Bishop Richard F. Stika will make a formal presentation at this week’s meeting of U.S. bishops in Baltimore on the cause for sainthood for Father Patrick Ryan, a diocesan priest who died serving yellow fever victims in Chattanooga in the late 1800’s.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is holding its Fall General Assembly, Nov. 14-16 in Baltimore, Md.
The agenda includes many items, including the election of a new USCCB president to replace Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., who has served in that position since 2013. Archbishop Kurtz is the former bishop of the Diocese of Knoxville.
Bishop Stika initiated the Cause for Sainthood for Father Ryan on June 14 after Father David Carter, rector at the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Chattanooga, and Deacon Gaspar DeGaetano, met with Vatican officials in March. The Vatican has encouraged the effort, although any official pronouncement on sainthood could be years, if not decades, away.
“Presenting Father Ryan’s cause to the full assembly is part of the formal process in moving someone toward sainthood. I am looking forward to making my brother bishops aware of Father Ryan’s act of martyrdom. Even though it happened many years ago, Father Ryan’s work administering to the sick exemplies charity and selflessness and remind us of how we should serve others,” said Bishop Stika.
Bishop Stika is scheduled to make his presentation on Tuesday, November 15.
Bishop Stika will join other U.S. bishops to concelebrate Mass at Saint Peter Claver Church in Baltimore during the first day of their general assembly. In additional to electing a new president, vice president, and other committee leaders, the bishops will hear a report and recommendations on promoting peace in violence-stricken communities. The bishops will also vote on the Conference’s 2017-2020 strategic plan, Encountering the Mercy of Christ and Accompanying His People with Joy.
“I am grateful to be able to join my brother bishops on this occasion as we concelebrate Mass at such a significant Church in Baltimore’s history. Together, we offer our solidarity and support to Baltimore’s African-American community as we work in unity toward peaceful solutions in all our communities across the country,” said Archbishop Kurtz.