Making the case for canonization

Sometime in the next few days, Andrea Ambrosi, a Vatican lawyer specializing in the arcane ways of canonization, will leave New Orleans for Rome with a precious cargo: 2,918 pages of memories, testimonies and historical and theological arguments in support of sainthood for his new client, Henriette Delille, the 19th century woman of color who spent a lifetime ministering to slaves in antebellum New Orleans.

The thick files are the product of 16 years of prayers, promotion and scholarly research by modern admirers of Delille in and out of the Sisters of the Holy Family, the religious order she founded.

Now the long canonization process shifts from years of historical and theological research in New Orleans to critical examination in Rome, church officials said.

Canonization, if it comes, could still be years away, they said.

Archbishop Alfred Hughes and admirers of Delille celebrated the milestone with a Mass on Thursday at the order’s mother house in eastern New Orleans.

Read this and notice a rather familiar name (with an alternative spelling) in her background..

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