Diocese of Metuchen investigating possible miracle



PISCATAWAY ­ If Mother Mary Angeline Teresa 
McCrory is to one day become a saint, the miracle 
investigation formally opened here Monday, May 
18, could prove a pivotal moment.

In a 20-minute ceremony at the St. John Neumann 
Pastoral Center on Metlars Lane, Bishop Paul G. 
Bootkoski formally opened the Diocese of 
Metuchen's investigation into an alleged miracle 
being attributed to McCrory, the late founder of 
the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm.

The diocesan investigation is the first phase ­ a 
fact-finding phase ­ of a church process designed 
to determine whether McCrory's intercession in 
Heaven resulted in a miracle on Earth. Two 
verified miracles must be attributed to a 
deceased candidate for sainthood before he or she can be canonized.

As founder of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged 
and Infirm, McCrory spent her life caring for the 
elderly and ailing in long-term care facilities 
operated by the sisters. She died in 1984 at age 
91. The Germantown, N.Y.-based Carmelite Sisters 
now operate 17 elder-care facilities around the 
country, plus one in Ireland. About 20 nuns from 
many of those facilities were on hand yesterday for the proceeding.

"Sometimes you hear about somebody being an 
imposing figure," said Sister Kevin Patricia 
Lynch, a Carmelite sister who knew McCrory. "She 
was very imposing, but very warm."

McCrory has been designated a "Servant of God" 
and her entire life has been the subject of an 
extensive investigation by the Diocese of Albany, 
her home diocese. That information was forwarded 
to the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

Having completed that process, those championing 
McCrory's cause have been urging Catholics in 
need to seek McCrory's intercession in Heaven. 
Those who believe their prayers to McCrory have 
resulted in a miracle are asked to contact the 
Carmelite Sisters. The miracle being investigated 
at the Diocese of Metuchen is one of those 
reported miracles that has been deemed worthy of 
investigation by a Vatican designee, or "postulate," assigned to the case.

Details of the possible miracle are not being 
made public. During the opening session, 
Bootkoski and a panel of investigators took oaths 
promising to put God and the church first, and to 
keep the details they learn in the investigation 
secret until the process is complete.

But while she could not go into detail, Mother 
Mark Louis Randall, superior general of the 
Carmelite Sisters, said the miracle involves a 
family in the Diocese of Metuchen's general area 
that prayed to McCrory to intercede with God 
after their unborn child was diagnosed with a 
genetic abnormality. Randall said when the child 
was born, the defect was not present in the degree it had been expected.

The Diocese of Metuchen includes parishes in 
Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somerset and Warren counties.

Lori Albanese, chancellor of the diocese and 
notary of the investigation, said the diocesan 
process will take perhaps four months. During 
that time, officials will interview family and 
friends of the child, as well as medical experts, 
including two medical experts who are independent of the church and the case.

Albanese said the diocesan panel's job is simply to collect evidence.

"We don't have the responsibility of determining 
whether it is an actual miracle or whether it is 
a miracle attributed to her," Albanese said.

Those decisions will be made by the Vatican's 
Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and 
Albanese said that process could take years. If 
the miracle is verified, the Pope can then 
beatify McCrory, giving her the title of 
"Blessed." If a second miracle is then attributed 
to her, she will be eligible for the title of "Saint."

Jared Kaltwasser: 732-565-7263; 

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