Steps to Sainthood, 
the Canonization Process moves forward



    4can 02Rain can’t dampen our spirits!
    4can 04 We are ready! Srs. Gianna and Mary Jacinta
  4can 01Rainy day in Rome, but radiant for us  
  4can 03Step by step...  

The journey towards the Canonization of Mother Frances continues! This article is an update about this beautiful pilgrimage we are all making together.

During these weeks and months I have felt a keen sense of the prayers and support of our Congregation and Associates along with that of the SPSFs.

I experienced this especially when I arrived in Rome, charged with the privilege of delivering the sacred (and well sealed) documents to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, accompanied by the Postulator, Fr. Gianni Califano, OFM on the morning of December 17. Sister Gianna Giovannangeli and I were escorted to the office of Msgr. Giacomo Pappalardo, who began the process of accepting the documents from the Cincinnati Diocesan Inquiry.

We were fortunate to have Sister Giannica Selmo with us who took some beautiful photos.

  4can 05Sr. Mary Jacinta presenting the documents to Msgr. Pappalardo along with Fr. Gianni
  4can 06An emotional moment!
  4can 07Sr. Mary Jacinta receives the Protocol Paper
  4can 08Sr. Gianna Giovannangeli, Vice-Postulator Sr. Mary Jacinta Doyle, Msgr. Giacomo Pappalardo, and Postulator Fr. Gianni Califano, OFM
  4can 09History in the making – Srs. Barbara Fiorentino, Mary Jacinta and Giannica Selmo with the precious documents
  4can 010Srs. Mary Jacinta, Francesca Vitulano and Gianna

As I put the precious documents (the transunto) into the hands of Msgr. Pappalardo, I was overwhelmed with emotion!  During the months leading up to this day, when the obstacles seemed greatest, I found myself saying, “Mother Frances, you worked this miracle, not me!  It's up to you to get this task completed!” Now in spite of the concerns of getting the documents finished, getting the sealed boxes through airport security and taking them with me on the plane, they were now finally at the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. This phase was now completed! Mother Frances had surely been journeying with us -- with her "mini-miracles.”

Msgr. Pappalardo had taken the envelope that accompanied the boxes and then accepted the second box (which is the public copy) from Fr. Gianni. Sr. Gianna and I then went to Fr. Gianni’s office at the General House of the Friars Minor near the Vatican. Fr. Gianni was very interested in the story of the Mother Frances picture that had been purchased by Mr. Siemers. We promised to send a photo of this image, which still hangs in Mr. Siemers’ home. Fr. Gianni also expressed interest in Mr. Siemers’ visit to the Vatican several years ago. At that time Mr. Siemers had presented some documents to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. Fr. Gianni thought this could be significant data for the Canonization process.

What Happens Next?

  • The Official Opening of the  transunto will take place on March 17, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. at the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.  

  • Juridical Consultation - The documents will then be checked for their completeness, resulting in a Decree of Validity. They will then be printed and bound into complete sets.
  • Medical Consultation - these documents will beprinted and bound for study by two physicians and a recommendation will be made about the alleged healing.

  • Translations - the documents will need to be translated into Italian – one level for most of the documents, and a more technical level for the medical documents.
  • Theological Consultation -  a review about who prayed, when, how, etc. The entire process may require at least two years.
  • Decision - If a decision is made in favor of the Canonization, the Congregations will most likely have six months to a year to prepare for this event.

A Congregational Project

During these months I have experienced how carefully the Church treats any alleged miracle.  My appreciation of the careful attention to detail has grown! I also felt so honored to hear from Fr. Gianni that I would continue as Vice Postulator in Cincinnati  to procure any additional information or documents as needed. 

If the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints needs clarification, more documents, etc., Fr. Gianni will contact me. He encouraged us to continue our prayers to Mother Frances and to Fr. Luca De Rosa, the former Postulator who died in April, 2009.

My sincere thanks to the Congregation for entrusting me with such a great privilege and to each of you for your support with prayers, affirmation, encouragement – and translations!

I conclude this update by sharing my own spiritual joys and challenges.

I am overwhelmed that Mother Frances, in this particular time of challenge for religious in the U.S., would bless us through this alleged healing! She continues with us!  So many more people are now aware of her charism. 

As I shared my experience with some of our Sisters in Italy and heard how they had been touched throughout the process, my own love for Mother Frances grows, as well as a renewed commitment to living her charism.  Grazie, Suore! It has truly been a “Congregational Project.”

An opportunity to share your grace-filled moments

We would like to hear from all you – Sisters,  Associates, collaborators. What follows are some questions that could facilitate rich sharings across our various cultures.

  • As you know, the Diocesan Process in Cincinnati for the Cause of Canonization of Mother Frances opened on April 17 and closed on December 14.  As you pray and reflect about this process what has been your personal experience been like?
  • During these months did/do you find yourself drawing closer to Blessed Frances? If so, how? Are there any grace-filled moments you would like to share?
  • What are your hopes as this Canonization Process moves into the next phase?

We invite you to respond to these questions by hard copy or email

Please send your email reflection on your grace-filled moments to

If you are mailing your reply hard copy, please send to: 

Ufficio Congregazionale Suore Francescane dei Poveri

Via Calandrelli, 16
00153 Roma

We look forward to hearing from you!   

Sr. Mary Jacinta Doyle, SFP  [Maureen Fullam, Contributing Editor]
In gratitude... photos by Sr. Giannica Selmo


Published: February 10, 2009

Addresses revised on February 9, 2016

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