living a life incongruent with that to which Christ calls us.
This is a truth that resonates so deeply in humanity, but yet somehow is widely either vilified or denied. Relativism has attempted to erase any shred of objective morality, but Truth still calls to us. The scars of humanity reveal the truth of this statement. Monsignor Dunne constantly reminded me and others that no matter how appealing sin might seem on the surface, it cannot and will not ever lead to joy. Over the years, I came to understand the truth contained within this idea, and this understanding continues to guide the decisions I make in my life every day.

“It’s all about relationships.”

Monsignor Dunne was quick to preach forgiveness. He understood that our relationships with one another are where we find happiness, and that those same relationships can be reflections of the joy we experience in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. No relationship is perfect, and every relationship finds the need for forgiveness cropping up with relative frequency. He recognized this and encouraged forgiveness at every opportunity.
Conversely, Monsignor Dunne also saw the bitterness that came with unforgiveness. The resentment that persons hold onto can become toxic, and eventually leads to isolation, depression, despair, and hopelessness. These, in turn, lead to broken families, destroyed marriages, and children caught in the middle of the parents’ mess. He understood that forgivenesses is of paramount importance in the home and in our daily lives.
Another aspect of this is the idea of sacrifice. He taught that sacrifice brought joy, and it is through giving that we receive. He understood the importance of sacrifice for married persons, for parents, and for children. He knew that selfishness breeds sin, and again, there can be no happiness in sin. The call to sacrifice is one that has stayed with me for many years, and one that continues to serve me well in my marriage and with my children.
These are just a few of the lessons that I will always remember from Monsignor Dunne. I could easily go on. While they are great lessons and ideas, the truth is that they would be far less impressive if they were not a direct and authentic reflection of the way the man lived his life as a priest. He was quick to forgive, quick to sacrifice, quick to call people out of sin and encourage them toward virtue. He quite literally lived out his deep love for the Eucharist in the relationships he had with the people who surrounded him. He practiced gratitude as a way of life and was as kind and thoughtful as he was passionate and unrelenting in his faith.
He is a man who will be mourned and missed by many. His legacy is a legacy of love, and those who knew him can tell stories of his abounding kindness, generosity, humor, and humility. He never sought to be recognized by this world, but made it the point of his life to be recognized by Christ. He had a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and when younger, he could often be found pacing the aisles at the chapel praying the rosary.
Though Monsignor Dunne has passed on from this life, we still have the memories and the wisdom that he passed along to us. No matter what happens or where this life continues to take me, I will forever be able to hear that booming voice:
“Jesus Christ is Lord!”  Now and forever.
This post originally appeared at Catholic Stand.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Three Ways to Stay Spiritual This Christmas

Editor's note: The following was originally published in Fr. Mike Schmitz's column in the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church bulletin. Fr. Schmitz is the pastor at St. Rose of Lima in Crofton and St. Andrew in Bloomfield. Both parishes are in the Spirit 88.3-FM listening area. Thank you to Fr. Schmitz for allowing us to blog his column. 

From the Desk of Fr. Mike Schmitz
Did you know that a person should receive only three gifts at Christmas? Why? Jesus received only three gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Therefore, we should only give three gifts to a person this Christmas. 

Remember, spiritual bouquets are wonderful gift items, too. Some other ideas would be spending more time in prayer, attend daily Mass, pray an hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament at your parish, visit the sick on a regular basis, etc. 

Let us make this Christmas a great and holy one for all. Pray, pray, pray!

Three Ways to Stay Spiritual This Christmas
From Schmitz, via ePriest.

The difficult situation of the economy this year provides us with an excellent opportunity to purify our expectations. Instead of focusing too much on the passing joys of material things, it almost forces us to focus more on the deeper, longer-lasting joys of spiritual things. We can do that in three ways.

First, we can make sure that the gifts we plan to give to other people this Christmas are meaningful. Meaningful doesn't necessarily mean expensive. It means helpful for living a meaningful life, helpful because it reminds the other person that they are loved, that in God's eyes, and in ours, they matter.

Second, we can make sure that among all the hopes of this Advent season, our biggest hope comes from knowing that on Christmas, here in this church, during the sacred liturgy, which is always so beautiful on Christmas, Jesus himself will come once again into our souls in a special way, bringing us the priceless gift of his grace. That is the gift we should most look forward to receiving.

Third, we can make sure that on Christmas we don't come to Christ empty-handed. He is our King and our Lord, our Creator and our Savior, and Christmas is his birthday. What gift would please him most? A new commitment to prayer or service? Having broken, with his help, a selfish, sinful habit? Having reconciled a relationship? Having shared the faith with someone new? Saying yes to that thing he has been asking me for so long that I keep saying no to? In the remaining days of Advent, let's talk to Jesus and Mary about what Christ wants this year for his birthday. Focusing on him more than us will help make sure that wrong expectations don't cut us off from the flow of his grace. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Doctors of the Church

Tony and Judy Fulton and their children,
back row from left, Bede, Thomas, Augustine,
front row from left, Bernadette, Leo, Ambrose and Basil
When Tony and Judy Fulton of Lincoln were newly married, they decided to name their future sons after Doctors of the Church.

“We wanted to provide for them specific examples to emulate,” Tony said. “We also recognized that each child would have a powerful intercessor watching over and praying for him throughout his life.”  

And they have kept that commitment.

The Fultons have six sons – twins Thomas and Augustine, Bede, Basil, Leo and Ambrose.

The Doctors of the Church are great saints recognized by the pope for their outstanding contribution to the understanding and interpretation of Sacred Scriptures and the development of Christian doctrine.

Last month and again this month, the church celebrates the feast of five Doctors of the Church – St. Bernard (Aug. 20), St. Augustine (Aug. 28), St. Gregory the Great (Sept. 3), St. John Chrysostom (Sept. 13) and St. Jerome (Sept. 30).

Tony said he and Judy also wanted to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary in their marriage and life, so they chose to name their daughters after her.  

“As it is, Mary Bernadette is our only girl, and she has the most blessed of all saints to watch over and pray for her through life,” he said. “Were we to have more girls, they would have Mary as their first name.”

Each day the Fultons pray the rosary and close with a request to each of their namesakes to pray for them.  They also celebrate their children’s feast days – though depending on schedules and activities, some feast days end up with a little less fanfare than others, Tony said.

There are three requirements that must be fulfilled by a person to merit being included in the ranks of Doctors of the Church:
1.       Holiness that is truly outstanding, even among saints;
2.       depth of doctrinal insight; and
3.       an extensive body of writings that the church can recom­mend as an expression of the authentic and life-giving Catholic Tradition.

The original eight Doctors of the Church - four Western ( Ambrose, Augustine, Gregory the Great and Jerome) and four Eastern (Athanasius, Basil the Great, Gregory Nazianzen and John Chrysostom) - were named by acclamation, or common acknowledgment; the rest have been named by various popes, starting with the addition of St. Thomas Aquinas to the list by Pope Pius V in 1568, when he promulgated the Tridentine Latin Mass.

In the 20th century, three female saints – Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila and Therese of Lisieux - were added to the list. A fourth, St. Hildegard of Bingen, was added by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012, when he also added St. John of Avila to the list.

As of 2014, there are 35 officially recognized Doctors of the Church.

The following is a list of all 35 and who named them Doctors of the Church.

St. Albertus Magnus (1200-80)
Added by Pope Pius XI in 1931

St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Added by Pope Pius IX in 1871

St. Ambrose (340-97)
One of the original four Doctors of the Latin Church

St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)
Added by Pope Clement XI in 1720

St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)
Added by Pope Pius XII in 1946

St. Athanasius (297-373)
One of the original four Doctors of the Eastern Church

St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
One of the original four Doctors of the Latin Church

St. Basil the Great (329-379)
One of the original four Doctors of the Eastern Church

The Venerable Bede (673-735)
Added by Pope Leo XIII in 1899

St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
Added by Pope Pius VIII in 1830

St. Bonaventure (1217-74)
Added by Pope Sixtus V in 1588

St. Catherine of Siena (1347-80)
Added by Pope Paul VI in 1970

St. Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)
Added by Pope Leo XIII in 1883

St. Cyril of Jerusalem (315-87)
Added by Pope Leo XIII in 1883

St. Ephrem the Syrian (306-73)
Added by Pope Benedict XV in 1920

St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Added by Pope Pius IX in 1877

St. Gregory the Great (540-604)
One of the original four Doctors of the Latin Church

St. Gregory Nazianzen (330-90)
One of the original four Doctors of the Eastern Church

St. Hilary of Poitiers (315-68)
Added by Pope Pius IX in 1851

St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)
Added by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012

St. Isidore of Seville (560-636)
Added by Pope Innocent XIII in 1722

St. Jerome (343-420)
One of the original four Doctors of the Latin Church

St. John Chrysostom (347-407)
One of the original four Doctors of the Eastern Church

St. John Damascene (675-749)
Added by Pope Leo XIII in 1883

St. John of Avila (1500-69)
Added by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012

St. John of the Cross (1542-91)
Added by Pope Pius XI in 1926

St. Lawrence of Brindisi (1559-1619)
Added by Pope John XXIII in 1959

St. Leo the Great (400-61)
Added by Pope Benedict XIV in 1754

St. Peter Canisius (1521-97)
Added by Pope Pius XI in 1925 

St. Peter Chrysologus (400-50)
Added by Pope Benedict XIII in 1729

St. Peter Damian (1007-72)
Added by Pope Leo XII in 1828

St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621)
Added by Pope Pius XI in 1931

St. Teresa of Avila (1515-82)
Added by Pope Paul VI in 1970

St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-97)
Added by Pope John Paul II in 1997

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-74)
Added by Pope Pius V in 1568

Blogged by Lisa Maxson, senior writer/reporter.