Dear brothers and sisters, it is with great joy that I share with you that on June 8th 2018, Pope Francis received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, SDB, Prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints. During the audience, the Holy Father authorized the same Congregation to promulgate the decree regarding the miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Concepción Cabrera Arias (Conchita). By doing this, the Church has opened the door for Conchita to be declared Blessed.
As you all may know, Conchita is the foundress of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit and of other religious institutes. By declaring her Blessed, the Church recognizes in her a woman who, because of her virtuous and self-giving life and the spirituality she lived and transmitted in an exemplary way (spirituality we call today as the Spirituality of the Cross), is for us a model of holiness, an exemplary follower of Christ worthy of the admiration of the faithful.
Conchita was a lay person, married, mother of nine children, and then a widower who knew how to live a deep relationship with the Lord in her life. As a laywoman, mystic and apostle, Conchita personifies everything that Pope Francis recently invited us to consider and live in his Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate, whose goal is "to repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities. For the Lord has chosen each one of us “to be holy and blameless before him in love” (GE 2).
I strongly believe that by declaring her Blessed, the Pope has acknowledged the important role of women in the life of the Church, and at the same time wants us to know that holiness is possible for those who really seek it. The example of Conchita makes me think about the hundreds of women who form our parish community who long for a life of holiness and may think that holiness is not something they can achieve. For them, and all of us, the beatification of Conchita teaches us that holiness is possible if we say yes to the invitation of the Lord to follow Him. In the future we will be sharing more information about her life and how she was able to respond to God in her own state of life.
The process of canonization in the Catholic Church consists of four steps: 1) Servant of God, 2) Venerable, 3) Blessed, and 4) Saint. As you can see, Concepcion Cabrera is only one step away from being declared a canonized saint. I invite you to pray to her for your needs, make her a companion for your spiritual journey, and hopefully, soon we will have her on the altars.
Since the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit run this parish, there is a strong connection between us and Conchita. Let us join in asking Conchita for her intercession for each one of us and our families.
Fr. Manuel Rosiles, msps