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U.S. Bishops Affirm Advancement of the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of Servant of God Mother Margaret Mary Healy-Murphy

BALTIMORE - At their annual fall Plenary Assembly, the bishops of the United States held a canonical consultation on the cause of beatification and canonization of the Servant of God Mother Margaret Mary Healy-Murphy, foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate.

Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, and Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, M.Sp.S., of San Antonio, facilitated the discussion by the bishops. By a voice vote, the bishops expressed support for the advancement of the cause of beatification and canonization on the diocesan level.

A brief biography of Mother Margaret Mary Healy-Murphy was provided by the Archdiocese of San Antonio:

Margaret Mary Healy was born on May 4, 1833, to Jane Murphy Healy and Richard Healy in Cahersiveen, County Kerry, Ireland. When she was only five years old her mother died in childbirth, and over the next few years, Margaret watched her family and the rest of Ireland struggle to survive the ravages of famine.

Margaret immigrated to America with her father when she was 12 and her father died shortly after their arrival. She accompanied her brothers, aunts, and uncles when they made their way across several southern states and eventually to Mexico, where they operated a hotel. Upon marrying John Bernard Murphy in 1849, Margaret and her family moved to Texas. While her husband was traveling for business, Margaret ministered to the pastoral and material needs of her neighbors, reportedly even riding 35 miles on horseback to secure medicine for Yellow Fever victims.

With the Civil War brewing and her husband away, most likely for safety, Margaret moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, helping her neighbors with chores and cooking meals for those in need. After the war, Margaret volunteered at St. Patrick’s Parish, even as the Yellow Fever epidemic reached the city. She worked alongside the pastor, Reverend John Gonnard, who later died from the illness. One of the patients Margaret tended to – Mrs. Delaney – entrusted her daughter, Minnie, to Margaret’s care. Margaret and John Bernard adopted Minnie and sent her to a boarding school in New York with the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur. They also adopted Margaret’s goddaughter, Lizzie, who had lost her mother as well. Upon graduation, both girls entered the religious life with the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament Sisters.

Following the death of her husband in 1884, Margaret operated a tuberculosis hospital in Corpus Christi. After a few years, she moved to San Antonio. In 1887, responding to a plea from the bishops during the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore, she was inspired to use her own finances to build the first black Catholic Church and school in the city. With racial prejudice prevalent, she struggled with securing finances to sustain her project and maintain a stable faculty. In 1893, with the blessing of Bishop John C. Neraz, Margaret founded a new religious congregation, the Sisters of the Holy Ghost, now known as the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate. These sisters supported Margaret’s mission of working with the poor and people of color. Mother Margaret Mary Healy-Murphy died on August 7, 1907, leaving behind 15 sisters, two postulants and three missions. Even today, her congregation continues “manifesting the compassion of Jesus to the poor” in the United States and Zambia.

On June 28, 2022, Archbishop García-Siller announced his intention to formally open the diocesan phase of investigation into the life of Mother Margaret Mary Healy-Murphy.

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

 

U.S. Bishops Affirm Advancement of the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of Servant of God Michelle Duppong

BALTIMORE - At their annual fall Plenary Assembly, the bishops of the United States held a canonical consultation on the cause of beatification and canonization of the Servant of God Michelle Duppong, lay woman.

Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, facilitated the discussion by the bishops. By a voice vote, the bishops expressed support for the advancement of the cause of beatification and canonization on the diocesan level.

A brief biography of Michelle Duppong was provided by the Diocese of Bismarck:

Michelle Christine Duppong was born on January 25, 1984, to Ken and Mary Ann Duppong. At the age of one, her family moved from Colorado to a farm in Haymarsh, North Dakota. Michelle cherished the small country church of Saint Clement’s located near their home and, as an adult, she frequently made trips there to visit her Beloved Lord Jesus.

After graduating from Glen Ullin High School in 2002, Michelle attended North Dakota State University. During her years of education there, she continued to grow in her faith and spiritual life, which especially blossomed through the ministry of FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) at Saint Paul’s Newman Center. After completing her degree in horticulture in 2006, Michelle’s desire to bring others closer to the Lord was realized by becoming a missionary with FOCUS, whose mission is to help young people on college campuses grow in their relationship with Jesus and His Church. During her six years with FOCUS, she mentored hundreds of students at the campuses of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, South Dakota State University, University of South Dakota, and the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. Michelle knew how deeply the Lord wishes to have a relationship with every person and she was filled with joy to play even the smallest part in opening a person’s heart to receive Him.

In 2012, Michelle discerned that God was calling her to a new evangelization ministry, and she became the Director of Adult Faith Formation for the Diocese of Bismarck. Serving the Church in this role, she coordinated many significant events such as the THIRST Conference and performed outreach to parishes within the diocese using her talents and missionary zeal to lead other souls to Christ.

On December 29, 2014, Michelle was diagnosed with cancer and battled the disease with perseverance and a patient, cheerful spirit. Throughout the course of her illness, Michelle exemplified an unwavering trust in God, fidelity to the Church, and was widely known by those who knew her for her patient suffering, fidelity to prayer, and Christian charity. Michelle passed from this life on December 25, 2015, at the age of 31. Her widespread reputation of holiness of life continues to serve as an inspiration and example of Christ-like goodness to many.

On June 15, 2022, Bishop Kagan announced his intention to formally open the diocesan phase of investigation into the life of Michelle Duppong.

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200