BY Martin Dunlop | July 5 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


On the path for a new saint for Scotland

Mother Angeline Teresa McCrory, a former parishioner of Holy Family Church, Mossend, in Motherwell Diocese, has been declared Venerable by the Vatican

The community of Holy Family Church, Mossend in Motherwell Diocese was delighted to hear that a former parishioner of the church had been declared Venerable by the Vatican last week.

Mother Angeline Teresa McCrory (above), whose original name was Bridget Teresa McCrory and who lived in the parish of Holy Family from 1900-1912, was declared Venerable last Thursday, a step in the process towards the possible Beatification and Canonisation of a new saint for Scotland.

Mother Angeline’s family emigrated from Scotland to Ulster—Bridget was born in Mountjoy, County Tyrone—but they returned to their native homeland when Bridget was only seven years of age.

In 1912, aged 19, she left home to join the Little Sisters of the Poor, a French Catholic congregation engaged in the care of the destitute aged. She did her novitiate in La Tour, France, and after her profession she was sent to the US.

In 1926, Mother Angeline was appointed superior of a nursing home of the Little Sisters of the Poor in the Bronx, New York. While on a retreat the following year, she felt she needed to do more for the aged under her care. She felt that the European model of the care of the elderly and many of the customs in France did not meet the needs of Americans. In addition, she felt that caring for only the destitute elderly, as is the practice of the Little Sisters, was not sufficient, as old age strikes all classes of people, leaving them alone and frightened.

Being unable to effect any necessary changes in her present situation, Mother Angeline sought advice and counsel from Cardinal Hayes, the Archbishop of New York. The cardinal encouraged her in her work and suggested that she expand her ministry to include the aged throughout the New York City area. Eventually, this need was recognised throughout the US. In order to accomplish what she felt called to do, and with the blessing of the cardinal, Mother Angeline and six other sisters withdrew from the congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor and were granted permission from the Vatican to begin a new congregation for the care of the aged, incorporating Mother Angeline’s ideals.

Thus, through the inspiration Mother Angeline received from the congregation dedicated to the aged, she was now able to further develop this needed apostolate with new methods. From the very start, the Carmelite friars in New York took a deep interest in Mother Angeline and her companions. In 1931, the new congregation became affiliated with the Carmelite Order and was henceforth known as the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm.

Mother Angeline McCrory died on January 21, 1984, her 91st birthday, at the motherhouse of the congregation. She was interred in the congregation’s cemetery at St Teresa’s Motherhouse in Germantown, Philadelphia.

The late Bill Murphy was a staunch proponent of the cause for her Beatification and Canonisation and he actively sought to make Mother Angeline better known in Scotland and Mossend in particular.




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