Annual Mass on July 7 for Canton woman will include visit by Vatican official
June 29, 2023
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On Friday, July 7, The Most Rev. David J. Bonnar, Bishop of Youngstown, will be the principal celebrant for the annual Mass to pray for the Cause of Servant of God Rhoda Wise, a Canton woman who died in 1948 and is being considered by the Church for beatification, a step towards possibly being recognized as a saint.
July 7 is the anniversary of Rhoda Wise’s death. As he did in 2021 and 2022 since becoming Bishop of Youngstown, Bishop Bonnar will preside at the 6 p.m. Mass at Saint Peter Catholic Church, 726 Cleveland Ave NW, Canton. This year’s Mass will include a visit from Valentina Culurgioni, who last year became the new postulator of the Cause for Rhoda Wise and works at the Vatican in Rome. Msgr. Michael Cariglio, the Diocese of Youngstown’s episcopal delegate for the Cause, will also be present, and the faithful will be given an update on the Cause. A new prayer for the Cause, written by Bishop Bonnar, will be distributed.
In 2017, Bishop Murry of the Diocese of Youngstown declared Rhoda Wise a Servant of God, starting the canonization process. The Vatican’s Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, the dicastery that includes Valentina Culurgioni, is investigating her cause for beatification and sainthood. Rhoda Wise was a Canton woman of heroic virtue and holiness known for her suffering and prayer life. She promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Rosary and St. Therese of Lisieux (also known as the Little Flower), inspired by the visions she experienced of Jesus and the Little Flower. During her life, she accompanied others in their suffering, and many would gather at her house. At the recent 80th Anniversary Mass for the Diocese of Youngstown on June 25, Bishop David Bonnar pointed to Rhoda Wise as someone who exemplified the virtue of love, highlighting how she endured the cross and “embraced the call to holiness and responded to suffering with a growing love.”